St. John Berchmans - Ocean Buddies

Field Trip!

This week the Ocean Buddies learned about animals. We celebrated the week with a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo!

This week we counted animals in an iSpy game, created cotton koalas, designed zoo animal masks, glued together a monkey and a parrot craft, and wrote about our favorite zoo animals.

Click the photo to see all the fun we had and activities we did this week!


The Ocean Buddies had so much fun exploring Space! They used gems to create constellations, designed their own planets, and played in a space sensory bin. They created rocket ship launch pads, made planet headbands, and played a space counting game with erasers. The Ocean Buddies water colored astronauts and wrote about what they would bring to space with them if they were an astronaut. They had a lot of fun creating name rockets and participating in a balance scale STEM activity.

Please click on the photo to see more exciting activities from space week!


This week the Ocean Buddies were busying preparing for Around the World Night by learning about China! We learned Chinese words, numbers, and a little bit about their customs, landmarks, and animals.

We used a fork to create giant pandas out of paint and construction paper. We practiced cutting curves by creating a dragon out of a paper plate. We also followed directions and drew pictures of one of China's most famous landmarks, the Great Wall of China.

During centers we created lanterns, wrote Chinese numbers, colored dragon masks, decorated Chinese flags, finger painted cherry blossom trees, and cut pandas out of black and white paper.

Come check out our classroom on May 9th at 6:00PM to see our room transformed into China. Click the photo to see a sneak peek!

Happy Easter!

The Ocean Buddies had a lot of fun participating in many STEM activities this week! They used plastic Easter eggs to match the pattern cards, erasers to build shape bunnies, and their senses to explore and count the objects in the Easter stew. The Ocean Buddies played a jelly bean roll and stamp game, and they practiced reading some sight words as they colored the "In the Spring" mini books. We continued to discuss the importance of celebrating the Easter holiday as we drew crowns for Jesus and created an Easter wreath. The Ocean Buddies also used water colors as they made pattern eggs, and they used paper towel rolls to create Easter bunny stamps. Thank you to those who donated small prizes; we had a lot of fun during our annual Easter egg hunt with our Faith Partners!

Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter!

The Ocean Buddies Prepare for Easter

The Ocean Buddies have been busy this week preparing for Easter! Here are some of the fun activities we did this week.

Math - We used our thumbprints to make jelly beans while counting. We also decorated eggs, baskets, and bunnies by coloring by number.

Science - We watched our seeds grow into real grass that we could cut! The Ocean Buddies used jelly beans, pretzels, and marshmallows to build shapes and nests.

Language Arts - We searched for letters in eggs hiding in Easter grass. Then we practiced writing each letter on dry erase boards. We built sight words using colorful eggs. We also filled out our own bunny applications.

Art - We used pom poms with paint and chalk to decorate giant eggs for Easter.

Fine Motor - Everyone wrote their name on a puzzle egg. Then they had to cut out all the pieces by cutting straight, zig zag, and curvy lines, and then put their eggs back together again. We also made playdough sculptures by taking turns and giving directions. The Ocean Buddies used all their drawing skills to make ladybugs and bees to decorate our classroom.

Religion - We learned all about the Easter story this week. We created stained glass crosses, sequenced the events of Holy Week, visited the Chapel, and watched the big kids perform The Living Stations in the Church.

Please check out all of these activities in action by clicking the photo.

Spring is in the Air!

We are ready for some warmer Spring weather! This week, the Ocean Buddies planted flowers in a bean sensory bin and they constructed caterpillars using yogurt/fruit pouch caps. They used weather erasers to create and extend patterns, read about sunflowers, and used paper towels to make an Earth craft. The Ocean Buddies played a letter sound game as they raced against each other to identify the correct letter using fly swatters! They also had fun writing letters in the "clouds" of shaving cream! The Ocean Buddies enjoyed a snack after they used pretzel sticks and marshmallows to build shapes and identify the number of sides and corners of each shape. They had a lot of fun digging in the dirt as they planted grass seed in a cup with a picture of their face on it. They can't wait to see their green hair grow!

Please click on the photo to see more activities.


The Ocean Buddies were busy this week learning about the Spring season!

