Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Homefun" Ideas For Your Three-Day Weekend!



Hello Kindergarten Families!

Since it is a three-day weekend, I thought I would make this blog entry's theme "things you can do to extend the learning at home"!  Here are a few ideas that either were inspired by the things the students have been interested in or go along with them.  As always, if you do any of these, then please have your child bring it in to share with the class!

1) Martin Luther King Jr.Day

What does this mean to your family?  Investigate, discuss and or even journal about the history surrounding Martin Luther King Jr.  

This ties into the types of conversations we have been having at school about using your worlds to work things out and being open minded instead of jumping to conclusions and being mad at others.  We have also been revisiting our class agreements, and many of them go along with a community-minded mentality.  Here are some from this week:

I also wanted to include a few quotes of Martin Luther King Jr. that inspire me...  (Since I love quotes!)  The first one goes nicely with the ideas we began in Kindness week!

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.  

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. 


Martin Luther King, Jr.

2) Math Problem Solving


This week we began brainstorming different ideas on how to solve the problem of our snowballs from the winter party.  My challenge to the students was, "If each student will take home some snowballs, how will we go about knowing how many to give each student?"  I had a few goals in mind when I set up this question:

To challenge the students to think of more than one way to solve a problem.
To get the students predicting the pros and cons in the processes of the different solutions.
To support the students to take risks in sharing ideas before knowing for sure that they may work.

I was thinking the students would want it to be "fair", and thus an equal amount for each student, but as you can see, the second suggestion opened up another whole math problem, if we chose that one!  Here is the list of ideas the students came up with so far:


If your child would like to practice this at home, then they could easily find a large quantity of things(rubber bands, paper clips, cotton balls, rocks, etc) and try to see how many each of your family members could get of these, before you run out of that item.  This leads me to my next challenge...

3) Skip Counting Practice


Create a collection of an item, out it in a jar and bring it into class!  We are almost finished with counting the quantities in our estimation jars.  The kids are practicing counting large quantities faster using grouping and skip counting.  Many of the students are great at counting by tens, but twos and fives can before tricky.  If you bring us some new collections, I know the students We'll be excited to count them all up!

4) Story writing

Write a story together as a family.  We are trying to practice adding more details, using descriptive words, and also incorporating action.  At this age, some students are prone to write a story that is really a list of places the character goes, without mentioning what they do there, before having the characters move on to another place.  By writing a story as a family, our Kindergartners can get new ideas and lots of modeling for creating interesting and in-depth stories.  (Also, come into class next week and check out our budding story wall!)

Well, I hope that gives you lots of fun ideas if you run into a, "What should we do?" type of moment!  Have a beautiful three day weekend!   Love, Jennifer

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