Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

We have been steeped in our Friendship Study.  We made our first friendship tool:  “optimism glasses.”   One puts on optimism glasses to begin a discussion with a friend with whom you are having a conflict.  You put on the glasses as a reminder to go into your conversation thinking about two things:   keeping an optimistic attitude that you will be able to work out a solution, and remembering that both parties have a perspective worth listening to with that positive attitude.

We also created and started to use our second tool: The "I Statement Microphone."  The children are practicing using "I Statements" with friends to share their feelings.  For example, "I feel disappointed that you took the toy I wanted to play with."  The other child repeats to show s/he heard the first child, "I hear that you feel disappointed that I took the toy you wanted to play with." We have been reading books about friendship and role playing from different character’s perspectives to practice using “I Statements.”  

We have also been role playing with situations that have actually come up in our classrooms.  Our hope is that our students learn to independently talk through conflict together to find solutions where both parties feel comfortable with the result.  This “friendship tool” curriculum will continue for the next few weeks as the children learn more tools to resolve conflict independently.  

Our math activities this week reinforced comparing numerals, tally marks and ten-frame cards as greater than, less than, or equal to one another.   Every week our calendar/number corner work reviews place value as we keep track of how many days we’ve been in school using numerals, ten frames, and links.  In another few weeks, this school year will be half way over - hard to believe.

In Writing Workshop, we focused on some of the more difficult sounds in English - the short vowel e, as in “Ed,” and the short vowel u, as in “up.”  We also added “of” to our list of sight words.

In Seed to Table, we talked about how we use our five senses in the kitchen, echoing work we did around the five senses in the garden this fall.  We sniffed vinegar, onions, and cocoa powder, listened to snap peas and carrots crunching, felt and tasted mango and pineapple, and  saw popcorn popping.  We then seasoned and enjoyed a taste of popcorn.

There is no school today or Monday.  Please check the recent TPS Tuesday email for information about the Martin Luther King Day volunteer opportunities at TPS.  

Next Friday, January 22, is TPS’s long-standing tradition of Crazy Hat, Hair and Pajama Day.  It is a school-wide event where children may (but do not have to) wear pajamas, silly hats and/or crazy hair-dos.  We do ask that children do not wear slippers (for safety reasons).  Please note that we will still play outside and your child should be dressed appropriately for the weather. 

Questions to ask your child/Activities to do with your child:

  • What are “Optimism Glasses?”  Why do you use them?
  • How do you use an “I Statement Microphone?”
  • How can that “Friendship Tool” help resolve a conflict?
  • What did you write about in Writing Workshop?
  • What are you reading during Read to Self/Quiet Reading?
  • Role play a conflict two friends or siblings might have and use a spoon to be the “I Statement Microphone.”  Your child will probably enjoy explaining how the process works.
  • Discuss a time when you wish you put on “optimism glasses.”  

Have a wonderful weekend,

The Kindergarten Team