Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Things

Is it spring yet!?  Kinders have been engaged in some fun, new learning experiences as we await the warmer weather and the chance to enjoy learning and playing outdoors more.  It astounds me that we have been in school for about 132 days are closer to the end than we think.  Team 111 continues to make amazing strides - in friendships, caring for each other, trying new things, making connections to old learning, and gaining confidence.  We are amazed everyday!  Read on to learn about our last few weeks.  

Leprechaun Traps - Any opportunity for engineering, problem-solving, and creating is one we can't pass up.  Team 112 (Mrs. Leite's class next door) joined us to read books about how to trap leprechauns and we create teams of 3-4 students to work together.  This was a multi-day endeavor as students designed, planned, and built from scratch their own traps.  We set them out on the weekend of St. Patrick's Day, but that tricky leprechaun evaded us again!  


Composing, Decomposing, and Addition - Kinders are becoming experts at composing (putting together) and decomposing (breaking apart) numbers. For example, this means they are learning there are lots of ways to make 5: 0 and 5, 1 and 4, 2 and 3, etc.  As they build fluency with this skill, it lends itself well to beginning addition.  Kinders can use these combinations of numbers to create number sentences (2+3=5) about numbers.  We have a variety of games and math writing activities that our team loves using during math centers/choices.  Students also meet with the teacher in small groups during this time to receive more individualized instruction and work closely on newly introduced games and concepts.  This upcoming week, we will be explicitly introducing subtraction, though many students have already experimented with this skill and bring some knowledge about it to their ongoing learning.

Mrs. Kurtz joins us to "plant a rainbow" - We loved connecting literature with math and science as we planted combinations of different colored "flowers" in our ten frame gardens.  This also reinforced our learning about composing/decomposing numbers.  Lois Ehlert's book, Planting a Rainbow, was the inspiration for this activity.  Kinders loved using droppers to decorate their own flowers with colors, mixing to create new ones.  


Kindergarten Show - This year's show was a tremendous success thanks to many students, teachers, assistants, and families!  Thank you for joining us for a night of singing and dancing.  I didn't get to catch many photos as rehearsals were busy, but here are the few that I had of us backstage.  The jitters didn't stop any of us from giving a wonderful performance.  We're so proud of these kiddos!

Hootie the Owl - Have you  heard about Hootie the Owl?  He is one of Mrs. Young's "helpers" who helps us remember that readers ask questions when they read.  He's been visiting us the past couple of Friday's to guide us through "wonderings" we might have as we read books.  Readers are always asking questions as they read to learn more about and better understand the text.  

How-To Writing - Team 111 is full of experts on a wide variety of topics!  We've got experts in riding bikes, playing soccer, swimming, walking in the hallway, and more.  Kinders are using their expertise to write books about how to do things, step by step.  We continue to use previously learned skills such as sounding out words, adding details to pictures, and fixing up writing to make our writing the best it can be. 

Team 111 Lost and Found - We seem to have accumulated enough items for our own lost and found in our classroom, so I've pictured some here.  If any of these look familiar, please let me know so I can return them to their owners.  I've investigated several times with our class and we just "have no idea" who these belong to.  Since they made it into our classroom I'm assuming they must belong to some members of our team.  :)

Ask your kinder -
  • How did you build your leprechaun trap?  Who did you work with?  What was hard about building it?
  • Teach me how to play the math games in these pictures.  Which one is your favorite?  Why?  What are you learning about when you play these games?
  • How does Hootie the Owl help you read?  What are some questions readers ask while they read?
  • What are your how-to books about?  What are some things from the chart you are working on doing in your writing?
  • What was your favorite part of the kindergarten show?
  • How can you take good care of your belongings at school so you don't lose them?
Reminders - 
  • Plastic silverware - our classroom has nearly run out of plastic silverware to have on hand for snacks and we are unable to "borrow" from the cafeteria as they are running low as well.  My best suggestion for this is to purchase an inexpensive reusable kid set (I've seen many in our class already) and write your child's name or initials on each piece.  Another option may be to send in a box of plastic spoons or forks for our snack drawer in our classroom, though I am working on helping students to create less waste and recycle more.  :)  Please let me know if you have any questions.
  • April 13 - Progress Reports go home
  • Spring Vacation - April 23-27 - No School
  • Incoming Kindergarten Screening Days - May 31 and June 1 - No school for current kinders