Week at a Glance
Becky's 2-Year Kindergarten Class...December 4, 2015
PAUSE. LISTEN. BREATHE. This is the cue for our mindfulness practice.
At the sound of the chime, we close our eyes and listen to the resonating sound, beginning to focus on our deep breathing. We continue to focus on our breathing until hearing the chime again, a couple of minutes later. When we can no longer hear the resonating sound, we open our eyes, bringing our attention back to the group and our learning. This is an incredible practice...just taking a couple minutes here and there throughout the day makes quite an impact on our focus and interactions with one another. We are strengthening our neural pathways for deep breathing and calm, focused attention, making this a practice that will be much more easily called upon when we need it most.
We had a very fruitul discussion Tuesday morning about some of the issues I've been noticing. We talked, brainstormed and role played and came up with several ideas to put into action, with concrete plans for what to say and do. We moved into math with the intention of working together to peacefully work through issues, and I am happy to report that things have been going smoothly. Not to say that there haven't been issues, but instead of arguing or complaining, there are kind requests and compromises taking place and we are doing our best to practice being flexible!
One important component of compassionate communication is understanding our own feelings. We began the discussion on feelings with a reading of the book Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis. The aspect of this book that I like the most, is that it introduces the idea tha feeling are fluid. Each day the main character describes the different feelings she's experiencing. We all had so many examples of times when we've felt similarly...and also had intriguing questions like what's the difference between being grumpy and angry? Check out this fun version of this book with music to match each feeling!
We have begun the practice of choosing a feeling card to focus on each week. This week's feeling is surprised. In our discussion, we discoverd that feeling surprised can be both a good feeling and a scared or not so good feeling. This would be a great thing to discuss with your child...when do you feel surprised? Is this a feeling you enjoy? We will continue to discuss this feeling as we move through the next week.
Some of us worked on sharpening our base-10 skills with race to 100. Roll the die, take some ones. Is there enough to switch for a 10? What number is represented by your blocks? Play until you reach 100! This same group explored place value with Take Your Places Please. What's the largest number you can make with the 3 number cards you drew? Read your number to the group. Who's is the greatest?
We all worked on the strategy "counting on" (beginning to count from a number other than one). We practiced writing the 3 numbers that follow a number when counting and some of us even worked on including the three preceding numbers! This will prove to be a very handy we move into adding and subtraction this winter. This is a great one to practice in the car!
We are also beginning to explore the concept of writing stories with a beginning, middle and end. Together we planned and wrote a collective story about our field trip to see the salmon. We discovered that any one part of the story could be made up of several pages and that having a plan before writing reallly helped us know what to write about next!
Word Work: new words: IT and LIKE
Reading Workshop: Our strategy for this week is one that's very important in building foundational skills: practice letter sounds and sight words. We played games and used flashcards to independently practice these skills this week. There will continue to be options to practice these skills for portions of reading workshop.
Phonics Centers: Red group: beginning sounds C and H; Yellow group: beginning sounds vs. ending sounds; Blues group: baby vowels (short vowels) and their babysitters (see picture)
Food groups were the second component of our nutrition study. This topic turned out to be a bit tricky and we really worked together to help each other understand what gruops particular foods should fall in. We've been enjoying classifying our snacks each day...I think between all of us, we've managed to represent all of the food groups each day!
When discussing nourishing foods, we talked about the vitamins and minerals present in foods being really important to the health of our bodies. Interestingly, it turns out that foods of a similar color (natural) contain similar vitamins and minerals, which in turn work to support similar parts of our bodies. So, in order to help our entire bodies, it is recommended that we eat a variety of colors...or as it is much more interestingly referred to...EAT A RAINBOW! How many different colored foods can you eat each day? We enjoyed making (and sampling!) a rainbow smoothie and hopefully you are enjoying eating many rainbows at home as you work on this week's homework! Who knew eating could be so much fun!
December 16: Board Meeting 6:00
December 18: Portofolio Share 9:00
Winter Break~No school December 21 through January 1
January 6: Parent Meeting 6:00
Dec 4: Lyla, Calder
Dec 11: Marlo, Elsie
Jan 8: Tessa, Lucy