On Monday, we named shapes during a bug memory matching game. We also played with bug counters in chocolate scented playdoh, expressed our creativity making different kinds of flowers, and made letters with beans.

Tuesday we talked about our emotions and took pictures making faces for our different emotions. We also put numbered bugs in order from 1-10. Some students did from 1-20! While learning about different types of weather, we experimented with a fan to see what items the wind could blow away.

On Wednesday we decorated umbrellas with shapes and stickers. We counted to ten using bug stickers and ten frames, and we wrote weather words around the classroom. We also worked with our class robot and programmed him to move and push small toys.

Thursday we spent a lot of time outside enjoying the beautiful weather! Inside we put together letter puzzles and talked about our emotion pictures.

On Friday we had gym class outside! We are loving the warmer weather which means we get to go outside again!

Click the picture to see more photos from the week.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The Ocean Buddies had so much fun celebrating St. Patrick's Day!

They learned about St. Patrick and the holy trinity. The Ocean Buddies also created rainbow necklaces, played St. Patrick's Day I Spy, conducted a sink the pot science experiment, and used cereal to create edible necklaces! They searched for the leprechaun's treasure in the sensory bins and measured the length of several classroom items using Lucky Charms cereal. The Ocean Buddies really enjoyed the "walking water" science experiment. For the experiment, they used water, food coloring, plastic cups, and paper towels to create a rainbow!

Please click on the photo to see more activities.

Dr. Seuss

This week the Ocean Buddies read a lot of Dr. Seuss books and did activities to go along with the books. We sewed pockets, graphed goldfish, decorated fish bowls, created animals we would put in a zoo, drew the Cat in the Hat, and so much more. The Ocean Buddies really enjoyed one activity called Write the Room where they had to hunt for words in the classroom and write down all of the ones they found. We also sorted animals on our Smart Board into Fish and Not a Fish categories.

We did a few science experiments that the Ocean Buddies really enjoyed. In one experiment, we tested ketchup, vinegar and salt, and soap with water to see if we could make dirty pennies look shiny again. We also put drops of food coloring in milk and watched it dance around when we added dish soap.

Click the picture to see all of our activities from this week.

Dr. Seuss

The Ocean Buddies had so much fun celebrating reading and rhyming with Dr. Seuss! Following the March Mad Minutes Reading Party, the Ocean Buddies ate a special green eggs snack (vanilla pudding, green food coloring, and a Nilla wafer cookie)! They made name hats like the cat in the hat and used unifix cubes to measure the length of their shoes! The Ocean Buddies really enjoyed this week's STEM activities! They created green eggs and ham sandwiches using foam shapes, stacked apples up on top of pool noodles, built towers using large cups, small cups, and square pieces of paper, and watched white carnations change color as they absorbed food coloring! Ask your Ocean Buddies about the Wacky Wednesday classroom hunt!

Please click on the picture below to see more activities.

Dental Health

This week the Ocean Buddies learned how to take care of their teeth during Dental Health Week.

We read many books and watched short videos that taught us to brush at least twice a day, use floss, and visit the dentist.

We sorted healthy and non healthy foods, painted with toothbrushes, used marshmallow "teeth" to build structures, and followed recipes to make tooth stew!

This week the Ocean Buddies also got their own journals that they can keep in their cubbies. Whenever we have free time, the Ocean Buddies like to get their notebooks and sit with their friends at a table. They draw pictures, write words relating to our theme of the week, and write their friends' names. Their writing, drawing, and sharing has improved so much with these notebooks! They really feel like big kids now.

Everett's dad and brother were our special guest readers this week!

Click the picture to see more of our activities!

Valentine's Day

The Ocean Buddies had such a busy and fun week celebrating Valentine's Day and participating in the Jump for SJB events!

This week the Ocean Buddies wrote in their journals, sorted Hersey kisses by color, counted and graphed candy hearts, and played with moon sand. They also made and wrote their own valentine cards for their friends. The Ocean Buddies had so much fun searching for treasure in the Valentine's Day sensory bins and playing Valentine's Day games on our new interactive TV! We even managed to spend some time playing outside this week!

Please click on the picture below to see more activities.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friendship Week!

This week the Ocean Buddies celebrated friendship and started preparing for Valentine's Day.

