Messages from the Classroom
Monday, 12 November- Veteran's Day, no school
Wednesday, 14 November- 10:30 a.m Acton Firefighters visiting our classroom
Wednesday, 14 November - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Discovery Museum Speaker Series will host Peter Reynolds at the Littleton High School Auditorium, 56 King Street, Littleton, MA. This event is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Click here for tickets.
Wednesday, 21 November- Early Release Day
Thursday and Friday, 22 and 23 November- No School for Thanksgiving Break
Thursday, 30 November- Staff vs Parents PTO Basketball Game
In the Classroom:
This month is flying by and as I reflect on the past 45 school days I can’t help but smile at the joy and pleasure it has been to watch the little people in this room grow and stretch their minds. They are taking in so much information and utilizing it in ways that it is hard to imagine. It is a pure delight to watch and be able to lead.
Phonics:The past two weeks have been filled with five different letters: Pp, Lj, Hh, Kk and Ll.
For the letter P we had a tongue twister:
Peter PiperA Tongue Twister
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
For letter J, we sang about jellybeans because they are my favorite candy and it took me a long time to find a song about them.
Jelly Beans - SongTune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Jelly beans are fun to eat.
They are such a silly treat.
Green and orange and red and blue
Sometimes they are hard to chew.
Jelly Beans are fun to eat.
I think they are my favorite treat!
For the letter H, we sang a song that we absolutely loved. We had Bryant in the room and he enjoyed our song too. Try it at home, it’s exhausting to have five hammers.
(Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.)
(Pretend to hammer with your right hand.)
Happy works with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer,
Happy works with one hammer,
(Pretend to hammer with your right and left hands.)
Then he works with two...
Happy works with two hammers, two hammers, two hammers,
Happy works with two hammers,
(Pretend to hammer with your right and left hands and your right leg.)
Then he works with three...
Happy works with three hammers, three hammers, three hammers,
Happy works with three hammers,
(Pretend to hammer with your right and left hands and your right and left leg.)
Then he works with four...
Happy works with four hammers, four hammers, four hammers,
Happy works with four hammers,
(Pretend to hammer with your right and left hands and your right and left leg and move your head forward and back.)
Then he works with five...
Happy works with five hammers, five hammers, five hammers,
Happy works with five hammers,
(Say slowly) Then he goes to sleep. (Put palms together next to your head as if sleeping and get very quiet.)
For letter K, we sang a kangaroo song. We looked up kangaroos on the internet and learned they live in a “troop” with up to 50 others kangaroos. We also learned that the mother kangaroo has a little pouch that she carries her little “Joey” in until he is about 8 months old.
Oh, I'm A Kangaroo
Tune: The Farmer In The Dell
Oh, I'm a kangaroo,
I live down at the zoo.
I like to jump around a lot.
How about you?
Oh, I'm a kangaroo,
I live down at the zoo.
I carry my baby in a pouch.
How about you?
For the letter Ll, we sang the song Lollipop, Lollipop. We followed the Cordettes version and loved singing and dancing to it.
Reader’s Workshop: We have read more books by author David Shonnon and would read them over and over again because we have loved them so much. This week we are focusing on one of my favorite authors ( I have so many!). His name is Oliver Jeffers. If you get a chance, visit his link and see some of his books. He is very creative and the students love his stories. I think you will too! My favorite is The Incredible Book Eating Boy
Writer’s Workshop: As you can see from the work in their Home/School folders, each student is beginning to write words and some are even trying to make sentences. Some students are copying words they see in the room and that is a great skill too. I value each step they are taking and am equally as excited as they are with each step toward reading and writing.
Mathematics Workshop: We have moved into exploring shapes in mathematics and in mathematics word problems. For shapes, we are touching the 2D shapes – circle, square, oval, triangle, and rectangle. The shapes will expand to include star, diamond, rhombus, trapezoid, hexagon, octagon, and some additional shapes. We spent time thinking about shapes and what all they make, such as a square is a square until you add a triangle and it becomes a house. Here are a few from our class. Some of our pictures are featured below.
Social Studies: Our first assignments that need assistance from you have come home in your child's folder. The folder is a large manilla folder labeled: Who Are We? and has your child's name on it. We would like all assignments to go back and forth in these folders so that they do not get ruined in the backpacks. This week two different assignments have come home. One is about your child's name and the story behind their name. The second is a family tree. Please assist your child with filling in both sheets and return them to school within the next few weeks. The family tree can be filled out in any manner you choose with your child. Make it simple enough so that your child understands it and can share with classmates. If you have any questions just reach out to me. In case you need additional copies, I will attach the files to the website in the Who Are We section.
Science: We are looking at seeds and the best place to begin is in our home kitchens. If you have any seeds, like avocado pits, apple seeds, or any food seeds that you can send it we would love to observe them. In addition, we are really starting to focus on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. In our classroom we have an area with recycled items. If you have some interesting items that we can add to our recycling we will gladly take them. We love large cans, interesting plastic pieces, and lids of any kind.
A special visitor this week: Anne Kress, Merriam School's former Art teacher who retired last year.
Who Are We? ProjectKindergarten children benefit from a range of experiences to help them develop an understanding and appreciation of themselves and the world around them. The Who Are We? project incorporates activities that center on your child’s familial world as well as those that transcend to their global community. This interdisciplinary study encourages kindergarteners to notice the similarities and differences that exist amongst people both near and far. Their developing understanding of family and community will be expressed through the many collaborative and individual activities created and placed inside a personally created “Me” box which will be housed at school. The study will culminate with the sharing of these boxes.
