Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Few Notes

Some handouts will come home in your child's folder that will prepare you for the Open House. Please read them and come with your questions.

Click on Older Posts at the end of each segment of the blog to see additional posts. Generally 4-5 posts appear at the same time. Thank you.

Clean-Up Time

We have some great shots of kids sweeping the classroom after snack which I'll include here.

We have also been exploring a water pump that pre-school purchased. It is great fun and will involve many hours of exploration. Mostly in the warmer weather.


We have been out to the garden to draw a full size picture of the sunflowers. They are gorgeous! A big thanks to Julie, April and other parents who designed, planted and tended the garden through the summer. Well done. The pictures will be on display during the Open House on Wednesday.

We spend time learning how to use easel paints, watercolors, glue pots, colored pencils, scissors, glue sticks and most exciting of all---The Pencil Sharpener! Most recently we have begun using stories on CDs with headphones.

Language Arts

We are practicing our routines around Handwriting without Tears and Jolly Phonics. We are beginning to do some reading groups, again focused on learning routines more than on learning reading. We are doing basic measures of skill levels in the area of reading both to determine eligibility for Title I services and to begin to form reading groups.

We have Morning Meeting each day which is based on developing oral language skills. Children learn to share something that is important to them, listen to the message being read by one of the children,  repeat that message, greet each other by name and sing a song or play a game. Occasionally we do an activity such as Brain Gym.


We are learning routines that will serve us all year in math. Many days start with counting how many children are in school. We continue to see this as a unique problem each day, as we write down how many children are in our class, how many are in school today and how many are absent. We also form a counting stick and pass around cubes to represent how many children are in class each day.

We have done surveys such as "are you a boy or a girl?" and "are you the oldest child in your family?" We discuss the data with the group and ask the children what conclusions they can draw from the data. We have a Counting Jar with a collection of objects in it. Children are asked to count the objects and make an equivalent collection of buttons on a plate. After they have practiced this, they begin to record their count in a Counting Jar Book.

We are exploring materials that we will use all year in math. Having familiarized ourselves with these materials we will already be interested in working with them as they roll out in the context of particular units. The most impressive part of our math class this year is the willingness of children to engage in discussions about math ideas with each other. They are listening to each other and we hope to build a culture where children can talk about each other's ideas. This is a stretch as five-year olds are expected to be egocentric rather than able to listen to others' points of view, think about what they have heard and decide to adjust their point of view or reaffirm their own statement.

We will have more pictures next month.

We're Off and Running

We've gotten off to a terrific start in kindergarten this year. Many of the children know each other from pre-school and everyone is getting along quite well. The beginning of the school year focuses on learning procedures and how to navigate the kindergarten classroom. We have been quite busy!

There is a photo of the opening day assembly at which all children received a journal from a sixth grade student. Thank you very much for returning forms to Toni so we now have permission to print pictures of the children in our blog. We will begin taking more photos of the children to include in the blog.