Welcome to Kindergarten!





Halloween 2018


Classroom News

November 2018

Literacy

We are “writing like scientists” by observing closely and describing things. We are writing about items we collected on our nature walk, as well as some cool gourds and seashells. We are working hard to s-t-r-e-t-c-h words slowly, hearing and recording as many sounds as we can. We’ve progressed from writing single word labels to writing simple sentences using “snap words” (sight words). We are also working hard on rereading, revising, and getting help from other writers (our classmates!). We will learn to organize information as we write about an animal (what it looks like, where it lives, what it does).


Everyone is working hard to master all the names and basic sounds of the alphabet, as well as write the letters. We’re working on blending and segmenting phonemes (individual sounds in words). This is very important early phonological work. The ability to blend sounds together to form words, as well as break words apart into individual sounds is an essential decoding (reading) and encoding (writing) skill. We are also learning how to read basic sight words.





Math

This month students will explore shapes and patterns. We’ll describe shape similarities and differences, and work with patterns made of shapes. Students will be introduced to the concepts of doubles and even numbers. We’ll learn to count objects by two’s. Students will also be introduced to the concepts of adding and subtracting one to and from numbers to ten. We’ll learn how to represent the joining of groups with equations. We’ll add and subtract one, as well as double quantities, devising equations to describe the situation being modeled. We’ll also compare length to determine greater than and less than.


All of this work is done through hands-on experiences using a variety of fun and interesting math tools and games!


We also work on these basic skills regularly: counting (forward, backward, and starting from numbers other than one), number recognition, place value, and number writing.

Theme Study

In November we learn about the Native Americans of long ago. We’ll talk about how they met their basic needs of food, shelter,  and clothing, and how the ways in which people met their needs varied depending on the types of natural materials available in their environment. We’ll learn about the wigwams and longhouses of the northeastern Indians, as well as the tipis of the Plains Indians. We’ll spend time working with pictographs, making up stories with pictures, as early people did. We’ll paint symbols on our own tipi, which will be big enough for us to go inside! And we’ll learn some Indian songs and a Wabanaki greeting.


We will also learn about the Pilgrims: why and how they left England and came to make a new life in the wilderness and how they lived (houses, clothing, food, and daily life, including what children did).


Our 4th grade reading buddies will help us make models of a Pilgrim house. Then, dressed as Pilgrims or Native Americans, we’ll gather with the other Pilgrims and Natives in Mrs. Ball’s and Mrs. Olson’s classes to share a little Thanksgiving feast!


Special Events

In October, we had fun doing Pumpkin Investigations: brainstorming words to describe the pumpkin, estimating and counting the lines, the height in unifix cubes, the number of seeds, and discovering whether a heavy pumpkin will sink or float. (Only one of us guessed correctly – it floats!)


We enjoyed our first experience with the Four Winds Nature program, learning about “leaf eater” insects. We will have more Four Winds activities throughout the year. Lessons occur both in the classroom and outdoors.


Margaret Coleman, our Agricultural teacher, will teach us about the three sisters planting method used by the Native Americans. We’ll learn how planting corn, beans, and squash together yielded more nutritious food that could be stored for long periods. We’ll learn the difference between “sweet corn” and “Indian corn” which is hard and can be ground into a corn flour. And we’ll eat a stew made of the three foods.

Coming Up . . .

NOVEMBER 13-19

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES

November 8

DRA Outdoor Education: Native Americans

* Wear boots, hats, and gloves

November 26

Four Winds Nature Institute: “Snags and Rotting Logs”

DECEMBER:

Giving and Holiday Traditions

Physical Science: Pushes and Pulls

You Can Help

Learn all 52 LETTER NAMES and 26 LETTER SOUNDS.


Learn the SIGHT WORDS (on sidebar).


COUNT TO 50. Also, count starting at numbers other than one. And count objects in varying arrangements (line, circle, rows, scattered).