Hi everyone,

I’m looking forward to 3 consecutive days with the learners while Colleen is on her amazing H4AC hike! Here are some highlights (and photos) from the last few Katie Days:

– In math we’ve been focusing on counting and comparing games. We have built towers, counted them and seen how many more cubes one tower has from another. We played Racing Bears where learners roll a dot dice and move small bears along four 10-space tracks. Learners must land directly on the finish line, making it a fun game that incorporates the math ideas of 1-to-1 correspondence, “how many more?” and number decomposition or splitting numbers into parts (6 is made up of 2 and 4 or 5 and 1, etc…). We also played Toss and Tally where learners throw two-colored counters and record how many of each color landed face up. This activity also helps learners with number decomposition. Later that day we read Mouse Count, a story where a snake slowly puts 10 mice in a jar (then one by one they escape). We reenacted the book with cubes and bowls, noting each combination for 10 as we went. (If there is one mouse in the jar, how many outside the jar?) By the end, we had recorded all the combinations to 10.

– For art we have been focusing on color. We talked about complementary and secondary colors and did a color mixing lesson. Then we did a fun experiment that you can try at home. We put some milk in a bowl, added a few drops of food coloring (we used the primary colors of red, yellow and blue) and then added a drop of dish soap. As the soap works to break down the fat particles in the milk, the color gets swirled around. It is fun to watch the colors merge together on their own. (A few tips: an environmentally friendly dish soap doesn’t work as well as good old fashioned Dawn or the like. Also, the more fat in the milk the better. We used half and half.)

IMG_3601 IMG_3603 IMG_3607



After watching the colors blend in the milk, we did our own color mixing, making watercolors using the wet-on-wet technique.

IMG_3599 IMG_3598 IMG_3596

Then the next week we used layers of colored tissue to create new colors and wet the tissue, letting it bleed onto the paper to make beautiful abstract compositions. IMG_3648


Also in art, we talked about saturation, or brightness and intensity, of color and blended our own pale blues, pinks and purples to make beautiful lupine pictures based on the book Miss Rumphius. This is a wonderful story about how each of us can make a difference in our world by caring for others, being responsible, and being willing to work to make our world a more beautiful place. In the story Miss Rumphius plants lupine flowers throughout her town.


On Tuesday September 15 we enjoyed a wonderful Rosh Hashana celebration with Susan, a Jewish preschool teacher and K/1 mom, who came and taught the class about the holiday and read us a story. But the highlight was the blowing of the shofar by Mateo’s dad David!


















In grade language arts times we have been working on breaking words into syllables and finding rhyming words. Both skills are helpful techniques for decoding and spelling. We also have been working on finding “Just Right” books and working on developing our silent reading time.