From The Bat Cave
Room 141 News
Winter weather is around the corner, which means snow (ugh) and cold (double ugh)! We still do the whole recess thing during the winter. We do have protocols though! We will go outside as long as the "feels like" temperature is 17 degrees or above, which includes the wind chill. The thermometer may read 28 degrees, but if the wind chill factored in feels like it's 15 degrees, we will have inside recess. I hope this makes sense! Hah!
Winter weather gear! Please send your kiddo to school with hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, snow pants, and boots. Kiddos must have snow pants and boots on at recess in order to play in the snow, otherwise, they have to stay on the tar.
Please also make sure there are names on everything. This is a great time to remind kiddos we do not share our hats. An extra change of clothes is still very helpful throughout winter, as sometimes pants and shirts can get wet while playing in all that white stuff!
In the past I have had kiddos who would bring their snow pants everyday and I have had kiddos who would leave their snow pants at school through winter. Whatever works best for you, is fine with me. When wearing boots to school, please make sure sneakers or other shoes are in backpacks for inside wear.
Reading Calendars! I have had a few November reading calendars trickle back in. If you still have your calendar, it's not too late to bring it back! December calendars have gone home already. Remember, our goal is to read 10minutes each day! Color in the calendar and send it back to school when the month is over. I will send home a coupon for your kiddo to receive a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut!
Report Cards are coming home this coming week. For those of you who are new to MSAD #15 schools and this proficiency based system that we function within, I want to clarify something for you when looking over the report cards. A kiddo who has met, or shown proficiency, at the learning target level (individual standards) will receive a 3. Some of our standards are actually pretty intense (requiring multiple skills and foundational knowledge) and when we teach these standards, we break them down into a progression of learning to ensure that each student is building up in their learning (I really hope this is all making sense to you guys!!).
For example, one of our counting standards is "count to tell the number of objects". However, there is a progression of learning (scaffolded from easiest skill to more vigorous skill or even application of skill) for this standard that includes the follow skills:
a) understand the relationship between numbers and quantities, connect counting to cardinality.
b) when counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number and each number name with one and only one object (the English version of this is one to one correspondence!)
c) understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
d) understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
e) count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects.
Is your head spinning yet? As a teacher, we teach each of these skills at a time or even maybe group them. If you see that your child has received a 2 on a math standard, do not fret. A 2 means that your kiddo is in the process of working towards proficiency. It could mean that all skills of a standard have yet to be fully introduced or it could mean there are areas that your child has not reached as of yet (maybe your kiddo has got parts a,b, and c, but they haven't quite reached proficiency because he/she is still working on parts d and e). Basically, I want you to know that a 2 does not mean anything negative. Each kiddo is in a different place in their learning and the speed of learning is completely individualized. What we aim for is progress and growth.
If your kiddo receives a score of a 4, it is because he or she has exceeded that standard. As teachers, we have rubrics (or expectations) that break down each standard for that particular benchmark time. There are some standards where a 4 is not attainable. For example, letter ID and letter sounds. These standards are considered foundational knowledge. Once achieved, then your kiddo moves on to more complicated and higher leveled standards where application of this knowledge could lead to exceeding standards.
IMPORTANT DATES TO KNOW:
Dec 9th - Early Release (Dismissal at 1pm)
Dec 9th - Winter Concert @ GNGMS 6pm
Dec 10th - Report Cards come home in totes
Dec 23rd to Jan 3rd - NO SCHOOL
Enjoy your weekends friends!
The Math Minute
As a kindergartener, your kiddo will need to be able to describe and compare measurable attributes, such as length. We created a project using different lengths of green construction paper. Your kiddo was asked to compare each piece to another, order the papers from shortest to longest, and order the papers from longest to shortest. Vocabulary is important here. We talked about length, which means how long an object is and we talked about shortest, longest, shorter than, and longer than. Kiddos had to talk to me and talk to one another using these terms. It was a great introductory lesson and we will continue to work towards proficiency.
We have new access to new technology (woot woot!!) A lot of you have been asking what you can do at home with math. Well, here it is!! SplashMath is an online math website (or app on an iPad/iPhone) that is aligned to the common core standards, which is what we use to guide our learning. It's game based so it is more engaging and more fun than worksheets. It's a great enrichment tool inside our classroom and it's a great home to school connection so that you at home can see some of the skills your kiddo needs to master. SplashMath addresses 45 different kindergarten skills. I meant to send home the login information, but they're still sitting on my desk (oops!) Logging in is easy. Please visit www.splashmath.com. The username for your child is first initial, last name (ex. lmontgomery would be my username). Password is math.
When logged in at home, please make sure your child clicks on the start box, as this will continue where they last left off. The skills are introduced in a scaffolded manner. If your child is out sick or if your family is on vacation, working on SplashMath would be a great way to continue practice of math learning.
