KINDERGARTEN newsletter

A bi-weekly newsletter from Kindergarten at Lamplighter.

May 15 - Summer 2018

This has been a wonderful year with each of your children. Have a great summer!

Animals!

Students will continue our study on animals! We will identify, classify and explore mammals, fish, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians by integrating reading, writing, math and science.

Literacy

As we wrap up the year in Kindergarten, we are reading books and looking at pictures of animals that we learned about during our animal unit. Each child picked an animal at the zoo to design their very own zoo exhibit. We know to keep their animal's natural habitat in mind while we design. Your children are designing their habitat with pictures and information from books. With their information they will draw and then construct their zoo exhibit.


We continue to read and share our reading with our reading partners and friends. We love non-fiction books because we can learn new fancy words and share our new knowledge with others.


Word Family: _ub, _ut, _un

Math

In math, students have been exploring fractions through games and books. Our students understand what a fraction is a how objects all begin as a whole. We used food to explore halves, thirds and fourths and did several picture sorts to build their understanding of fractions. During lunch several students have tried to divide their food into half, thirds or fourths! We are so excited that our students are seeing fractions everywhere. At home have your child draw a shape and divide the shape into halves, thirds or fourths.


In math, we have also been working on becoming more comfortable with counting money. When counting money our students work primarily with pennies, nickels and dimes. Not only do we have our students count money but we also ask them to find another way to show an amount. Our goal is for our students to see that there are many different ways to show am amount. At home, work on counting change that you have around the house. You can also give your child a pile of money and ask them to use those coins to show you a certain amount, up to $1.00.


Please continue working on the following:

- Count by 2s up to 30

- Count by 5s and 10s up to 100

- Counting to 110

- Creating Patterns

- Counting back from 20

Science

Kindergarten is having a blast learning about animals in different animal orders (amphibians, reptiles, insects, birds, mammals, and fish). The children are learning about what habitats/environments animals in each order live in, what characteristics the animals have, and identifying examples/non-examples of animals that belong in each order. The Dallas Arboretum recently visited and the children participated in creating a terrarium, or mini-habitat, for a worm and plant.


During the last two rotations of the school year, the children will select an animal to build a zoo exhibit for that keeps them in their natural environment.


Questions you can ask your children at home:

- What characteristics does a(n) ____________ have? (amphibian, reptile, insect, bird, mammal, fish)

- What are examples of a(n) ______________? (amphibian, reptile, insect, bird, mammal, fish)

- Where does a(n) _____________ live? What might you find there?


Recommended learning activities at home:

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

- Visit the Dallas Zoo

- http://edu.symbaloo.com/mix/icanbeazoologist

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!

3D Printing

Students have been exploring 3D shapes and how you can combine two or three different shapes to create something new. We started by using 3D recyclables to build their own house and next we are going to make animals out of clay. The students will manipulate the different shapes of clay to form the shape of their animal. All of this, leads into the goal of 3D printing in 1st grade. However, the students will get the chance to see basic 3D shapes being printed in our very own shared space.

Media Center with Mrs. Vermillion

Tips for Summer Reading:

1. Read aloud with your child or have them read to you.

2. Set a good example and keep books around the house.

3. Read the same book as your child and discuss it.

4. Let your child choose what they want to read.

5. Buy auditory books, a great way to listen/read on road trips.

6. Go to the public library regularly.

Environmental Science with Mrs. Cauley

During our alphabet hike, the students will use magnifying necklaces. Each child will search for tiny snails, buds on flowers and any bit of nature that smells or moves!! They hopefully will find many nature items, can we find one for each letter of the alphabet? I’m always surprised at their remarkable observation skills! Zinnias coming home soon.

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Happy Summer!

Enjoy your summer outdoors so your nature detective can explore!

Environmental Science Ideas for summer:

- Experiment by growing a plant from a seed or a purchased transplant with your child. Or continue to nurture the zinnia they will bring home from Lamplighter.


