For the month of February...
At last we begin the month that will lead us into Spring! Hopefully the groundhog is correct and we can put away our snow shovels early this year.
The theme for this month is Space and the things in our sky.
***Spelling words and sentences for the weeks in March are listed further down. Children who are absent when the words are given in class should refer to this website and come to school after their absence with their notebook prepared and ready to take the weekly test. Do not have your child go ahead and list the words and sentences in their green notebook. We do this in class together at the beginning of each week..
As of January, the children are expected to be writing both their first and last name on all of their papers. Numbers written backwards will now be marked incorrect as the children should be looking over their papers before they hand then in, checking their work for any mistakes, and then correcting the errors. This is a habit that will serve them well as they move on to the upper grades.
****The children have homework every single night.
**In all areas, neatness counts. We should not be rushing through things sloppily, coloring carelessly, nor writing without using the lines to form letters properly
For Week 5 (3/4).... test will be on Thursday, 3/7.
1. come 2. get 3. green 4. with 5. up
6. big 7. make 8. three 9. you 10. did
1. I will come to the party.
2. Doc will get a hug.
3. The grass is green.
4. I will go with Sal.
5. I can hop up the hill.
Week 6 (3/11).....test on Friday, 3/15.
1. help 2. run 3. here 4. read 5. stop
6. make 7. come 8. see 9. with 10. get
1. I can help my mom mop.
2. Dogs like to run fast.
3. I will stop here and sit.
4. I can read and write.
5. The snow did not stop.
Week 7 (3/25)...test on Friday, 3/29.
1. said 2. my 3. will 4. four 5. have
6. here 7. read 8. with 9. help 10. run
1. Dad said to get the bag.
2. My mom can tag the gift.
3. Will you let the cat go?.
4. Two and two is four.
5. I have gas in my car.
**We will continue spelling with weekly word lists, sentences and tests. Children should be practicing their spelling words every single night so that they are comfortable and prepared for their weekly tests. Please go the the page on my website titled "Our Spelling Program" for more specific information. Copying from the board and tranferring words and sentences into their notebooks may challenge some students in the beginning because it requires eye/hand coordination but this is a necessary skill in life....not everything can be from keyboard to computer screen!
The next set of letterbooks will be covering more than one letter at a time. We are working in our Pp/Vv/Ww books. We will be reviewing the letters C, O, G, A, D, S, L, i , T, F, E, H, U, M, and N (letter recognition, sound and written form). Please make sure to review the vowel sounds every night as the similarity of some sounds can confuse the children and mixing them up readily affects their reading skills. We will be distinguishing between similiarly spelled words by identifying the sounds that are different. We are readily blending sounds together at this point. This is decoding. The students should be able to spell some simple words using the sounds we have learned so far. This is encoding. While I am happy that some children can read some words through sight, the goal is for the children to develop the important skill of blending to read words instead of just memorizing. we are using pictures or orally dictating to narrate a single event in which it occurs and provide a reaction or opinion on what happened. We are also focusing on recognizing and naming different punctuation at the end of a sentence ( periods or question marks) and identifying the diffence between each one. We are capitalizing the first letter in names, the word I, as well as the first letter of the first word in a sentence. ****At this point, high frequency words such as the, of, to, you, she, my, is are, do etc should be known on sight to aid with reading fluency.
I have sent home a guideline for you at the end of September to help parents understand how we are teaching letter/number formation and how to use the lines. I hope this has been helpful. We will be focusing on identifying initial sounds with pictures and continuing to work on our listening skills using our Listen, STOP, Think and Then Do technique. We will also stress rules for classroom discussions (look at the person speaking, take turns talking, raise your hands etc.) We also want th children to listen with a sense of purpose and develop aural comprehension of stories. Expessing themselves using full sentences and expanding their complete sentences with more information in shared language activities is also important. Understanding question words such as who, what, when, where, why and how will be stressed. Many times in school we ask the children a "why" question and they respond with a completely off track answer such as "I like the story" or "Yesterday my cousins came over my house". Ummm....that wasn't an answer to the question I asked. I am also now looking for more detailed reponses to my questions.
We are working on identifying/grouping sets of 10 to count much larger numbers. we are continuing number order....what comes before, between and after a given number. The children are most challenged by identifying the numbers "before". We are continuing with our money unit which includes visual discrimination of the front and back of each coin, its monetary value and tradingidentifying equal values of money. Have mercy!!!! This is proving to be a challenging unit. We are discussing equal valves such as two nichels are the same as 1 dime and 1 nichel and 5 pennies are the same as 1 dime or 2 nichels. The backs of the coins can be confusing too because there are often several different versions of the backs. Continue to show different coins to your child so they can familiarize themselves with all possibilities.
We will be concentrating on our monthly theme of space.
In social studies...
We are continuing our focus on the world around us and treating people with fairness and dignity.
We are focusing on fine motor skills such as holding a pencil correctly (as well as a crayon, and scissors). We are reminding the children to work from left to write....some children are writing their names from right to left (in a mirror image). Proper formation of both capital and lowercase numbers is a priority ( numbers too). Neat/readable handwriting is an important form of communication.
Important March dates to be aware of......
****A note will be sent home this month regarding our next trip on May 15th to Queens College to see a show called The Pout Pout Fish. Money must be sent in by the end of March to keep our reservation.
