Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fairy Tales in Full Swing

During our short week together the children and I turned our fairy tale focus towards Jack and the Beanstalk. The children and I read two versions of the classic fairy tale and discussed the choices Jack made throughout the tale. We began to record Jack's good and bad choices on a chart, but quickly had to add a "Not Sure" column because depending on each child's perspective, Jack's choices could have been both good and bad! We also began trying to identify the elements of a fairy tale. During our study we will be comparing one fairy tale to another and recording the various elements of each tale on the white board in our room.   On Tuesday we read a version of Jack and the Beanstalk that no one had ever even heard of before! In The Beanstalk Incident, the story of Jack and his Beanstalk is told through the perspective of the Giant. After reading the story the children used a Venn Diagram to compare the similarities and differences between the character traits of both Jack and the Giant. This, of course, raised some very rich discussions on whether or not Jack was nice or mean; bad or good; loyal or dishonest etc. 

The children's math stories this week were focused on compare and subtraction problems. They estimated how many beans could fit in their hand vs. the giants; stacked cubes to make a beanstalk and recorded how high they could stack and played Race To The Top, a game I should have called Race to the Bottom because none of the characters ever race to the top! In Race To The Top the children worked individually or with a partner to race their characters to the top. Using a die, the children rolled, recorded and graphed the amount of spaces each character could move up the vine.

What's Emerging
The children made their own magic beans, planted them and predicted what would grow. Next week we will have fun predicting what will grow if we plant a jelly bean and other random objects. After Spanish the children worked together as a whole group to create their very own magic beanstalk. Once the green glitter creation was complete there was a special request for a castle in the clouds!

I have a mini-update from Humble Hearts in Africa! Irene (the kindergarten teacher) emailed me and said the children have written letters for our class and she will be sending them soon! They loved the cards and photos of our class and Irene said that the children "treasure the smiles of the pupils". Ida McManus (the woman in Texas who brought our supplies) has photos of the children receiving the supplies and will be sending them soon. I will be sure to post everything as soon as it arrives.

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