This week we combined 3 of our themed studies (patterns, symmetry, and Black History Month) in our study of African American artist Alma Thomas! We learned about what mosaics and mandalas are, and practiced creating our own circular patterns to imitate her unique style of artwork!
As part of our Black History Month exploration, this week we learned about artist Jean-Michel Basquiat! We observed his artwork with a close eye, discussing what details we noticed, what patterns we saw between his artwork, and what we liked about each piece. Then, we used paint and crayons to make our own Basquiat-inspired portraits!
This week in math we explored symmetry and symmetrical designs! We practiced making symmetrical designs using various manipulatives, read books about symmetry, looked for symmetry naturally occurring outsider, and made some symmetry-inspired artwork!
Each week we have been focusing on a new short vowel word family. This week we explored short I words. We practiced reading and spelling words through sensory activities, such as using sand to spell/write. We also focused on listening closely to ending sounds (-ig, -it, -in, -ip) of words. We played rhyming games, and completed a new word sort called "Real or Wacky?" where students practice sounding out words and decide if they are real words, or wacky words!
This week in math we explored patterns. Students practiced making different types of patterns and creating easy or more complex patterns. For example, we made patterns using a set of 2 items that repeat: blue / red / blue / red / blue / red... We also made patterns using sets up to 4 items! For example: red / green / blue / yellow / red / green / blue / yellow....We used our tablets to search for and take photos of patterns around our homes and classroom. We also made bracelets, rings, and necklaces to showcase our understanding of patterns. In the process, we did lots of sorting of beads and counting!
As a part of our celebration and exploration of Black History Month, each day students learn about a new person each day through a story time and accompanying activity. This week, students learned about Dorothy Vaughan, Dr. Patricia Bath, and Bessie Coleman. To understand Dorothy's role in computer science, students practiced "coding" their names by assigning each letter in their name a different color. We made copies of Dr. Patricia Bath's invention to help understand the human eye and help others to see better. After learning about Bessie Coleman, the first African American and Native American pilot in our country, we practiced making and flying our own paper airplanes!
This week we explored some specific social/emotional curriculum using the books of the Buckets, Dippers, and Lids series and the videos from ClassDojo for Growth Mindset. These concepts are super powerful for humans of all ages, but these resources above and tailored perfectly to younger ages to help them understand these concepts and put them into action.
Buckets, Dippers, and Lids encourages us to think about how we contribute to or diminish from the happiness of ourselves and our communities through the imagery of buckets, dippers, and lids. The idea is that we all have an invisible "bucket" full of happiness. When we do things that bring us joy, our buckets become a little more full. When we do kind things for others, we fill two buckets: ours and theirs! If we hurt someone, we are no longer filling buckets, but dipping into them and removing happiness. We can use our "lids" to help protect our happiness and set boundaries for ourselves.
In addition, growth mindset is the idea that not only is it beneficial for us to make mistakes, it is HUMAN! Making mistakes is the only way we can grow and give our brains a work out. The short videos from Class Dojo detail a small monster, Mojo, who learns the power of growth mindset as he navigates and faces challenges in his school.
Summers-Knoll School strongly believes in the power of play-based learning: kids need to play to work through the ideas in their heads, learn more about themselves, solidify the "academic" concepts they learn about, experiment, make mistakes, navigate social situations, and more...
This week, we enjoyed playing in the snow at County Farm Park because there was a slide created from the snow and ice pushed off of the parking lot! Students loved sliding on their bellies and activating energy throughout their whole bodies as they did this. This was a great opportunity to practice our collaboration skills and work together to figure out how to take turns and share the slide and sleds we had available. Some students took on the role of "sled positioner", and held it in place while others got on. Some students cleaned the slide after each turn to smooth it out. Others pushed the sleds down. And so on!
It was a great way to strengthen our community, navigate social conflicts, energize our bodies, and have FUN!
Kindergartners have been practicing counting, writing, and naming numbers up to 20 through a variety of activities. This week we used our "less than/greater than" gators to compare numbers to 20. We used dried beans to count out each group, practicing our 1-1 correspondence, and decided which group the gator would "eat". We also used these groups to practice adding higher numbers.