Thursday, October 4, 2012

Generous Volunteers, Graphic Organizers, Counting and So Much More!

 Hello kindergarten families!

I wanted to thank you for so many new donations.  We received some new books about compost, an amazing visual dictionary, an outdoor thermometer, a kumquat tree, some buttons, a bag of potting soil, sheet protectors and more.  I really appreciate your generosity.  The kids have already been enjoying using these.

On the topic of donating, I want to introduce parents who will be donating their time to our class this year in another important way!  Our class room parents will be Kristin, Rowen's mum, and Amy, Lia's mum.  Our field trip parents will be Ans, Mathis and Amelie's mum, and Leslie, Lukas' mum.  I am already so appreciative of their support!  I also wanted to thank the families who have done laundry, brought flowers and volunteered to read and clean the room.  I feel so lucky to have you making a difference for our life at school.

This week we brainstormed more questions about paleontology.  These kids are so curious!  (Check out the list of questions in class) We looked at a video that highlighted the mammoth bone that Lukas shared.  Here is the link to that, so you can share it with your kids:

We also began new songs and poems, and some things have come up from these.  One element we are looking at is styles of poetry.  Last month the students noticed that sometimes a poem may rhyme at the end of a line or at the end of every other line.  This month, we looked at using words or phrases about one topic as a way to create poetry.  The hamster poem I introduced inspired us to write a poem in this style.  I took a photo of these two poems.  Some of the students sounded very interested  in making their own!

I wonder if your family will write one together, too?

Another element we are exploring are different ways to convey information.  We have used different graphic styles to show things like votes we have had, or brainstorms we create.  The students are beginning to investigate how each shows information and what is or is not included with this type of graphic organizer.  The below brainstorm was from our morning share, a time where each student shares on a specific topic.  

Our estimation wall is filling up with many diverse quantities.  I hope you can stop in to check this out.  The students are in the process of demystifying big numbers.  A they count out and show themselves what a number, like 80, looks like, they are learning how to keep track of their counting, how to organize this and what types of groups work together to become a quantity.  Then, once they see the quantity that is attached to the name of that number, they check to see if it is truely the estimate that they want to make.  Many friends have changed their estimate after seeing how big or little it actually is!  Here are some photos to show more about this process.

Above, Natalie used tally marks to keep track of how many she has counted.  (She is just on the cusp of noticing the pattern in these five bundles!!!)

Well, I will post this so that you can share it with your child.  There is always more to share, but for now, have a great night!  Love, Jennifer

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