Kindergarten Newsletter - March 18, 2016

Announcements

Fun Fridays in March: Kindergartners are invited to participate in Fun Fridays throughout the month of March. Each Friday will be a different themed day. 

Thursday March 24th: Wacky Sock Day

Friday April 1st: Inside Out Day

SCHOOL CLOSED: We will be closed for our annual Spring Break Day on Friday, March 25th

Staff News: Mr. Mark will be on vacation next week. Ms. Berne will cover many of his shifts, but we will have other familiar faces in our room as well.

Community Happenings 

Maple Syrup Festival – Saturday, March 19th

North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 North Pulaski Road, Chicago. (312) 744-5472

Come and see the entire maple syrup-making process from tapping the tree and collecting the sap, to boiling it down into syrup. Take a walk through the sugar bush, enjoy storytelling, make a maple craft, warm yourself by the fire, and taste real maple syrup fresh off the fire. The Maple Syrup Festival is a sweet and warm tradition that is free and fun for all ages. No registration required.

Time: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Cost: FREE

Ages: All ages

Curriculum Update

This week, we spent the week learning more about plants and seeds. Each day at group time, we read a different fiction or non-fiction book about plants. We focused on the life cycle of a plant, along with the different parts of a plant. We also are conducting a seed experiment in our back window. Each kindergartner planted their own lima bean(s) and determined how many cotton balls and how much water to put into their bags to best grow the plant. Keep an eye on these seedlings to see if they sprout!

Next week, we will be take a week to talk about Spring Cleaning.

Literacy Table

At the literacy table, we practiced reading and writing our first 12 sight words. While doing so, we also practiced writing correctly on our kindergarten paper. Here are some of the reasons why we’re learning sight words in Kindergarten:

Many sight words do not follow the basic phonics principles, thus they cannot be “sounded out.” Beginning readers need an effective strategy for decoding unknown words, and being familiar with sight words is an effective method. Other benefits of sight words include:

Sight words promote confidence. Because the first 100 sight words represent over 50% of English text, a child who has mastered the list of sight words can already recognize at least half of a sentence. If your child begins to read a book and can already recognize the words, chances are he won’t feel discouraged and put the book down, rather he’ll have more confidence to read it all the way through. And, choose another!

Sight words help promote reading comprehension. When your child opens her book for the first time, instead of trying to decipher what ALL of the words mean, she can shift her attention to focus on those words she is not familiar with. She will already know at least half of the words, so focusing on the other half helps strengthen her understanding of the text.

Sight words provide clues to the context of the text. If your child is familiar with the sight words, she may be able to decode the meaning of the paragraph or sentence by reading the sight words. And, if a picture accompanies the text, your child may be able to determine what the story is about and come away with a few new words under her belt.

Math Table

At the math table, we reviewed higher and lower with the use of manipulatives. The use of manipulatives when teaching math not allows our kindergartners to construct their own mental models for mathematical ideas, but also helps make learning engaging and fun! When learning feels like more of a game, children are more likely to enjoy themselves while also increasing their interest level. Interacting with objects and people while learning makes for a wonderful learning experience.

 Art Table

At the art table, we’ve planted! Early in the week, we planted lima beans which are currently hanging in our windows as an experiment. We also planted flower seeds into individual pots. Each kindergartner decorated, potted, and planted on their own! Looking forward to seeing what springs up!