KINDERGARTEN newsletter

A bi-weekly newsletter from Kindergarten at Lamplighter.

October 3 - November 6, 2017

Hello!

In Kindergarten this month, we have a lot of exciting things going on 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. Enjoy!

Literacy

As readers, we are learning how books can make us feel happy, sad, shocked, angry, etc. We read several books and discussed our feelings and why we felt a certain way after reading a book. The children learned that their feelings can change throughout a book. As readers we are also working on predicting. All good readers predict what they think might happen next in the book. Predictions are not always correct, but they do help readers prepare to read the book and comprehend what happens next.


Students will learn how to use RAZ Kids, which is our online reading program. At conferences, you will receive the information needed to log in at home. We ask that you your child read on RAZ Kids for 15 minutes each night. If you do not like the screen time, reading a leveled book for 15 minutes is also great. Friends are beginning to work in small groups on letter sounds, blending letters together, and reading strategies. Be on the lookout for books in the upcoming weeks that might come home with your children. These are their books from their small groups, so they are tailored specifically for your child based on their reading skills. Please work on reading them at home at least three times. These are then your books to color and keep at home.


Ask your child about:

- Words that rhyme in the _ap family

- To find some sight words while driving in the car

- Who their new spotlight author is for October

- What adjectives are, and some adjectives they would use to describe a pumpkin or a ghost

- Discuss your feelings during certain parts of a book

- Predicting a book from just the cover and the title
ABC Song: The Letter S, "Say Yes To S" by StoryBots
ABC Song: The Letter F, "F is Fun" by StoryBots

Math

Our Math curriculum spirals throughout the entire year, which means learning objectives will be revisited many times during the school year. The children have enjoyed exploring coins. We learned the name and value of the penny and nickel. We have used coins to sort, create patterns, count, and to play many games. We have also learned a poem about the penny and nickel to help us remember their value.


Penny Poem:

"Penny, penny,

Easily spent.

Copper, brown

And worth one cent."


Nickel Poem:

"Nickel, nickel,

Thick and fat.

You're worth five cents,

I know that."


Shapes have been another highlight in the classroom. The children have learned the names and attributes unique to each shape. They have created patterns with shapes, played games with different shapes, and created beautiful artwork using the shapes.


At home you can do the following:

- Sort and create patterns using coins

- Go on a shape walk and look for shapes in nature

- Pretend play grocery store with real money. Practice buying items and counting coins.

- Practice Penny & Nickel Poems (see above)

Science

Students have been engaged in discovery of the function of tree bark, the cambium layer, and xylem/phloem (fondly referred to by several students as sugar tunnels). A great way to help children remember the difference between xylem and phloem is that xylem is “zippy” and zips water and nutrients upwards, while phloem is “fun” like a slide and carries the sugars back down to the rest of the tree.


Students have begun constructing tree vests out of paper bags and other materials that showcase various parts of a tree. This visual and tactile representation helps them to construct meaning as we continue our tree investigation.


Questions you can ask your children at home:

- What does the xylem/phloem of a tree do?

- What do the leaves create that is then carried down through the phloem?

- How are roots helpful to a tree?

- Using our knowledge of tree roots as a support system, how could we design a building or house that is strong like a tree?


Recommended learning activities at home:

- Search for items that are made from trees

- Talk about ways to conserve trees

- Build a tree using recyclable materials

- Read non-fiction texts about trees to your child

Social Studies

With the conclusion of our All About Me unit, we are expanding our knowledge of who we are by discussing families. The children have learned what a family is and have shared who is part of their family. As part of our learning, we talked about how families can have similarities and differences to other families as well as within the family.


Recommended home connections:

- Talk with your children about your family and who is in your family.

- Create a family tree together.

- Encourage children to reach out to family members through letters, e-mail, etc.

QR Codes & Technology

Technology in the classroom is powerful. It should be embraced. And brain research says that things that are new and novel help students learn better.

QR codes are short for Quick Response. You see them everywhere to advertise. You can see them on soap bottles, fast food cups, and everywhere in between. These codes are like bar codes on items and you need something to read them, like a register at a store does. Smart phones or devices have "FREE QR" code reader apps you can download. We have been using QR codes in Literacy with Read Aloud books. We are just starting to scratch the surface on how to use these in the classroom.

