Monday, October 21, 2013

An Eventful week of Half Days!

Hello Kindergarten families!

Last week we a blur of many fun memories and all short days in class.  We did have some special events, too.

Thank you so much to each of you families for making the time to meet with your child for their conference.  I love these moments, it was beautiful to see students explaining their work, and identifying solid goals for their year.  I appreciate how helpful you were making these meetings successful.

Tuesday, we were able to experience a presentation given by Kirana and her mum, Tari, about their recent trip to Indonesia.  There were so many interesting images and our class was full of questions.  We were able to see some dormant volcanoes that Kirana visited, and hold two types of volcanic rock.  The students noticed the difference in how porous they each are.  Maybe the most curious concept was when Kirana showed some coffee beans they collected off the forest floor, which had been excreted by the civet cat.  This is an interesting concept that makes up a very expensive type of coffee that you can purchase!

On Wednesday, Patrick's martial arts teachers came to give us another special presentation.  Their focus was practicing listening the first time, and responding quickly.  This is something we are working on in class, as well. As a part of our quest to strengthen our communication skills, we have been trying to respond to everyone, when they speak to us.  This cuts down on assumptions and misunderstandings.  Another element that goes along with this is asking the speaker to repeat themselves, when you feel you didn't totally understand or hear.    This presentation was physical and fun!

On Thursday we took a walk up to a small park for practice for our field trip, and to eat snack. We have been practicing staying with our partner, in order to alert them if they are going the wrong way, give them any necessary friendly reminders or call out for help, if they fall down.  This means keeping them in sight, and staying alert to the environment.  The students did very well in making this a safe and fun experience.  Since the walk was up hill on the way there, and all down hill to return, many songs were sung on the way down!

On Thursday,  we also counted the items in our first estimation jar.  Many students had made their initial guess, then checked that quantity and were able to make a second, or even third, estimate.  We counted the keys by fives and it was exciting to see how the students were rethinking their guess as we counted.  There were points when we might have surpassed the estimates of some, and then they would look into the jar to see the remaining keys and share a new possible number.  Next week we will begin a new jar, and we will count that in two weeks!  Based on the students words as we counted the keys, I predict that the class will become more adept at making educated guesses!

Thursday was a big day, because we also had a safety drill to practice how to react and where to go in an emergency.  If your child came home asking questions about this, now you know why!  What does your family do to practice for an emergency?

Coming this week:

Saturday is our first Class Park Date!  Come to meet other families and hang out!  Check your email for more information.  I am looking forward to seeing you there!

We will look up Thailand, since our package of new butterfly specimens arrived this weekend.  We will look into: how are these butterflies different than the ones we see in California?  Why are the colours on their wings so intricately designed? What might their wing designs tell us about the environment they live in?

Our new estimation jar is full of shells that I collected in Scorpion Bay, Baja, Mexico.

We plan to investigate the website of the botanical gardens to help us plan for what we will research on our field trip.  We will also be checking on the rules of the garden, so that we can know how to be respectful on our trip off campus.  After all, we will be ambassadors of Innovations Academy, while we are there!

We will move to the next number: What comes in groups of twos?  What is there two of?  Check out our one wall, before we take down those ideas and begin to put up our two examples!

We will decide if we are ready to vote for our class name, or if we need to hone it down (to less than four ideas) before voting...
We will also make our final decisions about what we plan to do for our Halloween party and then create committees of students who will get the necessary jobs done.  We have a little more than a week!

We will be working in our committees to plan and get ready for our Halloween party, next week.  Stay tuned for the sign ups that will be going out!

Thank you, as always, for checking this and staying abreast to the class information.  I appreciate all you are doing to be involved in your child's education!

Have a lovely week, Jennifer

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