Welcome to the K/1 Site

Welcome to the K/1 Site!

Below are our weekly newsletters:

Chapter 1. Monthly Newsletter

  • Honey Bunches of Notes May

    During our current thematic unit “How the World Works” children are developing the following understandings:

    * The world is a system.              

    * They are part of many interconnected systems: family, culture, time, etc.

    * When something happens in one part of the world, it affects other parts of  the world system.

    * Improving one part of the world can improve the dynamics of the whole world   system.

    The children are learning about machines in “How The World Works” because the world uses machines to get work done. Computers, vehicles, appliances, and many other types of machines are used everyday. That’s how the world works! When people invent new machines it can change things all over the world. Additionally, just as the world is made up of different parts that function as a system, machines are comprised of different parts that operate as a system.              

    We are approaching the study of how the world works as scientists and inventors. At the beginning of the school year, each group of students sharing a table chose a machine to name their table after.  In the interest of learning how their specific machine works, the children have been learning about machines and the scientific principles that govern how machines work. Through books, videos, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on experimentation, the children have been exploring forces. In addition, the children are acquiring knowledge about the process of invention by learning about the lives of inventors from diverse backgrounds.

    After the children gain an understanding of how forces affect the way machines work, an expert from Honey Creek’s community came into our classrooms to meet with each group to explain how their machine works. The students are preparing to present what they learned to the rest of the class by supplying answers to a group reflection sheet and by constructing a model of their machine.

    To reinforce this content, K-1 will be going to Greenfield Village on Tuesday, May 22nd. On this field trip, the children will see the Wright brothers’ bike shop, visit Edison’s Menlo Park lab where he produced a steady stream of inventions including the phonograph and the light bulb, and we will also see how different materials are used to make items such as pottery and glass decorations at Liberty Craftworks.

  • Honey Bunches of Notes April

    In “How My Community Works” students continue to learn about the science and economics of the food system through the example of bread. Based on their interests, students chose to be in one of four groups that will teach the rest of the class about what happens in each part of the system: farm, factory, store, and home. In addition, the children will be learning about mold and experimenting with conditions that promote or inhibit mold growth on bread.

    To build prior knowledge for our next thematic unit, “How the World Works”, K-1 students got an opportunity to examine the how and why of motion, including forces, velocity, momentum, and Newton’s Law of motion by using a trebuchet, hovercraft, and sonar unit when Cranbrook Science on the Go came in for an assembly. Big thanks to the STEM committee for helping to fund such a great presentation from the wonderful folks at Cranbrook! We learned so much and really enjoyed seeing the real life hovercraft! 

    In writing workshop the children are working on writing a personal narrative with a focus on conventions, transition words, and peer editing. We are also wrapping up a unit on geometry, graphing, and time in our math curriculum.


  • Honey Bunches of Notes March

    One of the tools we use to teach is song! Singing helps us remember facts and concepts and is just plain fun. Every year each of our theme units has a song stanza to accompany it and present the theme concepts we’ll be studying during that unit. This year’s song is How Things Work (sung to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) and is included here in its entirety. We’re currently working through the concepts overviewed in stanza number three. Enjoy!

    Learning how I work is fun

    I get to know myself and everyone

    I’m a part of many systems:

    My family, my classroom, and my group of friends

    When I make a choice to cooperate

    Each system can work really great!


    How my school works at Honey Creek

    We problem solve and act responsibly

    Being fair, taking care of our school, learning to follow rules

    When all of us at school cooperate

    The school system can work really great!


    Learning how things work in my community

    Fairness is important for everybody

    Farms, factories, stores, and homes

    It’s all connected, we can’t do it all alone

    When everyone cooperates

    The community can work really great!


    How the world works is interesting

    There are forces, engineers, and machines

    Investigate, design, be an inventor

    Gather information to make things better

    When systems in the world cooperate

    The world can work really great!

