NFS Curriculum Update :: December, 2014
Kindergarten artists will revisit glazing techniques in the month of December. We will work on painting two coats, adding details and working around the bottoms. We will then use our ceramic pieces to create a winter wonderland, exploring a menagerie of materials, letting our imaginations roam free and practicing our fine motor skills.
Kindergarten begins a unit on pattern and rhythm in books. Pattern and rhythm in picture book texts provide shape, order, and expectations. We will read examples of “ping pong stories” (stories set up as point-counterpoint) and stories similar to songs, with verse and chorus.
Kindergarten students will continue to sing, dance and play instruments utilizing the philosophies of Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze. We will be reading some holiday themed books and singing many holiday themed songs. Students will continue to focus on steady beat, quarter notes and rests, eighth notes and half notes. Our December composer of the month is Peter Tchaikovsky.
In P.E. we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on muscular strength with a focus on the core. This month our new fitness exercise will be jogging. December is the start of our basketball unit and many of the classes will focus on various basketball skills, drills and activities. We will practice the skills of dribbling, passing and shooting. The class will participate in activities like Dribble Mania and Red/Light Green Light Dribble. Fun non-basketball activities include Fire Chief and What Time Is It Mr. Fox. The month will end with holiday games and activities.
We are in full swing of our senses unit. Students learn about their sense of sight, starting with observing their pupils and irises with a mirror. Students will watch the pupils get bigger and smaller when we open our eyes and when the lights are turned on and off. Then, we will move around to five stations where we will use our sense of sight by: 1) Looking at the world through colored paddles 2) Exploring optical illusions 3) Looking at a book and around us through concave and convex lenses 4) Using magnifying glasses to look at shells 5) Looking through paper tubes and then as a class talking about peripheral vision. The following week, students will explore what happens when we lose our sense of sight. We will learn that people who can’t see are blind. We will touch books written in braille, and feel a book with raised pictures called The Black Book of Colors. Then we’ll write our names in braille using lentils. We will finish our sight exploration by gaining a little experience on what it must be like to be blind. Students will partner up with a classmate and be lead around the room with their eyes were closed. Finally we will revisit the life of a blind person with the story Looking Out For Sarah by Glenn Lang, about a woman and her guide dog.
In December Kindergartners will wrap-up their unit on zoo animals. Coinciding with the curriculum in their classrooms, we will begin to learn the names of family members in Spanish. Students will learn to answer questions about their own family and inquire of others. This will prompt them to learn the question words “¿Quién? (Who?) ¿Cuántos? (How many?) and work with the verb “tener” (to have). As usual we will continue to review all of the things we have already learned including answering some basic questions. We will also discuss some holiday traditions in the Spanish-speaking world.