Friday, December 13, 2013

What a busy and exciting week to come!

Coming Next Week:

Curriculum themes for the week: Snow, places where it snows, the uniqueness of each snowflake, number sums and using a ten frame, NY state research, map reading with the cardinal directions, writing our predictions about the winter break in our journals, brainstorming ideas for the new year, celebrating  and honoring our community and hard work of 2013.

Monday: We will be having a safety drill, so you might want to talk about this with your family.  What do you do at home to practice and feel ready for an emergency?  We will finalize sour work for Exhibition night, including lots of voice overs for our class story!

Tuesday: Demetri will share his photos from NY state and the snow!

Wednesday: This will be our day to go to the books fair!  Some families like to do this together, before or after school, but some students like to do this with our class.  We will be going in to check out what is there.  If you would like to send your child with some money to purchase books, we will help them.  If you have any guidelines, or specific books they plan to purchase, please send along that info along with their money!

Thursday: Exhibition Night!!!  Be there to host, and thank check out the whole school's exhibits.  Then make sure to be in our class at 6 pm sharp for the screening of our Story Video!

Friday: 9am We will sing some of our favourite songs with you as a fun way to end the year together. We will also have a small Winter party, so stay tuned for sign-ups on how you can help!

Thank you to all you families who help in so I any ways to make our time together meaningful.  Your children are amazing!

Garding and Accomplishing Great Work!

Hi Families!

This week was so amazing.  I have had so much fun seeing the students' work come together.  Many students had aha moments when they realized how focused they can be, and how they can accomplish so much.  The class is super proud of all of their hard work.  We are very exciting to share it at Exhibition Night.  Because of this, I am not going to share too much- I want it to feel special for you that night!!!

On Monday, this week, the students made our first salad from our new IA garden!  Beth has been creating fun and interesting learning experiences, and this week the class got to eat the "fruits of their labors"! Here is the recipe:

Innovations Kale Salad

Harvest fresh Kale leaves and Leaf Lettuce (half and half)
Shred Kale into thin strips and remove the stem
Tear Leaf Lettuce into bite sized pieces
Dice 1 small apple
Slice 1/2 tangerine into small pieces
Toss and set aside

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp honey
pinch of salt
Whisk together and toss over salad

We also refreshed our bird and butterfly garden, thanks to Hillary's organization and your donations!  The kids had so much fun getting dirty and working in teams to make this happen.  Hillary read a book about the works last week, and then this week we discussed the steps needed to make the beds healthy and happy.  There was a lot of communication and the students offering to help when others needed this.  It was great to see how well they can work together.

Thank you to Clara for taking photos of our salad experience!  Thank you to Beth and Clara for supporting our salad experience!  Thank you to Hillary for organizing and actualizing our garden refresh experience!

It was fun to have so much outdoor time, even when it was a cooler week.  I hope you enjoyed sharing these experiences with your child.  Have a beautiful weekend!  Love, Jennifer

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy December Topic Summary!

Hello Kindergarten Families!

Make sure to scroll down to read the post I created earlier in the week.  I was a neat discussion!  Here is a quick summary of this week's topics:

Math: We are investigating all the ways to make a number.  The students were using gems to help them make piles to see for instance, 3+3 makes 6, but so does 2+4.

Social Studies: We have been talking about the weather change, and places that has snow or extreme weather.  We are looking to Canada again, but how it looks at winter time, since when we researched before we found how cold it could get there!  We look forward to Demetri sharing his New York images, soon as he experienced a snowy wonderland of his own, over vacation.  We are still practicing giving clear directions and using the cardinal directions.  We played a game with our 8th grade buddies, to help be as specific and clear as possible, when getting the buddy to draw the idea in our head.  This was hard, but helped students see how they need to be more clear and use directional words.

Science: We had a great discussion about tornadoes, which came from giving feedback to Brett about his story.  This discussion also brought up the concept of materials' properties and which ones are stronger, or able to withstand the force of a tornado.

Language Arts: We continue to research stories that include magic.  This week we read the Russian book Rechenka's Egg.  The students are beginning to make generalities and to notice similarities and differences between books in the fantasy genre.  The students are sounding out and writing words all over the place.  This week they worked on utilizing some inventive spelling, including rules we know, like the silent e, and some correct spelling, in the questions we are writing for our magic surveys.  This week we journaled about the Thanksgiving break.  Many students I moving towards completing a whole sentence, and some have moved to the challenge of completing two.

I hope this quick summary helps you know where we are at this point in time. These students are growing EVERYDAY!  It is amazing to see them internalize new skills and to learn from their first tries.  We had a pretty connected week, full of teamwork and kindness!

Have a great weekend!  Love, Jennifer

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Discussion: How are research books different than story books?

Hello Kindergarten families,

Today's revisiting meeting was investigating what we have been learning about research books.  The students identified many differences between this type of book and a story book.  We were noticing how many tools the authors use to help organize and share the information.  Below are the words from this meeting!  

Have a great day, Jennifer

What are we learning from our shell research?
What do you notice about this type of research book?

