Kindergarten Update

October 17 -21, 2016

Dear Families,

We are getting used to using the devices, and now we have a mouse for each device. I've ordered a headphone set for each duckling, but for now we're just putting the volume on low and finding a quiet space within the classroom so we don't disturb others. Getting little hands ready to use a mouse before they have to take a standardized test in January is quite a process, and I appreciate your help at home.

Thanks to everyone who has helped their child log into DreamBox through BCPS One. Please let me know if you need further help with this process. The data collected in DreamBox will, along with other data, eventually guide us as later in the year, we make first grade placement decisions in math. I don't want that to be a surprise to anyone later on!

Our Towson University interns, Jeannine Stephens and Carly DeLauder, are teaching lessons each Thursday under my guidance. You may hear about "the other teachers" in our room from your child. I am very proud of how well these interns are performing as teachers, as they have proactively taken on responsibilities within the classroom and they are building excellent relationships with the ducklings. We are lucky to have these novice teachers with us this semester! (See photos below)

Thanks to all of you who've signed up to help with parties or to help in the cafeteria and the library. It makes a huge difference for the kids, and for me.

School is CLOSED Friday, October 21st.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for our conference day in November.

If you haven't signed up yet, please click on the link and do so--thank you!

Have a great week,

Heather Buchman

Letter P Song Video

In the classroom this week...

Reading and Word Work: Wonders Unit 2, Week 1


We are wrapping up Unit 1 Week 3, where we read about the ways we use our senses and learned to make connections between the texts we read (Senses at the Seashore, My Five Senses, A Feast for the Senses). We also did a little science experience, involving 2 cups--one had salt we dissolved in water, one was just water. Could you smell the salt? How much salt did it take before you could smell which one was salt water? They dipped fingers in the water to put a touch on their tongue, and pretty much everyone guessed correctly. Those noses are functioning just fine!

This week we will start Unit 2, Week 1.

Our essential question will be: How do tools help us to explore?

Books we'll read: The Handiest Things in the World (informational text)

Discover with Tools (informational text)

Vocabulary we'll use: defeated, discover, rumble, fetch

Standards and strategies we'll cover: Asking and answering comprehension questions, identifying key details, retelling, using picture clues, identifying beginning/middle/ending sounds in unknown words

Word Work:

We'll wrap up our work on writing the upper and lower case Ss and identifying the sound /s/. We introduced and practiced the sight word "see". Now I expect the children to be able to associate letter/sounds for /m/, long and short /a/, and /s/. This means they should be able to identify and read VC (vowel-consonant) and CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words like "am", "sam", "as". Sight words I expect them to recognize: the, can, I, we, see. You may want to review them at home, just to *see* if *we* know them!

This week:

We'll learn to write upper and lower case Pp.

We'll learn and practice the sound /p/.

Our sight word is 'a' (easy one!).

Our phonemic awareness skills will be rhyming (some friends are still struggling to do this, practice at home please!), blending (so if I say /s/, /a/, /p/ with a pause between sounds, your child can say "sap!"), and phoneme isolation (so if I say "Pat" and ask them, "What is the first sound in 'Pat'?" the children can say /p/, and then also isolate the middle sound /a/ and final sound /t/).

We'll read a decodable text: "Pam Can See"

Math: Unit 2, Counting and Comparing

We are still working on accurately forming numbers 0 through 12. We'll keep practicing this, but you may want to keep your eyes open at home and surreptitiously get your child writing numbers so they get some practice in. I recommend having them count pennies and write a number for every penny they have--then let them keep the pennies. You get them practicing without spending a lot of time or money, and they are excited to "keep what they can count". We are learning games like "build on", where we use a ten frame to build a set of 10 as we take turns with a partner drawing cards (numbered 0-9). One of the math mastery standards in kindergarten is to recognize how many more you would need to make a set of ten. You'll notice in the October Home Activities a game using pennies to develop this skill. It's quick and easy! Here is some more information about the Investigations program:
Teaching parents /s/