Friday, October 29, 2010
Piggybacking on last week’s science lessons, we continued our exploration of tide pools. Our scientific inquiry focused on the students’ ability to notice details and wonder about future outcomes. Once again, if you happen to visit any Bay Area beaches (although this might be tricky due to the unpredictable weather), please take home any shells and bring them to school. Also, if you have any books that feature tide pools in your child’s home library, please bring them to class as well.
Let’s go Giants! Two more wins to go. We love seeing the kids in orange and black.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Come one, come all. Everyone is invited, in costume or not (preferably in), to join the school wide Halloween parade on Friday, Oct. 29. All Broncos, from Pre-K to 8th grade, will be garbed in spooky and funny outfits, and our parade should be a hilarious spookfest! Remember, this will be a regular school day for Utopia. The parade will begin at 1:05.
Last week’s lessons on birds have provided us with memorable teachable moments. We have now left the skies and turned out attention to the seas. Our focus this coming week will be on tide pools and the creatures that inhabit them. The children will learn about these bodies of water that are quite common in the numerous beaches of the Bay Area. If you have the opportunity, please visit our beautiful beaches and observe the tide pools with your children. Collect seashells and seaweeds, and have your kids bring them to class.
The trip to the pumpkin patch was a success. We went on a hayride and took the train around Postorino. We had a lot of fun with our decorative pumpkins in school---we rolled them on the floor, built a ramp and rolled them down the ramp, threw them like a ball, traced them on paper, arranged them according to size, arranged them according to beauty…It was a great experience on listening, talking, convincing, and even building ramps using blocks.
The STM Carnival is today! Please come and join us in this community event. Entrance is free, and food is plentiful. Some of the older students plan on coming in their Halloween costumes. In preparation for Friday’s parade, you can have your kids dress up as well. We don’t have a booth but we contributed to the event by having the children’s pumpkin artwork be put on display in Carrol Hall.
Individual parent conferences are coming up. Please return the conference forms. We look forward to discussing our fun-filled first quarter with all of you.
Have a great weekend. Stay dry, and go Giants!
Friday, October 15, 2010
We began the week by learning a new skill – syllable counting. The students had fun clapping and chanting the syllables of their respective names:
“Ti – mo – thy”
“Ni – cho – las”
By playing this syllable counting game with them, the children recognized that a word is composed of different sounds that are put together. These sounds are called phonemes. You can certainly play the same game with your kids at home. Just chant and clap to the different syllables of your favorite words.
As an art project, we asked each children to decorate the first letter of their names. Taking it a step further, we asked them to think of other words that began with the same letter. Though we talked about these related words, we focused on the sound each letter makes. Expect cute little works of Ms or Ys in your child’s compilation of work.
What would our week be like without food? This Friday morning, Charlie Maranon, Gabriella’s dad, graciously shared his culinary talents with us. He whipped up an awesome quesadilla buffet that the kids, and yes, the teachers too, gobbled up in a matter of minutes. We hope that everyone will have the same appetite for Saturday’s Utopia Potluck.
Thanks, Ivonne (Elisa's mom) for being our Mystery Reader (for the second time!)
Friday, October 8, 2010
During the week, teachers Tina and Michelle took their Pre-K students and worked in their respective small groups. The children are becoming accustomed to their little families in school.
Birds! With help from the California Academy of Sciences, we were introduced to a brand new curriculum focusing on our avian friends. The activity in which the kids were engrossed was focused on nest building. They collected dried grass, twigs, and dried leaves from the yard. Then they combined these natural materials and constructed bird homes as part of our arts and crafts session. We also discussed different characteristics of birds while doing this hands-on activity.
Mud! Also part of our science curriculum, we experimented with mud. Our curious apprentices gathered soil and mixed it with water. They hoped to use that mud to make sure that their natural materials – grass, twigs, and leaves – would stick together and solidify their aforementioned nests. The smiling faces and enthusiastic responses from the students were extremely encouraging.
Pasta! We had a culinary treat this Friday. Lillian and Victoria’s mom (Keri) shared her culinary expertise with us and treated the children to a fettuccini feast. Armed with a pasta maker, she made a batch of fresh pasta for our kids to enjoy. The children enjoyed kneading the fresh dough. After boiling the fettuccini, she served the noodles, which was with butter and Parmesan cheese, to the hungry children. The students loved it so much that they did not even touch their packed lunches. What a wonderful way to end our (Giant) week.