Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Parents,

There are lots of exciting things happening in kindergarten this week -- beavers and hedgehogs abound!  Last week the students decided that books are one good resource for researching our science topics. We began this week  “reading the pictures” of some nonfiction books to see what we could learn. We will “read the words” of these books as we get further into our research.  

The Shelters and Sunbeams have been watching videos and reading books about beavers.  Ask your child what color beavers’ incisors are and why.  We also did some research to check a hypothesis we had. Some of our students saw a mound of sticks at The Schuylkill Center when we were looking for evidence of life there a few weeks ago.  They were pretty sure it was a “beaver cave.”  We have been reading that beavers build their lodges (homes) in water and that their habitats consist of wooded areas near water.  This week we walked closer to the “beaver cave” to investigate.  We discovered that it is not near any water, does not have any mud or stones in it, or have any beavers in or near it –- all of which are characteristics of a beaver lodge.  Some of the class is pretty certain it is not a beaver lodge, while a few folks really want to believe it is.  We will continue to investigate further as we do more research. Ask your child if s/he thought it was a beaver lodge or not and why.  

This week the Raindrops and Berries discussed how to classify life by what is alive or not, what is an animal, which animals are vertebrates/chordates, and which vertebrates are mammals.  Next week the Shelters and Sunbeams will have a similar lesson and talk about which mammals are classified as rodents.  

The Raindrops and Berries learned about hedgehog bodies, the different parts, and their key functions. The students helped construct a large-scale body out of different materials as they learned about the anatomy. Before going to The Schuylkill Center, we looked at a map of the world and where different types of hedgehogs live. The students quickly noticed that hedgehogs are not native to the United States. So although they thought they found hedgehog skin at The Schuylkill Center, they now know it was something else. However, by reading a nonfiction book, we did learn that hedgehogs can live in environments very similar to those at The Schuylkill Center. In the woods, the students built nests and found shrubs like the ones we read about. 

Each week we are continuing to work on our Writing Journals, adding new stories.  We are also learning more about handwriting for the uppercase letters, and recognizing and knowing the sounds of the lowercase letters.  So far we have focused on A-L.  

In mathematics this week, we played games that reinforce taking apart and putting together quantities to five, as well as recognizing and creating quantities to ten on ten-frames.  We are also working on how to write the numerals from 1 to 10.  

We are looking forward to seeing you for our conferences on November 3 and 4.  Specialists are also available to meet with you, if you’d like.  Please sign up for a time to meet with them on their Doodle polls:

Art for KA - Catherine Bogart-Rome http://doodle.com/poll/tacx4nzy9ht3fd6n

Art for KB - Kait Renna http://doodle.com/poll/9zkeycmb83s2unrq 

Movement for both classes: Bartley Jeannoute http://doodle.com/poll/fk59kra79um4ng

Music for both classes:  Chris Gignac will not be available because she will be attending a professional development conference; contact her at cgignac@tpschool.org if you would like to set up a time to meet. 

Questions to ask your child/Things to do with your child:

  • What have you learned about beavers/hedgehogs?  Tell me three facts you have learned so far.
  • What kind of research have you done so far?
  • What story did you write in your journal this week during Writing Workshop?
  • What did you do at The Schuylkill Center today? 
  • Take five-ten small items (pennies, paperclips, etc.) and work together to write down all of the combinations you can to make that total (1+9=10, 2+8=10, etc.).  
  • Look at a wall calendar together.  Ask your child to tell you the days of the week while either you or your child points to each one.  Perhaps you can write and/or draw pictures of activities your child will be doing on the calendar so your child can look at it daily and see what to expect.

Have a great weekend,

The Kindergarten Team