Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring is Here!

Happy Spring!  Though we saw a bit of snow recently, I feel confident that we will see that green grass again soon and be able to say sayanora to snow gear.  Thank you for all your diligence in keeping the kiddos warm all winter! 

With the changing of seasons, we often find that kinders brains are really in bloom this time of year.  ;)  Connections among previously learned skills and concepts seem to come together as our team builds more and more independence.  We've taken many little steps along the way, but we have come so far!  

Text to Text Connections - Our learning about text connections branched off to the skill of making text to text connections.  Many kinders have been making these types of connections throughout the year.  It's when something that happens or a character in one book reminds us of something that happens or a character in another book.  The two books Are You My Mother and Is Your Mama a Llama provided us with the opportunity to practice.

Gus the Plus - Have you met our friend Gus the Plus?  We recently met Gus and learned he will be helping students practice the math skill of addition.  Addition is really just composing numbers using quantities and symbols.  We also are learning the mathematical terms sum, add, total, equals, and "is equal to."  One important thing about number sentences that we want students to have exposure to early on is that the equal sign does not always need to be on the right side of a number sentence.   For example, we want students to learn that 2+3=5 is the same as 5=2+3.  As we continue to practice addition and later move into subtraction, we will continue to investigate the truth to this.  

Learning About Weather - We recently concluded our study of animals in winter and have since moved into a science investigation of weather.  Our first week was spent learning an overview of the different types of weather and why it is important to learn and know about weather.  Below are some photos of us reinforcing weather vocabulary knowledge by acting them out and learning how to say them in french.  Did you know that learning terms in another language actually helps us to better remember them in english!?  We will continue to learn about weather by studying a different type of weather each week for the next 4 weeks.  This past week we studied sunny weather and the importance of practicing sun safety.  We learned that the sun gives us 3 important gifts: heat, light, and food for plants.  We also learned that too much of these gifts can be harmful which is why we practice safe sun exposure!

St. Patrick's Day Fun - We earned some good luck with our "Top o' the mornin' to ya" greeting on St. Patrick's Day and sporting our green tophats.  Later, kinders practiced addition with pots of "gold" and recording number sentences.  


A kinder mom treated us to something fruity and sweet at the end of the rainbow too!

Multiple Ways to Compose Numbers - We continue to learn multiple ways to compose numbers.  That is, knowing that 7 is composed of 3+4, 5+2, 6+1, and 7+0.  It is important for kinders to practice this concept so that they build automaticity with their addition and subtraction facts up to 5, and learn other combinations up to 10.  We practiced this week with some "Bears in the Cave" addition and unifix cube addition.  


A Few Important Conversation Starters for Home - Here are a few things you may want to have conversations about with your kinders at home . . . 
  • Lock Down Procedures - As mentioned in the weekly message to families, our safety officer, Officer Mike, will be visiting all BES classes this week to discuss school lockdown procedures.  This is a sensitive, yet extremely important topic for us to share with children and practice to ensure safety procedures are in place.  Please reach out with any questions.
  • Lunch Behavior - Meal times at school are frequently in need of review as we continue to work on  consistently making responsible and appropriate choices.  Voice level, clean up, and safe seating are key reminders.
  • Kindness and respect - What does kindness look like?  How do you respect yourself, peers, and grown-ups?  These are conversations we frequently revisit to help your children become the best teammates they can be on Team 111 and at BES.

Be sure to check the side tab for important upcoming dates.  Our school year continues to fly by and we are growing to be almost first graders!