Saturday, October 18, 2014

Human Body Week

Dear Kindergarten Families,

This week we learned about our bodies and some basic information about our bones.  We read that a baby has about 300 bones when they are born and adults have 206!  We talked about how our nose and ears are formed with cartilage.  We found that it is important for us to eat foods rich in calcium for healthy bones.  We also looked at illustrations of bones from various animals and we guessed what species to which they belong.  The children did an excellent job.  Since learning about Ladybugs in September we are acquainted with the term “symmetrical.”  We are finding symmetry in many living things including humans.  We also reviewed our five senses and discussed how important they are to our learning.  We learned about sound and vibrations by holding a balloon next to a speaker, we worked hard to remember ten items that were shown for one minute, and learned that parts of our tongue help us distinguish sour, sweet, bitter, and salty. Our bodies are remarkable.  We learned that good food, sleep and exercise helps to promote a healthy body. On Friday afternoon we visited the 5th grade classroom to learn more about body systems.  The 5th graders did an amazing job introducing to kindergarten, via skits, each of the body’s systems.

The children were introduced to the Guardian Angel prayer this week.  I shared a small Guardian Angel figurine I have had for a long time.  Sadly, many years ago the hand had broken off and I told the children that perhaps this Guardian Angel needs a Guardian Angel because it’s hand broke off and was lost.  As we were looking at the statue Jack noticed that it had a key to turn underneath and wondered what it was for.  I showed the class that the statue was musical and as I tipped it over out dropped the broken hand.  It was a funny sight and the children asked if I had performed a magic trick. I think our Guardian Angel...must have a Guardian Angel.  We got a big chuckle out of this. Now, where's the Super Glue!

Prayer to learn: Practice reciting the Guardian Angel prayer:

Guardian Angel Prayer
Guardian Angel,
My guardian dear.
To whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side;
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.

Reading Strategies:

Stretchy the Snake – Sound out each letter in a word slowly, and then say the word.

Eagle Eyes – Use your Eagle Eyes to look carefully at the pictures to get ideas about the story.

Printing Practice:  This week we completed all Frog Jump letters with letter M.  Check for proper pencil grasp and make sure all letters and numbers begin at the top. Review the sounds for each of these letters as well.

M – Big line down, frog jump up, slide down, slide up, and big line down.
N – Big line down, frog jump up, slide down and back up.
R – Big line down, frog jump up, little curve at the top, little line slides down.
B – Big line down, frog jump up, little curve at the top, little curve at the bottom.
F - Big line down, frog jump up, little line at the top, little line at the middle
E -  Big line down, frog jump up, little line at the top, little line at the middle, little line at the bottom
D – Big line down, frog jump up, big curve
P – Big line down, frog jump up, little curve at the top

Orange Song:  The children were introduced to the color word orange.  We learned the following song to help us practice reading, writing, and spelling this word (Sung to the tune Jingle Bells):

O- R- A- N-G-E
Orange is just right
Carrots growing,
Pumpkins glowing
Shades of orange so bright

 Sentence School:

We continue to work on recognizing subjects and verbs.  The children are really getting the hang of this.  Practice some simple sentences at home and have your child identify the subject and the verb.  You can make up your own or point them out in a picture book.  Here are a few examples:

·         The spider crawled.
·         The boy ran.
·         The pig rolled.
·         The children skipped.

Math Reinforcement:
Practice recognizing numerals 10-20 out of sequence
Practice counting from one to thirty.
Practice Skip Counting from 10 to 100. (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100.)   
Practice writing numbers 1-5.

Here are the number rhymes for one through five:
One – Start at the top and down you run, that’s the way to make a one.
Two – Make a candy cane add a shoe, that’s the way to make a two.
Three – Around the tree, around the tree, that’s the way to make a three.
Four – Down and across and down once more, that’s the way to make a four.
Five – Short neck, belly fat, Mr. Five wears a hat.   

Classroom Needs
·         Old phone books and newspapers.
·         Photographers for our Halloween Party.  We want to make sure we capture pictures of everybody.  Can you help us with this task?


