Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

An important reminder: The Preschool/Kindergarten Winter Concert will be next Friday, December 9, in the Garage from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. All parents and family members are welcome to attend. The children are excited to share the songs they have been practicing this semester. Following the concert, we ask that you escort your child back to our classroom and say a fairly quick good-bye, as we plan to get back to our regular routines soon after the event. Thanks! If you aren’t able to join us, please let us know so we can be sure to support your child.

Although the children were sad to learn that our focus will no longer be on beavers and hedgehogs, they have been engaged in our next rich exploration – friendship. Lessons around being a good friend happen all year, but through this unit we will think about friendship in more in-depth ways over the next months. We value social emotional development and believe that in meaningful and sustained learning the intellect and emotions are inseparable. Brain research has demonstrated that emotions drive attention, learning, memory, and other important mental and intellectual activities. Developmentally, children are becoming aware that other people have feelings, and they are learning how to negotiate that in their play. Our friendship study will help children work on the following social emotional core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. Our study will help to make these abstract concepts concrete and tangible. We hope the concepts we cover will help your child throughout kindergarten and beyond.

Our friendship focus this week began with a conversation about how while each person is unique,  people also have similarities. We discussed how each person should be respected for whom s/he is. We read the book We Are All Alike, We Are All Different, which highlights the notion that all people need food, shelter, and love – yet we are each unique. We followed up with an activity where each child was partnered with another, and they drew each other’s portraits on a large sheet of paper. The children then interviewed one another and discovered two qualities they share and two that are different; these were added to the portraits. The comparisons are hung up in our classrooms. Stop by in the morning or after school to check them out.

In mathematics for the next few weeks, in support of the concept of "doubles," we are focusing on how to represent quantities in a variety of ways. We are thinking about, for example, if 2+2=4, then 4 is a double. We are looking at our number line and recognizing doubles (even numbers) is a way of counting every other number, counting by 2s. Next week we will chart an item that includes a pair of something (one person has two eyes, one bike has two wheels) and count up by 2s.

You may have noticed construction of a new rock-climbing wall in the garden. With careful research and a thoughtful group comprised of teachers, administrators, and parent architects, we selected a climbing wall to exercise upper body strength in our preschoolers and kindergarteners. With clear ground rules and a sense of adventure, we’re looking forward to challenging your children with yet another wonderful addition to our garden. Stay tuned for the unveiling soon!

Ask your child:

  • Who were you partnered with for the “People” book? What do you have in common? What is different about you?
  • What did you write about in your journal this week?
  • What was your favorite activity this week in school?
  • What did you read during “Read to Self” or “Quiet Reading?” Did you read the words, retell the story, or read the pictures?

To do with your child:

  • Draw each other and list a few things you have in common and a few things that make you different from one another.
  • Find something at home that comes in pairs and count them up by twos together (socks, legs in pants). You can also count a group of objects by twos and decide together if the group is a double or not.

It is hard to believe that there are only two more week of school before winter break!

Have a wonderful weekend,

The Kindergarten Team