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K-218 News – Week of December 17

Hello K-218 families!

 

Thank you for coming to this week’s Family Visit! And thank you so much for your generous holiday gifts. Between that and all the supplies you’ve sent in from my Amazon wish list, my cup runneth way over. Thank you!

This will be the last newsletter of 2018 so I want to wish you all a happy holiday and new year – looking forward to seeing everyone in 2019!

During the vacation, please read to and with your children. Please also continue to practice letter sounds and sight words. And, of course, it’s always a good idea to encourage kids to write/draw a story – it can be either a fiction story or a nonfiction book that teaches information.

Read on for updates on activities from the week, and for more information about upcoming news and events.

 

Letters-of-the-Week and Sight Words

We finished learning lowercase letters! Letters from the week included: z and qu (q is a buddy letter and is always beside its “friend,” u). We learned the sounds these letters make and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (z / zebra, qu / queen) associated with it, the sound it makes and its motion. That means ALL letters should now be included in your sight word / letter & sound book.

We also added “up” and “am” to our sight word list. Please add these to your child’s sight word book. Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “are,” and,” “love,” “my,” “do,” “she,” “be,” “by,” “so,” “no,” “go,” “have,” “it,” “as,” “his,” “has,” “is,” “he,” “for,” “see,” “we,” “you,” “I” “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same!

 

ABC Museum

As I mentioned last week, we’re going to create an ABC Museum. I sent a letter home today in folders with more information. You can also access it here.

 

Butterflies & Moths Study

The moth part of our study is in full swing! This week we began observing luna moth cocoons, and we’re waiting patiently for them to emerge. Meanwhile the timing worked out perfectly because 6 of our butterflies emerged from their chrysalises in the last several days. The kids have loved observing the butterflies and learning more about their behavior, including how they use their feet to taste and proboscis to eat. We loaded their habitat with orange slices and sugar water and are hoping they’ll make it through the break from school (fingers crossed!).

 

Scholastic Reading Club

December orders were placed and should arrive next week! I’ll send them home in backpacks, but let me know if there’s anything you don’t want kids to see so I can give directly to you. The deadline for January orders is 1/25. Visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2 to place your book orders.

PICTURES?

Looking for more recent pictures? Check Seesaw!

K-218 News – Week of December 10

Hello K-218 families! Looking forward to seeing you at next Tuesday’s “Family Morning” visit! We’ve been learning about the butterfly wing’s symmetry and how wings can often feature colors or eyespots to ward off predators, so I wanted to create an art project to feature the butterfly in its final life cycle stage. We’ll be using tissue paper and watered glue to paint/glue butterfly wings, producing a “stained glass” effect. Kids will need your help for this so please be prepared to roll up your sleeves (and you may want to leave your coats in the hallway)! Here’s a quick update on what happened this week and what’s coming:

 

Letters-of-the-Week and Sight Words

Letters from the week included: x and y. We learned the sound each letter makes and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (x / fox, y / yellow) associated with it, the sound it makes and its motion. These letters can now be added to your sight word / letter & sound book, along with: v, w, l, h, k, j, p, e, r, d, s, a, g, c, o, u, i, n, m, t, f, and b.

Next week we’ll learn our final two lowercase letters (qu and z). To celebrate, I want to create an ABC Museum – here’s an example:

I’m going to assign a letter for each student to collect items that begin with the corresponding sound and put inside a hollowed out tissue or shoe box during the holiday break. I’m hoping this will be fun (and not a burden), and a great way for the kids to have a visual representation of letters/sounds.

We also added “are” and “and” to our sight word list. Please add these to your child’s sight word book.

Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “love,” “my,” “do,” “she,” “be,” “by,” “so,” “no,” “go,” “have,” “it,” “as,” “his,” “has,” “is,” “he,” “for,” “see,” “we,” “you,” “I” “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same!

 

Butterflies & Moths Study

We have been getting to know more about the chrysalis stage of a butterfly’s life cycle, discussing what is happening inside the chrysalis and what will happen when the butterflies emerge. We watched a video of a chrysalis dissection (conducted by 2nd grade teacher Gretchen); as lepidopderists, we discussed how this would allow us to learn more about this stage, despite the fact that the pupa would not survive. The dissection was fascinating – ask your child to tell you about it! You can also watch it here. You can also watch another video we watched of David Attenborough explaining the caterpillar’s metamorphosis here.

 

Scholastic Reading Club

December orders were placed and should arrive next week! I’ll send them home in backpacks, but let me know if there’s anything you don’t want kids to see so I can give directly to you. The deadline for January orders is 1/25. Visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2 to place your book orders.

