Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Since there are only two days of school next week, this note will tell you about this week and what we plan to do next week.

First a calendar item: Please plan to come to the Preschool/Kindergarten Chorus Concert on Friday, December 11 at 9 am in The Garage. The children are excited to share their singing talents with you.

We had another fun trip to The John Heinz Wildlife Refuge today. We took a long, adventurous hike to a bird look-out, where the children could see seagulls, swans, and a number of types of ducks and geese. We also saw turtles, minnows, and tadpoles. During our hike we stopped often to listen to the sounds of nature. It was a gorgeous day of outdoor play. We will not return to an outdoor classroom until after spring break. We will be spending our Fridays in the classroom, in our garden, and at Markward Playground.

Much of this week was spent representing our squirrel and mice knowledge in preparation for sharing what we’ve learned with the other kindergarten class next week. Children spent time creating and writing books, models, costumes, writing songs, creating plays, and puppet shows. Children began to practice how to share these representations with one another. We have talked about how some children are feeling excited to present, while others are feeling nervous and still others are feeling mixed emotions – and how all of those feelings are normal. We have talked about and practiced how to present thoughtfully, using a loud speaking voice and by making eye-contact with the audience. Next week your children will add “teacher” to the list of things they have experienced in kindergarten. Next Monday afternoon each student will present his/her expertise about mice and squirrels to the other kindergarten class. Our hope is that at the conclusion of these studies the students recognize they have strategies to research any topic in which they are interested.

Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving with the whole school at our annual Thanksgiving Feast, where we sit together in Family Circles and enjoy lunch. If your child is not planning to attend school next Tuesday, please let us know. You do not need to send your child with lunch next Tuesday. Each school unit makes something to share with the rest of the school. Kindergarten has harvested some veggies from our garden and will spend time on Monday adding them to other vegetables as we make salad for the entire school. The Primary Unit makes corn bread; Junior Unit makes dessert; and Middle School makes TPS’s traditional Thanksgiving lasagna. It is a lovely way to celebrate all we are grateful for at TPS.

Questions to ask/activity to do with your child this week:

  • What happens if you roll up a rectangle? What three-dimensional shape does it become?
  • How can you make a cone from a circle?
  • What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
  • What did you write about in your Writer’s Journal this week?
  • What did you do with a squash seed in Seed to Table this week?
  • Next week ask: How did you feel about presenting your squirrel/mouse information?
  • Go on a 3-D shape hunt in your house. Look for cones, cylinders, spheres, and cubes. Write down how many of which shapes you find and compare. Which shapes has the most? the least? How many shapes did you find all together?
  • Write a list of all that you are grateful for as a family.
  • Next week have your child share his/her mouse/squirrel workbook with you - perhaps s/he can answer the list of questions the children generated at the beginning of the study.

We hope you have a restful, joyful Thanksgiving. One of the many things we are grateful for this year is the opportunity to work with your children at TPS.

Warmly, The Kindergarten Team