Kindergarten Specials

NFS Curriculum Update :: November, 2013


Kindergarteners used their imaginations to create extraordinary works of art all throughout October! They used their hands, tools and attaching techniques to form amazing clay sculptures. Students also worked with symmetry, shapes and cutting when learning about Dia de los Muertos. Looking forward to November they will learn the process and techniques of glazing their bisque fired clay. These artist will also continue to develop and strengthen motor skills through a cultural study of Pacific Northwest Native Americans. They will be able to explore materials through collage, learn about and create traditional shapes and symbols, express themselves and make connections to the world around them through their art.


In the library Kindergarten begins a unit on pattern and rhythm in picture books. We also will read Thanksgiving books.


The Kindergarten and first grade students had a great time singing Halloween songs last month. As we move into November we will continue to sing, dance and play istruments utilizing the philosophies of Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze. The Kodály Method incorporates rhythm syllables. In this system, notes values are assigned specific syllables that express their durations. For example, quarter notes are expressed by the syllable ta while eighth note pairs are expressed using the naturally shorter syllables ti-ti. The Kodály Method also includes the use of rhythmic movement, a technique inspired by the work of Swiss music educator Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. Kodály was familiar with Dalcroze’s techniques and agreed that movement is an important tool for the internalization of rhythm. To reinforce new rhythmic concepts, the Kodály Method uses a variety of rhythmic movements, such as walking, running, marching, and clapping. These may be performed while listening to music or singing. Some singing exercises call for the teacher to invent appropriate rhythmic movements to accompany the songs.


In Lower School PE we will continue to develop our physical fitness and work on muscular strength exercises. The class will be participating in a number of games this month that involve running jumping and dodging. We will also introduce the parachute and participate in cooperative group activities that involve creativity and imagination. Fun activities that the class will enjoy playing include What Time Is It Coach Adam and Blob Tag. The month will end with holiday activities involving Thanksgiving.


After almost two months of experiments to “think like a scientist," kindergarteners will graduate to their first major science topic, the senses. We will brainstorm the five types and read a story by Aliki. Students will draw their favorite smell, taste, sound, touch, and sight. From there we will focus on one sense at a time, starting with our sense of touch. We will talk about four touch words and go around the room on a touch scavenger hunt to find things that feel soft, hard, smooth and rough. To really feel objects, we’ll learn that we need to use our fingertips to lightly stroke them over an object, not just poke at it. Then we explore our largest organ, the skin. Testing our arms we’ll feel pressure and heat and come to understand how sensitive and exact our sense of touch can be. We will also touch various pieces of fabric and classify them as soft, rough, smooth, or hard.


In November Kindergartners will begin to learn the names of classroom objects, add to the vocabulary we’ve learned with colors, numbers and shapes, and work with descriptive opposites such as large and small. One of the benefits of working at a small school where teachers are allowed freedom to innovate with their curriculum is that plans can be amended as we learn new things. In consultation with Maria Feinman, Spanish grades 4 – 8, we realized our students don’t know the alphabet in Spanish as well as we would like! Therefore this month we will be working on learning the alphabet in Spanish. Be prepared for lots of singing at home!