Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kindergarten Ketchup (Catch up;)

Just in case your Little One says nothing about what they did all day at Kindergarten....

Kindergartners applied their Math abilities both inside and outside of the building.  We cooperated and created several domino trains using larger numbers, played rousing games of 21, reconfigured tan gram pieces and repurposed our hopscotch numbers by sequencing them in descending order.

During Language Arts, Ks practiced their creative writing skills and penned their own "Pretend" stories after hearing Pretend by Jennifer Plecas.  We attempted to include both a far-fetched plot and a problem.  We also practiced sounding out letters. We have been honing our "active" listening skills after hearing Listen Buddy by Helen Lester and Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema.  We are finding out that it pays to listen and that important information might be missed that could lead to a misunderstanding when we don't.  Coincidentally, A portion of our Professional Development this week led staff through exercises to assist us with becoming better listeners.

Some children discovered that letters of the alphabet can surface in the most unusual places.  This "x" was noticed on the tip of our climbing structure log.

Our playground is a source of adventure, problem solving, cooperation, community building and discovery.  We took full advantage of the beautiful weather, access to the water hose and natural hiding places for some of our outdoor play.   Children unstuck a wedged marble from a jar using pliers,  found and observed the remains of some other animal's meal and practiced "seeing" from different perspectives.

Our class also practiced other community building skills like "quiet voices" and "walking feet" while in the hallway after returning from Music class with Teacher Josh.  Ks are listening to and composing their own songs and learning to play multiple instruments during Music times.  

"Story times with Madame" each Tuesday morning offer yet another opportunity to hear great literature.  Books sound even better when read by Madame's melodious voice and charming British accent! Ks have been hearing exciting Greek myths and learning word origins during Latin class with Madame as well.

Project-based learning and shared experiences are key components of the SK experience.  Partnerships  across grade levels offer a unique opportunity for our children to learn directly from others.  Kindergartners are presently participating with Sam's 5th/6th Graders to assist them with their ethnography project. Sam's class observes our class' activities and interactions then records their findings. Other K partnerships include having fun hanging out with our "E Buddies" (Elaine's 1st/2nd graders) each Friday afternoon. 

We caught a glimpse of our other K Buddies in Mrs. Carpenter's class returning from an Umbrella Rain Walk.  The lower school also participates all together in a major service project right before Winter Break in December!

A great followup to our underwater sea creature studies-awesome aquatic-inspired graphic tee shirts!

The Kindergarten classroom has had several new additions lately!  A vibrant blue Betta and a mystery pet in a large aquarium tank now resides here.  We initially (and after much deliberation) decided that our reptile was a "skink" or "lizard."  Isha's family is pretty sure it is an African fat-tailed gecko, however.  Next week we will reveal its identity and decide on a name for each new classroom pet.

Sensory activities included taking advantage of a a torrential rainfall by digging trenches and building bridges.   We have also been enjoying our every changing new sensory table inside of  the classroom.

Glorious Mud!

One of my fondest Kindergarten memories-dramatic play and dress up.  Children are able to fantasize, explore feelings, problem solve and make sense of their world in age appropriate ways during this precious and heartwarming activity!

Shared Family Traditions is an essential part of the learning experience in Kindergarten.  Children hopefully learn to acknowledge, respect, appreciate, and celebrate each others differences and similarities!  Jacob and his Mom read a sweet story, discussed ways to improve oneself and demonstrated their observance of the Jewish Holiday, Rosh Hashanah.  Additionally, Mom read a thought provoking book titled, What do you do with a problem?  and shared a traditional sweet snack of honey and apples to commemorate this beautiful and reflective holiday.

Another classroom tradition is welcoming all of our extended families that stop by our school during their visits into town during the school year.  Our Kindergarten learning experience is greatly enriched by the expertise and passions so generously shared by our family, friends, and community.

We also wish to warmly welcome two new students (and their families) who are joining our SK Kindergarten family!!

Lastly, I am shamelessly mentioning my own family member, my baby daughter, who at present graces some of the banners waving on U of M's campus!  This proud mama has been playing Where's Waldo with her image this week and spotted two so far!!! 

Have a weekend full of Peace!