With January now under our belt, we are moving full steam ahead! Earlier this week marked the half-way point! Expectations have started to see a shift as we begin the second half of the school year. While kindergartners are all progressing nicely, young learners can sometimes feel overwhelmed with learning so many new things. We are learning about the power of the word "yet". We are working on shifting our mindset and the way we approach new things. Instead of saying "I can't do it!" we're practicing saying "I can't do this, yet". We're learning that it's ok to not know how to do something at first, but the only way we are going to get better is by practicing new skills that we're learning. Over time, the things that were once tricky won't feel so hard anymore. We listen to the song below often to help us remember the importance of sticking with it and not giving up! You're never too old for Sesame Street!
Person of the Week!
We continue to enjoy learning about each other through our Person of the Week program. Throughout the week students ask really meaningful questions to the Person of the Week to learn even more about them.
Phonics: This month in Fundations we will learn the following letters and their sounds: Hh (Hh-hat-/h/), Kk (Kk-kite-/c/), Vv (Vv-van-/v/).
Writing: In Writers' Workshop we have begun a new genre of writing: “How-to” books. Students are working on writing clear steps or directions to teach their reader how to do something (how to brush your teeth, how to ride a bike, how to make a paper airplane). Students will also work on adding pictures or diagrams to match each step in their book. It may be helpful to chat with your kindergartner about some things that he/she could write a how-to piece about.
We will soon begin independent reading every afternoon. Each child will be matched up with a collection of books that are at his or her “just right” reading level. Some of the strategies we will be working on during independent reading are: pointing to the words while reading, looking at the first and last letter in a word to help us figure out unknown words, using picture cues, and monitoring our own reading to make sure that what we are reading makes sense. When children are ready they will begin to work on strategies that support their overall fluency and comprehension of books they are reading.
In math this month we will continue working on addition, addition symbols as well as terminology. We are learning that when we add we are putting two numbers together to get a bigger amount. We will tell and solve story problems using objects. We will act out our number stories as well. We will soon learn about subtraction, subtraction symbols and terminology. After vacation we will start our “Bunk Beds and Apple Boxes” unit. This unit introduces the students to the ideas of combinations; learning strategies to help us find all combinations for a number (ex. For the number 4 we can have 4+0, 3+1, 2+2, etc.) We will also continue our work on numbers and counting.
This month in social studies we will continue to study the Sensational Season of winter. Students will also be introduced to historical figures, such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. During the unit we will learn important facts about each person. In addition we will discuss important places in Washington DC, like the White House and the Lincoln Memorial.
To complement our social studies unit on the Sensational Season of winter we will be taking a closer look at ice. Students will come up with questions about what happens to water in the cold and we will have the opportunity to create some experiments. Try some water and ice experiments at home with your scientist this winter!
We are also keeping a close eye on the experiments that we started during our bulb unit, particularly experiments B and C. We planted only half of a bulb for experiment B and for experiment C we put a bulb in a cup of water without any soil. It's been exciting to see them actually growing! Check out the latest changes!
Chinese New Year: At the beginning of this month we will celebrate the beginning of the new lunar calendar. This year we celebrate the year of the pig.
100th Day of School
The 100th Day of School is next Friday, February 8th as long as we do not have any snow days! We will celebrate the number 100 with many exciting activities. Each kindergartner will share a collection of 100 things that they will bring in from home. We've been talking about different ways that each kindergartner can make his/her collection. One way is to count 1 by 1 until he/she reaches 100. We also talked about how he/she could make 10 groups of 10 and skip count to 100. Please support your kindergartner in making his/her collection at home over the course of the next week. Collections should be able to fit into a Ziploc bag- any size is ok!
On Valentine’s Day students will be exchanging Valentine cards. Students should bring in a Valentine for each of their classmates on Thursday, February 14th (or before if the Valentines are ready). You might want to start writing cards with your child soon. Remember, kindergartners will vary in their stamina for writing names and signing cards. Encourage your child to do some of the writing, or to read you the names, but it is OK for you to help.