It was with great excitement and joy that the students shared their non-fiction writing piece today at the final celebration of the kindergarten year! We were so happy that many of you were able to make this special event. The children worked very hard on their first Brookside research project and were very proud to share their accomplishments. Of course, a Brookside end-of-year Writing Celebration is not complete without a picnic and Bob's ice cream truck!
"I think I can-I think I can-I think I can-I think I can," these words filled the kindergarten classrooms this week as the book, The Little Engine That Could, was read aloud by the teachers. This book is one of the core works for kindergarten, and gives a strong message about perseverance. After a discussion about the meaning of perseverance, the children were invited to write about something they have worked hard on this year and are proud of accomplishing.
Our little scientists journeyed to the Tenafly Nature Center to explore the pond habitat up close. The class had a short walk that led to the edge of the pond. The guide scooped up mud from the bottom of the pond and put it in tubs. In small groups, the children were invited to dig through the muck to look for the smallest creatures that live in the mud. Some of the discoveries were tadpoles, fly larvae, a leach, bullfrog eggs, and snails.
Kindergarten children are always eager to respond to a survey question asked on the morning message. Sometimes responses are as simple as writing your name in a yes or no column, and other times may require to choose one of three things, such as your favorite ice cream flavor. The teachers have introduced tally marks as a new way of organizing and collecting data. Tally marks are a way for the children to keep a record of a count, and also serves as a practical way to practice skip counting by 5's and adding on from the highest number. This week one way that children practiced using tally marks as an organizational tool for data collection, was by generating their own question to ask other class members and recording responses with a tally mark.
The kindergarten children have been doing research in Library class with Mrs. D'Urso. Each child has chosen an indigenous animal that lives in or near a water source. With Mrs. D'Urso's guidance, each child is finding facts about their animal, such as habitat, diet, and body characteristics. In the classroom, the teachers have been talking with the children about resources that an author of a non-fiction book might use before writing. The research that has been done with Mrs. D'Urso will be transferred into a non-fiction book during Writing Workshop. This book will be shared at our last Writing Celebration on Friday, May 30 from 11:45-1:00.