On Monday, we used stickers to count sets of numbers. We put 2 stickers on the heart with the number 2 on it, 3 stickers on the number 3 heart, and so on. This worked on both counting and strengthening our fine motor muscles. We also drew pictures with white crayons and then watercolored over them to reveal the picture surprise.

Tuesday was our 100th day of school celebration! We met with our Faith Partners and made a 100th day trail mix. Everyone brought 100 items of food from home (goldfish, marshmallows, froot loops, etc.) and we mixed them together in a big container. We love spending time with our 2nd grade buddies. We also went to a Pep Rally where Stella was turned into a mummy. Click the picture to find her.

On Wednesday we had special guests work on some valentine's day animals with us. We cut, glued, and colored cute animals. Thanks to Grace's mom and Sofia's mom for this project. We also dug for treasures in special Valentine's Day sensory bins and used eye droppers to melt baking soda hearts. Our Ocean Buddies love science experiments!

Thursday we did another science experiment with candy hearts. We placed the hearts in corn syrup, hand sanitizer, water, juice, and milk and watched what happened.

Click the photo to see all of the exciting things we did this week.

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week!

Unfortunately, we had a short Catholic schools week due to the weather. We will continue to to celebrate Catholic Schools and the 100th Day of School next week!

The Ocean Buddies would like you to meet our new friend, Dylan! Please click on the photo to see more activities from this week, the fun we had with our Faith Partners, and how we would look at 100 years old!

Winter Animals

The Ocean Buddies finished their study about Winter Animals. We rescued different animals from ice cubes by using eye droppers to melt the ice. Some of our other activities included: making snow people out of cups, writing the names of animals, counting ice cubes and snowballs in our sensory bins, and counting goldfish to feed penguins (and sneaking a few for ourselves).

We read Sneezy the Snowman this week and learned all kinds of ways that a snowman can melt. We would not want to give our snowman hot chocolate, put him in a hot tub, or build a fire too close to him. We even used shaving cream and glue to make our own melted snowman craft.

We also experimented with non-standard units of measurement and discovered how many mittens tall we are. Our shortest Ocean Buddy is 8 mittens tall and our tallest Ocean Buddy is 11 mittens tall!

Check out all the fun we have this week by clicking the photo below.

Winter & Winter Animals

This week, the Ocean Buddies learned about the winter season and winter animals. They created penguin drawings and painted with ice cubes. They counted sets of penguins, sorted marshmallows by size, and played a penguin grid game. The Ocean Buddies created "snowball" names and built snowmen ABC puzzles. They practiced identifying uppercase and lowercase letters using clothespins and snowflake letters. The students had a lot of fun playing with winter animal sensory bins and conducting a rain cloud science experiment.

Please click on the link below to see pictures from our winter unit.


Our theme this week was Winter! During centers we melted baking soda snowflakes by squirting them with eye droppers full of vinegar. We also traced our names with snowball stickers, made stained glass angels, painted macaroni snowflakes, and dressed up snow people.

In our journals, we wrote about what we would do in the snow. Some ideas include building a snowman, throwing snowballs, and even building a snow machine. Our friends are getting really good at writing down what sounds they hear in words that they want to write.

The highlight of our week was using our new interactive TV screen. We can use the screen to answer our question of the day, make patterns, write our names, and so much more!

Merry Christmas!

Oh what fun! The Ocean Buddies went on a field trip to see the theatrical performance of Mrs. Claus!

We wrote letters to Santa, made jingle bell necklaces, and used glitter glue to decorate candy canes.

We conducted a dissolving candy cane science experiment, and mixed together reindeer dust to sprinkle in our yards on Christmas Eve to help guide Santa's sleigh to our homes.

On Thursday, we celebrated a successful pajama drive by dressing down for a pj day!

Please click on the picture below to see more activities from the week.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Getting Ready for Christmas

The Ocean Buddies are so excited for Christmas! We spent the week making decorations and getting ready to celebrate.

Here are just some of the activities we did this week:

  • Cut toys out of magazines to make a list for Santa.
  • Built houses out of toothpicks and gumdrops.
  • Painted with Christmas cookie cutters.
  • Used stickers to count to ten.
  • Sorted Christmas shapes by size and color.
  • Described a gift we would give Baby Jesus.
  • Performed in our first Christmas Concert!
  • Put trees in order from 1-10.
  • Decorated mini Christmas trees.

