Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

As a welcome back from a long weekend, we reviewed how to focus your attention.  We talked about how one’s attention is like a flashlight in your brain.  We practiced calmly focusing on different things:  sounds, specific items, and then explained that a person has control over what to focus their “flashlight” on.  Throughout the week we reminded children that when a teacher  or friend is talking, your job is to focus your attention on that person; when you do that, it helps you learn.

We started the week learning how to use our third friendship tool, the "break it, fix it" tool.  After a child uses his “I statement" microphone to share his/her feelings with a friend during a conflict, and that child repeats, “I hear ….,” the children hold up their “break it, fix it" hammer and say, “Let’s fix it!”  It is a way to discuss solutions to the conflict.  This tool also teaches children how to engage in an apology of action rather than merely saying “sorry.” Sometimes apologizing may be all that is required; at other times, further action may be needed fix a problem. Children learn to take responsibility for independently repairing problems, such as getting a friend an icepack or band-aid if they have knocked them down, fixing someone’s Lego structure if they have broken it, or making a friend a “sorry" card or a picture if they have hurt their feelings.   Next week we will learn how to use the “win-win" solution card, which teaches children how to compromise. We role-played conflicts as a way to practice using the tool.  

Next Friday, January 27, we will going on a trip to the Arden Theater to see Frog and Toad.  This musical is based on Arnold Lobel’s books about two wonderful friends, Frog and Toad.  We have been reading many of the books in the last few weeks, thinking about how Frog and Toad might use our friendship tools.  

Our “word wall” is growing as we added “and” and the sound “ing.”   As we do every week, we are reading together and reading to ourselves, and writing during Writing Workshop, as well as throughout other times in the day.  

In mathematics this week, we focused on making addition story problems and representing them with equations and ten frames.  For example, if three children were in the classroom and four more came, how many would there be all together?

As always, Spanish is incorporated into your child’s day.  Children are focused on feelings words in Spanish like “triste” (sad) and “feliz” (happy) and learning how to introduce themselves with “Me llamo ______”. This week in Seed to Table the students made “cooperation quesadillas” where they worked with a partner to create a delicious, healthy snack.  This cooperation activity connects well to our Friendship Study as the children have another opportunity to learn how to thoughtfully negotiate with one another.

Questions to ask your child:

  • How do you use the “break it, fix it” tool?
  • How did you use your friendship tools this week?
  • If I called your teacher tonight, what would s/he tell me about you?
  • Can you sing me the “Yo me llamo” song?

Activities to do with your child:

  • Make up addition story problems together. 
  • Spend time focusing your “flashlight of attention” on different things in your house or on a walk and see what you notice.  
  • Using your “optimism glasses” (pretend to put on a pair), discuss all of things that went right in a day:  you have a home, each other, running water that comes out at the temperature you desire, food to eat, books to read, etc. 
  • Create a meal/snack with your child.  Discuss how you can cooperate to make it.  For example, “You spread the peanut butter on the bread, and I’ll spread the jelly,”  etc.

Have a great weekend,

The Kindergarten Teachers