Sunday, October 30, 2016

More fall fun!

Hey kinder families!  Happy (almost) Halloween!  Who's been enjoying some fall-themed fun this weekend?  I don't have children of my own or trick-or-treaters where I live, therefore I had absolutely no reason to buy the "fun size" candy during my recent trip to Wal-Mart.  But I did.  And I don't know what it is about that cute little packaging, but it seriously makes me feel not so guilty about eating 10 1 pieces here and there.  If your sweet kinder is not feeling so generous with their collection from trick-or-treating, don't worry.  There's always the post-Halloween sale!  That being said, we certainly understand that we may be seeing a few pieces of candy here and there in lunch boxes after the holiday this week.  We ask that you please keep in mind that these hard working kinders have a very full day of learning ahead each day, and sometimes too many treats can make that just a teensy bit tricky (no pun intended).  All in moderation, right!?  :)

We've been a little quiet on the Kinder Crew blog recently as we've been busy preparing for family conferences that are coming up next week.  So here I am with a two week recap and some fun photos for you to enjoy!

Number 3 - During our "3 Week" we learned all about the number 3 and incorporated many different stories featuring that magical number.  Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, The 3 Billy Goats Gruff, Three Little Kittens, and The 3 Little Pigs . . . the classics.  These stories offered many opportunities for us to retell familiar stories, compare different versions, and do some fun projects.
Have you ever tried to make a 3 with your body?  We love kinesthetic learning!

There's a little song that helps us write a 3. It goes to the tune of "Skip to My Lou" . . . Curl it around and around again, curl it around and around again, curl it around and around again, that makes number 3!  Here we are skywriting the number with our fingers.

We also incorporated science and engineering by challenging students to try to build their own house for the 3 little pigs.  They needed to build a use using straws, unifix cubes, popsicle sticks, and playdough that would not be blown down by the Big Bad Wolf!

Community Helpers - Our study of community helpers continues as we read books about different helpers in our community and think about tools they use to help them do their jobs.  Our community helpers notebook helps us to record our thinking and compare different jobs.  It's fun to think about jobs that we might try when we grow up!

Number 4 - Squares, rectangles, 4 seasons, and more!  Number 4 stands out in so many ways.  Here we are trying to make 4's with our bodies.  I dare you not to smile or laugh while you look at the faces these kinders are making during this activity.  

Teamwork - I love watching these students continue to grow as a team that takes care of eachother and works together in a variety of ways.  It is for this reason that we have many opportunities for play in and out of the classroom.  After students finish morning work, they still get to choose from play activities for a bit of time before the day starts.  Here are a couple of teamwork snapshots from this week.

Reading Centers - Reader's workshop centers are scaffolded so that kinders can practice important early literacy skills that highlight the letters we are studying each week and our passwords.  We are becoming very efficient with our time so that lots of learning is able to happen in this area of focus.  Letters and sounds we have learned so far include: a, b, c, d, f, g, i, m, n, o, s, t, and u.  Ask your child what sounds these letters make!    

Ask your child how to play BOOM!

We practice clipping passwords.

We do fun crafts for each letter.

Math Centers - Like reading centers, math centers allow students to make choices and practice a variety of skills.  These past couple of weeks we continue to focus on shapes during math.  Many students are still working on consistently naming shapes, identifying how many sides they have, identifying how many vertices they have, and using math vocabulary such as equal sides and vertices.    

Roll and color games help students to subitize quantities.  That means they can quickly see a quantity and identify how many without counting.  Soon we will do roll and color games with two dice to practice composing numbers.

One to one correspondence is another skill we continue to practice.  This Pete the Cat buttons game requires students to accurately count buttons on a ten frame and compare quantities.

The Stubborn Pumpkin - Some adventurous teachers including kindergarten's very own Miss Barrett and Mrs. Ricciardi helped to put on a fun fall assembly on Thursday.  They acted out the story The Stubborn Pumpkin as each grade level chanted an important part from the text when it was their turn.  Who doesn't love to see their teachers dressed up in fun costumes acting out a cool play?

The Week Ahead - Here are some things we'll be focusing on in the week ahead:
  • the number 5
  • letters e and r
  • passwords here and are
  • writing books about real things we've experienced in our lives
  • continuing to use ABC charts to help us write letter sounds we hear in writing
  • more community helpers
  • identifying characters and settings in books we read
  • reviewing shapes
Please be on the lookout for a conference time reminder in red folders this week!  I'm looking forward to meeting with each of you next week.  :) 

Happy Sunday and GO PATS!