Monthly Archives: January 2012

Blue Discovery Days at the Aquarium

The New England Aquarium hosts several “Blue Discovery Days” for families throughout the year. I just received an email about the first one in January, and thought I would share it with you. On January 22, the topic will be penguins and there will be art, science and storytelling activities provided from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on a drop in basis. For more information, click here: Blue Discovery Days.

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Week in Preview

What a nice way to return back to school! I’m feeling energized about the amount of work we accomplished last week. We refreshed ourselves on our classroom rules and quickly got back into learning routines. And I noticed a big improvement in our tardiness problem – thank you!

Lots of math information went home in the folders on Friday. I hope you were able to read over the materials, and play the two games I sent home with your child. During Academic choice this week children had the chance to play both these games and really enjoyed them! We are moving on to Unit 4 in Everyday Math; be on the look out for more math information and family activities in the coming days.

We finished up the alphabet but that doesn’t mean we are done! Unit 2 in Fundations will be a review of uppercase and lowercase letter formation. This week we also had academic choice to practice reading and writing common sight words. This is a developing skill for many children; we will be doing word work at center time as well as working in small reading groups to enhance children’s skills. To celebrate our completion of the Alphabet we will have our alphabet party on Friday afternoon. What fun!

This week we will…

  • Continue to record the daily weather and temperature. We will also make predictions about the weather. Ask your child to explain our daily circle time math sheet to you.
  • Use sight and thematic words to write about winter
  • Read The Mitten by Jan Brett as a shared reading activity
  • Practice rote counting
  • Learn about the work and life of Dr. Martin Luther King
  • Compare numbers 0-20 through learning and playing a new math game called Top It
  • And much more!

I’m hoping to blog a couple of times this week to give you a more in depth look at our learning experiences.

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New Year’s Thoughts

Happy 2012! As we wind down our holiday vacations, I have been thinking a lot about school and our class. I was definitely ready to have some time to relax, but by Thursday I started to miss all my little friends. I am looking forward to greeting them on Tuesday morning and get back into our learning routines.

In January, I hope the children are ready to continue to be learners. I will be introducing new activities in both literacy and math. This week we will finish the alphabet (Unit 1 in Fundations) and we will be celebrating by having an Alphabet Party in January. We will also do some winter science projects and learn about Penguins! (January is Penguin month!)

During December, I noticed more and more children were coming in tardy – that means after the late bell at 8 a.m. One child at a time started trickling in at 8:05, 8:06, 8:08, 8:10, 8:15 and even sometimes as late at 8:30. This trickle in of students impacts the beginning of our day and morning routines (including the lunch count, which must be taken right away!) Even when I had door duty the last time I noticed less than 10 students in our class were lined up by 7:55 a.m. It would be helpful to me and your child to have your child arrive on time. It makes everyone’s day better! Kindergarten is about building good habits for learning. Let’s make it a New Year’s resolution to be at school at time. Thank you! 🙂

Santa brought me a New York Times digital subscription for Christmas. An avid reader, this gift has brought me great pleasure this week, and while reading some articles, I had many “text to self” connections about my students. The most thought-provoking article I read was about the new brain and hormone research on middle childhood, which begins between the ages of 5 and 6. To read the full article, click here: The Hormone Surge of Middle Childhood.  I reminded me a lot of Chip Wood’s book, Yardsticks, which I know I have recommended to some of you. Chip’s book guides parents and teachers through each age’s (ages 4-14) growth and cognitive patterns.

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