We used blocks and the document camera to talk about rectangles and triangles.
Someone noticed that one of the triangles had two long sides and one short side. We labeled the sides “L” for “long” and “S” for “short”. Then someone noticed the rectangle had two long sides and two short sides. Then we wanted to know “how long” because math girls always dig deeper and know exactly “how long” or “how short”. We used a measuring stick to find out the numbers and then wrote that down. We then traced the lines of the shapes. See how our math conversation continues:
Math1 from Heidi Echternacht on Vimeo.
Math2 from Heidi Echternacht on Vimeo.
Math3 from Heidi Echternacht on Vimeo.
We have a garden in Kindergarten! A real garden! We are growing cucumbers, tomatoes and PUMPKINS! Emma in Third Grade brought some baby pumpkin plants to the Kindergarten back in June. Ms Echternacht and Ms O’Shea planted the plants in the garden and over the summer they GREW! When we came to Kindergarten in September, we already had TWO BIG PUMPKINS!
When the pumpkins were ready, we cut them off the vine, except one green one that Ms Echternacht accidentally picked. We put them in our classroom and looked at them for awhile. They looked beautiful! Finally it was “Pumpkin Day” and we were ready to cut them open and make Pumpkin Soup! Before we cut open the pumpkins, we weighed them with Emma. One pumpkin was 7 pounds, the other was so big it broke the scale! We took it to the Nurse to weigh it. It weighed 12 pounds! Finally, we were ready to cook!
We made soup, a pumpkin dip and roasted the seeds! Then we opened our restaurant! Stay tuned to hear more about how we work together in the restaurant! Happy Pumpkin Day!
We are working on making math projects. We first started by asking, “What IS math?”

“Math is a hard thing you do when get grownup.”

“Math is grades”

“Math is you buy stuff!”

“Math is counting!”

“Math is putting the red cupcakes and the blue cupcakes together”

“Math is mystery”

“Math is patterns and sorting things”

