This week Kindergarten students traveled to Montclair State University to see a performance of Aesop’s Fables. The puppet show highlighted many of the fables and focused on the significance of each story by highlighting the moral at the end. We spend a few weeks each school year reading the fables to teach the children different life lessons. When they returned to school after the performance, the students were motivated to make their own puppets out of brown paper bags. We had a lot of fun putting them together and pretending to have our very own show!
Kindergarten students were challenged to name, describe and compare 3-dimensional shapes in every day objects. Students were able to go beyond the standard square, circle, triangle, rectangle and hexagon. After seeing some engaging learning clips on 3-dimensional shapes, we analyzed and created shape collages using cubes, cones, cylinders and spheres. Be on the lookout after Spring Break for an exciting new shape museum outside our classroom. Students were fascinated when we introduced the geometric use of "face" when describing attributes of 3-dimensional shapes.
Throughout the week, during writing workshop, reading workshop, morning meeting, shared reading, and even word study, the children have been introduced to the concepts of blends (tr, bl, sp) and digraphs (sh, th, ch). We teach them to be on the lookout for blends in environmental print and their books. Recognizing letter/sound relationships helps children decode unfamiliar words. The children have been using their noticing skills to discover blends and digraphs all around them.
This week the Kindergarten students familiarized themselves with the equal symbol. During large group discussions children had the opportunity to compare different quantities of manipulatives and visually demonstrate what it means to use equal amounts. Students utilized terms such as equal and equal to which helped them build on previously learned concepts about the same number.
This week we read the book Red is Best in which the little girl in the story tries to convince her mother that she should be able to wear red clothing everyday. This book, as well as Spoon, sparked the children’s interest and kicked off our new writing unit called persuasive writing. Students discussed the difference between the terms fact and opinion, and they learned it is acceptable to have different opinions about a topic or an issue. However, it is important to explain your opinion or why you feel a particular way with a supporting statement, which will help someone to understand your point of view. The children began by making lists of things they like and do not like and will use those lists to begin their persuasive writing process in the weeks ahead.
Kindergarten students have enjoyed exploring the world of vowels. They have been fascinated with dissecting long and short vowel sounds. Through interactive activities and table time challenges, we have explored learning vowels in creative ways. Each time a vowel was introduced, students had an itch for the next one! Certainly explore vowels at home with your children.
Our recent writing unit has the children thinking about things they can do on their own. In a continued effort to answer our guiding question, "What makes me, me?" we are taking the time to celebrate each child's special talents. We asked the children to choose something they are "experts" at, like ice-skating, throwing a football, being a friend and riding a scooter. We then had to think of the sequence of events that has to take place in order to perform that task well. This required the children to slow down and think in a logical and systematic way. The students have enjoyed sharing their how-to books with others and teaching each other new skills.
This week Kindergarten students explored weight by comparing different objects in the classroom with the pan balance! The students shared with their classmates what they thought would occur when the items were placed on the scale, and were introduced to the terms heavier, lighter, balance, and level. During Exploration time, students were able to select different objects from the classroom and have a hands on experience comparing the weight of different manipulatives. Later in the week, the students were also introduced to capacity and made estimations on which containers in the classroom would hold less, hold more, or be equal to.
This week we honored Dr. Martin Luther King by reading books about his life. We shared his famous "I have a Dream Speech" with the children, which led to a discussion about inclusion and accepting differences. The students were inspired and motivated to write about what they learned. In Blue K children focused on how they can make a difference in the world they live in, and in Green K the children created a door entitled The Colors of Us.
Kindergarten mathematicians took on the challenge of ten frames this week. They were able to compose and decompose numbers in various ways on a ten frame. Ten frame fun is a way to informally explore addition and subtraction. This activity honed in on different disciplines, such as counting to tell the number of objects, understanding addition as putting together and adding to, and also subtraction and taking apart or taking from. The children enjoyed starting this fun activity in a whole group setting and then being paired up to challenge a friend. Kindergarten students continue to benefit from exploring numbers in different ways and relating the benchmark of 10.