Kindergarten Weekly Note

February 19, 2016

Dear Kindergarten Families,

The students have chosen their next studies! Kindergarten B will focus their project work on electricity. Kindergarten A will focus their project work on bicycles.

The process of deciding started with children advocating for what to study from a list they generated last week about how things work. This was an option, not a requirement. We discussed a number of things before advocating:

1. Advocating isn’t just saying which topic you’d like to study, but why.
2. Think for yourself. Do not just simply advocate for the same topic as your friends.
3. When listening to others’ ideas during the “advocating” phase of our project be sure to keep an open mind.
4. It is okay to feel disappointed if what you voted for wasn’t ultimately chosen, but it’s important to be flexible and recognize that any project will be rich and exciting. We all kept our “optimism glasses” on and embraced these new topics.

Both kindergartens will focus on their topics through the lens of “growth mindset,” thinking about perseverance and how making mistakes can lead to learning and growth. Each classroom made a list of questions they have about electricity or bicycles to help focus our upcoming research. If you have any expertise in either topic we would love to have you join us to share what you know. If you have any resources you think we would be of help, please email the classroom teachers to let us know. If you have any old electronics and/or bicycles that you are willing to donate to kindergarten, please bring them into school. We will make great use of them. Thanks!

Writing Workshop was connected to our project work as the children wrote about their previous experiences with their topics. We also focused on the sounds and spelling of the suffix “ing” and the digraph “th.”

We played games in math that focused on the skills of recognizing “teens” as ten and some more, which connects to learning those numbers in Spanish. Most teens in Spanish are translated to “ten and more.” For example, sixteen is translated to “ten and six.”

One of the goals of Seed to Table is to infuse and weave Spanish culture and language into our activities. This week the children made salsa. They talked about how a recipe is a list of directions that needs to be followed in order to make a specific item. The salsa recipe had a number of required ingredients, but the children could choose to add mango or corn. They also made their own tortilla chips. A few weeks ago students planted seeds that have now sprouted; they are doing regular observational sketches of these plants to document the changes over time.

Questions to ask your child:

  • Did you choose to advocate for a topic of study? If yes, for which topic did you advocate and why?
  • How do you feel about the topic that was chosen?
  • What are you wondering about that topic?

Activities to do with your child:

  • Walk around your neighborhood - do you notice electricity or bicycles? Talk about any observations.
  • Make a meal together. Get recipes, get ingredients, and go through the steps together. Even if it doesn’t turn out exactly as expected, you can talk about what you would do differently next time, and how mistakes can help us learn.

Have a good weekend,

The Kindergarten Team