Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

It’s hard to believe this is the last Friday note of 2015!  We are so delighted to work with your children and one another - it is a gift!  We are also so moved by your generosity.  Thank you for the generous book store gift cards. Have a lovely and safe winter break.  We are looking forward to welcoming your children back on Monday, January 4, 2016  (2016!?!?!).

Our study of Friendship this week focused on feelings.   Our goals are for the children to begin to recognize and label their own feelings as they come up during social interactions, as well as to begin to understand that others may have a feeling or perspective that is different.   We started our study by reading Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis and The Way I Feel by Janan Cain.  Each class created a list of many “feelings words” including typical words like “happy” and “bad,” as well as “enthusiastic,” “frustrated,” and “impulsive.”  We continued to add to the list all week as we read other books, empathized with their characters and discussed how those characters were feeling.  We also talked about how we feel different feelings in different places in our body - sometimes our shoulders feel tight and we knit our eyebrows before we even realize we are angry.  We also discussed how it is important to look at someone’s facial expression to help us know how someone is feeling, and to be sure to consider someone’s feelings when interacting with him/her.  During Seed to Table, the children created facial expressions out of edible items - rice cakes with cream cheese as the base, and toppings like raisins, pretzel sticks, and chocolate chips to make an expressive (and tasty!) face that shows a specific emotion.   We will be continuing this social/emotional work in January, and throughout the year.

Mathematics this week focused on recognizing the quantity of five, without counting each item, and adding five to other addends with sums up to ten.  

We spent this afternoon with our third grade book buddies and rotated through three winter-related activities:  creating a winter craft, cookie decorating and reading together with hot cocoa.

Every week or so we will add a word or words to our “Word Wall.”  These are typically words that one needs to learn by sight, as they are generally not spelled phonetically.  This week we added “is” to our “word wall.”  We call it the “wiz of is” and draw a wizard’s hat around the word to help the children recognize it.

After break, Seed to Table will be working on on cooking projects that focus on cooperation.  Our ingredients each week will be checked by the nurse to be sure they are allergy-safe.  If you ever want to check ingredients, please let us know.  You are welcome to come in and do so.

Questions to ask your child:

  • What did you learn from visiting your Book Buddy’s Lene Lenape Village on Monday?
  • What were three things you enjoyed at today’s Winter Celebration with your Book Buddy?
  • What did you write about in Writing Workshop?

Activities to do with your child:

  • Discuss and list the feelings you and your child felt in the course of a day.  Where in your body did you feel those feelings?  Practice making facial expressions at one another and see if you can each guess how the other person is feeling.
  • Play a rhyming game.  One of you says a word, and the other says a word that rhymes.  You can go back and forth until neither of you can come up with another rhyming word, or you can begin to make up rhyming nonsense words.
  • Play an “opposite” game.  One of you says a word, and the other says its opposite:  yes/no, stop/go, happy/sad, above/below etc.
  • Relax.
  • Read together.
  • Laugh together.
  • Eat together.
  • Enjoy each other’s company.

Happy New Year,

Elizabeth, Jonah, Marisa, Rachel, Katie, and Melissa