K-218 News – Week of December 3

Hello K-218 families! Just a quick update this week:

 

Letters-of-the-Week and Sight Words

Letters from the week included: v and w. We learned the sound each letter makes and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (v / van, w / wind) associated with it, the sound it makes and its motion. These letters can now be added to your sight word / letter & sound book, along with: l, h, k, j, p, e, r, d, s, a, g, c, o, u, i, n, m, t, f, and b.

We also added “love,” “my” and “do” to our sight word list. Please add these to your child’s sight word book.

Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “she,” “be,” “by,” “so,” “no,” “go,” “have,” “it,” “as,” “his,” “has,” “is,” “he,” “for,” “see,” “we,” “you,” “I” “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same!

 

Toys at School

I’ve been noticing kids coming to school with toys recently and I just wanted to send a reminder about our no-toys-in-school policy; consider this my official moratorium on the toys – please keep them at home. I typically take the toy for the day when I see it, but when I asked the class what I should do since the toys keep returning, they suggested I keep it until the end of kindergarten. I thought that was a bit harsh so I compromised and said I’d return any confiscated toys on Friday afternoon. So remember: when in doubt, leave it at home. And it’s a good idea to check coat pockets and backpacks before leaving home – they’re managing to slip things into school without your noticing!

 

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) News

Tattling versus telling – it’s a hot button issue in kindergarten! And it’s one we teach into to help kids understand the difference. Together, we decided that tattling is reporting something someone else is doing. Mostly, tattling involves trying to get someone else in trouble for something that is not their business. Whereas, telling is alerting adults that a situation is not safe and/or someone has gotten/could get hurt.

I brought up some scenarios and the kids helped decide whether it was tattling or telling – here are some examples:

  • “He touched my lunchbox!” (tattling)
  • “She took my lunch!” (telling)
  • “She took one of the blocks I wanted to use!” (tattling)
  • “He pushed the block tower on top of me!” (telling)

Now when someone comes to report something to me, I’ll often ask, “Are you tattling or telling?” to give them a chance to think through the situation and adjust accordingly.

 

Butterflies & Moths Study

We’ve been monitoring our caterpillars as they’ve continued to grow, and learned its different body parts (ask your child to sing you the song we learned to help remember the vocabulary!). The caterpillars were looking just about ready to form chrysalises when we left them on Friday; we’re eager to see what will happen over the weekend!

 

Scholastic Reading Club

Reminder: the deadline for December orders is 12/12 to make sure books ordered for the holidays will arrive to you in time! Visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2 to place your book orders.

K-218 News – week of November 26

Hello K-218 families! Thank you so much for getting so many of the items on my Amazon wish list – it’s very much appreciated! I’m looking to diversify the contents of our sensory table and have added a few new items (coffee beans, pom poms, etc) to the wish list; I’d also love to try dried pasta – if you have any old boxes lying around at home you want to get rid of, send ‘em in please! Read on for updates on activities from the week, and for more information about upcoming news and events.

 

Letters-of-the-Week and Sight Words

Letters from the this week included: l, h and k. We learned the sound each letter makes and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (l / lamp, h / hat, k / kite) associated with it, the sound it makes and its motion. These letters can now be added to your sight word / letter & sound book, along with: j, p, e, r, d, s, a, g, c, o, u, i, n, m, t, f, and b.

This week we added “she,” “be” and “by” to our sight word list. Please add these to your child’s sight word book.

Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “so,” “no,” “go,” “have,” “it,” “as,” “his,” “has,” “is,” “he,” “for,” “see,” “we,” “you,” “I” “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same!

 

Classroom Jobs

Over the course of these first months of school, kids have shown tremendous abilities to assume responsibility for the care of the classroom and our materials. We discussed the many things that need to be done to help our classroom function, and kids brainstormed jobs they thought would help things run more smoothly. They began their classroom jobs rotation this week and have performed their roles excellently! Ask your child what his/her job is; they range from message reader, messengers and lights helper to attendance counter, door closer and hand sanitizer helpers. These jobs are helping the children discover there is so much that they are able to do competently and independently. I’ve been really proud of how well they’ve embraced their new responsibilities.

 

Butterflies & Moths Study

We’ve continued our study since returning from Thanksgiving break with the arrival of our caterpillars! Kids created scientific observational drawings of the caterpillars and they are already growing so quickly! Soon we will create diagrams and learn the caterpillar’s body parts, getting to see the different parts up close as our caterpillars grow and develop. Ask your child to tell you what s/he has observed so far!

