Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Despite the light rain, we went to The Schuylkill Center today for a quick hour-long visit today.  We went to the Weil House area, where the boughs acted as natural umbrellas.  Before our visit we discussed how to look for evidence of life in the woods and how to become “nature detectives.”  We brought some observational tools, including magnifying glasses, tweezers, and cameras.

Upon our return to the classroom the children watched a slideshow of the photos they took at The Schuylkill Center. The students then put on their detective hats and tried to solve the mystery of what lives in the woods based on the evidence.  Next week each classroom will narrow down which of those "denizens" of the woods would be interesting to focus on as a science study.  We will keep you posted about what each classroom chooses.

Last week we talked about our hopes for kindergarten. In order to fulfill these hopes, we acknowledged the need for class rules so that we can be safe and take care of one another in the process. Both classes generated a long list of rules, up to 25 items! We discussed how it would be very challenging to remember all 25, so we found a way to narrow them down. After some categorizing, the children came up with four rules. Here they are in their words: 

Sunbeams and Shelters   

  1. Be kind to others.             
  2. Listen to each other.             
  3. Be gentle to the world.             
  4. Be careful with your body.            

Berries and Raindrops    

  1. Take care of friends and yourself.
  2. Listen.
  3. Take care of TPS and the world.
  4. Be safe and careful.

All of the students signed their names, like a contract, promising to try their best to follow these class rules. 

Monday for lunch was exciting as we spent time with our Family Group leaders. And today we met our Family Groups!  Family Groups are groups consisting of three to five children from different grades that work together and spend time together about once a month.  They give the youngest children an opportunity to connect with older children, and give the older children a chance to take on the responsibility of being a Family Group leader.  Family Groups meet in Family Circles, which are groups of three to five Family Groups led by two TPS teachers.  All-School Theme activities are often tackled in Family Circles.  Family Groups change every school year. (Check out today's Family Circles gathering in the TPS blog).

Kindergarten B students met with their third-grade Book Buddies this week, as well.  These are children who are partnered with a kindergartner to enjoy books together.  Kindergarten A is scheduled to meet with their Book Buddies later in October.  We generally meet once a month.

We continue to hone our math and language arts skills, weaving these topics into many parts of our day.  We read Not a Box and made classroom books in which children used their imaginations and understandings of shapes to create different items out of shapes.  We also played math games that reinforce recognizing and naming shapes, counting quantities to five, and writing numerals. 

 Things to ask and do with your child this week:

  • Ask: What are some of the rules in kindergarten?  Why is it important to have rules?
  • Ask:  What activity did you do with your Family Circle this morning?
  • Ask: How did you find evidence of life in the woods?  What tools did you use?
  • Ask: What evidence did you find at The Schuylkill Center of life in the woods?
  • Do:  Go on a walk in your neighborhood.  Use your senses to be “nature detectives” in order to find evidence of creatures that are living there.  
  • Do:  Discuss some of the rules you have in your home.  Why are they important?
  • Do: Try sprinkling in “si, por favor” (yes, please), “gracias” (thank you), and “de nada” (you’re welcome) into your daily life.

Enjoy the weekend,

The Kindergarten Team