Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's Jazz, Baby...

What an incredible week I had with my Little Learners!  I always enjoy getting them involved with the arts.  Their little faces light up when they dance, sing, paint, etc...  However, the very best part of arts integration is seeing their brains and hearts open up to completely new and exciting ideas.  My Little Learners and I jumped into the world of Jazz Baby this week.  This fun piece of fiction gets children moving and grooving while learning about various literary elements and instruments.

Throughout the week, we did a variety of activities with Jazz Baby.  These activities included retelling and webbing of key details and writing.  Students also experienced early and modern Jazz music throughout their literacy centers.  By the end of the week, I felt that students were able to tackle Jazz in a more critical way.  After listening and internalizing some early Jazz, we discussed the feelings that it emotes.

Some of my Little Learners "feeling it"!

Students assisted in creating a chart of our jazzy feelings.

After creating our chart, we began talking about what colors might express these particular feelings.   One of my students commented that Jazz made him feel smooth, and purple was a smooth, calm, and cool color.  Students viewed samples of various paintings depicting jazz music.  They were then asked to paint the emotional effect that the music had on them.  Their work was out of sight!

Some of the masterpieces!

I was so unbelievably proud of my Little Learners!  Their creativity knows no bounds!

Peace & Love
Jessica Purtell

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Popping Good Time!

 After last week's Primary Color science experiment, my smarty-pants Little Learners are now completely fascinated with all things science!  We have been discussing Scientific Method and the use of various science tools.  Their eyes completely lit up after discovering that they could use there own five senses as science tools.  To reinforce their recently acquired knowledge of the five senses, I chose to incorporate their blossoming love for science with another one of their loves... snacks!  Students worked together to identify characteristics of popcorn by using their five senses.  We made a list for each one of the senses and each student chose which word they liked best.  Students then wrote the word next to the correct sense and drew a picture of the matching body part.  My Little Learners found it exciting, educational, and extremely yummy!

 Whole Group Five Senses Popcorn Anchor Chart

 My proud Little Scientists!

A happy face and a full belly!

There's nothing better than seeing my Little Learners get so excited about new challenges!

Peace & Love

Jessica Purtell

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Color me Kindergarten!

The 2012-2013 school year is off with a bang!  What an incredibly exciting (and BUSY!) year it has been already!  My lovely Little Learners have been with me for a few weeks now.  Thus far, the start of the year has gone wonderfully, minus a few unplanned vacation days courtesy of Tropical Storm Isaac.  

We started this year with a review of some of the basics, including color words.  Our journey into the land of  color included poems, arts activities, and a simple science project.  These activities were a hit, especially our science project!  Here's a glimpse into our fun:

 Boy did they enjoy Rainbow Hair!  It allowed my students to recognize and distinguish between color words, while having quite a giggle about the crazy 'do on our little friends!
 Students practiced sorting and placing the Rainbow Colors correctly based on ROYGBV!
 We even had crazy Rainbow Hair Headbands on Friday!  It was great to see my Little Learners enjoying the chance to be a little different than others in the school.  Different is cool!
 Each and every name is beautiful on its own... but a little Rainbow really makes them pop!  
Students enjoyed working together tearing, gluing, and sorting colors to create their name plates (an excellent way to assess fine motor skills!)
 What a super simple science project!  After discussing and charting what it takes to be a scientist, we placed primary food coloring in water.  Students then predicted the possible changes that could occur when adding a second color to each cup.  They OOHH-ed and AAHH-ed as the two colors mixed into a brand new color!  
 All of the student predictions were correct!
 Since we had already made our Rainbow name plates, the students continued to work on their names and the alphabet with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activity.  (A must read for any Little Learner!)
 We worked on reading, retelling, and discussing our story.  Students then counted the letters in their own names and created their own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom palm trees!  Instead of coconuts, we used pom poms.  Students distinguished lowercase from uppercase letters by using small and large pom poms.

What a joy it has been having my Little Learners for the last few weeks!
I can't wait for all of the fun that is coming our way!

Peace & Love,
Jessica Purtell 
Kindergarten - English Language Arts, Math, Reading -; ?>