Tuesday, January 1, 2019

January News

Happy New Year!  We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and enjoyed the winter break.  Thank you to all the parents that volunteered or sent in donations to help make our holiday activities a success.  We are starting the year off strong with many new and exciting learning opportunities!  Here are a few pictures from our winter activities:

Mrs. Blumenthal shared Hanukkah traditions with us and we learned how to play the dreidel game.

On Gingerbread Day #1, we ate and graphed gingerbread men!

Decorating gingerbread houses was a blast!

We enjoyed traveling around the world to learn about how different countries celebrate the holidays.  We made lanterns in China, St. Lucia's Day hats in Sweden, La Befana's broom in Italy, yule logs in France, and poinsettias in Mexico.

We loved creating snowmen with our buddies using a variety of different materials.  They turned out awesome!

Language Arts 
           We really enjoyed incorporating the holidays into our language arts lessons last month.  Some of our favorite activities included retelling the story of The Gingerbread Man, comparing The Gingerbread Man to The Gingerbread Baby, and learning facts about reindeer. 
Later this month in reading groups, we will be reading nonfiction texts and identifying facts from these books and using the information gathered from these books in our writing.  We will also be discussing word attack strategies for when we come to words we don’t know, such as: using picture clues; thinking about what makes sense; sounding it out; looking for smaller chunks in a bigger word; and skipping it and coming back to it.  Please make sure you are returning reading bags with books every day!  As we near the end of the quarter, reading books may not be coming home because we use reading group time to assess the students.  Thank you for your understanding!
In Phonics, we have been working on blending sounds to make words.  Please make sure you are practicing segmenting and blending words.  The more confident your child is in reading these words, the more progress we will see in their reading ability. For example, if your child was given the word “dog”, he or she would need to be able to say each individual sound: /d/ /o/ /g/ and blend the sounds together to read word.
In writing, we will be finishing up our unit writing personal narrative stories.  I am seeing wonderful improvement in their writing!  We have begun talking about revising and editing our work.  The picture below show two students having a peer conference about ways to improve their stories.  

     We will continue to focus on teen numbers.  The students will need to be able to recognize, write, count, and create sets for numbers up to 20.  Please make sure to practice these skills with your child at home.  We have been learning how teen numbers are made up of 10s and 1s (for example, the number 15 has one set of ten and 5 ones).  We will end the quarter by introducing the concepts of addition and subtraction. Students will use actions, objects, fingers and mental images to model and solve real world addition and subtraction story situations.

Social Studies and Science: 
        In Social Studies, we will be learning about wants and needs.  In Science, we will begin our Weather unit.  They will be experiencing many hands on learning opportunities with this unit.

Winter clothing: 
      Please make sure your child is wearing appropriate winter clothing to school.  We go out for recess, even when it is very cold!  It would be very helpful if you could practice dressing skills at home, including putting on coats, zipping coats, and putting on gloves or mittens.

Shoe Club: 
         Does your child want to become a member of the “Shoe Tying Club?”  If so, start practicing shoe tying at home!  There will be more information coming home soon!  

What can you do at home?
·         Practice segmenting words.  Give your child a word, such as “dog.”  Have them tell you each individual sound: /d/ /o/ /g/.
·         Practice word rings.  If your child can easily read the words then it is time to have them use the word in a sentence. Or they could alphabetize the words on the ring.  They should also learn to spell these words.
·         Ask your child to identify the numbers 11-20 and also practice writing them.  Make it fun by having them make the numbers with chalk, finger paint, playdough, or write them in shaving cream!
·         Have your child keep a journal at home and encourage them to write in it at least once a week.  They could write about something they learned at school or their favorite activity of the week.  Make sure you are encouraging them to be independent in their writing!
·         Practice self-help skills, including: putting on coats, zipping coats, putting on mittens or gloves, and tying their own shoes.
·         Give your child a word and see if they can come up with the opposite word.
·         Practice social skills, particularly conversational skills, such as taking turns when talking. 

Important Dates:
January 7- Happy Birthday Emma!
Janusry 15- Happy Birthday Johanna!
January 21 – no school MLK day
January 28 – no school (Teacher Work Day)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

December Newsletter

We have a lot planned for December.  We have sent home a Family Traditions letter for each family to complete to explain how their family celebrates the Holidays in December.  We also have a lot of activities planned for the last week before the winter break.  We will need some special supplies from each child for some of these activities.  A letter will come home soon with this information.