Environmental Science with Ms. Linda Cauley

Please remind your child to wear athletic shoes and comfortable clothing for our outdoor exploring every day!


This fall our environmental science classes will be focused on identifying cycles such as compost, water and the seasons. By using their senses in our gardens and creek area, they begin to observe the differences between living and nonliving elements they hadn’t noticed last year.


Is your child noticing the wind and weather? We’ve been observing and recording the weather every class day when we are outside.

P.E. with Mrs. April Seeds

In P.E. we continue to focus on throwing and catching. We have been playing games that allow the students to practice these skills. Ask your child about Monster Ball or Sink My Ship. Remember to check your child's calendar to ensure that they are wearing tennis shoes on their PE day. Tennis shoes are required to participate in PE. Thanks again for your support in keeping our children safe!

Drama with Mr. Jeff Peck

Kindergarten is wrapping up its first month of Drama with a special outer space unit in celebration of the visit with Astronaut Jones. Students were given a list of space vocabulary words and proceeded to think of different ways to act out each item using HALF (head, arms, legs, and face).

Music with Mrs. Natalie Bittner

Students in EC are continuing their study on rhythm and keeping a steady beat. We have been talking about other non-musical things have a steady beat. A clock, a heartbeat, a ball bouncing. Can you think of some others and discuss with your student? They seem to grasp the concept better each week as we learn songs and dance on beat.

No School - Columbus Day

Monday, Oct. 9th, 7:30am

Home with family near and far!

Night Light classes are also cancelled.

Parent Perks Lunch & Learn with Jezabel Guadalupe (LS Spanish Teacher) and Dr. Doris Baker

Wednesday, Oct. 11th, 11am

The Lamplighter School

This Parent Perk will be about how to help your child develop their Spanish language skills.

Carnival!

Friday, Oct. 13th, 3:30-7pm

The Lamplighter School

*Parents will pick up their child after the Carnival Parade in the Auditorium. Please make sure you sign-out with your child's teacher as they are picked up.

Parent Conferences

Thursday, Oct. 19th, 7:30am to Friday, Oct. 20th, 5pm

The Lamplighter School

Please park in the North Field and enter through the Cook Gym doors.

Donuts with Dads

Friday, Oct. 27th, 7:30-8am

Outside the Cook Gym

After Donuts with Dads is over at 8:00am, please send your child inside the school so they can walk down to their classroom. Thanks!

Halloween Parade & Picnic

Tuesday, Oct. 31st, 11am-12pm

The Lamplighter School

*If you plan to take your child home after the picnic, please make sure you enter it into SchoolPass.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Mrs. Lindsey Curtis

Room 31

Lindsey graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Fine Art. She has always had a heart for young children. Starting in high school working as a camp counselor for many summers, she soon found that teaching was the job she would eventually pursue. Lindsey loves to incorporate her natural artistic and creative abilities into the classroom. She has been working as a teacher since 2010 at The Lamplighter School. Lindsey is a West Texas native who loves to paint, draw, roller blade, bake and travel.

Mrs. Bianca Reyna

Room 32

My name is Bianca Reyna. This is my second year teaching at The Lamplighter School. Before, I taught Kindergarten for 3 years at Uplift Infinity Preparatory and one year in Pre-Kindergarten at Greenhill. I went to the University of North Texas where I received my degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I am currently in Graduate school at Southern Methodist University where I am pursuing a degree in Writing and Reading. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy traveling and spending as much time as I can outside.

Mrs. Cara Hicks

Room 33


Cara graduated from University of North Texas with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and an Early Childhood teacher certificate. She has been working as a teacher for 9 years and has been at The Lamplighter School since 2013. Prior to teaching Kindergarten, her teaching experience includes Pre-K, First Grade and Reading and Math Specialist. She has been married for 16 years and has two wonderful boys.

Mr. Bryce Sizemore

Room 34

Bryce holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of West Florida and an M.Ed. from Southern Methodist University. Bryce has taught Kindergarten and First Grade in Garland ISD and at a charter school. Before becoming a teacher, Bryce spent 7 years coaching all-star cheerleading in both Florida and the DFW area. Outside of school, Bryce enjoys traveling, exercising, being outdoors, and spending time with his two dogs, Peatree and Carson.