William presented how his research time went, and the way he used the book to find out which type of shell he had chosen.
William: The numbers are about keeping track of what page I am supposed to go to.  I found the page with both of those numbers with the shell next to the number, and then Jennifer helped me found the hundreds and then she read it to me and they live in sandy beaches and it’s a clam.
Jennifer: Where did you find the first page that told you the page numbers of the clam?
William: Its close to the bottom.
Demtri: Close to the side.
We looked at the set-up of a book.
Rachel: In the beginning .
Demetri: Close to the beginning.
Jennifer: It’s the identification key.  Who can think of other times we have heard that word, “key”?
William: To unlock.
Liam: The one which colour is yes or no. (from our surveys and graphs)
William:  We know both of those keys.
Rachel: The different kinds of keys is there’s a metal key that you put into the lock, and then the other key is to tell you what colour is yes or no.
Jennifer: What kind of key do you think this kind is like?
Rachel: It’s the number key.
Gabby: It’s like a hole and one of the keys with a circle and a line.
Lucy: I noticed that it tells you what page the shell is on.
Katarina: I noticed it tells you information.
Jennifer: Did it tell all the information though? 
William: But it tells a lot of information of these pages.
Next we looked at the page it told us to go.
Jenifer: What’s the difference between the first page and this page?
Rahcel: I noticed it shows less shells and more words.
William: It shows you which shells are from different parts of the world.
Sierra: The words tell you what shell it is.
Demetri: There was pictures of parts of the world, so that’s what tells you where they could be. 
Jennifer: What is the difference between this book and a story book?
Brett: It’s only information about shells in shell books. 
Kirana:  The difference about this kind of book, some other books don’t have shells in it. 
Liam: There’s pictures but they’re bigger.  That book does not show the sand, it only shows the shells because it only tells the information of shells. 
Lucy: I noticed that the words are smaller because  the pictures are big.
Jack: Inside where the small words are, I noticed there’s colours and its pink, blue and green.
Saul: Because it makes them prettier and to make it easier to see. 
Rachel: I think I know, it’s so they can keep track of where they’re putting the words.  And I remembered my other thing: I think I know how these other types of books are information books and not story books, and story books are about stories and these ones are about information.
Bridey: In the books that have maps, the pages that have maps, but these maps, you fit other things in, and they’re just small maybe because they want to fit more information in the book, instead of just putting maps on those pages.
Patrick: Why the words are little because if they were bigger they would be huge and touch the shells and the letters would be squished.
Saul:  This book's different because not  all books have little maps and there’s yellow and brown its kind of telling me where the shells are.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you are having a fun week with your family.  I am relaxing and knitting and reading and will be eating a lot of food with Jason's family!  The above photo was taken on one of our many beach walks. I also hope your child shared their thankful page with you.  I sent home a few different items, as possibilities, if you and your child would like to partake.

 One is a bingo game, with the sight words they wanted to learn.  Another is empty, so that you can learn new vocab words and play too, just fill in with words you want to practice, or your child can make a new bingo board to learn new spelling words.  It is as simple as asking someone to call the coordinates and see whose words get covered first!  English spelling is not always logical, so it is important to find fun ways to learn new words!

I also sent home empty pages for graphing/survey work and for journaling about your week, or beginning a new story.  The sky is the limit!  Feel free to bring in your work, to share with friends after the break.  Also, if you went somewhere new and different, and your child wanted to share photos, email them to me, and we can find a time to share!

Some questions we discussed last week:
What elements/topics  make a story stories interesting?
What seems magical to you?
What are there two of? What comes in pairs?
What are you thankful for?

Appreciations are important to share, and these students have become capable of identifying what they know they are lucky to have in their lives.  I hope you enjoy seeing their thoughts on paper!  Have a beautiful week!  Love, Jennifer

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Organizing our work!

Hello Kindergarten families!  How are you?

Graphs Everywhere!

In the last few weeks we have investigated how many types of graphs we have used this year.  The students brainstormed, and I drew a simple reference sketch for each.  They could remember them all!  We have used graphs to collect different types of data, but the favored type is a survey question.  These students love to ask others about what they like!  This week the students were working on graphing more than one answer, on a vertical bar graph.  We also used pie graphs to show a simple yes or no answer.  This work required following many directions, as well as referencing example graphs to ensure that all the info is being conveyed in a clear and readable way.  They are loving all the organization that comes with using colour to convey meaning!  Notice how some friends even incorporated symbols to include picto-graphing concepts!

Another mathematical concept the students are interested in is measurement.  Many friends have been trying to see how high they can get their tower to go.  Each student is using the same pattern so that we can compare and contrast their height.  This requires precision, as sometimes the students cannot tell, from their vantage point, that their tower is leaning...

Another way to organize info is a word web.  The students showed their ideas about what makes a story interesting using this tool.  You may notice that their thoughts were influenced by some stories we have investigated recently: Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, as well as Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse.  The students are trying to sound out words, and identify all the syllables.  They are also trying to remember spacing and this type of graphic organizer requires some spacial awareness to track your ideas on the page.

Thank you for reading!  Sorry this post took longer to post.  I had technical difficulties and lost a portion, having to re-write it...  Have a great week, Jennifer