Welcoming Fall in Kindergarten

As the weather gets colder and the leaves begin to change, Kindergarten students have been having a great time exploring and learning all about leaves and pumpkins. We spent a day digging through pumpkins and completing some amazing “Pumpkin Math.” Students drew the life cycle of a pumpkin and made predictions about whether their pumpkin would sink or float in water.  They also measured circumference and height. When we were done, we collected and dried the seeds and roasted them to make a tasty treat with cinnamon and sugar. 099


We also had an adventure taking a walk around the JCDS neighborhood to collect some autumn leaves. The class had a wonderful time finding all kinds of leaves in many shapes and colors. When we got back to the classroom, they sorted and graphed their leaves by shape, size and color.

We look forward to starting our science kit soon and begin exploring trees!


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New Year’s Food Customs Around the World

Food is a universal language. Communities around the world of all traditions and religions eat special symbolic foods at their New Year’s celebrations.

Do you need ideas for Rosh Hashanah? Here are few to share with your family:

We in Kindergarten had a very special Rosh Hashanah Seder.

We blew the shofar to remind us that the New Year is coming.



The Japanese eat buckwheat noodles that symbolize long life. We tried to swallow at least one noodle whole for good luck.




For a lucky, fruitful year, Latin Americans eat twelve grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  We counted and ate them this morning.


The Chinese enjoy oranges that symbolize sweetness and good fortune. Yes, we ate oranges too.


Green is the color of money, so we ate green beans for prosperity.


Here’s where Jews from all over the world meet. We all dip apples in honey for a sweet year.


Pomegranate is one of the seven species of Israel. It symbolizes beauty and fertility in the Bible, literature and art. It’s delicious too!


We all celebrate the New Year in different ways and at different times, but we all wish each other “A Happy New Year.”


4th Grade Buddies

As members of the 4th Grade, it is our duty to share our academic knowledge and understanding of the word ‘community’ with the students around us. One of the ways we keep the values of JCSD strong is through our partnership with buddies in Kindergarten. Over the past few weeks 4th Graders have been mentoring Kindergarten students in the art of being an author, all while sharpening our own drafting and editing skills!

We’ve helped our Kindergarten buddies develop their ideas using the writing process we have learned in years past: brainstorming, drafting, editing, and publishing. This week, we worked with them to expand their ideas on paper by helping them practice their letters and sentences, as well as illustrate the pages of their books. Through this activity we are living the Jewish value that we have been studying this month in Judaic Studies: love your neighbor as yourself.

These new books already look like they are full of adventures ready to be enjoyed by our entire JCDS community!



Kindergarten Presents…4th Grade Buddies!

Last week the Kindergarten class got to have their first meeting with our awesome 4th grade buddies from Ms. Silva’s class! The buddies will now be joining us every Monday after lunch and spend our “rest time” with us. This is a wonderful opportunity for the buddies to read, write and relax together. Kindergarten is very excited that we just started reading the “Magic Tree House” series and will be starting a project to fill our own “tree house” (the loft) with magical books that we will write with the help of our amazing buddies. We hope to continue making wonderful memories with our buddies and inviting them to participate in some fun Autumn science experiments as the month progresses.

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Welcome to Kindergarten!

Welcome to Kindergarten! The first few weeks of school have been filled with new discoveries, ex504citing games and lots of learning! In our play-based, student-centered kindergarten class, children learn and construct their own knowledge through discovery, investigation and hands-on projects. These first few weeks have been dedicated to building a strong classroom community through daily “Morning Meetings” and class games or projects. We completed an art project the first week of school, bringing our feelings to life through color. The students have also enjoyed honing their engineering skills while constructing awesome Lego structures.503

Stay tuned for more exciting posts regarding specific activities and information about fun Fall projects!


Mrs. Alison and Kindergarten

Sink or Float

As we get closer and closer to the end of the school year, we can’t help but be excited about warm weather activities. One of our favorites is swimming! It got us thinking about pool and Copy of IMG_7370water safety. In PreK, kindergarten and first grade, we learned that designers often create prototypes in the name of safety. “I learned to swim with floaties,” mentioned Asher in PreK.

