KINDERGARTEN newsletter

A bi-weekly newsletter from Kindergarten at Lamplighter.

December 5, 2017 - January 15, 2018

Kindergarteners Rock!

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

In Literacy we are finishing up our cycles unit by designing our own season quadramas and writing about things you might do in each season. Be on the lookout for your child's beautiful season quadramas.


We are continuing our guided reading groups where we work on decoding (sounding out), comprehension (what the book is about), and fluency (reading the way we speak). Remember that reading at home is crucial for reading development. Every minute that your child practices reading is one more minute toward a love and mastery of reading. Remind your child to find sight words (we can't sound them out), use pictures for help with hard words, skip words if they can't figure out the word, and to look for that bossy e.


Word Family: _in (_in grin and _in fins)

Math

In math we have been working on solving addition and subtraction word problems. Our students enjoy solving number stories and learning about different ways to solve a problem. Some students choose to solve problems in their head while other students like using tally marks or ten frames to show their thought process. Students are also learning on how to verbally explain what addition and subtraction is and how to determine if you need to add or subtract when solving a word problem. At home you can give your child simple addition or subtraction word problems to solve. Encourage your child to explain how they solved the word problem.

We have also been exploring shapes by learning about symmetry. Each child was given an object and they had to determine if the object was symmetrical or not. Students learned that some objects have more than one line of symmetry. This made each student very excited and determined to find other objects that contain more than one line of symmetry. At home you can go on a scavenger hunt around your house and find objects that are symmetrical. We went on a nature walk and used our IPADs to take pictures of items that are symmetrical. Below you will find some of those pictures.

In calendar we have been discussing and counting coins. We use nickels to count by 5s and dimes to count by 10s. This is a great and fun way to practice skip counting! Students are also learning that there are many different ways to show an amount. For example, students discuss all of the different ways you can make 15 cents.


Ask your child about:

  • Counting to 120
  • Counting by 5s and 10s
  • Creating patterns
  • Sorting objects (toys, laundry, utensils)
  • What are some different ways to make 10 or even 50 cents?

Science

This rotation the students learned about the sun. We learned what the sun is made of and that it is actually a star. The students were very curious to learn about what the sun is made out of. Working as a team, the students have created a model sun our of shaving cream, food coloring, and wax paper to be placed in our solar system model.

Students have been working hard in our Maker Space to create their own spacecraft that includes 4 key components: a power source, communication device, science instruments, and container for science instruments. This rotation the students will revisit their spacecraft designs and reflect. Then they will make any necessary changes/improvement.

In the coming rotation students will explore stars.


Questions you can ask your children at home:

- What is the sun?

- How is the sun different from other stars?

- What is the shape of the sun?

- What is the sun made of?

- What types of objects can you see in our solar system?


Recommended learning activities at home:

Learn more about our solar system at the NASA Space Place website: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/

Explore the NASA Kid’s Club website: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/index.html#.VovCtaJ4iTU

Technology

In technology, we are continuing our progress in Kodable. Kodable makes learning to code fun for students. They must drag and drop commands to program their fuzzy character to get through a maze. By doing this, they learn problem solving, computational thinking, sequence, conditions, loops, functions and debugging. These are necessary skills for learning any programming language. 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!

Social Emotional

Social emotional development is ongoing throughout childhood and adolescence. Skills that are important for kindergarten remain just as important during the rest of your child's school career and adult life, but at this age and stage these skills begin to take root.
Currently, we are working on what it means to be a friend and what the "key" to friendship is.

Ask your child...
  • What does it mean to be a friend?
  • What are some ways you can help your friends?
  • Tell me three of your friends and what you like about them.

Environmental Science with Ms. Cauley

Kindergarten students contribute their leftover fruit and vegetable peels/cores from their lunches to their compost bucket (emptied into our school compost bins by our fourth grade students). After Halloween, they placed their class Halloween pumpkins in the compost bins by the greenhouse and are watching the pumpkins decomposition to eventually become compost. We continue our observations of seasonal cycles in the gardens.


For our weather exploration each environmental science day, the students have been graphing the outdoor temperatures and wind speed during our class time together. We are also making weekly visits to the rain gauges; to document how much rainfall we have at Lamplighter each month. The class weather notebook keeps all our student collected data so we can compare and contrast seasonal changes here at school.


The week after Thanksgiving break, the students will decorate our Holiday Bird Treat Tree (by the creek entrance) with many different foods to help our local birds and also spread wildflower seeds in the wildflower garden.

Media Center with Mrs. Vermillion

Kindergarten students are using iPads for subject searching and locating books on the library shelves with prompting and support. They are excited to discover non-fiction book of their choice!

All School Program Performances

Friday, Dec. 15th, 8:30am

Klyde Warren Auditorium

Please arrive early and park in the North Field to watch your child perform in the All School Program.


Performance #1: 8:30am

Performance #2: 10:30am

Performance #3: 12:30pm


*Make sure you attend the correct performance that your child will be in! These handouts were given to you during October conferences. If you are unsure of which performance to come to, please reach out to your child's teacher.

WINTER BREAK!

Saturday, Dec. 16th, 12am to Tuesday, Jan. 2nd 2018 at 12am

Enjoy time with family near & far!

See you in 2018!