Friday, March 15, 2013

So much to share!

Hello Kindergarten Families!

It was a big week, it is hard for me to figure out how to share everything that the students experienced.  I will try to add photos and more posts, but I wanted to write a bit tonight. I feel lucky to be working with such hard working, caring and thoughtful children.  They are such a lovely group together.  I hope this little glimpse into my mind will help you to ask more questions and to become excited about the topics that are interesting your children.

Whales!  The natural history museum field trip was very rich.  We spent the last two days looking at photos of each of the four activity stations (on the topics of anatomy, size, food and sound) and making a list of  what we learned.  This activity was also practicing note taking skills, not whole sentences.  This is an entirely different way to think, than the sentences we have been trying to achieve in our journals.  Next week we will discuss what we learned in the context of what we would still like it know, continuing our research.

Next week we will also continue our sink and float investigation.  Some of you may have read the discussion notes I printed from this week's discussions.  The students have realized that weight is not always a factor in an object sinking.  They plan to test plastic and glass objects next week to further their understanding of the factors involved in sinking and floating.  I am excited that they identified the concept that the type of material might be a big factor in whether an object sinks or floats.  The power of experiencing life combined with observation and discussion!

In social studies we used the California map, including an inset close-up map of Orange County, to practice map reading skills and learn more about where Haden moved.  We plan to continue to discuss places in California, especially those the students have personal connection to.  They may be asking you the names of places you have been to as a family.

There are many math concepts that we are investigating right now.  Story problems, reading an analog clock, measurement and half and double.  If it comes up naturally in your family's experiences, please take a moment to discuss these topics that the students are trying to get their minds around.  Each of these involved patterns in the numbers, or in the way we attack problems, so discussion and practice help the students begin to internalize these.

This morning, we took advantage of the weather by going on a walk with our eighth grade buddies.  We enjoyed a natural spot with many plaques sharing both the common and Latin names of the plants nearby.  It was also great to get out and stretch our legs, to strenghten our walking stamina.  Does your family take walks or hikes?  Where are your favourite natural places to visit in San Diego?

Finally, next week we will also be getting ready for Student Led Conferences, also known as SLCs.  We will be reflecting on what each of us are strong in and what skills the students feel they could keep practicing. This will help them organize their thoughts, to share their learning with you parents, and also to lead us to create solid goals for the rest of the year.

Can you believe it is almost spring break?  I can't. My trip to the Yucatan peninsula and the Mayan ruins in that region will also be a topic we will investigate before and after spring break.  I can't wait to share my experience with you all!

Have a beautiful night!  Love, Jennifer

PS If there are typos, I apologize.  I am on my iPad and cannot scroll up or down to proof read my writing.  I apologize, but chose to get you info, even with possible issues!

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