Language Arts:  We learned about characters and setting in our reading groups and now we are going to focus on the beginning, middle and end of our stories.  The sequence of a story is important.  We will carry this over to our writing as we write about events in our lives. We will be practicing writing our last name. The goal is to write their first and last name without looking at a model.  We have quite a few children with long last names.  Practicing at home would be helpful. We also learned about compound words, syllables and how to blend sounds to read words.  Thanks for working with your child on this.

Math:  We are finishing our shape and measurement unit. Our next unit is counting, recognizing and representing quantities to 20. They will need to be able to read and write the numbers 0-20.  Number writing is hard.  Reversing numbers is quite common so practice will help.


Social Studies:  We have finished learning about Life in Early America and the First Thanksgiving.  We compared our lives to the Pilgrims when they first arrived in America.  We will begin talking about our families and our special family traditions.  This will relate to the Family Traditions homework assignment.

Warm Weather Clothing:  We will be going out for recess in very cold weather; therefore your child will need a coat to keep warm.   Please have your child practice putting on and zipping their coats independently.  With the cold weather come chapped lips.  Your child may keep Chap Stick in the classroom to use as needed. Please remind your child this is not for sharing with a friend.

What can you do at home?
·         Practice word rings.  If your child can easily read the words then it is time to have them use the word in a sentence. Or they could alphabetize the words on the ring.  They should also learn to spell these words.
·         Ask your child to identify the numbers 11-20 and also practice writing them.
·         Let your child help you with the grocery list.  They can write what is needed.  Encourage sounding out the words.

Important Dates
December 13- Happy Birthday Brody & Carter!
December 14– 2 hour early dismissal day
December 18- Art Show
December 22 – January 1 – Winter Break
December 27- Happy Birthday Kaci!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November News

What a busy time of the year in Kindergarten! We had a great time at our Fall Festival celebrations.  Thank you to our fabulous room parents for putting together such a fun event!

Language Arts 
We are continuing to focus on concepts of print, including tracking words as we read. We have been distinguishing between words that rhyme and words that do not rhyme, as well as generating rhyming words. We have also been focusing on beginning sounds, including isolating the sound that is at the beginning of words (pumpkin= the “P” sound). We have been discussing story elements such as characters and we will begin identifying the setting. We have been practicing retelling stories.  We particularly enjoyed retelling Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? with our retell bracelets and putting on a play with our characters masks from The Little Red Hen (see pictures below).  In phonics, we have been learning about compound words, simple consonant-vowel-consonant words (hat, log, hot) and continuing to focus on new letters.  

We are finishing up learning about the concept of more/less, as well as adding to show one more. We will begin to focus on measuring, and use vocabulary such as bigger, smaller, taller, shorter, etc. One thing that we will be working on this quarter is reading and writing numbers to 20. Help your child by practicing these numbers at home, and encourage them to write all of the numerals correctly (no reversals or backwards numbers).  They will need to be able to count, recognize, write and add one more to the numbers 0 to 20.

In science we have been exploring motion and the forces push and pull. We built ramps and tested them to see how far we could make a ball roll.  We also made swings and counted how many times we could make it swing back and forth (see pictures below).  We also enjoyed learning about Fall, including investigating leaves (see pictures below), using our 5 senses to explore a pumpkin, and learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin.

Other Kindergarten News 
      We have had so much fun getting to know our 3rd grade buddies! We met our 3rd grade buddy class and shared about ourselves with our buddies. It is very sweet to see the older students interacting with our Kindergarten friends.

We have a computer lab schedule in place.  We are going to the computer lab on Friday for 40 minutes.  We have been practicing logging on to the computer and basic computer skills.  We have been exploring a program called "Pixie."

·      You should have received your address club information. Please practice at home so we can get 100% in the club J

What can I do with my child at home?
·        Practice writing uppercase and lowercase letters
·        Practice writing numbers to 20 with no reversals or backwards numbers
·        Play Eye Spy with rhymes or beginning sounds “Eye Spy a word that rhymes with…” or “Eye Spy a word that begins with the sound…”
·        Ask questions that encourage mathematical thinking, such as “Which one has more? How do you know?”
·        Read a book together and ask questions about the characters, where did the story take place, what happened in the story, what was your favorite part, etc. Have your child predict what will happen next.
·        Practice self-help skills, such as zipping coats and putting on gloves.

Important Dates:
November 5– no school teacher work day
November 6 – no school election day
November 7, 8 - open 4 hours late (evening parent-teacher conferences)
November 9 – dismiss 3.5 hours early (afternoon parent-teacher conferences)
November 12-16 American Education week
November 14- Happy Birthday Aiden!
November 15- report cards issued
November 21- 2 hour early dismissal
November 22, 23– Thanksgiving break
November 28 – Picture Make up day

Class donations:
·     Feathers