We have been busy in the Kindergarten since my last blog entry!
We finished out our "getting to know you" time with family portraits which we shared with each other and we paired up for portraits of each other which was very fun and interesting. Of course, we will continue to learn little details about each other throughout the year in our writing and in other ways but my intentional, beginning of the year community building work has wrapped up. Everyone knows each others names, siblings, likes and dislikes. This class is a really sweet group who all play well together and seem to genuinely care for one another.
In Math we have done various activities that include prediction, estimation, sorting, classification and visual discrimination. This all happens in addition to the counting, and number forming learning. The kids find all of it really fun which is great. So many math activities and lessons can take "game form" and the kids actually beg to play them. I love that this type of learning allows them to use manipulatives, pair up and find a corner of the classroom to work, climb, roll and jump and on occasion, complete an obstacle course!!
The tree unit has been very fun also. We have "Our Tree" in the taxi yard that we watch for changes and then adjust the tree in our classroom to reflect those changes. The kids each also have their favorites on other parts of the campus. We will take out nature journals and backpacks out to sketch different favorite spots. I am looking forward to adding the writing to the journals now that we are really getting much more confident with writing skills. Judy has been sharing a number of treasures from her personal collection of tree educational materials and they are marvelous. They include slices of trees to count rings and HUGE pinecones that were an enormous hit. We promptly collected some pinecones from the FFS campus and decided that the big ones probably weren't from our taxi yard. ;) (CA Giant Redwoods perhaps?) The class also wrote a book about Tree Facts that I will send home to each family for a turn looking at it. We also read Lois Ehlert's Leaf Man and collected many, many leaves and sticks and created out own Leaf Creatures. They turned out amazing! Each child got a copy of his/hers but the book is fantastic and that too will go home to each family.
In Language Arts we have added the letters M, N, A, C, I, R. We practice the sounds along with the keyword routinely, and we utilize letter trays for locating them in the alphabetical order and we practice handwriting each one. We always use lower case for this aspect of the learning so for many children, it is a challenging adjustment. The creative writing process is becoming more and more fun, It is absolutely delightful to see the light in a child's eye as they figure out that they can effectively communicate through writing. They are SO proud. JUST as proud as they are when they are able to "read" to us. We read from "just right" books so the kids are choosing books they can have success with. It is amazing to have Sharon in the class for some of this time. She is not only a wealth of knowledge (and a super great person) but a fantastic partner with whom I can strategize and plan. I'm not sure who's learning more, me or the kids! ;)
In Drama, Rita has been introducing props, lighting and continues to stress the importance of being a good audience as she teaches the children aspects of the dramatic arts. They love it.
In Spanish, I overhear, the hello and goodbye song and this past week I heard many colors in Spanish being discussed and the colors of foods especially. I will try to get more of a synopsis.
Music with Bill is always rocking. I have a few photos of hair flailing. They LOVE Bill. Someone even created a playground game based on one of his song jokes. Bill was so flattered!
The class has decided that the next big unit of study will be Space. It seems to make sense that the rest of the week after the field trip, we will finish up any lingering tree projects and then blast off in to our Space unit beginning the week of 10/21.
A few things to mention:
Monday October 14th there is no school for students. Teachers have an in-service that sounds very interesting. Details to follow.
We are meeting at Linvilla on Tuesday October 15th for a 9:15/9:30 Hayride departure. Farmer Steve Linvill is looking forward to it! So am I. :)
As usual, thanks for sharing your children with me. They are delightful.