  • Honey Bunches of Notes February

    The “How My Community Works” section of our theme work continues with a Food Systems unit of study. During this unit students will be working to develop the following understandings:

    • Understand that my community is a system.
    • Understand that I am part of many interconnected systems: community, economic, food, farming, etc.
    • Understand that when something happens in one part of the community system it affects other parts of the community system.
    • Understand that improving one part of the community system can improve the dynamics of the whole community system.
    • Understand that my choices affect the systems that provide our food.

    Students will be learning about the science and economics of the food system. We will discuss the difference between producers and consumers, identify goods and services, and learn about trade and how money simplifies trade. After an overview of the food system which follows bread’s journey from farm to table, students will learn more about how organic farms function and about alternatives to using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

  • Honey Bunches of Notes January

    We’ve begun our next theme unit: “How My Community Works”. This unit includes a unit on Fairness and a unit on Food Systems. The understandings we wish for students to develop through How My Community Works are:

    • Understand that my community is a system

    • Understand that I am part of many interconnected systems: community, economic,

    food, farming, etc.

    • Understand that when something happens in one part of the community system it

    affects all of the parts of the community system

    • Understand that improving one part of the community system can improve the

    dynamics of the whole community system

    In the Fairness unit, the children are learning about different forms of discrimination (e.g.

    ableism, gender discrimination, racial discrimination) and the ways people have worked

    together to make society more fair for all members, including the Civil Rights


  • Honey Bunches of Notes December

    Our How Things Work theme for the year continues in each K-1 classroom. We’ve continued our discussion of rules and responsibilities and fairness. The children have been further practicing their problem-solving skills with I-Statements and S.O.S. and have discussed just what fairness means here at school. We define fairness in the following way for the children, “Fair is not everyone getting the same thing. Fair is everyone getting what they need to be successful.” The children have also discussed what it means to have responsibilities and be responsible.

    Related to these discussion topics, we are learning about some of the various important symbols of the United States of America. The symbols include the flag, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty. We’re discussing how these symbols are meant to represent the Core Democratic Values. The Core Democratic Values are: Life, Liberty, The Pursuit of Happiness, Justice, Equality, Diversity, Truth, Patriotism, Common Good, Popular Sovereignty, and Rule of Law. To make these Values relatable to K-1s we’ve been helping to make the connection between choices they can make and upholding the different Core Democratic Values. For example, picking up litter they see outside is something a good citizen could do to promote the Common Good.

  • Honey Bunches of Notes November

    We will soon begin our second theme unit, How My School Works. The verse of our theme song that corresponds to this next unit is as follows and can be sung to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:


    How my school works at Honey Creek

    We problem solve and act responsibly

    Being fair, taking care of our school, learning to follow rules

    When all of us at school cooperate

    The school system can work really great!


    This unit includes additional explanation and practice using S.O.S to solve problems and using our I-Statements to tell others how we feel. We’ll spend some time discussing the concepts of fairness and responsibility. Fair is defined for the children this way: fair is not everybody getting the same thing; fair is everybody getting what they need to be successful. Our exploration of responsibility and what that means includes discussion of some of our responsibilities at home and at school and why it’s important to demonstrate self-discipline and responsibility.

  • Honey Bunches of Notes October

    Early Elementary classrooms are off to a great start. This year, our theme is “How Things Work.”  We will use this theme to help our students develop an understanding of what systems are, how they work, and how one part of a system affects the rest of the system. We call this “teaching for understanding” and use the theme to develop our students’ broad understanding of concepts that they can then apply to all areas of their learning, rather than teaching them facts in isolation.

    We began the year learning about “How I Work.” Students are learning about themselves and each other, and sharing what is special about their families. In the beginning of the year we also spend a lot of time on community-building activities and learning how to get along and work out differences using “I Statements” and “S-O-S” (Story-Options-Solution) conflict resolution.

    In preparation for one of our later theme units, “How My Community Works,” we will be going on a field trip to Tantré Organic Farm on Thursday, October 12th. We are looking forward to an exciting year!

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