 

Scholastic Reading Club

Reminder: the deadline for December orders is 12/12 to make sure books ordered for the holidays will arrive to you in time! Visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2 to place your book orders.

K-218 News – Weeks of November 5, 12 & 19

Hello K-218 families! Thanks for coming to this week’s Family Morning visit! I hope you enjoyed helping kids with their very own “I am thankful” books ahead of Thanksgiving tomorrow.

It was great to see all of you last week for parent/teacher conferences. I hope you agree that our meetings were informative and productive. I’m looking forward to building on goals for all of the kids through the remainder of the school year. Read on for updates on activities from the week, and for more information about upcoming news and events.

 

Letters-of-the-Week and Sight Words

This week we began literacy centers. During this time children cycle through 3-5 different literacy and phonics activities which change weekly. Activities include writing sentences, handwriting, literacy games and sight word activities. Eventually children will self-monitor and switch activities independently.

Letters from the last two weeks included: j, p, e and r. We learned the sound each letter makes and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (j / jug, p / pan, e / Ed, r / rat) associated with it, the sound it makes and the motion. These letters can now be added to your sight word / letter & sound book, along with: d, s, a, g, c, o, u, i, n, m, t, f, and b.

Over the last two weeks, we added “so,” “no,” “go,” “have” and “it” to our sight word list. Please add these to your child’s sight word book.

Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “as,” “his,” “has,” “is,” “he,” “for,” “see,” “we,” “you,” “I” “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same!

 

Reading & Writing News

This week writers wrapped up our Writing for Readers unit, during which we strengthened our story-telling skills. We planned across the pages telling who was there, where they were, and what they were doing. We added lots of details, stretched out the sounds we heard and used finger spaces between words. Students published a story to share with their classmates (they’re now on display on the board outside our classroom); kids who finished more than one story brought their other work home – they are very excited to share them with you (if they can’t read the words, ask them to tell you “the story of the pictures”)!

Next week we will begin a new unit exploring nonfiction books. Specifically, we’ll learn how nonfiction books use text features, such as pictures, captions, headings, labels and bold words to teach readers about a topic. Kids are gearing up to begin writing their own nonfiction books about butterflies, a topic about which we’ll learn a lot – more on that below!

In reading, we have been learning about the parts of a story, including the characters, setting, beginning, middle and end. After reading a book and finding these parts, we have focused on the components of a strong retelling to share the book with someone else. Kids are learning to retell a book by telling the story in the order it happened and including all the parts.

Next week we will begin a new unit in reading focused on what readers do to figure out words they do not know. The goal of the unit is to teach a variety of decoding (word-solving) strategies for kids to use when reading. So far kids have learned to sit in a quiet bubble, take a picture walk to get their minds ready for the book, and point underneath the words from left to right.

 

Math Update

Our class started a new unit in math called “Counting and Comparing.” The focus of this unit is on developing accurate and efficient counting strategies. Another goal is to compare quantities of objects and begin to explore measurement by comparing objects to see which is longer. As a first step, we read Lois Ehlert’s Fish Eyes, and students made their own counting books. Pages of the book have a tens frame and bead string, tools we use for counting everyday, as well as a section to draw the number of objects that corresponds to the quantity. The books will be coming home soon for your child to read with you!

 

Butterflies & Moths Study

We kicked off our first content study, an in-depth investigation of butterflies and moths (note: to begin, we’ll be focusing on butterflies and kids have not yet been told about the moths part of the study, which will come later). We began by learning about the in-class habitat we’ll use to observe and study the butterfly’s metamorphosis. Kids made predictions about what our study would involve based on the habitat, and their guesses ranged from mosquitoes to insects to bugs to butterflies. We’ve been working to identify all that we know about butterflies so that we can devote the coming weeks to learning more and clearing up misconceptions. We’re also discussing how we – as lepidopterists (those who study butterflies) – will study butterflies by making observations, reading – and writing – books, creating projects, conducting research and taking field trips learn all about our topic of study. Our caterpillars will arrive next week so stay tuned for more updates on our observations.  

 

Scholastic Reading Club

November orders were placed today and I’ve set the December deadline for 12/12 to make sure books ordered for the holidays will arrive to you in time! Visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2 to place your book orders!

 

A Note from the PTA

Peck Slip Winter Gear is Here! Show your Peck Slip pride and stay warm in cozy beanies and soft sweatshirts, and nab the awesome camo tote that sold out last year. Order forms with photos have been backpacked home, and items are displayed in the school’s front windows. Please note if you would like a T-shirt or sweatshirt in ADULT sizes. Orders are due Nov. 26. All proceeds support the PTA- Thank you!

