Sunday, September 17, 2017

First Full Week

I hope everyone enjoyed a beautiful weekend! It certainly still feels like summer out there and we are enjoying opportunities for play outside in the sunshine.

This past week was officially our first full week of kindergarten! Students are building confidence in their role as members of our classroom community, team 112!

Hopes and Dreams:
Thank you for continuing to send in your hopes and dreams for your child. It has been such a meaningful process for children to see the hopes you have for them while they think about their own. Here is a sneak peek at a few!

We are learning ways to care for our classroom so it continues to be an inviting, comfortable and clean space. As a class we developed ways to care for our room and thought about how team work makes this possible. As one friend shared, "Team work makes the dream work!" As a part of this process we have two special helpers each day. These two helpers have extra special jobs such as passing out papers, organizing special materials and even painting on our easel in the morning. We have such a helpful bunch!

Book Bags and Book Shopping:
This week we read the story Dog in Boots which is about a dog who tries to find just the right pair of shoes. Dog wants to run, swim, dig and do all the other activities dogs enjoy. After trying on many pairs dog comes to realize he has just the right fit on his on body all along...his paws! To extend this activity, I brought in a big bag of shoes containing those of different sizes and styles. I challenged students to think about when I would wear certain shoes and how some were just not the right fit for me (Mr. Leite's woodworking boots caused quite the stir). This experience led us to think about how we choose books. When we look for books we think about what is "just right" for us. The book we choose should be something we are interested in.

Students had the chance to practice shopping for "just right" books in our classroom. To hold their books students were excited to receive their very own book bag! These bags will be used all year to house their books.

Number collections:
In math we explored a special collection of pictures and objects. Students were challenged to think about what makes the items the same. We concluded that all items showed the number one! Thus our number study of one ensued. We spent the week writing number one, finding one in our classroom environment and even played a number one movement game.

Letter Sounds and Formation:
We have begun our study of letters! This week we studied the letter T. We learned how to say the letter name, sound and how to form the letter using special handwriting lines. We even created "tissue paper t's"! I will send home information this week about our phonics program FUNdations.

Here we are learning how to use the special lines!

We worked those small muscles in our hands to tear tissue paper for our T's!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Morning Meeting

Perhaps one of my favorite parts of our days together is our morning meeting. Our morning meeting has three special components:
  • Greeting: saying good morning to one another in various ways 
  • Share: we answer questions to learn more about one another, like how old are you or what is your favorite color
  • Activity: a fun team building exercise where we must work as a group to accomplish 

Math Tools

This week we explored colored tiles and unifix cubes. We continued work with pattern blocks as well. During exploration, students learned of the many uses of these tools. We learned we could make patterns, create pictures and even measure!

Mr. B

This week we had the pleasure of Mr. Bonnema or "Mr. B" our school guidance counselor, come in to teach a lesson. Over the next several weeks our class will focus on the concepts of the Zones of Regulation, a curriculum for teaching children about their feelings and tools they can use to calm big or overwhelming feelings. If you would like more information about this please check out the following link:

Mrs. Wood

We were afforded the opportunity to work with our school math specialist Mrs. Wood this week. Mrs. Wood read us a silly book called Wumbers which is all about words that contain numbers. It was so gr8.....see what I did there! After our discussions and reading, students created pictures out of numbers and WOW I must say we have a creative bunch here!

Break Spot

This week we were introduced to a new area of our room. Our break spot is a safe place where children may go to calm their bodies and refocus if they are feeling like they are unable to join the group. "Taking a break" is not a punishment but rather an opportunity to understand feelings and recognize we all have moments where we may need a quick break.

Children were given the opportunity to try our break spot and see how it feels. Many children reported feeling calm, relaxed and recharged after taking a break.

Be sure to ask your child:

  • What is the break spot in your classroom?
  • What numbers can you find at home? 
  • What was it like to have indoor recess in the classroom? What choice did you make?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Our First Week

Your children ROCKED their first week of kindergarten! This week students learned about our school environment; from navigating our own classroom, to hallways, the lunchroom and the ever popular playground.  Learning the classroom routines and procedures that shape our day was also a focus. We continue to work hard to learn our classmates names through fun songs and greetings. As I reflect back on this week it is difficult to put to words all we did! I hope children came home happy, tired and shared stories from our day!

Be sure to ask your child:
  • What is it like to eat lunch in the cafeteria?
  • What was in the mystery box this week? 
  • What is the best part about our playground?
  • What happens during morning meeting?
And now for the important update on our! Pictures often best describe our days together. Enjoy and thank you for sharing your wonderful children with me this week!