How to…

For our Informational writing unit, the children are learning to write ‘How To…’ books. As a fun activity, I made my own ‘How to…’ book called, “How to Make Jello.” I read it to the children before the holiday and told them we would make jello after the holiday. When I read my book to them, I talked about ‘time’ words like first, after that, then, next, and finally.

Monday morning, the children helped make the jello by using the instructions in my book. First, we added hot water to the jello. Then we added cold water. After that, we put the jello in the fridge and waited 4 hours. We were excited to eat it in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the fridge was broken and the jello did not set. So, after moving the jello to a new fridge and waiting patiently until yesterday, the children were finally able to eat the jello.

Now the children are busy writing their own ‘How to Make Jello’ book. After they are finished this book, they can choose something they know how to do and make another ‘How to…’ book to teach others about their area of expertise.

Wednesday Conference time

On Wednesday, you will join your child in reflecting on and setting goals for their learning. Here are some details about what your child will share with you and how you can be involved in the conversation.  We will look at their growth as a writer, how they can be a better friend/learner, what math skills they have worked on thus far, and a quick parent-teacher chat.

How we have grown as writers:

Student have prepared two reflection pieces of writing. The first one shows your child’s writing at the beginning of the year and the second one is their most recent narrative writing. Students will identify ways they have grown as a writer. You can be involved in this part by asking questions/prompting like:

-What can you do now that you couldn’t do as a writer before?

-Tell me about your writing.

-What do writers do to make their writing easier for others to read?

-What do you think is your next step as a writer?

 How to grow as a friend/learner

On this page, students have brainstormed ways they are already a good friend and ways they can become even better. You can be involved in this part by asking questions like:

-What makes you a good friend?

-What is something you like about your friends?

-What is something you don’t do, but you think you should do as a friend?

How to grow as a leaner:

Students are working on brainstorming what makes a good learner. This could be classroom safety things like: listening with your whole body and listening to others, but it also extends to the PYP Learner Profiles to include things such as: taking risks, communicating, thinking, inquiring, caring, being principled, and being knowledgeable to name a few.

You can be involved in this part by asking:

-Can you tell me about a time you were [insert PYP learner profile word here]?For example, “Can you tell me about a time you were a thinker?”

-What are some of the ways you keep yourself and others safe in class?

-How can you show respect as a learner?

-How do you think you can be a better learner?


Mathematical Thinking:

Students will use some of our math tools to share one skill with you. On the report card you may have seen the mathematical practices. You can encourage your child to share their math thinking and get a view into their math practices by asking:

-Tell me more about how you know that is true.

-How did you show your thinking?

-Can you show me that thinking in a different way?

-How do you know that is true?


Parent-Teacher Time:

This will be a brief 5 minutes (max) at the end of the conferences for you to ask a question or two you have about your child’s growth moving forward.

The mystery artifact

Our Unit of Inquiry called, “where we are in place and time” uses artifacts to help the children ask questions about the past. The goal is more about learning to ask questions and be inquirers than it is about the artifact. The artifact, however, is an interesting way to help children develop their curiosity and wonder.

Today, I placed an artifact in a box and asked the children to think about what questions they can ask to find out about the past using the artifact. I am looking for questions like, ‘what is the artifact made from?’; ‘where does it come from?’; who does it belong to?’; ‘how old is it?’; ‘how do you use it?’ instead of  ‘what is it?’ They will want to say, ‘I think it is…’ but that is not a question and we do not need to know what it is yet. Tomorrow, we will make a list of their questions that will help us when asking questions about each other’s artifacts. Tonight, feel free to show them this photo and help them come up with some good questions that will inquire into the background of the artifact and how it relates to the past. In a couple of days you can ask your child some questions about what was inside the box to develop their learning about questioning. 

Measuring ourselves

Please check out our new Blog photo. We have 3 new friends in the line up. Ask your child why they are standing where they are in the line up. (Hint: we were trying to make a line of children from shortest to tallest. Over 3 days we would line up, take a picture, analyze the picture, and possibly change where we stood.)


While learning about capacity, the children grabbed as many objects from a basket as one hand could hold. They counted how many objects they had in their hand and wrote the number on a stickee. There were 3 different baskets of objects to use. 

We then gathered our data (stickees) and displayed it to show the number of objects grabbed from different children’s hands. We reflected on our findings and discussed why the numbers were bigger for the cubes and smaller for the fruit. We came up with 2 possible reasons. People’s hand sizes are different and the size of the objects are different.
In the end, I explained that the number with the most stickees in each group might be what most kindergarten children can grab in one hand. (I hesitate to say this in case I am wrong but…Is this like the law of probability?)

The Gingerbread Man

We had fun yesterday trying to find the gingerbread man after he escaped from the oven.

Yes, after putting all the ingredients together, rolling the dough, cutting out the gingerbread man and putting him in the oven, he wasn’t there.

He did leave us some clues though. So, we followed the clues around the school and guess where we found him?

He was sleeping in our classroom.