Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

It has been a busy week immersed in toys and gymnastics!  

In Kindergarten A, Shelters and Sunbeams categorized photos of themselves holding toys they brought in to share, as a way to think about different types of toys.  Students made their own cup and ball toys, cars, and toy instruments.  Many of these toys are tricky to use and take perseverance.  We have been talking with students about not saying, “I can’t do it,” but thinking instead, “I might need help, but if I keep practicing, I’ll get better.”  Most children were struggling to succeed with the cup and ball toy, but finally did. 

We had two experts visit us:  Kieran, a Primary B student, shared stuffed toys he sewed himself.  We also had teacher Carrie Fafarman visit us and teach us about how to make toys out of recycled materials.  On Friday we went to The Franklin Institute to learn more about how some toys with moving parts work.  We learned about the physics of balls and ramps.  We also toured a few different areas of The Franklin Institute.

Chris has been incorporating toys into music class.  She used a yarn ball, a bouncing ball, a parachute, and a toy penguin to make up some new musical games.  Next week the children will explore what it would be like to move like a race car, locomotive train, toy soldier, transformer, and a yo-yo!

In Kindergarten B we started the week by looking at rhythmic gymnastics and the different apparatus used in this sport -- ribbons, balls, hoops, clubs, and ropes.  We watched some amazing videos and practiced some of these skills in the room.  Speaking of practicing skills, the skill groups have been working hard, a few minutes every day, and some students have already met their goal or are noticing improvement! They are feeling so proud of their hard work and perseverance!   

We had several experts visit our room this week, as well.  Marissa and Toni, two teachers from Relentless Gymnastics, came with one of their competitive students, Sammi Jokelson, a TPS 7th grader.  They talked all about having a growth mindset, working with mistakes, not getting discouraged, and the importance of teamwork.  They also showed the kids how to work on a simple handstand.  Carley Harrity, a TPS alumna and daughter of current staff member Brian Harrity, came and talked to us more about competitions.  She impressed us with her back handsprings and walking handstand! Our last group of “experts” were some students from 1st and 2nd grade who were excited to come show where their hard work in gymnastics has gotten them and answered some more of our research questions around practice and different skills.

We ended the week on Friday living a “day in the life” of a gymnast.  Putting together all we have learned, we practiced our skills, did some conditioning, ate healthily, wore our athletic gear, practiced team building, and even put together team routines to music! 

In music the Raindrops and Berries read a story called Alphabet Movers and explored how to make letter shapes with their bodies.  Next they made letter shapes with partners, coming up with many creative ways of showing shapes with teamwork.  In the next few weeks we will examine different shapes that we can make with our bodies, create “mini-dances” to music, and then perform them for each other.  

 Next week both groups will begin to think about how each child wants to represent what s/he learned during this project and how to share that information.  We will present our findings to the Preschool the week before spring break.  

On Thursday, March 16, Kindergarten will visit the Hope Bridge Community Garden and help to plant seeds there for the community.  Our school gardener Bri Barton and ASEP teacher Paula Kwasniewska will join us to help do small-group demonstrations.  The bus will be leaving by 8:45 a.m., so please be sure to have your child come to school on time on Thursday. 

Questions to ask:

Kindergarten A:

  • What were some of the categories of toys that you discovered?
  • What is a Galimoto?  What does your Galimoto look like?  Where are Galimotos from?
  • What toys did you make this week?
  • How does your car work?
  • What is Oliie’s Odyssey about?
  • How was the trip to The Franklin Institute?  What did you learn?  How is it connected to toys?

Kindergarten B:

  • How is rhythmic gymnastics different from the kind of gymnastics you had already been learning about?
  • How is your skill coming along? What have you done to work hard/practice at getting better?
  • What was it like to spend a day in the life of a gymnast? Did you enjoy it? Would you want to be a gymnast someday?

Have a great weekend,

The Kindergarten Team