As a part of the 6 Traits of Writing, the very first thing we need to do as writers is to learn how to come up with ideas and it starts as early as K1! To get the children going and help them become more confident we started with something simple. We had created a pop-up book in connection to the letter 'p', but we realized our book didn't have a story to it. None of us could agree on what the story might be about! Then we decided that it didn't have to be one story, it could be lots of stories! So here is our pop up book. Click on each face to see what each child decided the story was about. For some children the story didn't always flow all the way to the end, but that's okay! We were practicing our speaking skills and thinking skills by trying to think about what might be happening on each page of our book. Not everyone has had the chance to record their voice yet, so keep coming back as this voice thread will be updated as more children describe their ideas about  the book.
At the beginning of this unit, the children asked questions about all sorts of animals and things that move. So we decided to first brainstorm different ways in which we can find out new information. Here's what the children came up with:
  • Ask experts
  • Computers
  • iPads
  • T.V./Video
  • Books
  • Experiment or try it out
After that, each time we looked at one of our friend's questions, we chose one or two of these methods to find out information. We are still in the process of answering some questions, however the children are doing a great job of making connections and thinking of ways to learn more information. Many of the children took action and remembered they had books at home that could help answer some of our questions.

How do crocodiles move?

We found some videos of crocodiles on YouTube and watched them on land and in water. We discussed the shape and size of their legs. Talked about if they move fast, slow or both and also looked at other parts of their body that move. The children decided to try out walking like a crocodile. The children described their body feeling heavy when we bent our arms the way a crocodile's legs are bent. Snehansh predicted that maybe they don't move that often and walk slowly because their bodies are too heavy for their small legs. We also noticed that in the water, crocodiles didn't use their legs but their tails moved side to side to swim.

How Do Snails Move?

The children decided that the best way we could find out about how snails move was to see if we could find some and watch them! So we set off on a snail hunt! This is where we found our first snail, Peanut. We noticed Peanut was sticky and slimy, he had four eyes and he moved very slowly. Some of us were risk-takers and wanted to hold Peanut so we could learn more about how he moved even though he only had one foot! Many of us described the feeling as 'ticklish'!
We had talked about finding a friend for Peanut, but on our hunt we only found one snail. This did not matter because we have such reflective students in our class! Within the next few days Three of our friends brought snails into school and soon enough Peanut hand a new family! Aina M. brought us Nina, Miria brought us Sid, Snehansh brought us Sudah, and Ms. Hima found out about our unit and brought us Giant!
Giant really helped us learn about how snails move because when he walked on the side of the box we could see under his foot. We noticed his body moving in waves and then tried out moving our hands in the same motion. We also learned about what snails eat by looking on the internet and trying to leave different types of fruits and vegetables for them. The snails took big bites so we could tell if they ate something or not! We learned snails can eat lettuce, apple, guava, starfruit, blueberries and chalk! We also learned they didn't like the carrots very much and didn't really eat them.

How Do People Move?

We made many predictions for the answer to this question. We all knew that legs and feet help us move from one place to the next. How then do the legs and feet work? Some of us thought the blood might give us energy, some thought the bones made our legs move, others thought it was the muscles! It turns out we were all a little right! Alex took action and brought in a book about bodies for us. We also thought that we should interview Nurse Jit because she is an expert on bodies! We learned that bones and muscles work together to move the different parts of our body. We use rubber bands, pegs and wood pieces to inquire about bones and muscles. We also learned from Nurse Jit that the brain has to tell our muscles to move the bones and the blood carries all the vitamins and minerals that give us energy to move.
We are still in the process of finding out about other things so stay tuned to see what we learn about next!
The K1 classes just had their assembly presentation and I must say they did such a wonderful job! Being on stage is a huge thing for a four year-old and every single child tried very hard to be a Risk-Taker and present as best they could. I am also extremely proud of the reflections that went on in preparation for this assembly. Everything the children put on each decoration is 100% their thinking. It really shows how much they have learned about the Learner Profile! Good job guys! Here are some messages I got after the assembly from some teachers and Ms. Alden:

Great assembly today! I thought the K1s were so ooo good... spoke clearly and with confidence. Some parents sitting next to me were quite emotional watching their kids up there on stage. -Ms. Hima
Well Done!  The K 1 children so were confident and wonderful role models!  Great job!  -Ms. Cook
I was emotional too!  Very nice...and thanks -Ms. Alden
As we continue to learn about movement we looked at looked at our lines of inquiry:

  • Why we need different forms of movement
  • Parts of people and things that move
  • How people and things move

Here was a little brainstorming session about how we as people move and what we use each of our movements for. We drew around Sam and then labeled around him what we use our bodies for and which parts of our bodies are moving.

Alex was our photographer during this activity and he has commented on each of the pictures that he took. Click play to hear what he has to say!
Here is what we came up with as a class:

  • We move our heads so we can look behind us and say 'yes' and 'no'
  • We move our eyes so that we don't bump into things!
  • We move our mouths so we can talk and eat
  • We move our hands so we can write and eat with spoons
  • We also use our hands to brush our teeth
  • We use our legs and feet to dance, jump, run and walk

Life would most definitely be very difficult if we couldn't move different parts of our body!

Our friend Aina M.
Aina M. has been eagerly waiting to be chosen as star name and she was extremely excited to be interviewed! Aina M. has one big sister, her favorite book is The Rainbow Fish and her favorite thing to do is play in the kitchen corner at school!

Let's take a look at the letters in Aina M.'s name:

  • 'A' looks like a mountain
  • 'i' looks like a volcano
  • 'n' looks like a house
  • 'n' also looks like the letter 'h' but with a short stick!
  • 'a' looks like hair on a head
  • 'M' is a zig zag mountain

When Miss Pana introduced our Central Idea, "Energy creates movement", many of the children started thinking about the different ways they got from one place to the next. With our big wooden blocks, some of our friends took action and created some different forms of transportation! We decided to go on a movement hunt and took a walk down to Orchard Boulevard and look for things that move. When we came back we shared the different things we saw moving and created a pictograph based on how many children saw the same things.
Today Miria volunteered to be our Photographer of the Day! Using Voice Thread on our Ipads, the children can snap pictures of something they are doing in school and then record audio of their voices to explain what each picture is about! Here is our first ever digital student report on our learning in class! All Miss Pana had to do was embed it on our blog! Stay tuned for more of our little reporters.
Sometimes teaching Kindergarten just means going with the flow and throwing a lesson or two out the window! Yesterday was one of those days for K1PA. It all began because of a rainy day which meant inside play during recess. One group of children began building with the big wooden blocks on the mat and another group were playing with geoboards in the role play corner. Before long the blocks had converted into several stores, and the children discovered they needed some money to buy things. So, with some scissors, paper and a pen, money began to be produced and distributed. This began the local K1PA bank! Meanwhile, across the room the geoboards went through some transformations into violins, guitars and shakers! When interviewed, the children told Miss Pana they were forming a band and the show was in five minutes! Have a look at our video of how the children of K1PA independently collaborated and cooperated to create a little town!
Our friend Miria
It seems that so many of of our friends have brothers! Miria has a little brother who often shows up in our classroom to drop her off in the morning. Miria's favorite books are Barbie books and her favorite activity is drawing!

Here's what we think about the letters in her name:
  • 'M' is two mountains
  • 'i' is a slide with a dot
  • 'r' looks like a shooting star coming out
  • 'i' looks like part of a volcano eruption
  • 'a' looks like an egg

Over the past month K1PA has been learning about different types of measurement. We have explored and inquired about length, weight and capacity. The children learned that when we measure the length with different objects, our answers are different. When we explored weight, we learned to estimate which we thought was heavier using our hands first. Then we checked by using the balance. Finally, exploring capacity we chose 2 containers and measured their capacity by counting how many spoonfuls we could put in each. Then we recorded if which could hold 'more' and which could hold 'less'. Good job measuring K1PA!