Monday, September 25, 2017

Team 111 Rules! (Read on to catch my punny joke!)

Hello Families!  Check out the recent happenings in kindergarten!  It's hard to believe we are rounding out our first whole month in school this week.  We have already discovered so much in these days that seem to race by!

Playdough as a Learning Tool - Kinders loved using playdough to make letters and numbers we are learning last week.  Using our five senses to learn is huge in kindergarten!  Manipulating playdough is a great way to practice counting, forming letters, forming letters, and making shapes.  We will continue to use this tool in the weeks to come. 

Passwords - We have become experts at our first two passwords this year: I and the.  We loved using the secret code to enter our classroom.  We also learned some fun ways to practice passwords such as rainbow writing and body spelling.  Please be sure to take out the two new passwords we send home each week and add them to your child's key ring to be practicing at home. 

Letter Study - We continue to learn new letters, their sounds, and practice handwriting at school.  Using the white boards to form letters was a huge hit!  Be sure to check out the link at the top left of our blog to learn more about our phonice program at school.  You may notice some letter crafts coming home in red folders (tissue paper t, bunny b, and feather f).  It is up to you what you decide to do with these letter crafts when they come home.  One fun idea would be to save them and create your child's own ABC book using a binder to keep all the letter crafts in one place.  :)  

Morning Meeting - You may have heard a bit about our morning meeting at school.  It's the way we start each day.  I'll be trying to feature different photos of the components of our meeting:
  • greeting
  • share
  • activity
  • message
Picured here is an opportunity for one student to share something about themself.  After sharing, they may take 3 comments or questions about what they shared.  These opportunities are so helpful in building conversation skills and confidence in young learners.  :)

Team 111 Rules - Our team spent time creating rules to help us be successful and have fun in kindergarten!  We will sign our rules as our promise to try our best this year.  We will also continue to revisit rules to build independence in safe, caring interactions with others.  

Connecting Literacy with Math - Our team loved reading The Three Little Pigs to connect a well-known folk tale with our study of the number 3 in math.  Today we used a variety of materials to build the pigs' houses to retell the story.  

Teamwork! - We are getting really good at cleaning up after ourselves and working as a team to leave our classroom organized at the end of the day.  Check out these helpers!

Ask your kinder: 
  • What are the new passwords this week?
  • Name some of your Team 111 Rules.
  • How do you follow rules at school?
  • What does it mean to "read the pictures?"
  • What sound does m/n make?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September is Sweet!

I hope everyone has enjoyed this summer-like weekend weather!  We have used every opportunity we can at school to get outside for some fresh air and free play.  Our days in kindergarten continue to unfold with excitement and increased understanding of routines in the classroom.  Read on to learn more!

Book Bins - Team 111 has many eager readers!  Imagine our enthusiasm when each reader got their VERY own book bin to use for storage of chosen books this year.  During reader's workshop, learners have been practicing:
  • three ways to read a book - So far we have learned two: read the pictures and read the words (if we know them).
  • how to choose good fit books - Dog In Boots was a fun book for us to read to learn about how choosing books that are a good fit for each of us is much like choosing shoes that are a good fit.  Sometimes we choose different books for a variety of purposes.  Also, books that are a good fit for others might not be the best fit for everyone. 
                                                                           Image result for dog in boots
  • how to care for books and put them away properly

Important Visitors - We are learning that there are many important and helpful grown-ups who work in our school and help kids be the best learners they can be.  So far we have met:
  • Mr. B - Mr. Bonnema is our guidance counselor and has introduced us to some conversations and learning about our emotions and related choices.  

  • Mrs. Wood - Mrs. Wood is a math specialist teacher.  She read us a book, Wumbers, and helped us to look for numbers all around us.  We then used numbers to create fun pictures which camoflaged numbers.

  • Dr. Bassi (not pictured) - Dr. Bassi is our school psychologist.  She will work closely with us this year to:
    • get to know students
    • support students in the classroom
    • help students build upon our learning with Mr. B
    • be a resource for our learning about how we care for self and others
Library Day! - Our first library day was a hit!  We loved meeting our librarian, Mrs. Brewster, and picking out books to check out.  Books are due every Wednesday in order to check a new book out.  

Self-Portraits, As Promised - How OUTSTANDING are the artists in our classroom.  I cannot get over how unique, detailed, and special these self-portraits are.  They will be displayed in our classroom this year as a reminder of how lucky we are to share these days with so many fun friends.

International Dot Day - You may have heard from your kinder about International Dot Day, a day to celebrating how simple it can be to spread acts of kindness and generosity to make your mark on the world.  Mrs. Ricciardi shared some meaningful activities with kinders this past Friday.  We will continue to explore this concept by thinking of a way to make our "mark" on our school.  :)

Letter Sounds and Formation - Our study of letters and letter sounds has begun!  We kicked it off with the letter T and some fun tissue paper T's (great for fine motor, cutting, and gluing practice)!  For more information on the FUNdations program we use to teach phonics, please see the page link on our blog homepage.  

Ask your kinder:
  • Where do they see numbers? (You could even go on a number hunt in your home!)
  • What sound does "t" make?
  • How do they sit for handwriting and hold a marker (dry erase) so they can do their best work?
  • What did it feel like to have a fire drill with sound last week? (They totally rocked it, by the way.  So impressed!)
  • What do they hope to learn and do in kindergarten this year?
Happy Sunday!