Things are continuing to roll along in kindergarten! Students are becoming increasingly more independent and are really starting to show their learning in lots of different ways. This week we started talking about winter holidays as the first night of Hanukkah was on Sunday. Thank you to Shylie and Olive for bringing in a menorah to share with the class! We enjoyed looking at them and learning about how the eight candles stand for the eight nights of Hanukkah.
Fundations: This month in Fundations we will learn the following letters and their sounds: Gg -game-/g/, Dd-dog-/d/, Ss-snake-/s/ and Ee-Ed-/e/.
Writing: We will soon begin our next writing unit: teaching stories. Students will choose a subject they know a lot about and write about it to teach others. For example if a student chooses to write about soccer they might add details like: When you play soccer you need a ball, you kick the ball, there are 2 teams. We will be working on adding sentences and labels to help teach our readers about what we know.
Word Wall Words:
We have started to add words to our word wall this fall. Each word that is added to the wall is a word that we read and write frequently. With practice students are able to use the word wall as a tool to help them when they are writing. Some of those words are a, at, go, I, me, my, see, the. When you are reading or writing with your child at home you can ask him/her to try and find a kindergarten word wall word.
Read Alouds, Shared Reading and Poems: In December and January we will read several folk tales. We focus on retelling. Kindergartners will learn several different strategies for retelling including oral retelling, dramatic retelling, and puppet retelling. Retelling is an important comprehension strategy. One strategy that students will soon be introduced to is called "Stepping Stones". This strategy specifically targets the comprehension skills of retelling. This strategy teaches students to think of each page of a book as a part of one whole story. When they "step" through the book page by page they can use the pictures and their memory to retell the story from beginning to end. Our folktale unit is a perfect unit that gives students many opportunities to use and practice this strategy because we will read several versions of the same folktale. Kindergartners will learn to retell familiar tales like The Three Billy Goats, The Three Little Pigs, The Little Red Hen and The Gingerbread Boy.
Many of the stories we are reading are traditional folktales. If you have a folktale that reflects your culture or heritage we would love for you to share it with kindergarten! Please, let me know.
We have started our study of Living & Non-Living Things. Ask your kindergartner to tell you three things that living things need and three things that a living thing can do. In January, we will investigate the question: Is a bulb a living thing? The students will participate in various experiments in order to answer this question. Each kindergartner will plant and care for his or her own bulb. As scientists, we will observe, record, measure and compare our plants using a variety of tools. You will have a chance to learn more about this investigation at our K Family Drop-In on Thursday, January 24th . Save the date!
Our first K Family Drop-In will be Thursday, January 24th, from 8:20 to 8:45 AM. We will be sharing our learning from our science unit with you! We hope you can make it!
This month in math we will begin to learn about numbers in the “tricky teens” remembering that the digit “1” always comes first. We will also continue to practice counting strategies: lining objects up and moving objects to keep track. You and your kindergartner might like to practice counting objects around the house. We will begin talking about number stories and integrate math into our science unit, as we measure the growth of our bulbs.
Please keep in mind that all kindergartners go out for recess daily! Unless the weather is extremely cold or our playground is very icy, we will go outside. Please send your child with appropriate clothing each day. This includes; jacket, hat, and mittens/gloves. If there is snow on the ground, students also need boots and snow pants. Please be sure to label all of the winter clothing that comes into school. It is also very helpful if you practice zipping and fastening the winter clothes at home so students can have more success getting ready independently at school. Also, our classroom temperature varies a great deal. It is most often hot, but some Monday mornings it is cold…Kindergartners should dress in layers all season long, and all the layers should be labeled with names. And again, any practice with putting on and removing layers independently that you can do at home would be very helpful.