K-218 News – Week of October 29

Hello K-218 families! Hope you had a fun Halloween! It was great to see you at our celebration parade and sing-along – I hope you had our “Scarin’ Alive” stuck in your head all day! After we came inside and kids changed out of their costumes, we worked to make a “Halloween Parade” book, with each kid contributing a page by writing and drawing about his/her Halloween costume. We also made applesauce (just apples and a little water) – the kids loved it! I heard from a few that it tasted like candy! Thank you to Carr’s family for donating apples! Thank you for the candy wrappers from your trick-or-treating – our candy ABC book really came together! We’re just missing: (nothing a quick Google Image search can’t solve). Read on for updates on activities from the week, and for more information about upcoming news and events.

Letters-of-the-Week and Sight Words

Letters from this week included: d and s. We learned the sound each letter makes and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (d / dog, s / snake) associated with it, the sound it makes and the motion. These letters can now be added to your sight word / letter & sound book, along with: a, g, c, o, u, i, n, m, t, f, and b.

We added “as,” “his” and “has” to our sight word list. Please add these to your child’s sight word book.

Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “is,” “he,” “for,” “see,” “we,” “you,” “I” “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same!

Seesaw

This year we are using Seesaw to share and communicate with families. It’s very new to all of us, but apparently I’ll be using Seesaw to send you messages and reminders. It’s unclear how often I’ll be using it as we’ll still also have the class Website, but you can expect to also get updates via Seesaw as well. Seesaw is private; you’ll only see posts connected to your child.

Please Sign Up Now

  1. Click on this link: https://app.seesaw.me/s/758-434-188
  2. Choose your child from the list
  3. Create your account
  4. Once I approve you, you can see content from your child

After you sign up, download the free Seesaw Family app and sign in. You can also access Seesaw from a computer at https://app.seesaw.me.

Note: If you used Seesaw last year or have more than one child using Seesaw, follow the link above, then click the ‘Sign in’ tab at the top of the screen. You do not need to create a new account. 

Sight Words

Did you know that 3 words (I, and, the) make up 10% of what we read? If children memorize these words, reading fluency and comprehension will be strengthened. Children simply need to recognize them by sight. As you know, we’ve begun introducing sight words. In class, we play games, sing songs and work on other activities. And, of course your at-home practice with them. Memorization of these words will be enhanced with repetition; it’s said that it takes the average child 60 exposures/experiences with a word before it is saved in their brains. So, practice, practice, practice!

Inventive Spelling

You may have noticed that your children are interested in writing words. They are using “inventive spelling” to do so, which means they are using the sounds they know to form a word. If you notice them doing this, please encourage them to “stretch” out the words, by saying it slowly and listening for each sound in the word. Do not worry about the correct spelling of words. So if he/she writes “prpl” or even “p” instead of “purple,” that’s fine! This is an important developmental step, and proper spelling will come later once children have learned letter sounds and spelling conventions.

Scholastic Reading Club

Just a reminder: the deadline for November orders is 11/21 – visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2 to place your book orders!

K-218 News – Week of October 22

Hello K-218 families! It’s almost November (!), but first, we have to get through Halloween! Check out Maggie’s Halloween letter for more info about the upcoming parade and celebration. If you can, please send in a few candy wrappers from your trick-or-treating. We’re going to try to compile a Halloween candy alphabet book with candy wrappers to represent each letter (think KitKat for “K,” Mounds for “M,” etc). Some will be harder to come by than others (is there a candy for “Q”??), but please humor us and send a few in your child’s folder for us to consider… Thanks in advance! Read on for updates on activities from the week, and for more information about upcoming news and events.

Letters-of-the-Day and Sight Words

Letters from this week included: a and g. We learned the sound each letter makes and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (a / apple, g / game) associated with it, the sound it makes and the motion. These letters can now be added to your sight word / letter & sound book, along with: c, o, u, i, n, m, t, f, and b.

We added “is,” “he,” “for” and “see” to our sight word list. Please add this to your child’s sight word book.

Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “we,” “you,” “I” “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same! 

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Update

Our SEL has continued these last few weeks with a new addition to our “Peace Slip”: Flower Power. This tool helps kids who are in conflict with each other by allowing them to work together to choose from a range of options to solve a problem. The options (suggested by the kids) are designed to empower kids to mediate conflict themselves, and include: take turns, share, get help, rock/paper/scissors, do something else, walk away and use kind words. When friends are having a problem, I encourage them to “use Flower Power” to solve it, and it really helps. We read King of the Playground, A weekend with Wendell, The Almost Terrible Playdate and The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog and talked about how the characters in the books could have used a Flower Power solution to help them solve their problem. Kids talked with their partners about the conflicts the characters were having and shared their ideas.

