This week (today, actually), we celebrated our 100th day of school. Now, we’ve actually had almost 120 days, but I’ve only been counting full five-day weeks when putting up the segments of our schoolroom “doodlebug.” Partial weeks and field trips days don’t make the doodlebug count. But for fun, not official, counting purposes, today is day 100!
I always make a big deal out of the 100th day when I have kindergarteners (and by always, I mean both times I’ve done it now). This year, in addition to the traditional 100 m&ms per student (a rare treat), I put out a full “100s exhibit.” I found 12 different items, and displayed 100 of each. The items included:
- Popcorn kernels
- Grains of rice
- Drops of water
- Lego bricks
- Bottle caps
- Duplo bricks
- Flashcards (numbered 1-100, of course!)
A few items in the exhibit were of great interest to everybody. We were amazed that there were 100 grains of rice and 100 drops of water, because neither of them looked like much of anything. It was also interesting to observed the difference in volume between popcorn kernels and popcorn. And the difference in size between Lego bricks and Duplo bricks is pretty impressive! Other things I considered including in the exhibit were books, CDs (both were too much work to get out and put away!), cotton balls, and pencils (neither of which I had a full 100 of). The grains of rice and drops of water gave me the most trouble…it’s difficult working with things that are so small. I was able to put Turkey and Bunny to work counting out some of the things, though, so that saved me a little time.
Aside from our 100th day, this was a fun week in general. I especially enjoyed Turkey and Bunny’s math lessons this week, and they did too! We learned about logic problems (one of my favorite things), and in addition to the simple problems in their books, we worked through a few of the more difficult problems in one of my logic puzzle books. Bunny, in particular, seems to have an aptitude for them. I also introduced geometric terms such as lines, line segments, and rays this week, and I have a feeling Turkey and Bunny (but especially Turkey), are going to enjoy geometry.
In addition to phonics and reading, Ladybug has been learning various methods of skip-counting. We started with the traditional counting by twos, then moved on to fives and tens. So far, math has been easy for Ladybug, and this was no exception. I also noted that she’s already looking for shortcuts to get her work done faster. This is both good, in that she’s clever, and bad, in that she might not get the big picture, so I’m going to have to keep an eye on her, to make sure she’s not taking too many shortcuts.
In science this week, we started a multi-week unit on the nervous and endocrine systems. So far, we’ve learned about the different parts of the nervous system, the different parts of the brain, and how messages are sent and received by the brain. We did a fun little experiment to see if we could confuse our brains, and for once, it worked perfectly…we all managed to confuse our brains pretty well! We’ve only briefly touched on the endocrine system…we’ll get more in-depth with that in the future.
In addition to our 100th day activities today, we also played a grammar game and read a fun book about Groundhog Day. I’ve been looking for a book about this peculiar holiday for the last few years, but somehow, I’ve always overlooked this little gem. It isn’t just a silly story about Groundhog Day…it actually tells how the day came about, and why Pennsylvania, in particular, has such strong connections to it. There’s also a surprising amount of information about the life cycle of groundhogs, what kind of burrows they build, and how they hibernate. I’m glad I finally ran across it!
Next week, we’ll probably start working on Valentines, and hopefully make our banner for Lent. It’s hard to believe that Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s day are less than two weeks away!