For the months of May and June...
Can you believe we are at this point in the school year? It's hard to comprehend just how fast the time has passed.
Our month's theme for May is Fairy Tales. We will review the characteristics of fairy tales and what lessons/morals we can learn. Our month's theme for June is Ocean Life. We will iscuss the different aspects/living things of the ocean.
***Spelling words and sentences for the weeks in May 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..
**Children are always reminded that sentences begin with a capital letter and end with either a period, question mark or exclaimation point. The word "I" ...even in the middle of a sentence is capital because it is a proper noun. There must be some space between words in a sentence...otherwise it looks like just a line of letters. If they can't fit a complete word on the end of the line, they should write the whole word on the next line....do not separate it.
For Week 11 (5/6).... test will be on Friday, 5/10.
**6 new words this week
1. all 2. please 3. saw 4. nine 5. black
6. purple 7. spring 8. work 9. had 10. my
1. I will cut all the papers.
2. Please do not yell at me.
3. I saw a little crab.
4. Five nd four is nine.
5. The wizard had a purple hat.
6. The pot is black.
Week 12 (5/13).....test on Friday, 5/17.
*8 new words this week
1. white 2. that 3. brown 4. from 5. very
6. eight 7. was 8. seven 9. please 10. saw
1. The moon is white.
2. That girl has brown hair.
3. I came from home.
4. The very big spider has eight legs.
5. I saw seven frogs in the pond.
6. I was good in school.
****K+ Test Schedule...
Fri. 5/17 - Last weekly spelling test.
Mon. 5/20, Thurs. 5/23 and Tues. 5/28 - Practice test of random 21 or 22 words. These tests will not count towards their final grade.
Mon. 5/13 thru Fri. 5/31 - Series of math tests. Scores will be used toward final grade.
Thurs. 5/30 and Thurs. 6/6 - Spelling finals. All 65 words will be tested on each date. The two scores will be used to determine their average grade. (Previous weekly tests will be used as a tie breaker is needed).
Thurs. 6/6 - Last day for K+ homework.
Fri. 6/14 - Spelling/math awards given out.
As we finish our last letterbook containing X, Y and Z, we will be continue reviewing all the letter and move toward more complex decoding and encoding of both reading and writing sentences.
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 will continue both addition and subtraction. We ask the children to "show their work" by drawing sets of circles to represent the numbers being joined together (or crossing out representations to demonstrate subtraction). We are continuing to work 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 up to number 100. We are continuing to work on time. Please remind your children that both "hands" should not be the same length. the hour hand should be noticeably shorter than the minute hand.
We will be concentrating on our June theme of Ocean Life.
In social studies...
We are working on the May's theme of Fairy Tales. We will be focusing on life skills and the life lessons that they teach us. Ex. stranger danger with Little Red Riding Hood; being a good neighbor in The Three Little Pigs; self-esteem with Cinderella. We will continue to discuss citizenship, the world around us and treating people with fairness and dignity.
At this point, we are focused on being able to copy from the board (eye/hand coordination) as well as writing sentences properly as mentioned in the beginning of this page. A note was also sent home with guidelines. Children will also be asked to write simple dictated sentences based on words that they can sound out, spelling words, and high frequency words that have been reviewed. We still emphasize fine motor skills and working from left to write Proper formation of both capital and lowercase numbers is a priority ( numbers too). These should be written from the top, down...not from the bottom up. We need to break children of this habit now because when they move on to writing in script, this will complicate the flow of writing. Neat/readable handwriting is an important form of communication.
Important May/June dates to be aware of......
On Friday, May 3rd , we have an 11:50 dismissal for Kindergarten due to our monthly faculty meeting.
The school scholastic book fair is from May 7th to May 9th. This is optional.
On Wednesday, May 8th, progress reports will be sent home. Please sign them and return them to school the next day.
Friday, May 10th is a $2 N.U.T. day.
On Wednesday, May 15th, we will be going on a trip to Queens College to see "The Pout, Pout Fish".
On Wednesday, May 22nd, we will have our school Spring/Mary concert at 1pm in the church.
Thursday, May 23rd is Red Nose Day. Info to come.
On Friday, May 24th, we will have our school's annual Field Day. Please send in lunch from home. there will be no pizza order today.
On Monday, May 27th, the school will be closed for Memorial Day.
On Friday, May 31st, we will have our school Walk-A-Thon. The children will have an option of receiving a free subway sandwich on this day. Information about this event is to come.
Friday, June 7th is an 11:50 dismissal for Kindergrten due to our faculty meeting. The Afterschool Program will be available.
On Thursday, June 13th, it will be the last day of our Afterschool program for this school year. I know that some parents rely on this program but please make whatever arrangements to bring your child to school on Friday, June 14th. It will be our final graduation practice and we need everyone here.
Monday, June 17th is our Kindergarten graduation at 9:00am in Tolentine Hall. Specific information regarding this day will be sent home in early June.
***June 17th is the last day for Kindergarteners. The upper grades will be in attendance until the 19th (which is the school's final day of the year).
**** 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.