Wednesday, January 17, 2018

All "Wintry Mixed" Up!

Consistency is the name of the game these days with all the snow days, holidays off, and still adjusting to our normal routines after the holiday break last month.  So far, we have had one full week back at school, but even that was a little wacky as I was out one of those days.  And here we are again with a snow day . . . That being said, we are making the most of the time we DO have at school, and what that means is that our days have been pretty packed.  Unfortunately, I have less pictures to post this time around, but I'd love to fill you in on what kinders have been learning!

Reading - Our Team finished being introduced to all letters and letter sounds, but we continue to review them and learn new passwords each week.  Kinders also have been introduced to the strategy of tapping CVC words to read and write them.  Here's what we are starting to learn about this concept:

  • CVC words are words that have a consonant-vowel-consonant spelling (ex: rug, lip, cap, net, dog)
  • when you tap a word, you tap each sound from beginning to end
  • we tap words on our fingers starting with the pointer finger and moving toward the pinky for each sound
  • after tapping sounds, we blend them together (ex: r-u-g, rrrruuuuugggg, rug) to say the word
  • we can tap words we read, or words we want to write
Writing - We solidified our recent learning about drawing 5 star illustrations and are working to keep that in mind as we move onto writing 5 star words/sentences.  

5 star illustrations have:
  • who is in the narrative
  • where the narrative takes place
  • what happened in the narrative
  • details added to the picture
  • careful coloring
5 star words/sentences have:
  • uppercase/lowercase letters where we need them
  • stretched or tapped out words/sounds
  • finger spaces between words
We have yet to add the last two criteria for 5 star words.  More to come!

Math - Pictures for this update! Kinders are learning lots about solid shapes.  We will continue to review flat shapes (circle, triangle, rectangle, square, hexagon need to be mastered) as we move forward in learning about the attributes of solid shapes.  We learned that the biggest difference between flat and solid shapes is that solids stick up when we put them on a table but flat shapes do not!  The solids kinders are learning about are: sphere, cylinder, cube, and cone.  

Yoga and Mindfulness - You may have heard your kinder use the word "mindful" at home, at least that is my hope!  We have been using the word mindful to describe things to be aware of and keep in mind as we learn at school.  Being mindful of our bodies in space and relation to others has been an important focus.  We have been using "body scans" to think about and relax each part of our body as we get ready to do a whole group activity, enter the classroom, etc.  Body scans from head to toe have been a great way for us to get our body and brain ready for learning.  Here are a few pictures of some brave kinder yogis in warrior 2 pose and also testing out their balance in warrior 3 pose.  Brief yoga breaks help us refocus, be calm, and keep us in the green zone.  

Ask your kinder - 
  • Choose a CVC word and ask them to tap it out.
  • What are some of the things you need to do to have 5 star writing?
  • Name the flat shapes you know.
  • Name the solid shapes you know.
  • Find solid shapes in your home.
  • What do you need to be mindful of when playing in the snow?
Reminders - 

  • January 25th - Ignite the Night - Build a City for 2050
  • February 8th - Invention Convention
  • February 9th - Report cards going home
  • February 19th - Teacher Workshop - Early Release
  • February 26th - March 2nd - Winter Break
  • May 31 - No School - Kindergarten Screening
  • June 1 - No School - Kindergarten Screening

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year! (And a Gingerbread Recap)

Welcome back and Happy New Year, Team 111 Families and Friends!  I hope you all had a restful and fun holiday break.  Many thanks again for all your help and contributions for a successful  Surprise Gingerbread Celebration (if you have fun pictures or videos you'd like me to post, feel free to send them along).  It was so exciting to see the wonder on kinder's faces as we adventured through the school and the ultimate surprise to celebrate with all of you back in the classroom.  We couldn't have done it without you!  I've finally uploaded pictures of the last few gingerbread activities we did that last week before vacation.  

Gingerbread Bridges - Mrs. Kurtz joined us to help us engineer bridges for the Gingerbread Man to cross the river without getting eaten by the fox!  We looked at some of the shapes used to build different real bridges and then got to work.  After building with a partner, we put our bridges to the test!  One bridge even held close to 20 gingerbread men!

Gingerbread Baby Graphing - After reading Jan Brett's book, Gingerbread Baby, our team decorated a house for the gingerbread baby and graphed how many of each candy was used to decorate their houses.  This made for some sweet math learning as we practiced patterns, counting, and graphing.   Many thanks to Blake's Yaya for joining us!

Gingerbread Cookie Science - Kinder scientists set off to experiment what would happen when we put a gingerbread cookie in a bowl of water.  We first hypothesized what the possible outcomes might be (see detailed - ha! - drawings done by me below).  We then tested this out by putting a cookie in water and making observations.  We also recorded our findings.  At first, the cookies floated to the top, but eventually they became soggy with water and either sunk or broke apart.  We enjoyed a non-soggy cookie of our own at the end, of course.  

Gingerbread Celebration -  This one's pretty self explanatory!  What a blast our celebration was - we hope you enjoy the photos of our fun!

  • No School - January 15th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February Vacation - February 26-March 2 - No School