Say Hello!

This week we read Rachel Isadora’s Say Hello!, about a young girl named Carmelita who greets her many neighbors by saying “Hello!” in their native languages. These include: Bonjour (French), Buenos Dias & Hola (Spanish), Ni Hao (Mandarin), Ciao (Italian), Konichiwa (Japanese), Shalom (Hebrew), Jambo (Swahili) and Al Salaam A’ Alaykum (Arabic). This got us talking about other languages spoken in our class, and we realized K-218 kids speak many of the languages in the book, as well as Korean, Russian and Bulgarian. We’d love to add more greetings to our list; please let me – or your kindergartener – know any other languages (as well as how to say hello in the language!) for us to add to our list! 

Scholastic Reading Club

October books have been ordered and will be sent home when they arrive next week. I’ve set the deadline for November orders as 11/21 – visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2!

K-218 News – Week of October 15

Hello K-218 families! Thanks for coming to our first family visit this week. I hope you enjoyed getting to see our partner reading literacy work in action – check out some pictures here! Since temperatures are falling, please make sure your children are dressed appropriately for colder weather. We are continuing to go outside for recess everyday and it’s important for them to be comfortable in the cold weather. It’s also imperative that your children can put on and remove their own coats and accessories. I know they’re little, but believe me, they can do it! As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s a tall order to get 25 kids ready to go outside multiple times a day. We’re working toward independence when it comes to self-care so your support and encouragement are really appreciated! Read on for updates on activities from the week, and for more information about upcoming news and events.

Letters-of-the-Day and Sight Words

Letters from this week included: c and o. We learned the sound each letter makes and how to write each letter. Please help your child to review these letters by having them tell you the name of each letter, the picture (c / cat, o / octopus) associated with it, the sound it makes and the motion. These letters can now be added to your sight word / letter & sound book, along with: u, i, n, m, t, f, and b.

We added “we,” “you” and “I” to our sight word list. Please add this to your child’s sight word book.

Reminder: sight words learned earlier include “to,” “a/A,” “was,” “the,” “me,” “can,” and “like.” While you’re reading, please point these words out to your child and encourage him/her to do the same!

Math Update

Our class has been working on a new unit in math called What Comes Next? The focus of the unit is constructing and extending patterns. Throughout the unit, students have been copying, constructing and extending simple repeating patterns, as well as beginning to identify the unit of a repeating pattern. We’ve had interesting discussions about whether a pattern can have more than 3 colors/shapes/etc. At first, many kids explained that a pattern couldn’t have more than 3 repeating elements and still be a pattern. Others disagreed and have been helping to provide examples (we noticed our bead string is a pattern of 5 red and 5 white beads!). You can support our work at home by asking your child to describe the patterns you find together or even to create a pattern. Find household items you and your child can use to make patterns: bottle tops, coins, keys, and buttons are just a few.

4th Grade Buddies

We met with 4th grade buddies this week to work together around Peck Slip’s “Book of the Month,” Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman. After reading the book and talking about similarities and differences, kindergarteners worked with their 4th grade buddies to create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast themselves. Check out some pictures from the session.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences will be on Thursday, November 15 (from 12:30-3:30 pm and 4:30-7:15 pm). To help with scheduling, our school uses a web-based program called PTCFast. You can access the site here (our class code is Z2X1226906) so that you can each choose your preferred times. If you would like to switch times with someone who has already booked, feel free to coordinate with them directly.

Housekeeping

  • Dustpan/brush / We’re still on the hunt for a dustpan and brush to clean up the sand spills from our sensory table. Let me know if you’re able to donate one to us! UPDATE: THANKS TO KATIE (OLIVIA’S MOM) FOR DONATING A DUSTPAN AND BRUSH FOR US!
  • Playdough / We also need a new batch of playdough. I made the last one and wanted to offer it up for one of you to make at home this time? It’s actually really fun (and VERY easy). Let me know and I can send you the recipe. UPDATE: THANKS TO STEPHANIE (SIMONE’S MOM) FOR OFFERING TO MAKE US A NEW BATCH!
  • Apples / I’m thinking of making applesauce with the class at some point during the next few weeks. If you happen to be going apple picking and would like to provide apples for us, let me know! We’ll need about 25-30. 

Scholastic Reading Club

One more week to order books! The deadline for October orders is 10/26 – visit scholastic.com/readingclub and enter LTKX2!