First, we looked at some action figures in the water and realized that they probably don’t know how to swim, because they sank to the bottom of the “pool.” To help them, we created prototypes of life vests for them. The goal of the design challenge was to keep the action figure’s head above water, because we don’t breathe through our toes, we breathe through our noses.


Pondering a Pond


As summer lingered beautifully, our Kindergarten class took advantage of the great weather by exploring a local pond. For the trip, we put on our scientist hats and observed and wondered about the life around us. We used our 5 senses to notice many interesting things. This week we especially focused on using our eyes and ears. We heard and saw many birds, for example. We saw frogs jumping in the water. We heard acorns plopping on the ground from the trees. From our observations we began asking questions. Some of our wonderings included:

“Why are the frogs out everyday and when it’s winter what will the frogs do?”

“Why are the white flowers next to the bench so small?”

In our class, we embrace curiosity and we are excited to have more adventures outdoors, as we explore the pond throughout the year.

Our Eggs Are (Finally!) Here!

Today, Beth – the knowledgeable educator from Casey Farm  –  spent the morning with us. Casey Farm (in Saunderstown, RI) was founded in 1702. On the farm’s 300 acres overlooking Narragansett Bay, organically grown vegetables, herbs, eggs, and flowers flourish, providing bounty for both local families and nearby farmers’ markets.


Beth arrived to our school with dozens of fertilized eggs, an incubator, warming lights, and lots of different kinds of bird eggs!


The PreK and Kindergarten students and teachers were able to see the eggs laid by swans, bluebirds, robins, grey catbirds, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, loons, and even an emu egg! We enjoyed observing the eggs; some of us discovered that eggs are camouflaged to be either the same color as their nests or as their mothers. Beth also showed us a slide-show, during which we learned how to tell a (female) hen from a (male) rooster, what chickens eat, how Casey Farm protects chickens from predators, the best way to take care of chickens (free-range and cage-free!) and how to hold chicks (hold them close to the ground & gently!)


We also learned about the different stages and components of a chicken embryo, including the blastoderm and the egg tooth!




Beth then showed us the incubators into which we will place our eggs. There they will stay (round side up, pointy side down) for 21 days until they hatch. A hen’s body temperature is about 107 degrees, compared to our 98.7 degrees – and so our incubators will be as warm as a hen’s body. We will have both Rhode Island Red and Dominique chicks.


But the most wonderful surprise was still to come! Beth brought a Dominique hen to our school!

IMG_8199Beth then invited us to pet Henny Penny!


By tomorrow morning, our incubator will warm to 100 degrees and we will fill it with our eggs. And then the countdown will begin . . . and we can hardly wait!




Magnets, Spring, and More!

Steam Week may be over; however, in Kindergarten, we’re just getting started!

We began Steam Week by learning about magnets. We explored the force by holding two magnets close and felt them either attract (pull toward one another) or repel (push away). We learned that magnets can attract other magnets (or other magnetic materials) at a distance invisibly, through what we call a magnetic field.

We used magnetic wands to find magnetic objects on our walk through the neighborhood:

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The children created various magnetic objects during the week including, headbands, jewelry, decorations, and more!

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We are in the process of creating a Kibbutz in our dramatic play area and are currently building a magnetic barn! We will be sure to add pictures of the structure upon completion.

In math, we have been measuring and finding the difference between the length of various objects. The children created paper clip snakes as a measurement tool!

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Our springtime mural is coming along beautifully! Every day, the children are continuing to add more objects and labels!

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Kindergarten Pesach Seder

We had such a beautiful Seder in our classroom! The children and their families helped to lead our Seder, and the Kindergartners performed in a play that they wrote about Pesach. We even enjoyed delicious matzah ball soup!  Thank you to all of our special guests for joining us!

Chag Sameach!

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