Activities will be differentiated to enrich student learning. These activities may include interviews, graphs, timelines, collages, murals, art projects, writing pieces, class and individual books, creative drama and music. We will be reading fiction and non-fiction books together about the lives of children around our world. In addition, there may be times when your child will need your assistance in completing an activity. Our first at-home activity will be sent home with your child next week. Please look for the return date on each project. We appreciate your willingness to support your child’s learning at home.
By the end of the study, kindergarteners will be able to answer the following essential questions: • How are the students in my class the same and different? • How are our lives and cultures the same and different from children in other parts of the world? • What are holidays and why do we celebrate them?
If you have any specific considerations you would like us to be aware of, please notify your child’s kindergarten teacher. We’re excited to begin!
Look for attachments here when we begin asking for home support. I will send reminders when I add them.
The Story Behind My NameFamily Tree
Here is a sample set of clues that a Mystery Reader might write:
My favorite book when I was in Kindergarten was Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
I was the middle child, only girl in my family growing up.
My family has two dogs as a pets.
I love to watch cartoons with my family.
My favorite family vacation is going to the Cape every summer.
Remember, you are a mystery to the class, so PLEASE try not to tell your child when you will be coming! Please feel free to drop me a "secret" note or email if you have any further questions.
Tips for choosing a book:
Please bring a book that your Kindergartner loves or one that you love!
Picture books make GREAT read alouds.
The book needs to be short enough to read aloud in 15-20 minutes.
If in doubt, bring in two short read alouds.
Themed books (ex. seasonal) or books related to you, your child or your family (ex. culture, family pet, occupation) work great, too!
The sign up link for Mystery Readers is at:
Absenses and Transportation Changes
If your child has a change in transportation then you should send in the pink dismissal form signed and stating the change. Kindergartners can not change buses nor can they go down to the car pickup place. If you are picking up your Kindergartner then you must come into the building and sign them out at the office.
Take Home Folders We have Home/School folders for every child. These folders will go home every school day and should return the next school day. Please place any notes in this folder as they are checked every day. All classroom work and important school correspondence will be sent home in this folder.
Birthdays We love to celebrate birthdays! Due to allergies and health guidelines we skip cupcakes and sweet treats. Instead we make every child a personal birthday book and recognize this special day.
K Math Games for Home:
Number Line Run. Help kids recognize numbers and number order with this fun and simple sidewalk chalk game.
Math Hunt. Search around the house for the correct number of objects on the cards.
Sticky Note Math Match. Match sticky post it notes to numbers during this fun move and learn activity.
Life Size Math Board Game. Make a big board game kids can walk on to practice identifying numbers and number order.
Backyard Number Hunt. Hide number sticks in the backyard for the kids to find and order.
Lego Brick Math Games. Kids can practice ordering, sorting, and more with Lego bricks.
Egg Counting Game. Put those plastic eggs to use by setting up a number identification game.
Flight School Number Game. Turn the kids into airplanes as they zoom from one numbered cloud to another.
Sticky Hundreds Chart Activity. A hundred chart can be used for tons of number practice–making it big on contact paper makes it lots of fun.
Number Scavenger Hunt. Send kids on a hunt to match the numbers to their corresponding set.
Number Splash Game. Throw water balloons at sidewalk chalk numbers to practice identification, higher and lower and what comes next when counting.
Sidewalk Chalk Counting Maze. Go outside and practice counting on a big chalk maze.
Fire Hose Practice Game. Let kids use water squirters to “put out” the correct answer to simple addition or subtraction facts.
Indoor Hopscotch. Count as you play hopscotch using this easy to make game.
Frog Jump Measurement Game. Introduce non-standard measurement to kids with this fun jump and measure game.
Turkey Feather Hunt. Go on a hunt to find colored feathers and then use them to create simple math patterns.
Class Wish List ItemsAt the beginning of the year and throughout the school year there are various items we need in the classroom. If you are willing to make a donation of the items it is greatly appreciated. Items we are needing to begin the school year include:
- Lysol wipes
- Fat and skinning colored markers
- Glue sticks
- Baby wipes
- Paper towels
Ten Frame Games
Game 1: Ten-Frame Flash4 players
Materials: A dozen ten-frames with dot arrangements on them, a blank ten-frame for each child, counters. You could print off these sheets: Dozen Ten-Frames.pdf and BlankTenFrame.pdf.
Rules: One child shows a ten-frame for a count of three, then hides it while the other children place counters in the same positions on their frames from memory. The 'flasher' shows the card again and helps each child check his/her display. After three cards the next child has the chance to show numbers and so on, until everyone has had a turn.
Variations/Extensions:1. Points can be awarded for each correct response. The child with the most points wins.
Game 2: Twenty3-4 playersMaterials: Blank ten-frames (two per child), counters, dice. You may wish to print off this BlankTenFrame.pdf.
Rules: Each child takes a turn to roll a die, places that number of counters onto his/her ten-frames, then announces the total number of counters on the frames. The winner is the first player to fill all twenty spaces.
Variations/Extensions:1. Each turn could include placing the correct numeral cards under the frames.2. Each player can also announce the number of counters needed to reach twenty. The exact number must be rolled to win the game.
Game 3: Guess What?2 players
Materials: Blank ten-frames, counters, a large board to act as a screen/barrier between pairs of players. Here is a blank ten-frame you could print off: BlankTenFrame.pdf
Rules: One player secretly arranges some counters on a ten-frame. The other player asks questions that can be answered yes or no, trying to gain enough clues to work out the arrangement of counters. For example: Is the top row full? Are there 8 counters? Is there an empty box in the bottom row?
Variations/Extensions1. As players become more skilled the number of questions can be counted. The player who asks fewer questions wins.