Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

This week’s note will start with some administrative details:

• Monday and Tuesday, November 2 and 3 are Parent/Teacher Conferences. Thanks to those of you who have signed up.

If you haven’t yet, to sign up for a conference with Rachel, Katie, and Melissa, please follow this link: http://doodle.com/poll/5eixpbqi96iu74ve.

To sign up for a conference  with Elizabeth, Jonah and Marisa, please follow this link: http://doodle.com/poll/uahgz4kczrtkde8i .

Please be sure to push "save" on the bottom right or left of the survey, which lets us know you have signed up for a time/date. We will send you an email in a few weeks confirming your date/time. There are no regular classes those days, but there are special ASEP programs available.

• There is no school on Monday in observance of Columbus Day.
• Another calendar notation: October 22 is the day that Kindergarten class and individual photos will be taken.
• Please try to bring your children to school on time. We start table time at 8:20am. It is especially difficult for late children on Friday mornings when we start Encuentro or Family Circle activities at 8:35 am. Thanks for your cooperation.
• TPS is looking for parent volunteers to help staff two upcoming Community events:

On Saturday, October 17, TPS will be participating in the Schuylkill River Park Fall Festival at the playground. We have simple crafts activities all planned out. TPS teachers and students will be on hand at the "TPS table," and they would appreciate volunteers to help young festival goers take part in our autumn-themed crafts activities. The festival runs from 11am to 3pm. If you can help out for one or two shifts (10:45-1:00 or 1:00 to 3:00), it would be most appreciated. Email Lois West to volunteer at lwest@tpschool.org.

On Sunday, October 18, TPS will be showcasing its Garden as part of the Center City Residents Association House Tour. We need volunteers for one or two shifts (12:45-2:15 or 2 to 4). We will provide information about the garden to you, and all you have to do is welcome guests and answer any questions they might have. Again, please email Lois West to volunteer at lwest@tpschool.org.

Now to our classroom business! What a busy and exciting week we have had in kindergarten! We kicked off our fall project work by selecting a topic of interest from the evidence we gathered last Friday about what lives and grows in the Schuylkill Center. After generating long lists including items such as mushrooms, snakes, groundhogs, deer and ticks, the children learned the fine art of "advocating" for their favorite idea. We discussed how “advocating” is not just saying that you want to study something because you like it, but to actually think about why you like it and share that deeper idea.

Each child, if s/he chose, stood in front of the class and talked about which idea was most exciting to him/her and why. This part of our project helps our students begin to speak confidently in front of their peers, helps them learn to keep an open mind when listening to others, and helps them learn how to handle disappointment if their idea isn't the one ultimately chosen. After a secret ballot vote we had two clear winners! The Riddles and Clues will be studying mice, and the Detectives and Investigators will be studying squirrels. Later in the week, the children shared their prior experiences with mice and squirrels. Today we used some of our time at the Schuylkill Center to really look for evidence of these two creatures. If you have any interesting expertise or experience with squirrels or mice, we would love to invite you into our classrooms to share that information with us. Please email us so we can set up a time for you to visit!

As well as reading a number of books to the children this week, we also discussed two ways to they can “read” books to themselves or to someone else. Since many of the children are not yet able to read most or all of the words in books, we discussed that anyone can “read the pictures” in a book by simply looking at the illustrations and making a guess about the story. Another way to “read” a book is to retell the story of a book one is already familiar with. These ways to “read” empower children to feel comfortable reading books even if they can’t yet read all of the words.

Spanish has been integrated into our days most often during Table Time, Morning Meeting, Snack and Movement. Children have worked on numbers in Spanish from 1 - 10, are greeting one another with “Buenos Dias” and learning “sientense” (sit down) and “levantense” (stand up). They are also asking for snack with a “sí, por favor (yes, please)” or “no, gracias (no, thank you).”

In mathematics, we have been focused on different ways to see quantities to five, how to write the numerals 1-5, as well as beginning to recognize numbers 1-20.

In Seed to Table, children have eaten fresh cucumbers from the garden and roasted potatoes they picked - yum!! Using our classroom rules, students created rules for the garden as well. They also collected seeds from many plants to prepare to grow more plants in the spring.

Questions to ask/Activities to do with your child:

to ask:

  • Did you advocate for a science study topic? If yes, which study idea did you advocate for and why for the first project?
  • What are two ways to read a book?

to do:

  • “Read the Pictures” of a book with your child.
  • Let your child advocate for something s/he would like for dinner or dessert. Ask him/her not only to tell you that they like and want this item, but also why they like it. And remind your child that s/he may not get that item and that disappointment is a normal feeling but we are all working on being flexible and “moving our hearts to a different feeling.”

We hope you and your families enjoy the weekend,

Rachel, Katie, Melissa, Elizabeth, Jonah, and Marisa