There sure has been a lot going on this week. Kindergarten is always a very busy place. We’re building and writing, adding and subtracting, and looking forward to some fun field trips over the next few weeks. Read on!

BUILDING A CITY: This week in the block area, the children were divided into small groups to begin construction on our city. We listed all the various buildings that are needed in a city, and the groups selected one structure to build together. They were given a variety of building materials, such as legos, connecting cubes, geo-blocks, and the regular blocks. Each group had a confined space of 8.5 by 11 to stay on. Thus far, we have a Target, school, house, and bookstore. Other things that will be added this upcoming week are fire station, Police Department, Hospital, and Post office.

ALL ABOUT BOOKS IN WRITERS WORKSHOP: Children selected topics for their books this week, and began researching and writing on that topic. After making a list of potential ideas, students picked: cookbook, dinosaurs, cats, games, or horses/ponies. The students have been working with the other children doing the same topic to help with ideas. The group of students making a cookbook have been writing the steps to make the food, as well as making ingredient lists. The group writing about animals has made diagrams of the animal and labeled body parts. This week we will be typing up their stories for a final draft and adding in a table of contents to organize their books. Very soon we will be having a Writer’s Celebration where the children will read their work to parents, and the families will be able to take their book home.

FIELD TRIPS: This month, we will be having a field trip to the Post Office as well as a trip to the Fire station and Police Department in Avon Lake. Please be on the lookout for permission slips coming home!

ACTIVITY TO TRY AT HOME: Play a visual memory game with your family. Have one person at a time hide and change one thing about their appearance. Then the rest of the family needs to try and guess what was changed. Whoever guesses correctly gets to go next. We did this game in the classroom, and the students have really enjoyed playing it!

SUBTRACTION: As we move into even more work with numbers, the children have been working with subtraction. Every child uses various strategies to solve these math problems. As children discover new ways to find the answer, they share their strategies with their classmates. Some children find the answer by counting out with manipulatives, while others use their fingers as a manipulative. Some have moved onto drawing the number of objects, and crossing off the number being taken away. At the last stage, some children have internalized the numbers and can subtract them in their heads. This represents the three different stages of math development. The first is “concrete” where students are using manipulatives or even acting out addition and subtraction story problems. At this stage, students need a concrete object to understand the numeral work. The next stage is “representational” where students are able to even draw pictures to understand the number sentences. The last stage in this instructional approach is “abstract” where children are able to internalize and understand the full concept of number work. At this stage children can add and subtract in their heads. Children progress along these different stages in math at their own pace. In our class, we have children at each of these stages. Understanding where each person is developmentally allows us to give the student the appropriate supports in their math work. As they master one stage, they will move onto the next level.

COMMUNITY HELPERS: I would like to say a special thank you to all the parents that were able to share their professions with the class this week! If you would still like to share your job, please email me to set up a time in the month of March. (krista at pembrokekids dot com)

THINKING AHEAD: If you have any old shoes at home please consider donating them to the class. Our next unit of study will be Gardening and the Water Cycle. We will use old shoes as pots for growing new plants.