- Visit the new “A Tasteful Place” garden at the Dallas Arboretum. Samples of the current vegetable crop are provided while you explore their vegetable gardens.

http://www.dallasarboretum.org/named-gardens-features/a-tasteful-place


- Try one of the youth Summer camps at the Dallas Arboretum

http://www.dallasarboretum.org/events-education/summer-camps

Art with Mrs. O'Krent

Kindergarten students recently learned about French artist, Henri Rousseau. The artist's jungle paintings were explored and students discovered why Rousseau was so intrigued with this subject. They worked with a mix of different materials to create a jungle scene. They also sculpted a jungle animal using clay, which was fired in a kiln, and painted it with watercolors.


As you embark on your summer adventure, consider letting your child pick out a sketchbook for drawing, collaging, and capturing daily ideas or travel destinations. A "portable studio" filled with pencils, markers, scraps of patterned or colored paper, scissors, tape, and a glue stick tucked into a small box or container make a summer day or car trip so much fun! Have a fantastic summer!

Drama with Mr. Peck

The Living Zoo will be recorded on Thursday, May 17. This is an in-school performance only, but parents are welcome to request an e-mail copy of the video during conference time. Please continue to have your child practice their “scripts” at home for a little bit each day. If your child has misplaced their script or you have questions that weren’t answered in the cover letter of your child’s packet, please e-mail. Mr. Peck at jpeck@thelamplighterschool.org. Have a great summer and have your child start thinking about ways to act out nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. They will come in handy for the first part of T1/First Grade!


Fun Things to Do at Home:

- Treat your kiddos to a day or night out at the theater, such as Casa Manana or the Dallas Children’s Theater. Sit with your child’s favorite beverage after the show and talk about all the elements: acting, costumes, lighting, sound, scenery/props, and singing (if applicable).

- Try making up a play with a list of only 6 found items around the house.

- Try making up a play only 6 found items around the house.

- Have your child take their favorite picture book and adapt it into a play (and they have to play all the characters).

Summer Recommendations for a Smooth Transition from Kindergarten

Reading:
  • Children should be involved in some form of reading for 15-20 minutes every day over the summer
  • This can be you reading to your child, as well as your child reading independently.
  • Use the Scholastic Book Wizard app for help finding a book’s level.


Writing:

  • Encourage children to write often over summer break.
  • 3 times a week have children journal their summer activities (use the journal prompts provided.)
  • Write letters/post cards to family members and friends.


Math:

  • Begin skip counting by 3s and 4s (we’ve practiced 2s, 5s, and 10s together in class)
  • Measure ingredients while cooking.
  • Count coins and add them together.
  • Practice estimating temperature, time, size, etc.


Speaking:

  • Have conversations with your children and encourage full-sentence answers. Below are a few conversation-starter examples:

o What was your favorite part of today? Of our trip? Etc.

o What is one of your favorite memories?

o If you could visit any planet, which would it be?

o If your favorite toy could talk, what would it say?

o If you could make a movie, what would it be about? What would the title be?

o What is your favorite season? Why?

o What book character would you most like to be? Why?

o If you could make up a new holiday, what would it be? Describe what the celebration would be like.

  • Schedule play dates with friends.

K/T1 End-of-the-Year Parent Picnic

Wednesday, May 23rd, 11:30am-12:15pm

Jonsson Garden

Pick up your child from the classroom at 11:30 and then proceed to the Jonsson Garden. If you come after 11:30, please find your child with their classroom teacher in the garden. We will be eating lunch from 11:30 - 12:15pm. At that time you and your child may find a picnic spot to eat your lunch. You may want to bring a blanket or beach towel to sit on while you eat.


*Please make sure to fill out a SchoolPass form before taking your child!

Parent Conferences

Thursday, May 24th, 7am to Friday, May 25th, 12:30pm

Your Child's Classroom