Saturday, September 7, 2013

Our First Week of SK Kindergarten 2013-14

Our first week of Kindergarten was packed full of activity! I hope your little one is sharing some of the highlights of their days, but just in case they are not, here are a few conversation starters for you!   I always like to start the school year with a delightful book titled First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg.   Kindergartners are always surprised at the end of the story to find that someone else is just as nervous as they are!   We also talked about what "jitters" meant and about some of our wide range of feelings about beginning Kindergarten for the first time.   By the way, the children made an amazing transition this week!    Just so you know, however, and in my experience, the second and third week may appear to be a more difficult transition with signs of not wanting to come to school, complaints of tummy aches, and teariness.  This "Honeymoon's over" phase passes with time.   Also, increased appetites and a need for an earlier bedtime are also signs of adjustment.  Some suggestions include keeping home routines consistent, brief drop offs, and lots of reassurance that they will be O.K.  Kindergartners play/work hard at being Kindergartners!

One of our first Math activities involved 10 Black Dots by Donald Crews.  This Art/Math activity (the kids were excited about it being called Art/Math by the way)  included visual discrimination, counting, number recognition, and creativity as we transformed our own ten dots into something new.  

Some of the comments regarding our transformed dot pictures included:

"Doggie balls." -Maya

"That's a monster that eats everyone in one day" -Madeleine

"Color steps."-Aditi

"These are wheels for cars that are way longer than trucks." -Sean

"I don't know what this is supposed to be!" -Max

We continued our dot Art Exploration while observing artwork by Japanese illustrator of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Yayoi Kusama, 2012 (seen left) and Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko.   We will also be studying the "pointillism" technique  of French Post Impressionist Artist, George Seurat.

One Kindergartner, Lily, was particularly interested in what Rothko looked like so we perused the internet to find his image.  We also found one of his self portraits.  We noticed that his eyes in the portrait  looked a lot like-what else? Dots!   Later, Kindergartners  created their own colorful and vibrant masterpieces! 

Another Math activity this week was also "dotted" with dots!  This time, Kindergartners worked in pairs and small  groups to match sums of domino pieces.   Lastly, we attempted (with many trys and compromise) to make a  continuous matching strand with our total amount of dominoes.  Below is our "horseshoe" of success!

Free Choice selections included snuggling with blankets in the little pool, arranging legos and cars in the building area, and playing board games.  Lots of cooperation, strategizing, and even Math adding skills went into rousing games of "Shut the Box"!   The children cheered for each other and shared their number rolling victories!   We also discovered that  arrangements of dots on a game die look a lot like the numbers on a  domino piece.  Drawing, listening to Magic Tree House audios, and a Friday Dance Party also culminated our week.

Bubble play at the playground!

One of our Science activities this week involved "Shan Science."  After reading a non- fiction story, Teacher Shan walked Kindergartners through a lesson of molding individual  clay covered structures, adding ingredients, and observing as their "volcanoes" erupted right before their eyes.   Afterward, Ks jotted their observations in
Science Journals

Global Experiences included several children sharing their "How to Be An Explorer of the World" finds (more details about that in an upcoming blog entry.)  Another experience included Zoey sharing her family's Rosh Hashanah celebration with us.  Zoey spoke a bit about this Jewish New Year celebration that includes a family gathering, wishes for a meaningful year to come, and features a special treat of apples drizzled in honey.   We also listened to an excerpt from a book titled Faith that showed how many cultures around the world share commonalities while observing their faiths.  Kindergartners helped Zoey celebrate further with our own honey drizzled apples at snack time!

A special thank you to Maya's family for being our Snack Providers this week!  If you have not been able to sign up yet, no worries, there is plenty of slots still available.  

Nico waved the "1st Day of School" banner to ring in the New School Year!  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for a wonderful first week, Val! Marcel came home each day full of stories and excitement. He couldn't wait to go back each morning and was very disappointed on Saturday (which has never happened before)! Thank you for all the rich and unique experiences you are providing for our children.