Math is shapes!”
Then we got to work in centers where we worked to create our own math projects! Here are some of the projects we worked to create:
“I had 21 dinosaurs and I took away 5 so now I have 15”
“I connected 11 straws so it must be 11 feet”
“How many did you roll?”
“Let’s jump up the number line”
“Can you roll the dice so I know how many jumps to do”
“How do I write a 20, let me check the number line”
“I made my house out of rubber bands on the geoboard!”
“When I measure the jump rope it is longer than the yardstick”
We are beginning to dig deeper into math and find the math in self directed independent projects. We looked at the projects that last year’s Kindergarten created here.
We started reading The Dream Fairies by Kelly Ann Smee. Its about the fairies who are in charge of your dreams. Then we went out in the forest to build houses for fairies. Some people think fairies are fiction, some people think fairies are nonfiction. What do you think?
Some say each plant, tree and flower has a fairy. If you want to be a fairy expert, you must learn the names of the plants, trees and flowers of the forest. It’s such an important job, there are grownup science jobs where all you do is learn about all the plants, trees and flowers.
Some fairies are known for mischief, so you must be vigilant about learning the names of the mischievous fairies. The Poison Ivy Fairy is one to know he will make you turn red and get very, very itchy! Plants can be medicine or they can make you itch or give you a stomachache! The Native Americans were experts at plant medicine.
There are experts on fairies. One of the most important fairy experts was named Cicely Mary Barker. She painted pictures and wrote a poem to teach children about the fairy of each flower, plant and tree. She lived in England a long time ago. There are many fairy experts in England. If you want to become a fairy expert, one of the first things you have to do is to learn all about nature so you know what you are looking for when you go into the Fairy Forest.
If you want to build a house for a fairy there is one rule you cannot break their home must be made of all things nature. They don’t like humanmade things and they won’t come and live there if they smell anything on the house that’s not made of nature. You can build them most anywhere, but if you see some moss or a fairy ring, tread lightly they may be near!
Also, don’t be afraid of bugs and spiders. They are fairy pets. Ladybugs and daddy long legs are a few of their favorite pets. Don’t hurt them! The mosquito is the unfortunate pet of the Poison Ivy Fairy not a friend. Beware!
Safe travels dear fairy friends!
Ms Echternacht’s Dad sent her this video about a school in Japan. This Kindergarten was on the news in Japan because it is unusual. What do you think about this school? See how these JKers and PreSchoolers help make their lunch everyday and carry their own backpacks through the heavy snow and rain. What do you think the kids are learning?
You can skip the grownups talking parts and just watch the kids if you like.
Today we started working with Polydrons. Here is the man who sells toys to teachers and schools telling about how to work with polydrons.
Some of us noticed that you could make bowls and flower hats! Then we thought about putting two bowls together! It made something like a ball but it has edges and it doesn’t roll. Look at this video about Bucky Balls! Can you make a bucky ball with polydrons?
Pictures of our 3D land are coming soon!
We started talking about the Earth when Earth Day was near. We read The Lorax and put up posters of animals, talked about caring for the earth, planted seeds and went on a Nature walk. We know that every day is Earth Day because we live on it, but Earth Day is a special day to double remember and think of ways we can help keep our earth safe and clean for the animals and the kids.
Then, we started really thinking about the earth so we made a popplet “All About the Earth”. Here it is!
The next week, in math, we were talking about measuring things and the languages of measurement. Someone said, “But Ms Echternacht, you can’t measure everything! You can’t measure the earth!” Ms Echternacht said, ” Actually that is a very, very interesting question! I will tell you they DID measure the earth. But I can tell you have already thought of a problem! What are the problems with measuring the earth?”
“Its a circle! It’s a sphere! It’s very big!” We thought maybe they measured it from space in a spaceship, but then someone said, “But they would just be looking at it, they still wouldn’t know!” Someone else thought about using a very, very long tape measure. “Why did she think of using a tape measure and not a ruler?” Ms Echternacht wondered!
“I will tell you they measured the earth before there were spaceships. They used a secret code. The secret code is math”. Ms Echternacht found some videos on the computer that told kids about the man who measured the earth a long, long, long, long, long time ago. His name was Eratosthenes (airatoss10knees). Here is the video telling about how he cracked the code:
Now we are tracking the sun in our classroom. We put tape where the sun is on the floor. The sun keeps moving! Or is it? Did you know in olden times before there were clocks, they used the sun to tell time? Can you make a sun clock?
Bertie Bear has arrived in America! Our friends in England sent him! He came a long way by snail mail! It took many days for him to get here. He went on an airplane. He has a passport and a note! We are so excited he is here for a visit! He goes to visit Canada after he stays with us! We got right to work sewing clothes for him and making him some furniture! Stay tuned for more “Adventures of Bertie Bear in America!”
We made this Alphabet with Mrs Simar!
Our Alphabet from DeerTech on Vimeo.
And you can read along with the First Grade’s computer project here:
Our school has friends all around the world. This farm is one of our friends. The name of the farm is Sprout Creek Farm. They like to show pictures of all the things that happen on the farm and all of the baby animals that are born on the farm. They make cheese. They are expert cheese makers. How do they make cheese and why are the animals important to the farm? Can you make cheese at your house?
Thank you to Sprout Creek Farm for letting Ms Echternacht put their beautiful photos on the blog to show everyone! You have to ask before you can share photos. They said YES! Thank you, Sprout Creek!
We use the Think Math! program and workbooks to practice and build our math skills. Some days we have “Game Day” or work to design our own independent math projects. We try to “find the math”. Can you find the math in these projects? Here are some videos of our work!
Look at this work that started out with printing numbers on a paper:
Look at this math invention discovery!
Look at how these pencils have been grouped and counted! How much do 4 groups of 5 equal?
Watch this project evolve:
This student came to me showing 4 identical towers of 16.
A student nearby was engaged in a completely different project in which she suddenly needed to know how much 11 was four times. See how one project changed to support anothers:
Further dialogue yielded this