Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families:

This week we invited “acting experts” into our classroom.  Primary Unit parent and actor, Seth Reichgott, visited Kindergarten A and Brian Shapiro (Asa’s dad) and Erica Zimmer (Maya’s mom) visited Kindergarten B.  Between the two rooms, we learned some new acting games, about scripts and head shots, about the elements of story that create a good play, and about how to use our body, face and voice to act.  We also learned about how important it is to work as a group and listen to each other.  A gender-identity expert from CHOP visited and talked with us about stereotypes of male and female characters, and how anyone can take on a role in a play of any character regardless of the gender of the actor or role.  We read Amazing Grace, a story about a girl whose classmates say she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black and a girl. Grace discovers she can do anything she sets her mind to.  

We spent time this week brainstorming how to change our loft spaces into classroom theaters.  After making a list of all the parts of a theater that we noticed on our trip last week, children discussed their ideas and collaborated to create kindergarten theaters.  There are stages with curtains, as well as dressing rooms with costumes. Some children began to write scripts for plays they plan to perform in the “loft theater.”  These spaces are available to play in during Activity Time.

We added the word “because” to our sight-word lists.  We also focused on the short ‘u’ sound as in “up.”  As they are ready, children are being encouraged to represent words in their writing with at least a beginning, middle, and ending letter.  During Activity Time some children chose to write all of their classmates' names and figure out how many vowels there are in everyone’s names.  

In mathematics we focused on the development of number combinations to 5, and we have continued to hone our skills at identifying coins and their values. 

A few calendar notes:

We are looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers for our student-only Spanish learning celebration, our "Mercado," on Thursday, May 25th from 12:30-3:00 p.m.  If you are interested in helping or learning more, please email Brian ([email protected]) or Melissa ([email protected]).  Thank you!

Thursday, April 27, 5:00-6:00 p.m. - Move-Up Night for Parents of Next Year’s First Graders (believe it or not, that’s you!). Come meet the Primary Unit (first and second grade) teachers and learn about what to expect for your children as they enter first grade.

Friday, June 1, 9:00-10:30 a.m. - Kindergarten Plays and Learning Celebration

Questions to ask your child/activities to do this week:

  • How did you help to turn your loft into a theater?  
  • What did you learn from the “acting expert” who visited your classroom?
  • Look at a beloved book together.  Choose one page to focus on.  Look at each word and notice how many vowels are in each word.  How many syllables?  Note that there is at least one vowel per syllable.  You can also keep track of how many of each vowel there are.  Which vowel is used the most?  The least?  Count or add up the vowels. 
  • Play a math game with pennies.  Take 5-10 pennies.  Shake them up and release them onto the table. How many are tails?  How many are heads?  Create addition equations with those combinations.

Enjoy a spring weekend!

The Kindergarten Team