Spotlight on Specials

2nd Quarter Kindergarten

The Exploratory Team

The teachers of these exploratory classes are committed to inspire the creative genius in all students through art, technology, library media, music, counselor and physical education.


During the second quarter, kindergarten students worked very hard to complete the following art projects:

Mouse Paint: During this lesson, students learned how to mix the primary colors to make secondary colors. To understand this concept, students listened to two stories about color mixing: Mouse Paint & Mix it up!. Students practiced mixing colors with paints and then cut their painting into mouse shapes and added mice details with markers and paper.

Pumpkin Painting: After reading a story about pumpkins and discussing their colors and shapes, students drew their own pumpkin. Students reviewed color mixing from the previous lesson and mixed orange for the pumpkin and green for the leaves. Students cut and pasted the pumpkin onto a piece of construction paper and added a starry night sky inspired by Vincent Van Gogh.

Clay Pinch Pots: To end the semester, students learned how to create a pinch pot from a ball of clay. Students also discussed where clay comes from and viewed the kiln inside of the art room, so that they could see where the clay is “cooked”.

Physical Education

The second quarter was focused on locomotor skills as well as throwing and catching. Locomotor skills are very important to learn at a young age, mainly because you use those skills for the rest of your life and those skills help when participating in more complex activities. The students learned how to skip, leap, hop, jump, run, jog, walk, and gallop. We did activities such as relay races and incorporated our locomotor skills, and a game called “locomotor license” where the students got to pretend they were driving a car while practicing their skills. We began practicing our throwing and catching the last few weeks of the quarter. Students got to practice tossing the ball underhand to themselves and catching it, tossing and catching with a partner, and using scoopers with partners. We focused mainly on the underhand toss, but incorporated a little bit of the overhand throw. It was a great quarter and I look forward to the rest of the year!


In our library classes this quarter we continued practicing the use of shelf markers to hold the book’s place when we take it off the shelf and holding the book’s spine when replacing it on the shelf. Students were very excited to use these skills when choosing books from the actual library shelves, rather than the cart from which we had been choosing books. We identified differences between choosing books at the Book Fair and choosing books from the library and watched a video previewing some of the exciting books coming to the fair. We talked about the three ways to read a book: reading the words, reading the pictures, and retelling the story. We practiced these different types of reading as a class and also with a partner. If you would be interested in helping with kindergarten students in the library, please follow these links to sign up: Mrs. Arbaugh’s Morning Class Mrs. Grauer’s and Mrs. Starling’s all-day kindergarten classes


During the second quarter in Kindergarten, Music class was filled with lots of important skills. While continuing with moving our bodies to the steady beat, students learned to hear phrases that are the same and different, listen for these changes, and then react to them with movement. We played new instruments (woodblocks, and jingle bells) as well as reviewing other instruments as we sang lots of new songs. To finish off this quarter, we spent some time learning Winter Holiday songs, including Christmas and Hanukkah, and we sang some Holiday favorites like “Rudolph” and “Jingle Bells” to get ready for the school-wide sing-a-long!


In Kindergarten, we took a visit to my website and learned about several different activities and games. Students are beginning to master their basic computer skills. We went to multiple sites this quarter. Most sites helped firm up their ability to identify basic keys, maneuver the mouse and track stick controls. We also got the chance to be introduced to computer programming through The Hour of Code. Students played an Angry Bird’s tutorial that showed them how to write a little code and use basic problem solving skills.


The second quarter of school has flown by and we have been busy learning about The Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation is a cognitive behavior approach that teaches students self-regulation. The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking concepts and visuals to teach students how to identify their feelings and understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings. We spent several weeks reviewing and learning about feelings and what events produce certain feelings. We learned that there are four zones; Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. The Blue zone describes when one feels sad, tired, sick or bored. The Green zones describes a person feeling happy, focused, and ready to learn. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs. In the Yellow zone a person may be feeling frustration, stress, anxiety, excitement, or even the wiggles. The Red zone describes a person who is experiencing anger and explosive behavior. We learned several tools to help us move and maintain in the green zone. The strategies we learned were lazy eight breathing, six sides of breathing and a calming visual chart. The students were given a copy of these strategies to use if needed throughout the school day. When we return we will be learning how to identify a problem and individual triggers we have that can impact our day.

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