Week at a Glance

Becky's 2-Year Kindergarten Class...January 8, 2016

MINDFULNESS

PAUSE. LISTEN. BREATHE.


Our stamina for our mindful breathing practice continues to increase. I have particularly noticed increased attention for deep belly breathing. This week we practiced our slow belly breathing by placing bears on our bellies and watching them rise and fall slowly. Deep belly breathing brings a number of benefits to our bodies, including: reducing stress, increasing energy, reducing acidity levels within our bodies (decreasing risks for cancer), increasing the response of the immune system, lowering blood pressure, increasing mindfulness, and improving digestion. Just a few minutes a day can have a profound impact!


One of our new enrichment courses in yoga! Yay! The kids seemed very excited about this and were quite anxious to share the poses they practiced with me. This is a wonderful extension of our mindfulness work!

COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION

Our feeling for the week is sad. We all had stories to share of times when we've felt sad, and also all agreed that sadness is not a feeling we enjoy experiencing for extended times. We did recognize that it's totally ok to feel sad, and we will all feel sad from time to time. We discussed a variety of strategies that can help us feel better when we're feeling sad. Here's some of our ideas:


  • talk with a friend
  • take deep breaths
  • get a hug or hug yourself
  • cuddle with a stuffy
  • think about/ visualize a time when you felt happy or peaceful
  • play with something you enjoy
  • take some quiet space
  • read a book


Next time you're child is feeling sad, perhaps he or she will choose to give one of these ideas a try! We've been practicing and reflecting on this thoughout the week with positive results and reports!

MATH

We have moved into a unit on number combinations/ parts and wholes. This is very important foundational work for adding and subtracting. The greater one's understanding of the parts and wholes of numbers, the easier adding and subtracting will be down the line!


We learned a number of new games to help us become familiar with parts and wholes:

On and Off: Toss your chips onto a paper. How many land on the paper and how many land off? (4 on, 2 off...4 (part) and 2 (part) make 6 (whole) together)

Shake and Spill: Using chips that are red on one side and yellow on the other, shake and spill your chips...how many are red and how many are yellow?

Towers of 6/10: Usng two colors of cubes (one for each partner), roll the die and add cubes to your tower until it has 6 (or 10) cubes all together. How many of each color do you have?


These games are great! They are fairly simple, repetitive, can easily be adapted to a wide range of abilities, and help us become fluent with the different parts numbers can be broken into! With a few simple adaptations, you could try these at home!

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This is the recording format that we will be using to record our work with parts and wholes.

LANGUAGE ARTS

Writing Workshop: After a nice winter break, we came back full of ideas, ready to write! This week we reviewed the writing process and all the details that we should attend to when writing...stretching out words, spaces, end marks, beinning/middle/ends. Stories continue to progress and some of us are getting close to wrapping up our first stories that we've planned out using the story map!


Word Work: I am modifying our model just a bit to best accommodate everyone's needs. From this point on, word lists will be individualized at a "just right" level for each student. Other than this, we will proceed with business as usual!


Phonics Centers: It's time for some mid-year assessments! This week I worked on assessing where each kiddos at, phonics-wise, and will rearrange our groups a bit to make sure our phonics centers are suited to meet everyone's needs!

THEME

By now, I hope you've heard at least a little bit about our new theme, community heroes! We had a great discussion about what a community is. I wish I had a recording to play for you...the shared ideas were so very sweet and inspiring! A community is so many important things. To sum up our conversation, we are defining community as a place where people live and work together, support and help one another, and work together to solve problems. Community heroes are people in a community that help others, animals or the environment. We individually and collaboratively brainstormed a list of community heroes. Again, the kid's ideas were very sweet...many of you made the list! We also came up with a list of ideas for things that we can do to be community heroes. As we move forward with this unit, we will learn about heroes in our local community, as well as well known global heroes. We look forward to visits from heroes and for opportunities both at school and throughout the community to work as heroes ourselves!

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ART

Polars bears are the subject of this week's wintry art. We used chalk and oil pastels to create these cuties and dabbled for the first time with shading! Expect to see the finished project up on walls towards the end of next week!

READ TO FEED

We are beginning our Read to Feed program today! This program is designed by Heifer International and insoires children to get involved in working to end world hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. The goal is to raise money to "buy" gifts of livestock, irrigation pumps, biogas stoves or to send a girl to school. These gifts help familieslift themselves to self-reliance by providing resources and a source of income.

We will raise money by collecting pledge money for books that we read! Kids that are independently reading will practice reading and kids that are not quite reading words yet can read pictures, or have someone read a story to them and practice retelling (summarizing) the story, including what happened in the beginning, middle and end!


You should have received an email regarding the program and also paper copies of the resources through "kid mail" today!


Happy reading and thank you for helping to make this project a success!


Below are a couple of videos regarding this program. The first, is one we watched in school today. It shows the ways that the Read to Feed donations have impacted the lives of 2 children. The OCS kids were struck with how different the lives of these children are, compared to their own lives.


The second is a video of the girl Beatrice, who's in the first video, as an adult, talking about what a difference the gift of a goat made in her life. Amazing!!

Read To Feed - The Promise
Heifer Success Story Beatrice Biira

Important Dates

January 18: No schook~MLK day

January 15: Cooking dinner for Quixote Village~please bring ingredients!

January 20: Board Meeting

February 3: Italia fundraiser (dinner) 5:00 to 9:00

February 5: Begin collecing Read to Feed pledge money

February 10: Turn in pledge money to teachers

February 12: 1/2 day; Valentine's Day Celebration

February15-19: Mid-winter break~no school


Upcoming Workshops

Jan 15: Atticus, Declan

January 22: Sayde, Andrew

January 29: Lyla, Calder

February 5: Marlo, Elsie

February 12: Tessa Jane, Lucy