Click the photo to see some of our activities in action!

In the Forest

The Ocean Buddies had a busy week learning about animals that live in the forest while making time to create Christmas gifts for mom and dad, decorate our classroom Christmas tree, and practice for the Christmas concert. The students going to Kindergarten next year, also spent time visiting in the Kindergarten classroom. On Wednesday, we left one of our shoes in the hallway during nap time, and St. Nick left us a special surprise!

The Ocean Buddies would like you to meet our new friend, Ben! Please click on the photo to see more activities from this week.

On the Farm

This week the Ocean Buddies were busy learning about farm animals. They created farm maps, cut and pasted farm animals to make AB patterns, practiced rhyming farm animals with other words, and made cotton ball sheep. We also explored a corn sensory bin and made fences and houses for our farm animals.

Christmas cheer also stated to trickle into our classroom. We explored magnets and figured out that jingle bells stick to magnatiles! We also turned our "Kitchen" center into "Santa's Workshop" In this new center, students fill out order forms, write cards for friends, and practice taking turns by creating and delivering presents to friends. We also loved playing in the snow this week!

Click the picture to see all the fun we had this week.

Happy Thanksgiving

The Ocean Buddies started celebrating Thanksgiving in our classroom by making pies with pumpkin scented playdough and creating thankful turkeys! They used paint and pipecleaners shaped like turkey feet to create turkey tracks. The Ocean Buddies practiced reading "sight words" as they participated in a small group activity using the "Look at the Turkey" emergent reader books. They also practiced clapping syllables and identifying positional words. After listening to the story, "The Giving Tree," each Ocean Buddy wrote about how they can help a friend. These pictures and writings are hanging in the hallway outside of our classroom.

Please click on the photo below to see pictures from this week.

** We will add photos to this same album next week.

We can't wait to see everyone at Parent-Teacher conferences!

Fine Motor Week!

This week the Ocean Buddies were busy practicing all of their fine motor skills. It is so important to strengthen fine motor muscles in order to do things in our everyday life. We practiced our pincer grasp by gluing popcorn to a corn shape and by using stringing beads on a bracelet. We learn how to use writing tools with control by coloring, painting, and using chalk. We even practiced our scissor skills, learning how to hold, move, and cut with them.

Happy Halloween!

The Ocean Buddies had so much fun at the Halloween Fest! Please click on our class photo to see more pictures from this week.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!


The Ocean Buddies are so excited for Halloween! This week we started talking about different costumes and things we can wear for Halloween. We made mummies using paper towels, rolled and painted clay pumpkins, decorated with jack-o-lantern stickers, and even made a pumpkin for Jesus! The Ocean Buddies learned about positional words like "in front" and "next to" by listening to directions and placing pumpkins stickers in a pumpkin patch. We are learning how to count and read recipes by finding objects for a witch's stew. The Ocean Buddies are busy working in their journals every week, too. This week's question is "What kind of costume would you like to wear?" Check out some of the results by clicking the photo!

Our 5 Senses

The Ocean Buddies spent the week exploring their 5 senses! They created puffy paint art, sorted objects by sound, and used Legos to build letters in their names. The students played an eye spy game where they searched for toys inside of rice bottles. They played another game where they sorted how they could identify objects using each of their five senses. They used their sense of touch and sight to explore Fall themed sensory bins. On Wednesday, the Ocean Buddies used their sense of sight, touch, taste, and smell as they made Fruit Tacos for snack! A special thank you to our room parents for visiting the classroom to help the students create decorations for the Halloween Fest. They made spiders using glitter paint, model magic, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes!

Community Helpers

The Ocean Buddies were busy this week learning about Community Helpers!

They were doctors as they matched ABC bandaids to their teddy bear's boo-boos.

They were construction workers as they built towers out of blocks.

They were hairdressers as they cut the hair of shape puppets.

They were bus drivers as they made buses by spelling their names.

They were mail carriers as they counted 1-10 stamps and matched numbers.

They were healers like Jesus and made their own healer bags.

They were scientists as they conducted a heat experiment.

The Ocean Buddies learned they can be anything they want to be!

