Sunday, January 24, 2016

Community Helpers Week 1

February Notes Click HERE

Students have been noticing my belly growing so I decided to make finding out the gender educational and fun for them.  Here are the academic skills we used and the results of our graph.  Most students think baby is a girl.  On Monday (tomorrow) I will do the same gender reveal for them I did for my students, I will be doing a baking soda and vinegar volcano; pink lava is a girl and blue lava is a boy.  We talked about the bubbles coming out so if you have heard your little one talk about it being bubble day, it is one more sleep until bubble day!
We began our 2 week discussion of community helpers.  Students cut out the boxes of their community helpers (we talked about making sure to stay on the lines so they dont loose dots.  I am really working on them begin more precise with their fine motor skills as we progress.  They then had to count the dots and match it to the community helper's tool/transportation.

On Wednesday, students started the day by doing their best coloring in their helpers book.  Students are learning direction following, time management, coloring/fine more precision, coloring expectations, and endurance of completing a project. After students had time to color, we read the book together as a class focusing on one word getting one touch and starting on the left.  We are just getting started with these reading skills, but it is a good start.

Wednesday we also learned about the community helper of house painters and how they help our community look beautiful.  I taught students how to use the water colors. After we learned how to use watercolors, we did a listening/direction following activity.  They had to use a specific color on a specific part of the house.  It went really well!  Watercolors are now in our art center for free choice art now that they know how to use them.

Community helper pocket chart is matching helpers to their transportation and helping match their numbers to their transportation.  Students have been taught to pick ONE game/baggie, play the game, and then put it back and trade.  They are doing very well with this.

Sensory table now has white rice for snow and some polar animals.  Students are enjoying playing with the new materials in the table.

A new puzzles and game activity is another community helper counting activity.  They count the helpers and then clip a clothespin on the correct number from 3 choices.

Please be sending boots and snow pants now that snow has fallen.  Send
them even if there is no snow for warmth!  The image is the order we do our snow clothes if it helps you at home.  We HIGHLY encourage them to do it completely independently, with only a little help here and there with tying boots, second mittens, etc.

The letter of the week was Pp. We 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 P with popcorn in paint.  Students are getting good at making predictions of what they think they will be decorating with based on words that start with that sound.  On Thursday, our letter of the week project was to read a page from our alphabet book, P is for Penguin.

Students also do a maze of the letter helping get from one object to another starting with that letter, find and color all of the letter, color a page of something that starts with that letter, and make a crown at the end of the week to be the Kings and Queens of the letter!

We also do a handwriting sheet.  This is important because writing the letters correctly helps with efficiency as well as learning cursive down the line.  We ALWAYS START AT THE TOP.  Please encourage students to write the letter correctly!  This came home on the blue sheets from break.

Important Notes:
  • Reading with the Stars will be held on Thursday January 28.  5:30-6:30pm.  Please do your best to reply regardless of yes or no so we can get an accurate count, make the right amount of materials, and pick a space that will fit everyone best.
  • Dress for the weather Please send your child dressed for the weather.  We go outside 2 days a week (We really TRY).  AM goes out Wednesday and Thursday.  PM goes out Tuesday and Thursday.  Extended day (students who stay all day) go out every day.  Unless it is below 0* or raining we do go out.  Please send the clothes that will keep them warm.  Also, please attempt to send in clothes that your child can do themselves.  This may be sending a zip up sweatshirt over a pull over, zipper instead of buttons, mittens instead of gloves, etc.  Thought we will always help to get your child ready, we cannot help all at the same time.  Teaching the children self help and self dress skills is an important goal of the 4k program.  By sending easier clothes, it helps them be more successful.  
  • Layers may be necessary in the school.  Heat does not turn on until later in the fall/early winter so the building can be a little chilly in the morning before the bodies warm it up.  Send your child in layers and maybe have an extra sweatshirt/sweater left in lockers in case they are cold.  It may also be time to switch out the clothes in the top of lockers to warmer options.
  • As a part of our room decorations and to make every one feel at home, we have a "family and friends" board in our room.  Students will feel more at home and have a school family if they have their home family with them.  (The same as you putting a family picture on your desk).    Please feel free to send in a family photo that will be stapled up on our wall for the duration of the school year. Send in those family photos!
  • Background checks. When it comes to these, we assume you are good unless we get a note otherwise, but we are counting on it not being processed (and will not make that assumption that it was run and you are good) until 2 WEEKS AFTER TURNING THE FORMS IN.
  • Homework  Homework would be the only blank stuff sent home.  We have a homework stamp page in the back of you child's every day folder.  When you do homework with your child and send it back, we stamp the homework, stamp the homework page, and then send it back. Anything with a stamp on it or a project that is already done is yours to keep.  The homework page in the back of the folder explains more about homework. Homework TYPICALLY comes home on Thursdays and it is some reinforcing of letters at home (same sheet different letters so they also become independent).
  • 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 TUESDAY.
  • 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. 
  • Book Order Books will be sent home with your child when they come in unless you send a note that you would like it done differently.  We do encourage books to be gifts so if this is the case, please send a note and we put them in brown paper bags and tell the student it is mom/dad's homework.  The next book order is due January 28.  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. 
  • Snack reminder. Please remember healthy, nut free choices.   A list can be found on the blog at the bottom.  If you send an item that needs spoons/forks, please also send in those items. Thank You!
Next Week:
Theme: Community Helpers/Transportation
Letter of the Week: Jj
AM Snack: Lloyd

PM Snack: Griesbach

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