Dear Kindergarten Families,
It was another busy week filled with playing and learning. We continued to familiarize ourselves with each other and with different materials in and out of the classroom, from glue sticks and scissors to the large blocks we can build with in the garden. To help to get to know each other, every student worked hard to collage a self-portrait. Each individual portrait is hung proudly on our walls, and they beautifully represent our class community. If you have an extra moment at drop-off or pick-up, we would love to have you come in and see them!
We started to talk about our hopes for kindergarten. We read The Ok Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to frame our conversation around what we hope to accomplish during our time in kindergarten. Here are some examples of this year’s kindergarten hopes: “I hope to get better at the monkey bars"; “I hope to do more math”; “I hope to make new friends”; and “I hope to read lots of books.” The students illustrated their hopes with Sharpies and watercolors. Our goal is to help all of our students recognize what they can do to bring their hopes to fruition this year! 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. Next week we will generate classroom rules.
This week we are focusing mathematically on the shape pattern on our calendar, and on recognizing shapes in our world. Students went on a “shape hunt” in the classroom. Each child partnered with someone and together they filled out a graph of the quantity of circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles found. We then compared graphs. We have also been reading lots of books about shapes.
We also played lots of letter games. We talked about how letters are used to make words, and how words can make stories, lists, books, and letters and cards that you write to your family and friends. We played some letter bingo and sang songs related to letters and their corresponding sounds.
Along with academics, we focus a lot of our time on social-emotional education. This week we have been talking about empathy. Each class dramatized a “friendship story” in which the characters were not being empathetic. The students helped to rewrite the script so the characters were showing empathy, recognizing the feelings of others and doing what they could to help that character feel comfortable. One child even commented, “When we do this, we can learn how to be empathetic when we really play with our friends!” Well, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
At The Schuylkill Center on Friday we returned to Weil House. Children already seem to feel more comfortable being out in the woods than last week. It is a joy to already see children who arrived very tentatively now running with glee through the forest by the end of our day. Children were given the option to hike to the Apple Orchard, and many were excited to go on this excursion.
Thank you to Rebeca Alig (KA parent of Whitney Alig) and Lauren Ravitz (KB parent of Alden Ravitz) who have volunteered to be our classroom representatives.
Questions to ask your child this week:
- What does “empathy” mean? How were you empathetic this week?
- Who did you play with this week? Which new friend did you play with?
- What new toy/game did you play with this week?
- What did you do at The Schuylkill Center today? Did you go to the Apple Orchard?
- Go on a shape hunt with your child at home or on a walk around your neighborhood. Keep track of how many of each shape you find. Predict before your hunt which shape you think you’ll find the most and least.
- Try to use Spanish numbers at home: uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez!
The Kindergarten Team