KINDERGARTEN newsletter

A bi-weekly newsletter from Kindergarten at Lamplighter.

Hello!

Kindergarten is heating up while the weather is getting cooler! We have a lot of exciting things going on this month in Literacy, Math, Science and Technology. Please read below for specifics within each subject and things you can be doing at home with your child.

Literacy

As readers, we are practicing visualizing while we read. As we read books or hear books read aloud we imagine what the characters might look like, what kinds of details might be the setting, and even how a place might smell or feel. Sometimes readers might even close their eyes to help them visualize. While we visualize as we read, we are also predicting. All good readers predict what they think might happen next in the book. Predictions are not always correct, but they do help readers prepare to read the book and comprehend what happens next.


Students will learn how to use Raz Kids, which is our online reading program. At conferences, you will receive the information needed to login at home. We ask that you your child read on Raz Kids for 15 minutes each night. If you do not like the screen time, reading a book for 15 minutes is also great. Friends are beginning to work in small groups on letter sounds, blending letters together, and reading strategies. Be on the lookout for books in the upcoming weeks that might come home with your children. These are their books from their small groups, so they are tailored specifically for your child based on their reading skills. Please work on reading them at home at least three times. These are then your books to color and keep at home.



Ask your child about:

- Words that rhyme in the _ap family

- To find some sight words while driving in the car

- Who their new spotlight author is for October

- What adjectives are, and some adjectives they would use to describe a pumpkin or a ghost

- To visualize a page of a book without you showing them the picture

- Predicting a book from just the cover and the title

Math

In math, we have been working on exploring coins and measurement. We learned the name and value of each coin, and we have been playing various games that require us to keep track of how much money we have. We have used coins to sort and create patterns, and we even tried to draw coins using a magnifying glass.

We have also been exploring measurement by talking about length and non-standard units of measurement. We looked at different tools used to measure, and we used sentence strips and unifex cubes when determining which items can be categorized as short and long and the measurements of those items. We will also be discussing height, weight, mass, and capacity.


At home you can do the following:

- Sort and create patterns using coins

- Put toys in order from shortest to longest, heaviest to lightest, tallest to shortest.

- When you’re at the grocery store let your child help you weigh your produce and discuss how much each item weighs.

- Pretend play grocery store with real money. Practice buying items and counting coins.

Science

Students have been engaged in discovery of the function of tree bark, the cambium layer, and xylem/phloem. Using hand lenses, students have searched for xylem and phloem tunnels and counted the rings of a tree “cookie” to determine the tree’s age. A great way to help children remember the difference between xylem and phloem is that xylem is “zippy” and zips water and nutrients upwards, while phloem is “fun” like a slide and carries the sugars back down to the rest of the tree.

Students have begun constructing tree vests out of paper bags and other materials that showcase various parts of a tree.


Questions you can ask your children at home:

- What does the xylem/phloem of a tree do?

- What do the leaves create that is then carried down through the phloem?

- How are roots helpful to a tree?

- Using our knowledge of tree roots as a support system, how could we design a building or house that is strong like a tree?


Recommended learning activities at home:

- Search for items that are made from trees

- Talk about ways to conserve trees

- Read non-fiction texts about trees to your child

Technology

Technology increases motivation, reinforces skills, differentiates instruction, and encourages collaboration.


Kindergarten students have notoriously short attention spans, but their interest is sparked by technology. A colorful animated screen captures their attention visually, keeping children interested for longer periods of time. Choosing their own programs for skill practice makes kindergartners feel empowered and encourages them to work independently. Our students are learning to practice letter, number and reading skills through interactive computer games as well as more traditional applications. When a group of kindergarten students listens to a recorded book or works together at the smart board to match letters and sounds, they are learning the valuable skill of working together.

Environmental Science

Please remind your child to wear athletic shoes and comfortable clothing for our outdoor exploring every day!

I hope your child proudly showed you the outdoor detective “nature bracelets” they made during our first week of school. This fall our environmental science classes will be focused on identifying cycles such as butterfly, compost, water and the seasons. By using their senses in our gardens and creek area, they begin to observe the differences between living and nonliving elements they hadn’t noticed last year. We will also be learning about temperature and wind speed as the students chart theses elements in our Environmental Science weather graphs notebook every class day.


Ask your child:

- How do you measure the wind and the temperature for your weather notebook?

P.E.

In P.E. we have been practicing throwing. We are playing games that help us become better throwers. Ask your child to tell you about the different throwing games we have been playing. As a reminder please, check your child's calendar to ensure they are wearing the appropriate shoes for P.E. Also, please practice tying shoes with your child. We are seeing a lot of shoes that are untied and we are spending most of our time in P.E. tying shoes instead of playing. Nordstrom offers a wonderful class on shoe tying on the weekends if you are interested. Thanks for your support!

Spanish

This month in Spanish we will be learning Halloween vocabulary and playing "Caliente Calabasa." This is a Halloween version of "Hot Potato!" We will also begin to learn about the traditions and customs surrounding The Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos). Please remember to send in pictures of pets or loved ones that are no longer with us if you have them.
Ask your child how to say "ghost" in Spanish.
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Parent Conferences

Thursday, Oct. 22nd 2015 at 7:30am to Friday, Oct. 23rd 2015 at 3pm

11611 Inwood Road

Dallas, TX

Please park in the North Field and enter through the Cook Gym for check-in.

Halloween Celebration & Groundbreaking

Friday, Oct. 30th 2015 at 10:30am-12pm

11611 Inwood Road

Dallas, TX

Mrs. Lindsey Curtis

Room 31

Lindsey graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Fine Art. She has always had a heart for young children. Starting in high school working as a camp counselor for many summers, she soon found that teaching was the job she would eventually pursue. Lindsey loves to incorporate her natural artistic and creative abilities into the classroom. She has been working as a teacher since 2010 at The Lamplighter School. Lindsey is a West Texas native who loves to paint, draw, roller blade, bake and travel.

Mrs. Bianca Reyna

Room 32

My name is Bianca Reyna. This is my first year teaching at The Lamplighter School. Before, I taught Kindergarten for 3 years at Uplift Infinity Preparatory and one year in Pre-Kindergarten at Greenhill. I went to the University of North Texas where I received my degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I am currently in Graduate school at Southern Methodist University where I am pursuing a degree in Writing and Reading. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy traveling and spending as much time as I can outside.

Ms. Hannah Brown

Room 33

Hannah’s passions since childhood have been dancing and service to others. After attending The Hockaday School for lower and middle school, and then Booker T. Washington HSPVA in the dance cluster for high school, Hannah is extremely happy and feels very much at home at Lamplighter. Here she can focus on her love of authentic and joyful learning while she continues her interest in teaching dance during Night Light after school classes. Before returning back to Dallas, she received her B.S. in Educational Psychology at Hendrix College and her M. Ed. at George Washington University. When Hannah is not at school, she loves to cook, run, and participate in community service around Dallas with non-profits such as Project Transformation, Wesley Rankin, and C.C. Young Retirement Community.

Mr. Bryce Sizemore

Room 34

Bryce holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of West Florida and an M.Ed. from Southern Methodist University. Bryce has taught Kindergarten and First Grade in Garland ISD and at a charter school. Before becoming a teacher, Bryce spent 7 years coaching all-star cheerleading in both Florida and the DFW area. Outside of school, Bryce enjoys traveling, exercising, being outdoors, and spending time with his two dogs, Peatree and Carson.