Monday, December 18, 2017

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Brrr!  It seems the winter weather has settled in here at BES and we are settling into some fun gingerbread activities throughout this month.  We also have loved getting outside to play in the snow when the temperature allows.  (Thank you for your diligence in sending in snow gear!  If you ever find your child is missing a glove or hat, please feel free to let me know so we can be on the lookout.)  

Check out some of our fun December happenings below!

Shape Pizzas - We have learned five 2 dimensional shapes!
  • triangle
  • rectangle
  • square
  • hexagon
  • circle
So far, the circle seems to be a class favorite as it has no sides or vertices and keeps going around and around.  In addition to practicing the names and attributes of shapes, kinders have done some fun shape crafts such as shape pizzas or shape gingerbread people.  

Guest Gingerbread Readers - Many thanks to our guest gingerbread book readers over the past two weeks, Meaghan Smith and Jess Croft!  We just love having families come in to share the love of reading and learning with us!  Last week we made some fun "ninjabread" men with sandpaper and lots of craft materials.  They will make some great ornaments for a holiday tree.

Cooking Up Gingerbread Passwords - Gingerbread men password memory was a hit during reading groups this week.  We got the chance to practice passwords and try our hand at flipping some cookies on a cookie sheet.  Yum!

Positional Words - In addition to our learning of shapes, kinders are learning about positional words in math.  We played a fun partner game to practice the words:
  • over
  • under
  • next to
  • beside
  • on
  • above
  • below
  • in front of
  • behind
Partners took turns follow teacher directions for where to be in relation to their partner.  

Five Star Illustrations and Writing - Kinders have been learning about how to make the illustrations and words in their writing up to the "5 star" standard!  This helps us to be the best writers we can be!  So far we have learned that 5 star illustrations have:
  • who 
  • where
  • what
  • add details
  • careful coloring
We have also learned that 5 star word writing includes:
  • practicing where to use uppercase and lowercase letters
We will continue to add to our list of 5 star word descriptors in the weeks to come.  Our narratives are becoming much more thought out with the addition of these new checklists!

Lost and Found - We have a few items in our classroom that I know ended up here because someone on team 111 brought them in, but students have yet to claim these items.  If any of them look familiar, let me know and I'll send them home!

Ask your kinder:
  • Which gingerbread story have you liked the most?  Retell using a 5 finger retell (who, where, first, then, last).
  • What does a 5 star illustration have in writing?
  • What attributes can you use to describe a: triangle, rectangle, square, hexagon, circle?  We have learned the word attribute so they should be practicing using it!
  • What are the expectations at recess for being safe playing in the snow?
  • What are the expectations for lining up at recess and lunch?
  • What are the expectations for lunch time?
Reminders - 
  • Items for our SURPRISE gingerbread party are due today.  If you could send them in your child's backpack, that would be fabulous!
  • If you would like to help set up for our gingerbread party on Thursday, please send me an email.  I have a couple of parents who are helping so far and will be sending out an email soon with directions for what to do while we are out on our "hunt" around the school.
  • Comfy Cozy Day - this FRIDAY, December 22nd.  Kiddos can dress in pajamas or comfy cozy clothes.  We will be doing lots of cozy activities.
  • Holiday Vacation - Saturday, December 23rd - Monday, January 1st.
If I don't get to say it to you in person, I wish you a very special holiday vacation with family and friends!  I hope it's relaxing, fun, and adventurous!  We are so thankful for our Team 111 kids and families.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Here comes December!

We are back into the swing of things after our first full week back after Thanksgiving break.  Read on to find out what we're up to!

Revisiting Community Helpers - Kinders have been revisiting their learning about community helpers by thinking about tools they use in their helping job.  We will continue to weave this learning into literacy and math in order to solidify their understanding of our community and the people who make it wonderful!

Shapes Study - Team 111 has been learning all about shapes!  This week we learned about triangles, rectangles, and a special kind of rectangle called a square.  Kinders learned some important information about each shape:
  • how many sides
  • how many corners/angles
  • how many points/vertices
  • is it flat?
We will continue to learn about both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional shapes in the weeks to come before our holiday break.

What can you make on a geoboard using only triangles, rectangles, and squares?

The Season on Gingerbread - Our season of gingerbread learning kicked off last week as we had a Team 111 parent join us as a guest reader.  Miss Loren also showed us how to make a fun gingergread craft!  Kinders loved decorating their hot cocoa mugs and gingerbread people to dunk in their "cocoa."  We just love crafts!  Look how cute our gingerbread people came out!  Thank you, Miss Loren, for joining us!  We look forward to a few other guest readers and/or crafters who will be joining us too.  :)

Learning About Preferences with Mr. B - Mr. B joined us for another guidance lesson last week during which we learned about the word preference.  He introduced us to his friend, Jack, pictured below.  :)  Jack helps us to think about feelings and interactions as he models different stituations and behaviors for us.  We also read the book One of Us to see what happens when kids welcome differences in others.  

Image result for one of us book

Afternoon Choice Time Continues - Rich learning through play happens every time we open the door to the choice time options.  I caught a few kinders challening themselves to building they tallest marble works tower they could!  

Ask your kinder:
  • What are some shapes you are learning about at school?
  • What are vertices on a shape?
  • Why is a square a special kind of rectangle?
  • How many sides/corners/vertices does a triangle/rectangle/square have?
  • What happens in the story of the Gingerbread Man?  (They should include the WHO, WHERE, what happened FIRST, THEN, and LAST.)
  • What are you working on drawing and writing in your narrative during writer's workshop?
  • SURPRISE (please keep it a secret) Gingerbread Party on Thursday, December 21st - Stay tuned for an email looking for donations of needed items if you would like to contribute.  All families are welcome!!
  • December 8th - Family Movie Night, 5:00PM, BES Gym
  • December 25th - January 1st - Holiday Break
  • Please label winter clothing/jackets! I am already compiling a collection of misplaced hats, mittens, etc. that are unclaimed in the classroom. It is super helpful if you are able to put your child's name or initials on the tags of such items using permanent marker. Thank you!