Monday, October 7, 2013

October Fun!

Dear Kindergarten Families,

How are you?  I am well.  It was a beautiful weekend here at the beach.  I wanted to share a few highlights from the week.  As always, stop into the classroom to check out more things and have your child share what we are up to.  I always love to share and chat with you about your child's learning.  Also, Wednesdays are my long days on campus, so you can catch me until 5pm then, for sure.

Garden time!

The students investigated what the compost is made up of, which we are creating on campus.  They also mixed in the rich, black compost with the drier brown soil.  What a difference this makes!  If you get a chance, take your child back there to stimulate more of their thoughts and sharing.

Fruit salad!

Thank you so lunch to Sandy and Mariah, Mykenah and Lucy's mums for joining us to help cut, set the table and to clean up.  It was such a nice time of discussing the different fruit, of trying new things and of noticing how fabulous our room smelled!  The students were commenting and very excited about the whole experience.  We are still working on our map as a memory.  I imaging this map can continue throughout the year.  If your family encounters any new fruit from another place, please send in the info!  The students are practicing sounding out words and blending colours to create a realistic notation on our fruit map.  The more the merrier.

Thank you to all you families who brought in fruit.  It made for a very tasty mix!

Our quest for fairy magic continues!

Many students have created possible fairies of their own, and others have plans to work on this, next week.  With the curiosity of the tooth fairy and this possible magic, the students are investigating story elements and figuring out what info helps to make a character feel believable.  The students are also sharing a bit about setting, as they flesh out their characters.  Some students who are less interested in fairies, per se, are thinking about "problem characters" who may be involved to add depth or intrigue to a story.  Make sure you stop into class to check the wall that is growing with new ideas.

Here are a few challenges I gave the students last week, with this work:
1) Your character is your own idea, without the name or persona from a book or movie
2 ) Think about the persona and job of the fairy or character, so that you can incorporate this into your illustration.  For example: how can your fairy's wings and costume show what type of fairy they are?  How can the expression on their face give us a clue about their personality?
3) Look in the mirror or at an illustration of an animal to create realistic features.  This challenge is to ask the students to move away from the rudimentary "smiley face" lines, so that they can show more personality in the illustration, and so that each character looks unique and different.

All of this combines with our quest to make different tries to make out best effort of the week.  The students are using pencil in their writing and drawing so that they may erase subtle details and try again, or are making a second or third try to get their lines as precise as they can at this moment.  Each piece has the potential of representing a lot of detail and thought.  The class is learning, also, that work you will be proud of can take time.

Math concepts:

Our surveys continue, which are bringing much counting and tracking of quantities.  We went to the park, last week, too, to measure our leaps, with students measuring and making multiple tries to see if they could jump farther.  

We also are discussing patters with the mosaic and painting work, as students try to create patterns we have not seen in class yet.  Other concepts are growing by fives with tallies and by tens with our end of the day calendar ritual.  Have you seen how many days we have been in school?  Please ask your child to explain this process, this week!

In our dance class we explored shapes with different amounts of sides.  There has been a lot of new vocabulary practices, such as the word axial, to give specific language to our movements.  The students are also counting by 8s and 4s to keep with rhythms.

Two books we read this week: Caps for Sale and Julius the Baby of the World.  For me, these are classics, always to be enjoyed.  What books did your family read this week?  What are your family favourites, which you keep coming back to?

Finally, we ended the week sharing a mistake from the week.  This practice is to get into realizing that mistakes are not so much something to be embarrassed about, but something to be shared and explored, so that you can continue to think about the growth you would like to see, in the coming week, month, year...  I asked the students to share their mistake with you, and if they wanted to, to ask what your mistakes were this week.  I hope hits brought up some interesting family discussions!

Thank you for sharing your thoughtful, caring, inquisitive and human children with me.  Have a great week, Jennifer

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