KINDERGARTEN newsletter

A bi-weekly newsletter from Kindergarten at Lamplighter.

February 28 - April 3, 2017

Fairy Tales, Dinosaurs, Earthworms... OH MY!

Students are completing story maps and discussing in depth the different elements of fairy tales (characters, setting, magic, and lessons learned). We have also been talking about making inferences and distinguishing different characters' points of view. We are continuing to stress the importance of spacing, stretching unknown words and punctuation.

Literacy

We are learning all about non-fiction books and dinosaurs. When we read non-fiction books we are text feature detectives. We look for subtitles, captions, bold words, photographs, and labels. As we search for these text features, we know that we can write our own non-fiction book pages about dinosaurs. We can write subtitles, captions, labels, and real information about specific dinosaurs.


With our book bags and our reading partners, we are noticing how characters feel. We can think about really good words to describe feelings. For instance, if a character feels happy, we could find a better word such as excited. Or, if a characters feels sad, maybe the character actually feels lonely.


While we learn about the different kinds of dinosaurs, we know that the dinosaur names are root words from Latin and Greek. For instance, the height of the dinosaurs could be alti (tall) or brachy (short). With our new root words, each child will design their own dinosaur and write a story about his/her dinosaur's adventures.


Word Family: _en and _et


Things to do at home...

-Look for words we know inside other words (for example: sing and singing).

-What are some words we know that we hear in dinosaur names (ie: Brachiosaurus)?

-How do characters in books feel?

-What can non-fiction books tell us?

-What are some non-fiction text features?

Math

In Math our students have been exploring length by using non-standard units of measurement such as paper clips, counting bears, shapes, crayons and more! Our students used those items to measure a T-Rex and a Triceratops foot. Once they measured each foot, they used the data they collected to determine which dinosaur has a longer foot. Our students also measured their foot to see how much larger a dinosaurs foot is compared to theirs! To help the class understand how much smaller their foot is compared to a dinosaur foot, we graphed the data we collect when we measured our foot and a T-Rex foot. This graph allowed our students to quickly see how much larger a T-Rex foot is than ours. The class was determined to think of a live animal that might have a foot bigger than a T-Rex.


Now that our students have become very comfortable with using non-standard units of measurement, they are learning how to use standard units of measurement such as a ruler. Each student was given the opportunity to explore measuring by using a ruler. They learned how a ruler contains information about inches and centimeters and how to read a ruler when measuring. Once each student became comfortable reading and using a ruler, they set off to measure various items around the classroom. These items were recorded in a measurement book they made. While doing the measurement activity, students realized how much quicker and exact your measurements are when you use a ruler. At home, have your child measure different times around the house. Challenge your child to find an object that is 2 inches long or 12 inches long.


Our students have also been exploring numbers by using greater than and less than (< >) symbols. They learned this through a poem that introduces them to an alligator that only likes to eat big numbers because those numbers fill him up. We changed our greater than/less than symbols to look like alligator mouths to make our students more excited about this concept. Students quickly grasped this concept and enjoyed using the alligator to show which numbers are greater. To practice this skill our students use the greater than/less alligator mouth by playing the card game war. Each student places a card down and uses the greater than/less than symbol to show which number is greater. The player with the larger number gets both cards. This is fun game you can play at home to help your child practice identifying numbers that are greater and less.


At home continue practicing:

-Counting to 110

-Counting by 5s using nickels

-Counting by 10s using dimes

-Counting backwards from 20

-Making patterns

Science

The children have traveled back in time to the age of the dinosaurs! We have had fun learning about what the dinosaurs ate (herbivores vs. carnivores), different suborders or groups of dinosaurs (theropods, sauropods, etc.), and the structure and function of dinosaur necks/tails. Students have sorted dinosaurs based on different characteristics, re-created dinosaur fossils with paper straws, and observed dinosaur fossil casts with hand lenses.


Questions you can ask your children at home:

-What did herbivorous dinosaurs eat? Describe their teeth.

-What did carnivorous dinosaurs eat? Describe their teeth.

-What group of dinosaurs were the meat-eating dinosaurs? (theropods)

-How did dinosaur necks and tails work to balance dinosaurs?


Recommended learning activities at home:

-Read books about dinosaurs (fiction and non-fiction)

-If your child has plastic dinosaurs at home, he or she can sort them based on different characteristics (teeth, where they lived, diet, etc).

Technology

In technology, we are continuing our progress in Kodable. Kindergarten is a recommended time for kids to learn a second language. Kodable sees no reason it shouldn't be a computer language.


Five Reasons Why Coding is Important for Kids

  1. Learning programming empowers kids.
  2. It's as easy as learning a language.
  3. Diverse early-learning benefits kids.
  4. Helps to become fluent with technology.
  5. We need more programmers!

Environmental Science with Ms. Cauley

Depending on our construction progress, the Kindergarten students will stuff nesting materials into the fences by the creek for the wild birds use in nest building. We often see some of our colorful yarns used by our local birds to make their nest!


In February and March earthworm exploration will be a relaxed time for our Kindergartners to learn about earthworms and how to handle these gentle and important creatures. Our Kindergarten students tally their earthworm’s preferences in light/dark or wet/dry and compare their findings to their friend’s earthworms. All the classes participate with their earthworm in the Earthworm Olympics, which will include a racing ring, climbing and obstacle courses.

P.E. with Mrs. Seeds

In P.E. we have officially kicked off Jump Rope for Heart. Packets for Jump Rope for Heart were given out during conference days. If you have any questions about this event please email Mrs. Seeds or Ms. Ritz.

Spanish with Mrs. Krage

As we wrap up February in Spanish class, our unit on shapes comes to a close. We will begin talking about "primavera", Spring and start learning zoo animal names in Spanish. The students will illustrate animals in their journals and label them in Spanish.


Ask your child how to say "lion" in Spanish. {{león}}

Jump Rope for Heart

Thursday, Feb. 9th, 9am

The Lamplighter School - Cook Gym

*Parents do not attend, but please make sure your child wears tennis shoes for easy jumping! Also, all money collected for donations are due Friday, February 10 to Mrs. Seeds. If you have any questions, please contact her at the email address above.

Grandest Friends' Day

Friday, March 24th, 12:30-2pm

The Lamplighter School

Your child's teacher will be sending more information through email soon.

This "grandest friend" does not have to be a grandparent. If your child's grandparents are unable to attend, any neighbor, nanny, or family friend are welcome to come!

Spring Break!

Monday, March 13th, 8am to Friday, March 17th, 3:45pm

Home or Vacation Spots