Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

An important reminder:  The Preschool/Kindergarten Winter Concert and Sing will be next Friday, December, 11th in the Garage from 9:00 to 9:30.  All parents and family members are welcome to attend.  The children are excited to share the songs they have been practicing this semester.  There will be room in front of the audience chairs for family members who would like to sit on the floor closer to the students.  There will be a sing-along at the end of the concert and we look forward to making music together with you!  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.  

Though the children were sad to know our focus will no longer be on mice and squirrels, they have been engaged in our next rich exploration – friendship.  Though lessons around being a good friend happen all year, we will think about friendship in 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 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 friendship study will help to make these abstract concepts, concrete and tangible.  See below questions to ask your child so s/he can introduce you to the friendship concepts we discussed this week.  We hope the concepts we cover will help your child throughout kindergarten and beyond. 

We have continued to practice “Read to Self” or “Quiet Reading.”   Many children continue to “read the pictures” of books, while others are starting to recognize and/or decode words.   We added our first “sight words” to our “word wall.”  These are commonly used words that are often not spelled phonetically.  This week we added “I” and “a,” explaining that these are the only one-letter words in English.  The students seemed excited to know that if they are familiar with the names of those letters, they can read and write at least two words.

The emphasis of our reading lessons this week was on finding  “Good-Fit Books.”  We talked about how different people wear different clothes or shoes for different purposes, just like how we read books for different purposes – for entertainment, to learn facts, etc.  Just how no one shoe or shirt fits everyone, we are all reading different books that are “good-fit books” for each of us.  The children practiced “shopping” for good-fit books to read.   

Our Number Corner mathematics activities for December reinforce the following skills: counting within 100 by 1s or 10s, counting backward from any number in the range of 10 to 1, representing addition with objects, fingers, drawings, and equations, decomposing numbers from 11 to 19 into a group of 10 and some 1s,  and describing the relative positions of objects in the environment using the terms inside, outside, behind, in front of, to the right, to the left, above, below, before, after, and between.

Questions to ask your child:  

  • What is an upstander? 
  • What is a bystander?
  • How were you a good friend to someone this week?
  • How was someone a good friend to you this week?
  • What did you do with your Family Circle this morning?
  • What did you write about in Writing Workshop this week?
  • What books did you choose when you went “Book Shopping?”
  • How is Wild Child connected to Seed to Table?

Activities to do with your child:

  • Discuss a time when you were an upstander or bystander, and how you felt in each situation?
  • Play a counting game where you and your child take turns thinking of a number between 1 and 20, then counting from that number up to 30 or back to 1 (we have just started to play this game, so your child may need some support counting). 
  • Read with your child (who the “reader” is depends on your child’s comfort level), and see if s/he can find the words “I” or “a.” 

Have a wonderful weekend,

The Kindergarten Team