Friday, September 29, 2017

October Dates at a Glance!

This Month's Theme:  Identity

Wednesday, October 4th   SK K-4th Curriculum Night,  6:30-8:30 P.M.
Thursday, October 5th      Three Cedars Pumpkin Orchard Trip, 1:00 P.M. 
Friday, October  6th          No School, Professional Development
Mondays 10/9, 10/16             Exploratory Blocks begin (EB electives), 12:30-1:20 pm
Thursdays 10/12, 10/19, 10/26    Exploratory Blocks (EBs), 10:10-11:00 A.M. 
October 16th-20th            K Parent/Teacher Conferences scheduled
Tuesday, October 17th       Normal Park Community Garden & Food Gatherers, 9 A.M.
Friday, October 20th         Howell Nature Center trip, K-2nd, 8:45-3:30 P.M. 
Monday, October 23rd      No School!  P/T notewriting  day
Monday, October 31st       Homemade Halloween Parade and activities 8:45-11:30

Trip to the Apple/Pumpkin Orchard TBA

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Falling into Autumn!

This week in Math class, Kindergartners continued our study of simple and complex patterns and began a study of geometric shapes. We created patterns using found objects from nature last week then duplicated and labeled i.e. ABAB or AAB AABC photographic images of these patterns using classroom items and manipulatives this week.

We found out that shapes can be used as story props as evidenced in two stories we read, Grand Father Tang and The Greedy Triangle.  We noticed that both tales (and many other books and movies we see and watch, like Moana) have "shape shifter" characters that are either inanimate or living things.  We also pondered what it meant to be "dissatisfied" and yearn to be someone or something else only to find out that we are awesome just the way we are-a fitting lesson for our theme unit of Identity.

Some of our weekly "green island talks" (that means we sit on the green rug outside of our classroom to avoid distractions:) consist of discussions about various topics like "respecting personal space" "taking turns while talking", group clean up expectations and listening to our new entries of Flat Stanleys.

During Language Arts, Ks talked about the ever-rule-breaking sound of the letter "I". We brainstormed various words that begin with "i" like idol, idea, ice, i phone , identity and our favorite "ice cream" and similar sounds like aye-aye, eyeball, and short "i" sounds. On another day, Ks created their own "tangram" puzzle character to add to our class story-in-the-round and will be performing our collective tale together after we develop our characters and story plot.

Our class was treated by our first guest reader of the year, by one of our own Special Ks!  She selected her own book, graciously stopped at intervals to show the pictures to her friends and demonstrated her fantastic reading skills.  (It is worth noting that not every child will be a proficient reader while in Kindergarten.  Unlocked skill, confidence and general "readiness" varies greatly at this age.  It is critical to keep expectations realistic, expose children to lots of great books and stories, read to them regularly to acquire vocabulary, cadence, pronunciation, etc. and enjoy each part of their individual journey with their reading development.)

Speaking of reading and listening to stories, Kindergartners had their first Library Story Time with Rachel in the library and were able to hear a story, tour the school's ever growing collection and select their own book to take home.  Books with a single letter and red sticker are checked out on the honor system and are just "take with" and returned when the child is done.  Other books are checked out through SKs library system and should be returned to within two weeks.

Ks are also treated to the melodious voice of Madame Imogen for Weekly Story Times and is also our amazing Latin (K-8 and French (1st-8th) teacher!

Other visitors these past weeks included our wonderful Great Grands and Grandparent, Parents, Sibs and Weekly Sharing items!

Happy Birthday!!!!!

 "Sharing Day" takes place every Friday afternoon. Ks take turns in the role of "facilitator" for this all kid-led activity.  The children opt to share items or their words and practice taking turns, speaking in front of a group, name recognition, patience,  active listening skills and of course, sharing!  Kindergartners  also have an opportunity to learn a lot of information about each other's likes, extra curricular activities and passions from this anticipated event.

We celebrated our last days of Summer by first proposing a SK "chalk talk question" located on the board at the entrance of our school. It read, "Now that the beginning of school 'honeymoon' is over...if you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would you be? Just so that you know, four of us Kindergartners  (including me) are at Disney World in our minds right now. 

What a difference a day makes!  We ended our last day of Summer with a squirt bottle refresher at the close of the day. We celebrated our first day of Autumn with even more gorgeous hot weather, a sprinkler party and water table, water bucket hauling and water balloons.

Have a great weekend and Happy and Blessed Rosh Hashanah!

Friday, September 15, 2017

What's in a name?

Beginning on Paper

on paper
I write it
on rain

I write it
on stones
on my boots

on trees
I write it
on the air

on the city
how pretty
I write my name  -Ruth Krauss

As Kindergartners delve into our first theme unit of the year, Identity, what better way to tell more of who we are than by our own names.  Ks represented themselves using various medium and will be exploring even more creative ways to communicate used throughout history!
Just like other inventions evolve with time, "writing" changes as the school year progresses.  Mostly pictorials, scratches and marks, and symbols are demonstrated by early writers and morph into letter formations that combine to create word sounds.  
Each stage is precious and nurtured in Kindergarten in order to emphasize the most important goal of writing at this stage- scribing one's thoughts, opinions, ideas and passions.  

Writing is very different than the mechanics of "handwriting" and just forming letters and words. 

It is more important, at this stage, to "tell one's story" than to get bogged down with the chore of writing it just so.


Below are a few other early writing samples of some favorite words to write- "Mom" and "Dad." Identifying the members of our family through diagrams was our goal!