Friday, April 17, 2015

Trees and seasons

We started our discussion of trees and seasons this week.  Again, there was a lot of science this week.  I feel that at this time of year, it gets easier to have the abstract concepts of science in the room as they have a stronger foundation on the basics. 

We labeled the parts of a tree by writing the sound we hear first on the line.  We are getting good at Labeling a Diagram.  Some of our friends are able to do this almost independently, and some of us are still working on letters.  The cook part of these projects is it allows us to teach to the level each child is ready for.
Students then made another model, this one of a tree.  Students cut out their hands for the branches.  They then glued cotton balls on the fingertips and stamped them green.  They then put the branches on the trunk (tube). They then pulled apart a string to make roots.  Though this seems like a simple project, it really worked on their fine motor skills.
We then talked about how the trees change in the seasons.  Students started with writing the sound they hear first on the seasons.  Again, this was tailored to each child's ability. We then stamped their hands 4 times.  (they helped count).  Then students talked about what they see in nature in each season and they glued that on their trees: leaves from basket stuffings, fall leaves falling from colorful paper, glitter for snow, and crumpled tissue paper for buds.  This again worked on their fine motor skills again.

Students then watched the following video.  They thought it was very cool how closely their pictures paralleled to the video.  They really liked this video!

We also illustrated the life of a tree and part of the seasons and weather with some tree yoga.  We took another video for your viewing pleasure!

The letter of the week was ZzWe learned the sign language for a letter, the literacy link sound symbols, the letter sound, and looking at and writing it in both capital letters and lower case letters.  Click here to view the many ways we learn the letter of the week!

Each week we watch letter videos from "Have Fun Teaching" and the students are really picking up the names of letters, formations, and the sounds of letters.  Check out these videos with you child!  Click HERE.

The Tuesday project of letter of the week is to decorate a letter with something that starts with the letter. This week we decorated the letter Zz with Zig-Zags.  On Thursday, our letter of the week project was to read a page from our alphabet book, Z is for zebra.

A big part of kindergarten readiness is making sure the student can correctly and efficiently use their tools.  It is also that their letters are written (and identified) correctly so they can begin the reading and writing process.  PLEASE help your child hold pencils and scissors correctly, name the letters and numbers, and correctly write the letters and numbers.  
pencils need to be held in a "tri-pod/pincher grip.
Pointer and thumb should pinch the pencil and the
pencil should rest in the middle finger on the top
kuckle.  The thumb and the pointer should make
a round/circular shape
Scissors need to be held thumb up, cut
away from the body, and pushing foward
as the fingers and thumb open and close.
Writing the letters correctly will help them greatly in kindergarten as they will be more fluent in their writing if it is done correctly.  A good rule of thumb: START AT THE TOP AND CIRCLE BACK.  Circle back homework came home this week as well; it is essential students circle back rather than forwards for the correct formation of the letter.   I can send home the correct formation of the letters to help you work with them (this also came home in Holiday Homework).

Writing the numbers is equally as important as it is essential in communicating their math answers.  Please help your child name and write the numbers they best they can (ideally: count objects to 10, write up to 10, identify up to 12, count orally to 20, ).  Please note how the numbers look in the image.  This is how we write our numbers including the 2, 4, and 9 (not as they show up when typing).

 Please note that the year is very busy (and only 8 weeks left!). There are many events, forms, permission slips, and more that need to returned to school. Please refer back to this blog weekly and check your child's folder (both classroom and school issued) every night to ensure you see everything. 

Upcoming Events:
  • Final Reading with the Stars will be Monday April 20.
  • Graduation Photos April 22 during class time. We have a professional photographer (the same one that did school photos) come and take pictures of your child in Graduation gear (provided by her).  You will have the opportunity to purchase these photos like you did the school photos.  We will be sending out permission/payment envelopes.  Please be sure to turn these in regardless of whether you intend to purchase--we cant take their picture without your permission.  We use the photos in the graduation slide show.
  • Spring Field Trip April 23.  Permission slips ARE DUE.  We will be going to Mosquito Hill in New London to talk about how animals wake up in spring.  Students will need to be dressed for the weather and hiking outside.
  • St. Edward Spring Program April 29 (All St. Edward Families) will participate in.  It is a Matinee and evening show times. Hortonville families will receive a permissions email (like the Christmas program) closer to the date to watch the matinee performance.
  • Bloomin' Bonanza May 8-9 is our school wide plant and craft sale. It has a large variety of annuals, perennials, student made projects and local vendors.  Our class will be making decorative plates/plant stands to donate to the sale.  Please consider coming out and supporting the school!
  • FINAL BOOK ORDER WILL BE DUE MAY 15.  Please click on the link for scholastic at the top of this page.  When you buy books for your child, it helps buy books and supplies for our classrooms. 
  • PALS assessments will run for 2 weeks (10 school days) in May.  This may modify lesson plans/have a few less projects.
  • Safety Fair Field Trip May 20. Students will be traveling by bus to Hillside preschool to learn about a variety of summer safety tips and even do a bike safety rodeo!  Permission slips will be coming home closer to the date.  There is no cost, and we will not need chaperones.
  • Graduation is held during one of the last 2 weeks of the school year.  Students sing some songs, show off their technology skills with a powerpoint they help type, you see first day of school photos with graduation photos, they receive their certificates and letter/number books, and then there is a short social afterwards.  In the beginning of May, we send out a sheet with days that work best/dont work.  We then tally up the yeses and the day with the most yeses is when graduation is held.  We know with t-ball and such starting in May, it can be hard so we try to do what works best.  Please look for that and return it as soon as you can.
Important Notes:
  •  Dress for the weather.  Please send your child dressed for the weather as we go outside as long as it is not raining or below 0*(students are more than welcome to bring layers daily or to leave in their lockers)  It may also be time to change out the change of clothes to make sure they are weather appropriate.  If you send a new change of clothes, we will send the warm weather clothes in their backpacks.
  • Folders. Please be checking your child's daily folder each night.  We put notes on the notebook pages in their folders as well as any notes we may have for you.  Artwork is also sent home this way. As we start letter of the week, we will also start sending home homework to help reinforce the letter concept and identification.  Please work on this with you child to help the students make the connection between home and school. 
  • Also, Please check the student's Wednesday Folders.  Please try to take info out and return the folder and any forms/info/payments in those folders a day or two after receiving. 
  • Literacy Bags come home every three weeks.  Students will have a week to complete the project inside and can then return the bag with completed sheets in it on TUESDAYS.
  • Library Books come every week.  We go to library on Monday and student have the opportunity to check out a book and keep it for a week. It can be kept in their back packs or at home, but please remember to bring it on Mondays.
Next Week:
Theme: Earth Day.Recycle
Number of the week: 0 1 2
Snack: Fischer (Obermueller) Family

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