Friday, January 17, 2020

Hi JK Parents!

We are so excited to welcome Erin Ivry to the JK classroom as Assistant Teacher!  She has taught Kindergarten for 10 years in San Francisco, has three children and is due with her fourth in July.  Her daughter Grace will be joining us in the Pre-K classroom at Roycemore, so please be sure to welcome them.  We are so fortunate to have her!

We are having more fun with penguins this week!  There's so much to learn and explore.  

We are working on rhyming words by playing a game by grouping rhyming words on a tree together.  It's fun to cover up the beginning letter of a word and then talk about the different letters we could try to add to make a word!  Nonsense words are okay too when learning to rhyme.  For some we are also adding blends/multiple letters to the beginning of words to create rhyming words.  We have been reading books by Robert Munsch.  He is hilarious and the children have loved learning about the characters, including a giant, a doctor with a giant shot, a boy who brings his baby brother for show and tell in his backpack, and many other interesting people.  

Math & Science:
We conducted an experiment on penguin "blubber" using Crisco and insulating our hands as we dipped them into icy water.  We made predictions about what would happen, and how the penguins are able to survive in the frigid temperatures.  The children were amazed at how WARM their hands were tucked into the blubber pouch!  Did you know that a penguin is unable to swim backward?  We also took a poll to see who thought they were able to.  It's so funny for animals that spend 80% of their lives in the water-to not be able to swim backward!  

We played a penguin game with goldfish and made equations after sorting different color gold fish.  We practiced writing on the penguin' tummies as we all need lots of practice with our number formation.  We are loving adding and using manipulatives to count.  We worked on grouping and making patterns with colored blocks.

Fine Motor:
The children finished their self portraits for January.  I love the details!  They are hanging outside our door so please stop and look when you are here.  Ms. Ivry has been sharing information on a class she took and explaining all of the different meanings to the size, color, and other details in children's drawings.  It's fascinating how complex and completely correct the meanings are.  I have studied the progression of drawing people/self portraits but didn't know all of the other significant things to look for through their illustrations!  

We traced each other and created life-size penguins to label and color.  It's so fun to work in groups to help each other.  We sang a song and danced to "I'm a Little Penguin" as we talked about the different characteristics of all of the penguins.  

Our French teacher also has us singing the Penguin song she created and sent to us!  I mean, how many teachers write a song and sing it and add slides so we will have a French Penguin song?!?!  She's just simply the best.  

We have had so much fun with instruments in music class with Mrs. N!  And indoor recess with the parachute and Mrs. Dinelli!  Mrs. Dinelli has also been a wonderful addition this week as we have been transitioning and showing Ms. Ivry the "ropes".  We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful and talented teachers to guide our children each day.  It's just incredible.  And...don't even get me started with Ms. Stein and Mr. Linkhart, and Ms. Hilda.  :) . 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Happy New Year!

We are all about Penguins in 2020!

Math & Science:
We are discovering all sorts of facts about penguins, like their black and white coloring to camouflage  themselves, Emperor Penguins are the largest, penguins are birds but cannot fly, the males take care of the egg for 2 months while the females are hunting at sea, and then take over when the chicks hatch, and many more fun facts.  Ask them to tell you all about penguins!

We are playing with penguins on icebergs in the sensory ben, as the children keep the penguins safe from their predators!  We have frozen icebergs and ocean water.  :) .

We wrote on penguins tummies to add numbers and then built towers to represent the sum of the numbers.  It was fun for them to make up their own equations and then count them as a group with their friends!  We all need to practice our number formation/writing.

The children used connecting blocks to measure themselves as they counted and recorded the number and then compared their height to the Emperor Penguin.  I love activities where they work in pairs and groups to help each other.

We are concentrating on the vowel sounds and the different beginning and ending sounds in words, as we begin to fill in the vowel sounds.  These basics are important for our pre-literacy as well as those children who are already reading as the stronger their understanding the better they are at decoding which increases their fluidity which increases their level of's all building blocks.

We are playing a "Word Shark" game by adding letters to make words.  The shark teeth fill in their cards and the first full card wins!  This makes recognition and word creation fun and more meaningful as they are actively building words as they place the shark teeth.

Fine Motor:
We created January calendars by painting with tubes we cut and squished into paint!  They added confetti and glitter to finish their 2020 fireworks pictures!

The children made penguins by tearing construction paper and gluing the pieces together to make a penguin.  They added a beak and flippers too.  The tearing of paper is a great way to build fine motor skills!

We are playing multiple Penguin games.  Happy Feet Mumbles Tumbles, requires balancing the birds on an iceberg to practice balance and spatial awareness.  Pengaloo is another favorite.

Social Emotional:
The children are learning many movements from our Penguin movement songs, as they waddled and flipped their flippers in sequence.  We discussed the rookeries and how they could help out if they were living in a colony with hundreds or thousands of other penguins.

We watched the Disney movie about Steve the Penguin.  It is an incredible movie/documentary following a penguin through his life in Antarctica.  The children loved rooting for him through all of his adversities and triumphs, including becoming a daddy-WITH TWO EGGS to care for and then two chicks!

We had a great PJ party filled with lots of hugs for Ms. Yonan.  She's forever in our hearts!  What an amazing time to have her in their/our lives.  We will miss her so much.

Have a great weekend!

Ms. Massey