Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A mid week post for some info

(I wanted to share a sunset from last week)

Hello Kindergarten- Almost First Grade- Families!

I cannot believe that we have less than four weeks less of school.  It is an exciting time of growth and lovely days with many a-ha moments.  The children are showing that they are so capable of so much, and love to take on challenges.  It is also a bittersweet time, because the year is almost over and this group of personalities is just so beautiful together!

Here is a little summary of some of the key concepts we have been exploring:
Lots of coin counting!

Thanks to all the families who have been sending in different types of coins for your children to share.  We are so fascinated by the idea that other counties have other currency and the differences in coin design.

The students seem to enjoy the challenge of counting with various types of coins.  This week we began counting with pennies, nickels and dimes (In the next weeks we will add quarters!)  Many friends used the hundreds chart to help them visualize the quantities, since dimes and nickels are like bundles of a quantity.   The hardest part is the transition between coin types and changing over how you are counting- from counting to tens, then to fives and then to ones.  The friends who are getting this down are beginning to think of how they can lay out the coins so that they can count it all faster and more efficiently: for instance: putting the fives together in bundles of twos allows you to continue to count by tens.

I noticed an extra excitement with all our work with coins so I wanted to ask the students why it is so interesting for them.  Here is what they explained:

William: What's so interesting about counting coins is when we make a mistake and we finish that section and then we go to another section ( the different kinds of coins) and then we make that mistake and then we finally do it.  It's the challenge that's so fun and cool. It's cool how you could count them all up and then it makes a number and it's so cool that you never knew you could make a number.
Rachel: Counting coins is pretty fun because I get to see what I messed up.  Like when I mess up counting, like when I go five, ten, fifteen, twenty, then I have to go, twenty one, twenty two, twenty three, and then I sometimes skip a number and then I have to go back.  It's cool and interesting that I finally fix it.
Landon: What's so interesting doing the coins is when you make a mistake and when I do the pennies, sometimes I count by fives.
Liam: What I like about coins is that they're fun to count because if a mistake comes up, you can fix it.
Brett: What is interesting about counting coins is that it's money and you get to buy stuff with it.
Sierra: It's really fun to count coins and you go like ten, twenty, thirty, fourth, then when you raise your hand, you have to tell Jennifer the number.
Katarina: What's so fun about counting coins, is when you never knew how to count by fives or tens, you learn how to count by them.  It's so cool its because it's like a new discovery that you just learned.
Bridey: What's so interesting about counting coins, that you can count by fives and ones and you could bundle the pennies up in fives or tens if you want to or you can just leave them and count them by ones.
Gabby: What's interesting about coins to me is how you can learn how to do one kind of number and like another number different.
Lucy: What's so interesting about counting coins is sometimes it's hard for some people, because it's not regular counting it's all different styles of counting that just counting by ones, except for the pennies, they do cost one.
Patrick: What's fun about counting coins is that you make the mistake and then you fix it.
Clare: What's so interesting about counting coins is when we make a mistake, we can always fix it and then you come and you can go to other people if were wrong and then we have time to figure it out again and again until we get the right answers. When we have partners, we can figure it out together and we can take turns having to count the coins.
Jack: How I feel is kind of nervous because it's a little hard and a little easy.  What's interesting is how you count by something and then go past numbers. (Skip counting)
Kirana: What's cool about counting for me is how you can always go, like, if you were starting by tens, you always start by tens, then you would skip to fives and after you skip to fives, you do the ones.  And it's kind of cool because people when they pay, they don't go, " ten, twenty, thirty, fourty", the person who owns it just tells you the number and they don't have to go "ten, twenty, thirty, fourty, fifty, sixty" and I don't know how to do it yet, without counting.  I want to be able to count without counting them.
Saul: What's fun about counting coins is you could find out how much they cost.
Jennifer: I love watching you guys because of the excitement.  And I am wondering if part of is is the treasure feeling- like it's treasure that your counting, and part of It might be that it feels like you are amazing- because you can skip count.
Mykenah: What's so interesting about coins, is you have to count to see if it's the right number.
Demetri: What's so, like, interesting about counting the coins is you do, like, ten, twenty, thirty, fourty, and then you do the fives: fourty-five, fifty, and you keep on going on and on and sometimes if you make a mistake, you, like, you try to fix that one and it's kind of fun because you figure out it and once you figure out it, you do it again and again and then once you know the number and then you move on and it gets funner and funner.
Bayley: What is so interesting about counting coins is because you get to lay it in, like rows, from, like, littlest to biggest.
Brianna: Why I am excited about counting them is I like to know what the number is.

I set up a little "store" of things I had recently gotten for the class from the thrift stores and garage sales.  I priced the items and gave each partnership a handful of coins.  First, the partners had to  find out how much they had, then decide if they can purchase anything.  If not, then their partnership would need to work with another so that they can combine their quantity to "buy" the item.  Many students spent time "at the store" looking at the quantities, to decide what they had enough money to buy, and then they had to agree with their group about what they would buy.  This has been a fun way to practice skills as you might in real life.  Also, the students are excited to purchase the items so that we can put them up around the class and enjoy them!

We also continued our interest in animals by looking at the many types of habitats.  We used a few interesting websites, which you may enjoy looking around in with your child:

In the next four weeks we will be:
Preparing for POLs (Presentations of Learning)
Making another secret gift
Finishing letters to the military and the firefighters that worked so hard for the SD area
Planning and actualizing an end of the year party
Researching our transportation trip
Finishing the story books we have begun
Honoring our growth!
Enjoying togetherness before summer!

I am sure I am forgetting something, as we have so much going on.  I ordered many cool items for the class with the money from the basket sale and from your donations, and the students have been enjoying these, too!  I hope you can take a moment to have your child show you around the class soon!

Have a great week, Jennifer

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