Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

We have been steeped in our Friendship Study.  We learned our first two friendship tools:  “optimism glasses” and “I statements.  For “optimism glasses,” one puts on an actual pair of glasses to begin a discussion with a friend with whom you are having a conflict.  You put on the glasses as a reminder to go into your conversation thinking about two things:  keeping an optimistic attitude that you will be able to work out a solution, and remembering that both parties have a perspective worth listening to with that positive attitude.  The glasses also help us see the good in things when we are feeling negative. For example, maybe your best friend is not at school one day, but it’s a great chance to play with some new friends.

We also made our “I Statement” microphones. The children are practicing using "I Statements" with friends to share their feelings.  For example, "I feel disappointed that you took the toy I wanted to play with."  The other child repeats to show s/he heard the first child, "I hear that you feel disappointed that I took the toy you wanted to play with." We have been reading books about friendship and role playing from different character’s perspectives to practice using “I Statements.”  We have also been role playing with situations that have actually come up in our classrooms.  Our hope is that our students learn to independently talk through conflict together to find solutions where both parties feel comfortable with the result.  This “friendship tool” curriculum will continue for the next few weeks as the children learn more tools to resolve conflict independently.  

Thank you to two guest readers this week.  Sam’s mom, Julia, read a book to Kindergarten B about calming yourself down when you are feeling things strongly: 1, 2, 3: A Calmer Me.  And thank you, as well, to Remy’s mom, Marni, who read Be The Change to Kindergarten A. It is a book about Gandhi’s mission to help people realize how important it is to “be the change we wish to see in the world.”

Our math activities this week reinforced writing addition equations.  Also every week our calendar/number corner work reviews place value as we keep track of how many days we’ve been in school using numerals, ten frames, and links.  In another few weeks, this school year will be half way over - hard to believe.

We have added a number of words to our sight word list, our “word wall.”  Children can now use this resource to remember how to read and write “you,” “yes,” and “no.”  

There is no school this Friday or Monday.  Please check the school website for information about the Martin Luther King Day volunteer opportunities at TPS.  

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

  • What are “Optimism Glasses?”  Why do you use them?
  • How do you use an “I Statement" microphone?
  • How can a “Friendship Tool” help resolve a conflict?
  • What did you write about in Writing Workshop?
  • What are you reading during Read to Self/Quiet Reading?
  • Try to emphasize using your senses in the kitchen, like we do in Seed to Table.  Notice the smells, sizzling sounds, etc.
  • Converse a bit in Spanish using phrases like “¿Cómo estás?” (“How are you?”).  In response, kids have been learning “bien” (well), “mas o menos” (so so), “mal” (bad), “feliz” (happy), and “triste” (sad).
  • Role-play a conflict that two friends or siblings might have and use a spoon to be the “I Statement" microphone.  Your child will probably enjoy explaining how the process works.
  • Discuss a time when you wish you had put on “optimism glasses.”  

Have a wonderful weekend,

The Kindergarten Team