On Friday, March 1st, we have an 11:50 dismissal for Kindergarten due to our monthly faculty meeting.
On Monday, March 4th, notes will be sent home regaring Ash Wednesday (please read and return the form)and our upcoming pajama party.
On Wednesday, March 6th, th children will receive ashes in the classroom.
On Thursday, March 7th, the pajama party fee is due. CASH ONLY PLEASE as we will be shopping for supplies over the weekend. This is the day we are collecting the money, NOT the day your children should come to school wearing pjs!
On Friday, March 8th, there will no school due to a professional day the teachers must attend.
On Sunday, March 10th, Daylight Savings Time begins! Remeber to reset your clocks.
Thursday, March 14th, is Spring Picture day. If your child will be taking pictures on this day they can wear whatever you choose...but please wear sneakers as usual. If your child IS NOT taking pictures, they must come to school in their uniform as usual.
On Friday, March 15th, we will celebrate the letter P with our pajama party. Notes with information will be sent home
On Thursday, March 21st, there is an 11:00 dismissal due to the distributon of report cards. No Afterschool Program. The bus will be available.
On Friday, March 22nd, THere will be no school due to our Faculty Retreat.
On Friday, March 29th, we have a $1 N.U.T Day and will be collecting food for the church pantry.
**** Let me make you aware of our homework schedule. I do not list the actual homework and directions because this is a way to strengthen and test the children's ability to retain information/instructions given to them with a time lapse. It also makes the homework THEIR responsibility and forces them to rely less on their parents. (Please refer to the homework page on this website).
***Remember that you need to decide the best time for homework to be done. Some children need to do it right away when they get home or else they loose momentum. Other children require a bit of a break when they get home from school and do not have a problem getting back into work mode without a struggle later on. You will need to determine what will work best for your child. Please avoid doing homework in front of the T.V. This takes focus away from the task and sends the message that homework is not that important. Please do not write your child's name on their paper for them or do any of their coloring for them. Homework is their responsibility and these tasks provide further practice for them.
As you read the subject objectives above, you will see that much is expected of our children as per the common core curriculum. Proper classroom behavior can enhance or distract us from our goal. That is why our folder's behavior chart that we will discuss on Open House night is so valuable. You can help us keep our children on track and participating in good classroom management by reinforcing our needs to give your children the best learning environment possible!
We will be focusing on following the classroom rules for both safety and learning. Children are encouraged to LOOK at the person speaking and to take turns when talking.
****WORTH REPEATING.....Listening with purpose and developing aural expression is important. When children begin answering questions posed to them from a story such as "Was the boy happy?", they should be able to reply and supply specific reasons for their answer from the story read to them to back up their response. This is an important skill that will be built upon every year.
The emphasis will continue to be on listening and following directions. All learning stems from developing listening skills. Oral expression will be encouraged. They need to speak using full sentences...producing and expanding complete thoughts in shared language experiences. It is important that children speak in complete, clear sentences. We will be focusing on answering question words...who, what, when, where, why and how.
******* The learning technique that I call..."Listen, STOP, Think and then Do" will be continued in class. Young children sometimes listen to only bits of what someone says and then rush ahead to complete a task. This often results in careless mistakes. I tell the class that before they pick up a pencil or raise their hand to reply to a question, they should listen carefully to what is being said and then STOP. They need a chance to process the information/request before they charge forward. When they stop themselves, at that point they are asked to THINK about what they need to do next. Only after they take the time to formulate the information should they begin to DO. This technique forces the children to slow down their actions until they have a clear understanding of the task at hand.
Aural comprehension of a story is tested. Questions that require critical analysis is a valuable way to evaluate whether a child understands information read to them and helps them often a deeper awareness of the material. Literal questions such as, "Where did the boy in the story live?" or "What color was the room?" are fine but it is also important to delve into a more substantial thought process such as, "How do you think the boy felt when that happened? Why did he feel that way? Have you every felt that way and why?" This requires the child to internalize the story and look for content in the story to support their answer. These are little steps that will prepare their ability to process information in general not only in Kindergarten but in grades to come!
Art in my class, aside from work done in art class with their art teacher, has many different purposes. I use art to develop their ability to follow directions, specific sequencing to get a finished result, practice their fine motor skills etc.
In religion will will focus on the Our Father. We are a "class family" is stressed. Showing kindness to each other makes God happy. Religion is not treated as a subject in our class. It is a part of our lives all the time in what we do and how we act and how we treat others. We have been talking about how we are a "class family". Even though we go home to different houses and have different parents, we are still all God's children and are all brothers and sisters of Jesus. We know no child in our room is better than another because God made us all special and loves us all the same. We are learning the Our Father through song because singing is a way to pray too. The children have been taught to make the sign of the cross whenever they hear a police, ambulance or fire truck siren. This means that somewhere someone is in trouble and needs our prayers to keep them safe. As we make the sign of the cross and move our hands, we say (either out loud or inside our heads) Father, watch, over, them. The children have been encouraged to share with you/teach to do it too. Part of our mission as Christians is to be ready to offer our prayers for others.
Please be aware that we are also working on the LURES program (please look on my website for more specific information) which will be discussing what types of affection if okay and what is not. Beginning in April thru June, the social worker/psychologist will be coming to the K classes to talk about personal safety in various scenarios.