The kids are off to a GREat start in Kindergarten! We marked Friday as our 13th day of school, and the kids are really getting into the swing of things. Please view the Blog portion of the Weebly site with your child and ask them to tell you about the photos posted here.
We LOVE Books!
The children begin each and every day with books! We love to read with our friends. Here you can see some pictures of us reading together!
Building with 15 Cubes
The children spent one day creating anything they wanted with cubes and then the next day they counted out 15 cubes. They then built something out of the 15 cubes. The children added captions to their photos of their creation. We practiced saying the words slowly, listening for sounds, and recording the sounds with letters. Our work is now hanging in our rooms!
Writing Just Like a Kindergartner
We read Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells and talked about how Max tried his best to write a message to the grocer to get some yummy candy, Red Hot Marshmallow Squirters! In Max's own way, he was able to communicate to the grocer what he wanted. He did the best he could for a very little bunny. We talked about writing in kindergarten. We discussed that we won't write like the teacher or our parents or older brothers and sisters just yet. We will write like kindergartners! We talked about saying words slowly and listening for the sounds of letters.
Below you can see pictures of how we worked together to write Red Hot Marshmallow Squirters - just like kindergartners!
Last week a Dublin Bus Driver helped us learn how to be safe in and around a school bus. Ask your child about how they should sit on the bus (back to the back of the seat and bottom on the bottom of the seat.) Have them tell you about the safety zone all around a school bus (must stay 10 big steps away from all sides of the bus). Ask them to tell you about the hand signals the bus driver uses to signal kids to stop and to go (hand held up means to stop and a lowered hand means they can go).
We played a matching game that helped us think about how many dots were on a 5 Frame and then match it to the correct numeral. Here are some pictures of us playing the game with friends in our classroom.
Your child has jumped right into creating their own books during writing workshop. We have been reading books by Eric Carle and discovering a lot about his illustrations and writing. We have noticed how Eric Carle uses multiple colors as he creates the grass, sky, animals... everything! We also noticed how he sometimes zooms-in to the picture. He did this in The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the page of the egg on a leaf and in Pancakes! Pancakes! on the last page when the boy is eating the pancake. We are thinking about why Eric Carle might do these things. The children are trying out some of these techniques in their own illustrations. You will hear us talk about Mentors all year long as we grow as writers and illustrators!
The kids had a lot of fun being problem solvers as they worked in teams to build bridges out of paper and cups. As members of a team, the children are learning how to collaborate, sharing the work and encouraging friends to join in and help. They are getting opportunities to share their thinking, while also listening to their classmates. They are experiencing failure and learning to keep trying. Collaborating, Sharing Ideas with Confidence and Persevering are 3 of the 6 Habits of Thinkers which we will focus on throughout the year. Creating a bridge allowed the children to explore engineering, estimating, and scientific concepts like strength, flexibility, and other properties of materials.
A note about letter formation... OK, maybe it's a novel.
The children work on quick and efficient letter formation of lower case letters everyday in kindergarten. Please reinforce what you see us working on at home (check your child's sign-in sheets to see our focus.)
Important concepts to remember:
*almost all letters begin at the top
*Magic 'c' helps to form the lower case letters of a, d, g, and q
*most letters are formed without picking up your pencil (one fluid movement is our
*we pair spoken words with our formation example for lower case 'a'- "magic 'c',
Why do we focus on all of this? This type of formation (De'Nelian) is quicker, more efficient, and more legible. We want the formation to be done with little thought so that the writer can focus on the most important thing-- their message. This is ongoing work! Sometimes even beautiful handwriting is not efficient. Watch your child to see how they are forming the letters when they write at home. If they are inefficient, hop over to a blank piece of paper to practice and then go back to their written piece.
We do a lot of letter formation practice during interactive writing. This is when we compose a message together on the large chart paper. All of the students are working on white boards. We are brave as we try to record the sounds we hear in the word we next want to add to the chart. After we work on recording the sounds, we often do some quick formation work. Our letter formation practice is imbedded in real writing. This is what you can do at home! When your child is adding a sign to a Lego or block creation, or making a grocery list, or writing a card, this is a good time to show them correct letter formation. Pick one or two things to work on. Remember the message is the most important thing. Happy writing!