Our Colour Inquiry - Part 1

For the past few weeks, our students have been very interested in learning about "shades" of colours.
This is how it all began...
I set out a colour provocation...red and blue water (food-colouring added) were left at the table with eye droppers and a tray with sections.  The students were encouraged to mix the 2 colours (using the eye droppers, of course, so our fine motor skills were utilized!) and see what happened.
Not only did they discover that they created a new colour but they also realized that there were multiple shades of this colour.
As the week continued, we tried mixing other primary colours the same way.
Today I placed all 3 primary colours on the table.
On the other side of the table, Mrs. Petrone, my DECE brought in a beautiful fall plant and we added some paint colour samples of the colours that were found in the plant.  
Although simple looking, the table was a huge hit!
Everyone wanted to explore the new plant and try to reproduce the colours in it.
One of the leaves fell on the table and some students were so intrigued to make the colours that they saw up close!
There were so many shades of green on this one leaf!
Some students used the paint colour samples to recreate the various shades of green.
Other students really wanted to draw the plant and find markers, pencil crayons, crayons, pastels, and water colour paints to make sure the colours were as close as possible.
We spent a lot of time exploring and wondering here today!
I bought these colour changing boards last summer at the Lakeshore Learning store in Las Vegas (along with lots and lots of other goodies...don't ask me how I got through customs!).
I left the boards out on our Discovery Table and the children quickly realized that depending on how hot or cold your hand is, you will leave a coloured mark.
They absolutely loved using these boards!
These water beads were inside our Water Table today.
I also opened a new pack to show the students how they grew into small water beads.
Mrs. Petrone thought of a great experiment to try today.
We placed 4 white carnations in clear jars of water.
Then we added food colouring to the water.
We asked the students to document what they saw, thought and wondered...
and now we wait until we come back to school tomorrow and see if anything happened!
Some students wanted to see if the stems would also change colour in the food colouring.  They cut them so they would fit in the jar and placed them beside the carnations.
The students brought home a Beautiful Junk letter today along with a small brown paper bag.
Over the next few days, we are hoping to collect materials...who knows where there materials will lead us as we continue on our colour journey...
stay tuned!

International Dot Day

This past Monday, September 15 was International Dot Day!
We celebrated in many ways in our classroom...

We read the story, The Dot, by Peter Reynolds.  If you haven't already read this book, you simply MUST!
It's a wonderful story about trying your best and not saying "I can't".
The students really enjoyed it!
After the story, I showed the children this photo of Kandinsky's  painting on our Bright Links board and we were all amazed!
It was beautiful!
F.V.:  I love all the pretty colours!
L.G.: It is so big and full of circles!
I set out some white, square Bristol board in the middle of the table, as well as pencils, pastels, and plasticine.
Then the students began to create their very own "dot" masterpieces to celebrate the day!

The children paid so much attention to detail!
We showed the children how to use the pastels to colour the entire dot so that there were no white spots left.  They took a long time to complete their work, making sure not to rush the process.
This girl is counting how many dots she created to see if it "matched Kandinsky's work".
You can make dots out of anything!
Dots are bog and dots are small...but they are fun, most of all!

I can't wait to continue to explore dots this week in our classroom by using paint and various tubes, lids and all things circular!

Parents, don't forget to join us tomorrow evening at 7 for our Curriculum Night.
You will have a chance to see these amazing masterpieces on display in our classroom and read all about our dot journey.

Hands-on math through play...with a math card FREEBIE!

Children are incredible learners...and they all learn in so many different ways.
My students this year, although it's only been about a week, absolutely love learning with hands-on manipulatives and through play (yes, I can already make that conclusion!).
Our focus in math this week is on number identification and 1:1 correspondence so I wanted to invite the children to use natural materials found in our room to represent numbers.
Here's what happened:
After identifying the foam numbers on the carpet during a whole group lesson, a student went over to the math area, took the numbers and wanted to show that many using loose parts (more on this topic coming soon!).
He chose to use nuts and bolts to represent each number (since those are his favourite for fine motor practice - twisting them together).  However, he ran out after number 8 and chose to use small beads to represent 9.
Look at all the learning happening here!
This student put the numbers in the correct order and was able to show me how many were represented by that number!
The JK students were invited to stay with me on the carpet after our lesson to practice 1:1 correspondence using natural materials.  Many students chose to use glass beads.  By placing a glass bead over top a flower and counting out loud, I was able to determine which students could correctly count objects.
I made these 100-grids last year as I found many students were ready to explore numbers beyond 100.
In this photo, the student was playing a game with a friend...asking him what number was represented on his grid.  His friend knew that counting by 10's would help him get the answer much quicker than counting by 1's!
Another student worked on adding and taking away to get to the number 100.
Here, he is adding 5 to 95 to get 100.
I made these cards to go along with the 1:1 number correspondence.  For many SK's, this was way too easy!  Little did I know what they would do with these cards!
M.D.: "Look, Mrs. Albanese.  I made 30!"
Mrs. Albanese:  "How do you know that's 30?"
M.D.:  "I counted by 10's!  10, 20, 30." (pointing to the large group of cubes on his card).  "I have 3 groups of 10 so that makes 30!"
You can download your own 1:1 math correspondence cards for your classroom for FREE by clicking the picture above and remember...the possibilities are endless - they don't just stop at 10!


First week done! Time for a GIVEAWAY!

I’m so excited to be teaming up with my favourite freebie-friends for a BIG giveaway to help get you going this school year! Over at the Freebielicious blog, we’re giving away a BIG, GRAND PRIZE (scroll down to the bottom of this post to read all about it!) and right here on my little blog, I’m giving away $25.00 to my favourite online store to go school shopping:
Teachers Pay Teachers, of course!
With the first week of school under my belt, Teachers pay Teachers is always a great place to go to when you are in need of a little extra for your students (or some great clipart for yourself!).
I know you will find a LOT of things to choose from while you are there!
Please enter with integrity, using the Rafflecopter below. I’ll choose a winner a week from today.
But, wait! That’s not ALL!
The Freebielicious ladies know how much of your own hard-earned money goes into buying supplies, tissues, books, and classroom d├ęcor to get your classroom “kid-ready,” and we want to be able to put some of that money right back in your pocket. Over at the Freebielicious blog, we are giving away a $300 Visa gift card! YES...YOU READ THAT RIGHT! $300!!!
To enter the BIG GIVEAWAY, click HERE or on the button below! 
Also, while you are there, be sure to check out what the other Freebie-ladies are giving away. Be prepared for some AMAZING prizes. Take a peek at some of them below!

Our First Day!!!

Well we survived the first day...and it was amazing!
Today the Senior Kindergarten students came back to school, many of which were in my class last year.
(The Junior Kindergarten students start tomorrow and Thursday.)
It was great to see all of those faces, both old and new, and welcome them to our classroom.
It was a busy day as we made new friends, caught up with old ones, explored our classroom and had fun playing!
Here are a few of the things we did!
We practiced our names with the magnetic letters.
We made a first day crown to decorate.
We drew lots of pictures of summer memories!
Some students wanted to turn their summer memories into a book!
We did a lot of building on the carpet.
We had fun setting the table and playing at our Dramatic Centre.
Using our imagination with our doll house.
So many books in our class library that we had to stop and read some!
We explored seashells from Mrs. Albanese's and Mrs. Petrone's beach vacations.
Of course, we ate our snack at the snack table when we were hungry!
We practiced our names on the whiteboard so we could take our first day of school picture holding up our names.
I'm so excited to meet our new JK friends in the next couple of days.
Lots more learning ahead!