Students listened to two different versions of The Mitten, one retold by Jan Brett and the other by Alvin Tresselt. Using a Venn diagram, we compared and contrasted the two books.
Before vacation, we engaged in a literature study of the classic tale, The Gingerbread Man. We read multiple versions, comparing and constrasting each one. We discussed characters, setting, and plot. The Gingerbread Man even wrote to us, sparking interesting ideas from students about what he could do to stay safe!
You may have noticed that your children are naturally curious about the world around them. They may be especially excited and interested in the animal and plant life they encounter in their everyday lives – chasing butterflies, watching ants crawl on the ground, and noticing plants growing and flowers budding in the springtime.
As part of our science curriculum this year we are studying living things. Your children will develop a scientific approach to their investigation of the outdoors as they become naturalists studying the local environment, looking for living things, and discovering how and where they live. The children will also gain an appreciation and respect for the environment. We are teaching your children to observe and study living things without disrupting or disturbing them. We have begun with open explorations of nature this fall.
In kindergarten, we use the writers workshop model to engage our students in the writing process. As we launch our workshop, KG students are working on writing "teaching stories," in which they are asked to share information about something they know a lot about, or consider themselves "experts" on. We are working on telling our stories through pictures AND words.
We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. After reading, students were asked to figure out how many pieces of fruit the caterpillar ate before turning into a butterfly. The children recorded their thinking in their math journals, and came to the conclusion that the caterpillar at 16 pieces of fruit!
We read Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes. In this story, Chrysanthemum is made fun of by her classmates because her name is longer than theirs, and also the name of a flower. We discussed how her classmates are "bucket dippers," as well as how KG students would treat Chrysanthemum if she were in our class. This book was also the jumping off point for discussing our own names. We counted the letters in our names and created a class graph. We also counted the syllables in our names.
Today we read The Big Orange Splot. In this book, all of the houses on Mr. Plumbean's street are exactly the same. Slowly, each person on the street paints their house, making them all extremely colorful and unique. We discussed how each of the children in KG are different and unique. We all have different goals and need different things to help us succeed. Each student identified his/her goal (or "hope & dream") for kindergarten. Goals included learning to read, making new friends, getting better at counting, and learning new games in PE.