Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apples!

This week is Apple Week! I wish I only taught one grade level so I could do apples all day long, but I don't. So we get Apple Afternoons instead. I've decided the apple lessons work nicely with the life cycles my 1st/2nd graders are doing in science, so they are doing the same activities as the Kinder kids, but a little "higher on the apple tree" skill level :)

Funny Kid Quote of the Day:
Me: We're going to be playing with apples today!
Kid: Really?! Can we keep them in the toy area?! (I'm pretty sure he was serious)
Me: Umm...no. But we can do fun stuff at the table with them :)

We had Columbus Day off, so Tuesday we started by talking about the parts of an apple, then sliced them in half to make apple paintings. The kids thought this was the greatest thing ever! I had fully intended on only using fall colors but I opened up my tempera paints and discovered several had gone bad. We ending up using half tempera and half finger paint colors. Looks like I needed a trip to the teacher store... Morrison School Supply is my best friend! And yet, my wallet doesn't always agree, but I was good today and spent under $30! Kindergarten does not run without paint, so I went anyway! Plus, I got more big black and orange construction paper for the Halloween pocket books we'll be making starting next week. The kids will love them. I'll post pics of those too!

Miracle: NO kids got paint on anything besides the table and their hands! YAY!
 
The finished apple paintings
Oops... I'm rambling... So today we did our apple investigations which took far longer than I anticipated, but I actually learned a lot about sooo many academic skills through this super informal assessment! I loved it, and so did they. Things got a little rocky in the excitement when no one was listening, but counting blocks on the scale settled them down pretty quickly.

Here's a list of what my kids learned/showed me they know:
  • the can all accurately compare sizes and understand how a scale works
  •  with a bit of help for kinder, the kids can all group things in stacks of tens
  •  they all get the concept of measuring using blocks as units
  • one first grade boy understands "half" and was able to use it when estimating his able to 3 1/2 blocks
  • the kids are super detail oriented and even included the microscopic "dots" the apples have on their drawings instead of just all red or green
  • one kinder boy already understands basic addition with blocks
  • they learned (or started learning) to count by 10's thanks to the scale measuring with sticks of 10 blocks
Ok, on my way home I literally drove past Google, Yahoo, Dell, and every other high tech company that makes your computer, and yet somehow I still can't keep a solid Internet signal this week. I wrote half of this on my iPhone and came back to fix it and label pics. I think the internet company is trying to torture me. Every time I call, they push some magic button while I'm waiting to get through to a human, that magically makes my internet work. Then I feel like an idiot when the human picks up and says everything looks fine. I'm convinced they send out a magic reset signal as soon as the automated machine answers so you'll hang up and go away without talking to a living person. Either way, it works now! Yay!

Bye Friends! Enjoy the cute pics!



They compared apples without any help or prompting!
The kids made the stacks of 10 for me, then we learned to count by tens!
This method FAILED the apple was too heavy and all the blocks piled on top crashed to the floor!!
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