You can access the SplashMath Blog here.
Measuring in Math
The Bat Cave has a New...errrr...Student....
After PE, Miss Cloie came running into our lesson shouting with excitement! She told us that while she working in her office, she stepped into Mrs. Hennessey's office to do something. She thought it was funny when she heard some jingle jangle, but she didn't think much of it. When she went back to her desk, she saw a package with a tag, pictured on the right. She couldn't believe her eyes!! Together we opened the package. And what to our wondering eyes did we see?!?!?! Our very own Elf on the Shelf!!!! Apparently, after you read the story, an elf is sent to you!!! (I wasn't aware of this one bit)
We knew that our elf needed a name before the magic would begin. So again, together, we brainstormed a list of names for our elf. I must admit, there were some interesting names (hah!) We voted and narrowed the list down to five: Mittens, Rudy, Joey, Rick, and Gingy. Everyone got to vote one more time and the winning name was....drum roll please...Joey!
We are all very excited to have Joey and to show him the hard work we do every day. Stay tuned for more Joey fun!
SUPERHERO OF THE WEEK
Here's what we learned about this sweet friend:
Full Name: Serenity Jayne Klotzle
She has zero brothers and one sister, Haven, who we met this afternoon! Serenity's favorite colors are yellow and green. She enjoys playing with her little sister, doing gymnastics, and swimming! When Serenity grows up, she wants to be a ballerina. Her favorite thing to do in kindergarten is GoNoodle. She believes she is good at ballet and playing!
We learned what a syllable is: the part of a word that you can push out in one breath. We clap syllables. We dabbed sweet, sweet syllables in a center. We traveled the room, read holiday words, wrote holiday words, and clapped holiday words. Basically any and every word said all week, we clapped and talked about how many syllables!
Our new sight words were to and you. We stamped. We cheered. We clapped. We wrote. We cut. We drew. We read. We stomped. Kiddos are getting so good at their sight words they are able to spot sight words in books we read, in charts we create, and even within other words (yea, we're that good!)
We created an SOP chart for center time work. Independence is coming along, but we still have plenty of improvement to make. Together, we built the Super Center SOP and practiced it throughout the week. I'm looking forward to see how we apply our learning to next week's centers! Pictures will be added to each step next week.
Holiday Clap the Room
Ellie is traveling around the room searching for holiday words to read, write, and clap!
Sweet, Sweet Syllable Dab
Kiddos say what each picture is, clap the syllables, and use a dabber to show the number of syllables.
Owen working really hard on his center!
Gavin is taking sight words and moving them around in an order so that the sentence makes sense. The sentence was: I can see you.
New Sight Words
Stamp it Up!
Madeline and Aubrey working on sight word to. They read the word, found the word, wrote the word, and then stamped the word.
Random Acts of Kindness
We read two stories to help us understand a bit about how our actions make others feel and how our actions make us feel. Those stories were: Have You Filled A Bucket Today? and How Full is Your Bucket? We all have our own individual buckets - you can't see them, but they're all there. A bucket filler is someone who helps, uses kind words, and cares about the people around. A bucket dipper is someone who hurts others and says mean and untrue things.
When you fill someone else's bucket it makes them feel happy and special, but the cool part is, by filling another's bucket you're also filling your own bucket. We feel better about ourselves when we help others. The more kindness you show, the happier your heart is.
When you dip into someone else's bucket it makes friends sad and blue. It also causes you to dip into your own bucket. When your bucket is empty, you don't feel so great.
But it's December!!! So instead of buckets, we all have stockings! Our superheroes created their very own stocking, which was then hung by the chimney with care. In our writing center you will find stocking filler papers which a kiddo can fill out at anytime for a friend. This is a great opportunity for us to practice strrreeeetttttccching out our words and writing the sounds we hear. After we fill out the paper, we tape it up next to the person's stocking, thus "filling" it. At the end of each day, we gather around the fireplace and we share the kindness.
This entire study might be the sweetest thing I've seen in a long time. Your children are so kind and so incredibly empathetic and emotional. The very first day we did this one friend wanted to share what she wrote for another friend. It was beautiful and so sincere. The friend who received the stocking filler declared "that was so special! I think I'm going to cry!"
As a class, we completed our first act of kindness together. We created cards for Miss Cloie and wrote one compliment on the inside. An act of kindness can be something as little as smiling at someone or it could be as big as paying for someone else's coffee in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru (this happened to me!!) We have talked about an act of kindness is something we do with no expectations of getting anything in return, other than filling our buckets...err stockings! For the rest of the month, we will work on be aware of our acts.
Next Week's Snack Duties
TUESDAY - Aubrey
WEDNESDAY - Ellie
THURSDAY - Sophia
FRIDAY - Owen