As the 2020-2021 school year came to a close, we spent our last days as a class playing together, learning together, relaxing together, laughing together, working through conflicts together, reading together, dancing together, listening to music together, and creating together. Just as the students experienced their first year of Kindergarten, so did I. Just as the students are leaving Kindergarten to enter into new endeavors, so am I. This school year was equal parts challenging and rewarding for all of us, and we spent much of our time in these final days reflecting on the days behind us.
When I asked the students to reflect on their favorite memory or "best day", their responses were so varied: "Catching bugs!", "When I finally remembered everybody's names!", "Cracking open geodes!", "Our drawing parties!", "Playing jenga!", "Changing seats!", and of course "Field Day!"
Students were asked to reflect on all of the ways we have grown and changed this year, not just academically, but socially and emotionally. Students had so many proud moments to share with the class: "I learned how to get on the swing by myself!", "I learned how to climb the monkey bars!", "I learned how to read!", "I learned how to count to 100!", "I learned how to play soccer!", "I learned how to spell words!", "I learned how to build in the sand!", "I learned more about friends!".
Our last journal entry focused on all of the fun summer plans we each have to look forward to. As we shared our plans for summer, students expressed how much they will miss each other and hope to see each other. Together we read stories like The Last Day of Kindergarten, and Lizzie and the Last Day of School. We shared our hopes for next school year and gave each other smiles and hugs, and said our "See you later!"'s.
This week, we said an early goodbye to our classmate, Zach. We celebrated with class photos, autographs, and end of the year poems:
The year is at an end
We’ve learned a lot
And made a lot of friends
We’ll wave goodbye,
Now summer’s here!
It’s time for us to part,
But we’ll remember all our friends
And keep them in our hearts.
We wrapped up our gardening project this week by exploring one of the most important parts of a garden--soil! Students learned about what makes up soil -- water, air, organic matter, and minerals -- and spent time observing soil samples from the school grounds. We also learned that the living critters in soil are super important for having healthy soil and healthy plants because they allow air and water to travel through the ground. We read various books that taught us about the importance of earth worms and other critters in the ground, and went on a worm scavenger hunt to see what critters we found in the soil around school!
In E.L.A. this week, students worked on spelling and reading at their individual paces, in small groups and individually with me. In math, we began learning about money through various read alouds. Students observed the different coins -- pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters -- and practiced sorting coins by type and graphing how many of each coin we had. We also practiced adding coins together by holding a mock auction!
As part of our gardening project, students used project time this week to paint garden pots and plant vegetables to take home! Check out these photos from the activity!
This week's E.L.A. time was action packed and full of a variety of activities. At the beginning of the week, students learned a new way to practice writing letters called "blue sky, green grass". Many of our activities this week used this method which helps students practice making sense of writing letters onto and in between lines. Our journal time focused on Mother's Day coming up. Students reflected on special activities they like to do with their moms. They drew images of these activities and tried to independently spell what they drew. We also spent time practicing guided reading sessions. Students used a variety of texts to practice their reading skills.