Monday & Tuesday:
·         Return Conference Questionnaires
·         Free Hot Lunch - RSVP required
·         Homework due on Tuesday due to shortened week

Wednesday - Friday: NO SCHOOL - Parent/Teacher Conferences - Look forward to meeting with all of you!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Leigh Ann

Human Body Week Photo Highlights

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkins & The Lee Farm News

Dear Kindergarten Families,

Our lessons on pumpkins provided a great week of integrated learning and discovering in the kindergarten classroom.  We listened to and retold the story of the Doubtful Pumpkin Seed and learned about what having faith means.  We also learned the life cycle of pumpkins and compared this cycle to our previous lessons on apples. Our Million Dollar Word of the week was “circumference.” Next week we will continue decorating miniature  pumpkins with items purchased from our classroom store.  The children will be given ten pennies to purchase a number of decorations to adorn their pumpkins.  This lesson will give the children an opportunity to work on one-to-one correspondence, to appreciate the value of a penny and how that affects our choices when we make a purchase.  The children will need to plan out their purchases before they spend their coins.  Ahhhh…life lessons. We also have an option to donate all leftover coins to the needy and many children are happily adding their coins to the growing amount.

 My newsletters only contains a small glimpse of the highlights of the week.  I wish I could put down each and every milestone, but you would be reading for pages.  It is amazing seeing, once I sit down to type, all that we cover in a week!

This week we read a number of fiction and nonfiction stories about pumpkins.    We are working on left to right progression, and the children are touching each word as they read to note the syllabic beats in a word.  We are adding to our understanding of book related terms:  author, illustrator, and title page.  We have found that some books have won Caldecott awards for their illustrations.  We have begun to add to our list of “Popcorn Words.”  “Popcorn Words” are words that “pop” up frequently in our reading and become sight words to add to our reading vocabulary. Our latest word is "them."  We are also working on phonemes, a.k.a. rhyming words.  We reviewed the -an Family and this week we will introduce our second word family.  The –at family: Cat, bat, mat, hat, rat, sat…

October is the month of the rosary. At our Monday morning prayer assembly the first graders and seventh graders led the school through a living rosary.  The two classes encircled the student body and they represented the beads on the rosary as we prayed.  The word rosary comes from the Latin word rosarium-a crown of roses.  I located a great website that explains the origin of the rosary:  There is also a wonderful, free app that can guide your family through praying the rosary.  It is called Rosary Lite.  When my daughter, Olivia, was very young, we taught her the rosary to say when going to sleep.  It gave her comfort and warded off any worries she had at bed time.  We often found her fast asleep with her rosary clutched in her hands.  The tradition continues now that she is in college.  She takes her rosary with her every where she goes.
It was a review week in kindergarten. 

We are reviewing letters, sounds, color words, sentence structure, reading strategies, and math, science, and social studies concepts.  Please refer to previous newsletters to review concepts with your child.  This coming week I will be assessing basic skills as we prepare for conferences. 

We learned to pray
 The Lord's Prayer:

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Printing Practice:  We reviewed all letters this week and the sounds that they make. 

N - Big line down, frog jump up, slide down to the corner, and big line up
R – Big line down, frog jump up, little curve at the top, little line slides down.
B – Big line down, frog jump up, little curve at the top, little curve at the bottom.
F - Big line down, frog jump up, little line at the top, little line at the middle
E -  Big line down, frog jump up, little line at the top, little line at the middle, little line at the        bottom
D – Big line down, frog jump up, big curve
P – Big line down, frog jump up, little curve at the top

Math Reinforcement:
  1. Continue practicing counting from one to twenty.
  2. We discussed Ordinal Numbers this week. First, Second, Third…and we worked on pumpkin measurement.  We located things that we could measure the circumference of.
  3.  Practice Skip Counting from 10 to 100. (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100.)  
  4. Discuss ways that objects can be sorted.  Take out some food items from the pantry and discuss ways that these items can be sorted.  By size, shape, color… 
  5. Watch the Teen Numbers Always Start With One video posted below.    

Classroom Needs:
       Cutting projects

Special Thanks:
A great BIG thank you to our chaperones for sharing your time with us on Tuesday.  The children had an amazing time, thank you!

Happy weekend!

Pumpkin & Lee Farm Photo Highlights