Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Thanks for joining us for Back-to-School Night! It is always fun for us to give you a glimpse of what we do every day with your amazing children.

What a busy and exciting, albeit short, week we have had in kindergarten! Today was Shelly Ridge Day; Family Circles rotated through three activities together: a movement activity, a musical activity, and a survival-related games activity.

We kicked off our fall science project by selecting a topic of interest from the evidence we gathered last Friday about what lives and grows in The Schuylkill Center. After generating long lists including items such as mushrooms, snakes, groundhogs, deer, and ticks, the children then learned the fine art of "advocating" for their favorite idea. We discussed how “advocating” is not just saying that you want to study something because you like it, but to actually think about why you like it and to share that deeper idea. Each child, if s/he chose, stood in front of the class and talked about which idea was most exciting to him/her and why. This part of our project helps our students begin to speak confidently in front of their peers, helps them learn to keep an open mind when listening to others, and helps them learn how to handle disappointment if their idea isn't the one ultimately chosen.

After a secret ballot vote we had two clear winners! The Raindrops and Berries will be studying hedgehogs, and the Sunbeams and Shelters will be studying beavers. Later in the week, the children shared their prior experiences with hedgehogs and beavers. If you have any interesting expertise or experience with either of these creatures, we would love to invite you into our classrooms to share that information with us. Please email us so we can set up a time for you to visit!

As well as reading a number of books to the children this week, we also discussed one way that they can “read” books to themselves or to someone else. Since many of the children are not yet able to read most or all of the words in books, we discussed that anyone can “read the pictures” in a book by simply looking at the illustrations and making a guess about the story. Teaching this way to “read” empowers all children to feel comfortable reading books even if they can’t yet read all of the words.

In mathematics we have focused on different ways to see quantities to five, how to write the numerals 1-10, how to put numbers in order from 1-10, and how to count up and back from 1-10 and 10-1.

Questions to ask your child:

  • How was Shelly Ridge Day? Which activities did you enjoy? What did you do with your Family Group?
  • Did you advocate for a science study topic? If yes, which study idea did you advocate for and why?
  • For which topic did you vote?
  • How did you feel about beavers/hedgehogs getting the most votes?

Activities to do with your child:

  • “Read the pictures” of a book with your child.
  • Let your child advocate for something s/he would like for dinner or dessert. Ask him/her not only to tell you that they like and want this item, but also why they like it. Remind your child that s/he may not get that item and that disappointment is a normal feeling, and we are all working on being flexible and “moving our hearts to a different feeling.”
  • Try being Spanish language detectives and notice Spanish words throughout the city, on TV, in books, in conversations, on advertisements, on menus, etc.

We hope you and your families enjoy the weekend,

The Kindergarten Team