September 28, 2017

Middle School & ECC Buddy Up For Life Skills

Last week Meaghan Wilson’s 7th and 8th grade Life Skills classes visited PreK-1 and PreK-2 classrooms. This is the start of a year long collaboration, where middle school students plan and implement lessons related to healthy living to ECC classes. Lessons may cover healthy habits, healthy food choices, and exercise.
For their first lesson, middle school students taught ECC students how to wash their hands. The older students paired with PreK2A showed the younger students a short video about the importance of washing their hands, summarized the video, and helped the students with a short experiment. Two volunteers tried washing their hands in different ways. Both students had a small amount of vegetable oil on their hands. One washed with only water and the other washed with soap and water. The students then described the feeling of their hands, and all students practiced washing their hands with soap and water.
This collaboration is mutually beneficial, giving older children a chance to plan and lead lessons in a low risk environment while gaining confidence in their abilities. They work together and have an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a real world situation. Our ECC students love interacting with the older students, and enjoy the variety of lessons that they plan. They especially love cooking!
In the ECC, this collaboration is especially relevant during the first part of the year, when we are focusing on the Te Whariki strands of Wellbeing and Belonging. ECC classes are focusing on how to take care of themselves, their belongings, and others during the Wellbeing strand. During the Belonging strand, we turn the focus to our communities, including our SIS community.
The Life Skills classes will be visiting the ECC about twice a month. Each ECC class has been paired with several older students, allowing them to build relationships as they prepare to work together on Field Day, which is held in the spring. Middle schoolers will be guiding their buddy classes and leading various activities. We’re looking forward to a great year learning with our Life Skills buddies!
September 25, 2017

Learning Comes Alive

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for coming to our first Learning Comes Alive! It was so great seeing everyone coming together as part of the Happy Hippo community. The children were so excited to share their environment with you and bring you into their world.

The children put a lot of thought into the morning, thinking before hand about what was important to share with you. The top ideas were: making butterflies, drawing, and building with blocks and legos. Their play is their work and their learning, and is so incredibly important to their development. Thank you for coming and engaging intentionally in their play. The Happy Hippos loved visiting with you!

September 18, 2017

A Special Guest

Last week the Happy Hippos reconnected with an old friend, the traveling teddy bear, Jessie! Jessie Bear is a traveling bear who visits seven schools every year and comes back to us at the end of the school year. If you want to know more about Jessie Bear’s adventure please click the link.

Many of the Happy Hippos met Jessie last year and were excited to see her again. We used this as an opportunity to discuss how we’ve changed since Pre K1.

We also thought of what we’d like to do with Jessie. The Hippos were interested in playing hide and seek, musical chairs, creating with Jessie, playing dinosaurs and blocks, and taking Jessie to the playground. We were able to do most of these!




Passing Jessie off to the Friendly Dragon class.



September 11, 2017

Hippo Investigation

This week the Happy Hippos began investigating hippos. We learned about where hippos live, what they eat, and observed what they look like. We then created hippos with various art materials, drawing pictures, creating with salt and glue, and modeling with clay and paint. We discussed what we now know about hippos and practiced describing our work.


This investigation really helped the children to get excited about being in the Hippo class! Children started to show more pride in our class name, they started pretending to be hippos in their play, and were able to remember quite a lot of information about hippos!


Recording what we know about hippos.

Using salt and glue to create hippos.

Using clay to create hippos.

Painting our clay hippos.

Adding more details to our salt painting hippos.

PS: Take a look at the new “Meet the Happy Hippos” page to learn a little more about where the hippos are from and what languages they speak.

September 1, 2017

Creating Community with the Happy Hippos

This week the Happy Hippos continued to work on developing our class community. We started our sign in routine, created our alphabet and number display, reviewed and drew our classroom agreements, and had our first safety drill. We also drew our first self portraits of the year! Can you recognize your child’s drawing?





August 25, 2017


Welcome to the Happy Hippo class blog! Throughout the year, I will be using the blog as a way to share the teaching and learning that goes on in PreK 2A. It has been a pleasure getting to know the Happy Hippos and their families this last week. In the classroom, we focused on building our classroom community by creating our class alphabet, name cards, and various art work to decorate our class. We learned about various animals and voted on our class name. We enjoyed playing, creating, and reading together as we learned more about one another.

Next week we will continue these efforts by creating our first self-portrait and our number wall. We will begin to sign in in the mornings, and might start choosing several class jobs.


November 14, 2016

Our Family

Over the last two weeks, the Tiger Cubs have been sharing about their family. This exploration culminated in our Fathers’ Morning celebration.

Discussing and drawing our families with our learning buddies from KC.


What do your Mom and Dad do for work? What is their job?

“Make something.” – Ella

Preparing presents for Dads.

Thank you to all of the dads that were able to make it! The Tiger Cubs loved sharing their classroom and interests with you. It was a very special morning.

October 31, 2016

Halloween Fun!

The Tiger Cubs have been busy learning about Halloween! We discussed what parts of Halloween are real and pretend, and enjoyed lots of fun activities before the parade and carnival on Friday!

We made skeletons, black cats, and spiders.


We asked the question, what are you going to be for Halloween? We then made our own class book.

A Halloween treat! We were lucky enough to have some parents come in for a fun afternoon snack!


We sang 5 Little Pumpkins with and without props.


We decorated our classroom door with a festive sign.


We talked about the letter H. H is for Halloween.


We decorated our bags for the carnival. Some friends made monsters, cats, and skeletons. Others used materials representative of Halloween.

We had fun dressing up for the parade and carnival. There were many fun games and activities! In the afternoon, the Tiger Cubs went on a walk to look at the decorations throughout the campus.

October 18, 2016

This Week in Photos: 10/10-10/14


Drawing what we did over the holiday.



Kicking during P.E.


Tape resist art.

Field trip to Bayside for the 7th grade performance of The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss.

Shape art.

Going on a nature walk.


October 1, 2016

This Week in Photos: 9/26-9/30


Deciding on what to share with parents for Learning Comes Alive.


Enjoying sharing our space and routines with families for Learning Comes Alive.


Learning about fire safety in preparation for our fire drill. Making fire hoses out of cardboard tubes.


Fire safety continues. Making fire truck scenes using a variety of materials.



“We can cooperate!” – Miranda


Tiger Cubs loving our first water play day! Pretending to be sea otters, sharks, and dogs.