Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kindergarten Update

Here are some things we have been doing since my last blog post.

If you haven't been to the new Parker Library...well, you should get there soon! We were lucky to have one of their Storytime readers, Andrea Wyant, visit our class in December. She captivated the classes with a read aloud book, music, movement, puppets, props and a whole lot of fun. Who knew reading could be so fun? 

How do I take care of my teeth?     

Dr. Kaelin was kind enough to send us one of their dental assistants, Amanda, to teach us all about it. They learned how to brush and take care of their teeth and what to expect when they go to a dentist. Hopefully, they told you all about it and showed you their new toothbrush.

We had to chance this week and last to go to the STEAM lab to learn with Mrs. Fleet. The S.T.E.A.M. lab is another place where students can explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Math. "STEAM" is an educational approach to learning that uses each of these subjects to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The goal is to teach students to take thoughtful risks and engage in experiential learning. They solve problems, collaborate with others, and work through the creative process.  

* To learn more about STEAM I've attached a webpage: What is STEM and STEAM mean? 

 In the lab we met DOT and DASH. We learned that robots need to be programed to work using tech tools (coding) that tell them step by step what to do. Then students explored both robots, compared features, and used an ipad program to control them. The BOTS learned to talk, light up and blink in a variety of ways, make noises students chose or recorded, and Dash could even move in a variety of ways following commands students gave. If you haven't heard about it yet, just ask them. They loved it!

Next month we will work in the STEAM lab making simple machines with Legos as we explore the Forces of Motion using levers, wheels, ramps, and gears.

If you haven't taken the time to sign up for your child's learning journal please take a moment and sign up. We are using Seesaw as a tool to collect and share your child's learning with me and with you.  Not all entries are exactly "polished" but it gives you a chance to see some of their work and growth. Let's face it--even the less polished attempts are pretty cute.  Each month they learn a different feature and different way to communicate their thinking and learning. Students will continue to use this as a learning tool and journal as they go through Gold Rush. Here are a few things students are doing on Seesaw:
Students read their book about the Sun on Seesaw.
Look at how good they are getting at reading their own writing.

Six ways to make a hexagon. When I listen to the audio I can assess
their shape knowledge. (3 rhombus, 6 triangles, 4 triangles and 1 rhombus, etc.)

We learned to "make connections" in reading.
This activity probably makes no sense when it comes home...
but when you add the audio included in Seesaw it becomes more clear.

We talked about using our "Schema" (background knowledge) to make
connections to books in order to increase comprehension. Here is a snapshot of
one student's drawing of what is in his brain!

I have been teaching Kindergarten for MANY years and this digital journal is truly a game changer! Please don't miss the opportunity to keep up with their work, talk with your child about their work, and even put a comment on things you like. 

Mark Your Calendars

Mark your calendars

Friday, January 13th:                   No School - Teacher Work Day
Monday, January 16th:                No School – Martin Luther King Day
Friday, Feb. 3rd:                          100 days of School
Tuesday, Feb. 14th:                     Valentine’s Day Party 9-9:45
Friday, February 17th:                 No School – Teacher Work Day
Monday, Feb. 20th:                      No School – President’s Day
Wednesday, March 8th                 Parent/Teacher Conferences (still tentative date)
Wednesday, March 15th:              Parent/Teacher Conferences (still tentative date)
Friday, March 17- April 2nd:        Spring Break
Friday, April 21st:                         No School
Friday, April 28th:                         Egg Drop (weather permitting)
      8:45 am classes, 12:45 pm and full-day class
Monday, May 29th:                       No School – Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 30th:                       Kindergarten Field Day 8:30-11:30
Thursday, June 1st:                         Last “Regular” Day of School
Friday, June 2nd:                            Kindergarten Graduation
     8:30-8:45   Parents drop off kids and go to gym
     8:45-9:10   Students perform a few songs
     9:15-9:45   Families meet in classroom for video
     9:45-10:00 Snack, photos, and socialize