Fire Safety

The Ocean Buddies had so much fun learning about firefighters and practicing fire safety drills! We talked about how and when to dial 911 in case of an emergency. They even practiced "dialing" 911 before decorating the numbers with tissue paper. The Ocean Buddies really enjoyed their visit with a firefighter and seeing the gear that firefighters wear. They learned a lot about fire safety and how important it is not to hide, but to exit a building in case of a fire. In our classroom, we practiced "stop, drop, and roll" and they completed an activity to bring home. The Ocean Buddies also created a firetruck art craft and played a fire truck counting game.

Click on the picture below to see more about our week!

It's Fall!

This week the Ocean Buddies continued to learn about Fall. We talked about things we like to do in Fall like picking apples, jumping in leaves, and picking pumpkins. The Ocean Buddies got their own journals this week and drew a picture of what they like to do in the Fall. Every week the Ocean Buddies will draw a picture and dictate to the teacher something about our theme. Ask your Ocean Buddy what they drew for "What do you like to do in the Fall?"

There was a lot of learning going on this week during centers! We taste tested apples, used cinnamon sticks to draw letters in rice, decorated trees with tissue paper and paint, practiced finding shapes, and colored an apple counting book.

This week we had our first Art Class with Ms. Petie. We read the story Edwina and used shapes to make dinosaurs.

The Ocean Buddies are also having fun visiting the after care room to use the Smart Board. This week we had to drag apples on the board to spell our names. The Ocean Buddies are learning so much about technology, taking turns, and spelling their names.

SJB started a kindness challenge this week, too. The challenge was to say something nice to an adult in the hallway and call them by name. Some Ocean Buddies earned kindness stickers this week for saying things like, "Hi Ms. Allison" and "Happy Birthday Ms. Judy!"

Click the photo for more pictures from our week.

Apples and Fall

The Ocean Buddies had so much fun learning about the Fall season and apples! They played some counting, addition, and same/different apple math games. They used stickers to match upper and lowercase letters on apple trees and magnets to spell Fall words. The Ocean Buddies also created a Fall book about colors and used tissue paper to decorate apple cut-outs. Click on the picture below to see more fun activities from this week!

Shapes and Colors

The Ocean Buddies were busy this week exploring shapes and colors! We practiced fine motor skills by cutting straight lines to make name puzzles. We also ripped and glued papers, drew shapes in shaving cream, and used watercolors.

During our science lessons, we learned about different tools that scientists use. We used our classroom tweezers and magnifying glasses to sort pom poms by color and look at different kinds of seashells.

For math, we played a shape game and even used shape cookies in our sensory bins.

We met with our Faith Partners again this week and practiced being kind to each other. They also showed us how to be respectful in church, too!

We loved painting at the easel and making our classroom book "Children, Children, What Do You See?"

Click the picture to see photos from our week.

Me and My Family

This week, the Ocean Buddies continued to learn about what makes them unique and how each of us belongs to a different family. The Ocean Buddies decorated people cut-outs to represent themselves or someone in their family. They participated in many activities using their fine motor skills. They used dot markers to decorate their name, erasers to form letters, and worked together to complete puzzles. They also practiced holding scissors and cutting wrapping paper.

On Thursday, the Ocean Buddies met with their Faith Partners, the second grade class! They enjoyed exploring the classroom together. We will get together with our Faith Partners throughout the school year and sit with them when we attend church.

The Ocean Buddies also attended the Helping Kids Get Along workshop where we learned how to politely ask someone to stop their mean/annoying behavior.

Please click on the photo below to see more pictures from this week!

Meet the new Ocean Buddies!

Welcome to our classroom blog. Each week we will post fun photos and activities from our classroom.

This week the Ocean Buddies were busy exploring their new classroom and learning about what makes them unique. We discussed our favorite colors, who we have in our families, and so much more. We drew self portraits, looked at our fingerprints under magnifying glasses and practiced recognizing and making our names in many different ways. The Ocean Buddies built their names out of magnets, traced their letters with paint, strung letter beads together, and traced with crayons.

The Ocean Buddies took their first mini field trip to our chapel to learn about the special place. We drew pictures of what we saw in there. We also had our first Spanish and gym classes. The Ocean Buddies loved fishing for letters and riding scooters with Ms. Kim!