Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Happy New Year! It’s been great being back together in kindergarten. The children shared lots from their winter break adventures and also seemed genuinely happy to be back at school.

We spent a lot of time this week reviewing our rules and expectations in Kindergarten. We continued to read lots, write lots and do lots of mathematics. We played letter games to reinforce letter recognition and letter/sound correspondence. Our focus this week was on “l, lamp, /l/“, “h, hat /h/,” and “k, kite /k/.” We add “the” to our “word wall.” We also wrote in our journals.

We have incorporated a lot of math activities into our week. We added a new calendar pattern for January that gives opportunities for students to investigate and record different ways to decompose 3, 4, and 5. We have introduced tally marks as a way to count items. We also used unifix cubes to compose and decompose quantities to ten, while practicing numeral writing.

Our friendship study continues as we talked more about our feelings this week. We focused on how to look at others’ expressions to recognize how someone else might be feeling. We then moved in a different, yet related, direction. We looked at a number of seemingly random items: hammer, paint brushes, cutting board, scissors, goggles, magnifying glasses, along with other things. Everyone concluded all the items are tools and that tools can help make a job easier. We then had children pick out tools that an artist could use, then a builder, and a chef. Our last question was to find a tool that could help if you’re having a conflict with a friend. Discovering there are no tools for that, we discussed making our own tools to help make us all be better friends and help us with conflict. This week each child decorated a tool box to hold his/her "friendship tools." For the month of January we will create many tools and practice using them with the goal of learning how to negotiate thoughtfully with one another. At the end of the month, your child will bring home his/her Friendship Tool Box filled with tools to use and share with you at home.

In Seed to Table, students revisited the tools in the kitchen and talked about how important a tool our hands are. To that end, the children made mini-black-bean burgers. Some folks asked for the recipe:

1 can black beans (rinsed, drained, and smashed)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crushed Rice Chex
1 egg
pepper, basil, oregano, salt to taste

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Form small patties and grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Questions to ask your child:

  • How did it feel to be back at school?
  • What did you write about in your journal this week?
  • What book did you read at Quiet Reading or Read to Self? How did you read your book?

Activities to do with your child:

  • Go on a tool hunt. Find things in your house that make jobs easier.
  • Play a game matching numbers with tally marks. Use a deck of cards (all face-cards can be valued at 10). Take turns turning a card over and creating that quantity in toothpicks or popsicle stick tally marks.

Have a lovely weekend,

The Kindergarten Team