Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Kindergarten A is “rolling along” with our bicycle study and Kindergarten B has been “shocked” by all they are learning about electricity.  We have been incorporating reading, writing, math and science into our projects. 

Kindergarten A started our week categorizing the questions we have about bicycles so we could better focus our research.  We made and labeled observational sketches of a bicycle we brought into the classroom looking carefully at the many different parts.  We watched how moving just the pedals moved many other parts of the bike.  We read nonfiction books about bicycles and shared what we thought we learned.  Children wrote songs about bicycles; some made pictures of bikes made out of pasta.  We had two bike experts visit this week.  Deegan, kindergartner from KB, brought in his bicycle and taught us about bike safety and answered questions about how bikes work. On Thursday bike mechanic Dan Eisler joined us and taught us about the history of the invention and design of bicycles.  He showed us how to separate a tire from its inner tube and wheel, and how to pump up the inner tube.  Each child wrote Dan a thank you note for sharing his expertise with us.  

In Kindergarten B, we began our research by going on a hunt in our classrooms and garage spaces to observe the many different ways we use electricity. This is an ongoing list so feel free to go on a hunt at home!  We then looked in non-fiction books and reported back to the class about what we learned by reading the pictures and words.  To understand the basics of electricity, the children built a model of an atom.  They all proudly know the words “proton, neutron and electron.”  We learned that electricity is created when one electron moves off of its own orbit and orbits a different atom.  We also talked about how electricity moves through materials called conductors but cannot move through materials that are insulators.  We watched a video, read some books and conducted experiments creating both static and moving electricity right in our classroom! Ask your child to tell you about it. We had our first expert visit this week.  Brian Jordan – a substitute teacher, the school gardner, and a musician – brought some of his musical amplification equipment and talked about how electricity can help enhance performing.   We also started an electronics take-apart station.  If you have any old electronics to donate, please bring them to our classroom, as the children are excited to discover what is inside. 

Mathematics games this week focused on reinforcing the following skills:  recognizing quantities to ten without counting each item, recognizing the teen numbers and understand each one is ten and more ones.

In Seed to Table we returned to the idea that “people are the same and different” by thinking about how all cultures eat bread, but each its own kind.  We baked two types of cornbread: a sweet cornbread and a southwest-style savory cornbread.  We shared our favorite types of breads including pancakes, sourdough, challah and cornbread! Students had the opportunity to taste both types of cornbread at snack. 

Our week ended with a performance of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” performed by the 8th graders.  Prior to seeing the play, we read a kindergarten-friendly synopsis so the children would know the story.

Thanks to those of you who have already signed up for a parent/teacher conference.  Here are the links to sign up.

Kindergarten A http://doodle.com/poll/kq78dh6gi45vzgi2

Kindergarten B http://doodle.com/poll/7k3c5nxp5qpds375

If you would like to set up a conference with a specialists, please see the following links:

Kindergarten A Art Teacher, Catherine Bogart-Rome:  http://doodle.com/poll/7r42s3ppzyv7a77i

Kindergarten B Art Teacher, Kait Renna:
http://doodle.com/poll/7vua2c5ub3ihmzrf

Music Teacher, Chris Gignac:
http://doodle.com/poll/by944vma4sk7d34i

Questions to ask your child this week:

  • What did you think of the play Taming of the Shrew?
  • What did you write about in Writing Workshop?
  • Did you taste any cornbread?  Which did you like best?

Kindergarten A:  

  • What are some parts of a bicycle?  What do they do?
  • How does moving just the pedals make the bike move?
  • Why do people use bicycles?  

Kindergarten B:

  • Why are electrons so important to electricity?
  • What does it look like inside an electrical cord? Why are they made that way?
  • Why is it important to get out of a pool when it starts lightning?

Activities to do:

Kindergarten A:

  • Take a walk in your neighborhood and keep a tally of all of the bikes you see.
  • Look carefully at a bicycle.  Can your child explain to you how the bike works?  
  • Discuss how the bikes are being used - are they being ridden for a job, for fun or for another reason?

Kindergarten B:

  • Try a static electricity experiment! Rub a balloon on your hair or wool and see if the negative charge you just created attracts positively charged material (small pieces of paper, pepper, your own hair)
  • Go on an electricity hunt in your home or neighborhood. Keep track of what you find so we can add it our growing list! 

Enjoy the weekend,

The Kindergarten Team