Are seeds alive?

Place a variety of seeds out for your students to examine and ask them if they think the seeds are alive.

Make sure to follow up their responses with more questions… “Why do you think that?  How do you know?”  Change statements into questions.. “I wonder if seeds are not alive because they look like rocks?”

This book explains that seeds are dormant or sleeping, but yes they are alive!

a seed is sleepy book

Click on the image to see more about this book!

But how do we know what is alive?

is it alive pbs video image

Click on the image to view the PBS video.

What makes something alive?

Sesame Street has some good answers to this question!

What are the characteristics of living things?  

Let’s apply what we kow to seeds!

Do seeds need food, air, and water?  Can they grow and change?

Experiment and observe!

Research and learn!

 What about babies?  Can seeds reproduce?

For this answer you have to teach a bit about the life cycle.

Here is a pack about the life cycle of seeds and seed germination that will help you and your students explore this topic in depth!

PBIS

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

  
Our school accomym is B.E.S.T. 

Be Safe

Exhibit Excellence

Show Respect

Take Responsibility

We are working towards fun Friday by earning letters for our rules! Every time I see a student being safe this week, i.e. walking in line, keeping there hands to themselves, sitting on their bottom, we earn a letter on our pizza pie pan!

The letters move up as we work our way to Friday and I get to emphasize and review and thank my students for best behaviors along the way!

Next week we’ll focus on exhibiting excellence in our work!🙂

Reading Table

  I lowered my reading table this year and I love it!  I’ve been checking out all kinds of different ways to provide for different sensory needs in different areas of the room on Pinterest and decided to be brave and give this a try. It’s a nice cozy area for reading and learning! The fidgets no longer take away from our learning when we come to the reading table, the kids get plenty of sensory input, and we all have a good time working and learning together. 

Binders!

Finally figured out an efficient way to organize our binders!   It only took me 94 days of school and mess to figure it out, lol.  Not only do they all fit on one shelf, but they are easily accessible for the children. Their names are written on the spine. It just took a little training to show the children how to put them away.  

  Yay for organization! 

December

It’s December, and we are working on our Children around the World unit in kindergarten.  The children just finished painting their life sized portraits.  They turned out so cute.

Next up, we’ll be making our passports and luggage for our trip around the world!  For our celebration, each kindergarten classroom is transformed into a different country.  We travel from country to country, learning about an important tradition and making a special craft, as we move from room to room.

The children are also working on their reports and will be presenting them next week.  Here is a free copy of the report:

children around the world title page

I’ll take more pictures next week as we prepare to travel.  We still have so much to do!

Is it oviparous?

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Without having the experience of actually raising chickens, we found other ways to explore with eggs.  We put this egg in vinegar.  The kids loved watching it change over time.  From the moment we put it into the liquid, the size appeared to change, then bubbles were everywhere, and depending on the stage things, it would either float or sink.  Eventually, we could see through the shell to the yolk, which was cool.. at that point, I was supposed to take it out and bounce it around, but forgot… so it kept on getting bigger and bigger, fuzzier and fuzzier, until it was a big white explosion.  Not for the faint hearted, but great for the scientist in you and your students.  I loved their excitement each time they walked into the room, exclaiming with excited chatter about the observable changes.

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These are some of the paintings and drawings that we made of oviparous animals this year.

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We made a graph of animals that were oviparous and viviparous.  This was a good resource for information on the difference.

I made cards to go with the presentation that the kids could sort and use to make the graph.  I cut a piece of construction paper in half and had the kids write either… A _____ is oviparous or A _____ is viviparous, depending on the animal they chose, and draw a picture for our graph.  I didn’t take a picture of it at the time, which I regret, because it was a great learning experience and made a nice visual of our learning.

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The concepts of oviparous animals wove through many of our discussions about animals and the cycle of life.  The kids even began to discuss the parallels the noticed between the life cycle of a plant and that of an animal.   We were able to draw analogies between seeds and eggs and life cycles in that way.

Books I recommend for this unit:

Goldfish and Guppies

We have fish!

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Fist we looked at a photograph of a goldfish up on the document camera.

I asked the class, “What do you see?  What do you wonder?”  I got this idea from a recent training from this really dynamic presenter from Discovery Education.

I love this so much more than a KWL because often the things the kids think they know are actually not scientifically correct, so I can quickly change statements like,

“I see snails in the tank” to “Oh, I wonder if there are snails in the tank?  That’s a good question.”

The kids are freed to really explore their logic and thinking.

Later, we drew and labeled diagrams with all of the fish parts we identified.

We talked about how sometimes scientists have to be artists.  IMG_1263

I’ll post more as we dig deeper into this exploration.  Topics to come are habitats, needs, movement, and more!

goldfish and guppies table of contentsgoldfish and guppies sample

We are all the Same and Different

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We’ve begun our Children around the World unit.  This year we are incorporating gingerbread men, learning about traditions in different countries as they run around the world.  I’m working on the packet as we go.  Most of the around the world packets I see out there focus on Christmas traditions, which I’m trying to get away from.  Instead, I’m looking for kinder friendly folktales and children’s books, that teach a moral or lesson.

Here is a free report you can use with your students.

children around the world title

We enjoyed making our life-sized portraits.  It’s a lot of work for the teacher, but the kids love it and it is such a great learning experience for the kids.  We have great conversations as we try to match our hair and eye color, clothes, and skin.  There are many good books out there to support the theme of same and different.  My favorite by far is…

same and different