Saturday, October 17, 2020

 Hi JK Parents!

This short week has gone by in a blink!  We have been studying bats and learning about the ways in which bats are the same and different than birds.  We have read many fiction and non-fiction books, and loved the story of Stella Luna, the baby fruit bat who had to eat grasshoppers and act like a bird until her mommy found her again.  It's such a beautiful story, and gave us an opportunity to compare bats and birds as we read.  

Math and Science:

We created a compare and contrast chart/Venn Diagram.  The children have loved looking at interesting pictures of many different kinds of bats and studying their skeletal structure and all of the interesting ways they help us, not least of all by eating many mosquitos each day!  We used a bouncy ball to demonstrate echo location, as a student was blindfolded and threw the ball to the wall to determine how far away he was from touching it.  This mimicked the echo a bat hears to determine how far away it is from food and other objects.  

We are learning 3D shapes and hunting for them around our classroom and school.  Challenge them to look for cylinders, cones, cubes and spheres at home and when you are out and about.  We love using manipulatives as we count and are playing pattern and number games in small groups.  

We measured and counted and took turns stirring (as we changed spoons or sanitized) and then cooked our Pumpkin Muffins!  They decorated and then enjoyed their tasty treat.  We talked about all of the healthy ways pumpkin helps your body.  Each step is an exercise in sequencing, and a great opportunity to discuss ingredients and all that is necessary to make baked goods.  

We are practicing writing numbers with finger spaces in between each number.  If they are practicing at their writing center at home, be sure they are starting from the top to write each number.


We have been working on blends and digraphs and the change in some letter sounds as they are combined with other letters.  Some children  have been working on reading strategies and that when the word ends in silent e, the e jumps back and makes the vowel say it's name.  We are all dancing and singing and pairing our movements with Zoo Phonics Animals.

Fine Motor:

We read the story Spookly the Squarely Pumpkin and then painted our own square pumpkins after stuffing them with paper and taping the tops to look like their stems.  We also created Jack-O-Lanterns on foam to give us ideas of how we will carve our classroom pumpkin!  

We created scary scenes with a moon, cat and bats and painted them with orange and black paint.  They love learning Halloween songs as we paint!  


The children are learning animals in French, and practicing their colors and numbers.  They love singing about the animals as they act out the motions.

We are breaking into small groups as well as reading with children one-on-one as we work on literacy at multiple levels in the classroom.  Our Northwestern helpers have been amazing at assisting with concentrated reading as well as handwriting help.  The children are learning so much and are loving getting to know one another now that they are comfortable exploring their classroom and have the routines of JK learned.  

Have a lovely weekend!

Ms. Massey

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Hi JK Parents!

We cracked both white and brown eggs to demonstrate how things might look different on the outside but are the same on the inside!  Just like people, we are all different in appearance but are the same on the inside, just like the eggs.  When we guessed if the eggs would look different there were many children who said yes, they would be different on the inside, and guessed that some would be brown or white on the inside too, but they were both yellow with egg whites!  One child said, "Yeah, I learned that on the outside we are all different, and on the inside, we are all gross!"  :). That's my JKers!  

Fine Motor:

We worked on a project depicting all of the seasons by decorating trees using dot markers, cotton, construction paper leaves and paint.  

Math and Science:

We talked bout how we all look different but are all human beings and look the same inside.  I love to illustrate this with two eggs, a white one and a brown one.  The visual is wonderful to see how the outsides of the egg are different colors but inside are the same.  We also used an apple to illustrate how sometimes words we use might hurt our friends and they might not even show it.  

We practiced sequencing by ordering scenes from first to last.  It's important to practice retelling stories and talking about which happened first, next, last, as they make sense of longer stories with more complex plots.  

We went on a fall scavenger hunt and found all sorts fun fall items, including a bee and animal tracks.  We studied the animal tracks of birds and squirrels and hiked all over the grounds of Roycemore.  We practiced making x's and checkmarks as well!  Everything becomes more official when there's a box to check, or a clipboard involved!  What a beautiful and perfect Fall day!  

Listening Skills:

We completed a listening exercise where I gave instructions and the children followed them step by step.  It's difficult to not jump ahead but to listen and carefully complete each step.  They did a fantastic job.  We continued our listening as they completed a scissor skill listening test.  Again, fabulous!  One of the milestones for JK is being able to complete 3 step instructions.  Practice asking your child to complete three things as in when they come in the door, put their jacket or shoes away, wash their hands, and sit down for a snack...We work on sequencing with 3 step stories and work up to 7-9 step stories.  


I have been pulling children one by one to continue their reading work, including different strategies depending on their level.  Some are working on Flippy Dolphin, if the first vowel sound doesn't work, they try the long or short vowel next...and Stretchy Snake, etc.  We are all still reciting our Zoo Phonics each day.  

Spirit Week!

We have had such fun with our color days and PJ Party!  The Griffin came to visit and the children loved Royce.  

One of the very best exercises you can do to increase those fine motor skills/muscles, as well as gross motor coordination, is the Monkey Bars!  Encourage anything that requires a grip, including hole punching and peeling oranges.  

Vertical writing is incredibly important as it requires crossing the midline for that left-right brain development.  We play a game often called "Art Gallery" as three children anonymously create drawings for the art buyer to purchase.  They love being the art buyer and choosing which "one million dollar painting" to buy!  

Thank you for the yummy snacks for our PJ party!  The kids had so much fun dancing to our Go Noodle songs and even did some Frozen Yoga to round out the day!  Who knew Wyatt was an expert at yoga-among many others!  :).