Kindergarten Weekly Note

Dear Kindergarten Families,

We enjoyed the opportunity earlier this week to share the wonderful work of your children during conferences. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us.

This week we continued to explore squirrels and mice. Both groups were visited today by an expert from The Academy of Natural Sciences, who led a lesson about rodents. We learned more about what makes a rodent a rodent, and we met a porcupine, a chinchilla, and a rat in person. We also got to touch and compare rodent skulls and pelts.

On Thursday afternoon children learned more about a predator to both squirrels and mice – owls. Pairs of children dissected an owl pellet, which is the indigestible material left in the gizzard of an owl in which teeth, skulls, claws, and feathers that are too dangerous to pass through the rest of the owl's digestive tract can be found. To safely excrete this material, the owl's gizzard compacts it into a tight pellet that the owl regurgitates. Ask your child to share with you which rodent bones s/he found in the owl pellet.

Kindergarten A also discussed where squirrels fit into the ecosystem – they typically eat nuts and seeds but will also eat insects, bird eggs, and sometimes baby birds. They themselves are prey to hawks, owls, and foxes. We learned about carnivores, omnivore, and herbivores. We played a predator/prey card game to reinforce this concept of how squirrels fit into the food chain.

In Kindergarten B Matteo’s dad, Trevor, taught us about different predators of mice. We looked at photos and learned how mice are prey to many kinds of animals. Chris, the music teacher, also shared with us a story of spotting a mouse in her garden. This week we continued to share about our families as part of our friendship study to learn more about each other. We will continue sharing these stories over the next few weeks.

Our Number Corner this month introduces students to many new concepts. Some of the skills targeted are counting within 100 by 1s or 10s; practice with writing numerals; for any number from 1 to 9, finding the number that makes 10 when added to that number (5+__=10) and breaking up the sum 10 into two addends (4+6=10, 7+3=10, etc.); identifying, analyzing, and comparing two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. As always, we are continuing to work on making sense of problems and persevering in solving them, as well as constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others.

Questions/Activities for this week:

  • What did you learn about rodents from the Academy of Natural Sciences expert? What kind of rodents did you see?
  • What did you find in your owl pellet?
  • What did you write about in Writing Workshop this week?
  • How did your classroom’s loft change for the month of November?
  • What did you do in your Family Circle today?

Have a lovely weekend,

The Kindergarten Team