Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Once again, we are steeped in project work about bicycles and electricity!  Our students seem so proud of all they have learned.    We are excited to invite you to a tour of our classroom by your child.  The rooms will be open for touring next Monday-Friday, March 14-18, from 8-8:20am, and on Wednesday, March 16 from 3:10-3:30pm.  Please choose one morning or afternoon to enjoy a tour of our classroom by your child.  

This week Kindergarten A welcomed a number of bicycle experts.  On Monday TPS Primary Unit parent and midwife, Christy, rode her Madsen Cargo bike into the garden and talked to the children about how her bike is essential for parts of her job and is good for the environment.  The children noted what was different about her bike than the others we have studied.  On Wednesday, Leigh and Steve, from Wash Cycle Laundry, shared their special electric tricycle that is used to carry dirty laundry from their clients to their laundry facilities and back.  It was fascinating to learn that the front wheel is powered by a battery, while the rest of the tricycle is powered by the rider, who moves the crank, to move the chain, to move the wheels.  This morning we were visited by bike racer, Lisa, aunt of two TPS students.  She shared how she set a goal for herself to learn how to race and explained that even though it was difficult to learn, she has had fun and came in second in a race last year.  She showed us her racing bike, her helmet, and shoes. Thank you so much to families who shared their pedal-less bikes with us.  Children had an opportunity to try to balance on the bike to see what is involved in riding.

In Kindergarten B we thought about how lucky we are that we have electricity and wrote what we are most thankful for.  We also talked about how we need to use it thoughtfully.  We learned that even in 2016, ⅓ of the world doesn’t have access to electricity in their homes, schools and hospitals. We learned about alternate sources of clean energy and the impact of our usage on the environment.  For experts this week. Victor’s dad, Lou, an elevator engineer, came in to talk about the various electrical components to elevators and what happens if the electricity goes out! Our next expert, Miles’s mom, Stacey, who is a doctor, came in to show us all about how and where electricity can be found in our bodies. We acted like sodium ions and potassium ions and travelled through channels to send messages to and from the brain. 

Elliot’s uncle Peter, who is a mechanical engineer at PPL, which is the electric delivery company in southeast and central PA (like Peco does in Philadelphia).  He  taught us about how electricity is made, how it is delivered to homes, and the importance of using it safely and wisely. As a culmination to our research and to answer any last questions, we tapped into our biggest city resource for electricity: THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE. We explored the electricity exhibit, and Franklin Institute educator and TPS alumna Shanna Pokras Caster gave us a lesson with lots of hands-on opportunities! 

Academics have been woven throughout our project work.  Children have been writing books about their topics,  labeling pictures, and reading nonfiction books.

Our math work this week has focused on combinations to ten, with a missing addend, as well as combining numbers to ten.  If you have six bicycle wheels, how many more do you need to get to ten?  If you have five electrons and five protons, how many all together?  We have also been focused on numbers from 11-30.

Thank you for signing up for conferences.  Conference child care: If you need child care (for a TPS-enrolled student) during your conference time on March 24 or 25, it will be available in the Lombard Street building from 7:30am to 5:30pm. A receptionist will direct you to the room where supervision will be available. Children may not wait in the office. Thanks.

Questions to ask your child this week:

K-A:

  • What was different about the Madsen Cargo bike and the Wash Cycle Laundry tricycle and most other bicycles?
  • What did you learn from our experts this week?
  • What have you enjoyed about our bicycle study?

KB:

  • What was your favorite part of the field trip to the Franklin Institute?
  • How is electricity in our bodies?
  • What’s another way we can get energy for electricity besides burning fuel?

Activities to engage in with your child:

  • Play math word games where you give your child a problem to solve based on adding combinations to ten.  If you eat three meat balls, how many more until you get to ten?  
  • Write the numbers 11-30 on 3x5 cards.  Lay them out in a line mixed up.  Work with your child on putting them in order.  
  • Hide a photo under one of the cards.  Have your child guess which number it’s under with hints - is it under a number greater than 13?  Is it less than 21?  etc.

K-A: Ride bikes together and discuss how your bikes work.

K-B: Think of ways you can use less energy and electricity in your home.

Warmly,

The Kindergarten Team