Our first full week of school has been wonderful! We created our classroom rules and jobs. Students have been learning each others names, and working cooperatively within a group. We have been doing a lot of work with letter name recognition and letter sounds. We even did a whole class art lesson.
NAME WRITING: Students have been participating in a variety of name writing and recognition activities this week. In one activity, students match letters on clothes-pins to clip to their name, and the names of their friends. This helps with fine motor strength as well as letter matching. Students have also been matching the names of their friends to their pictures at the pocket chart. As a start to our “Handwriting Without Tears” writing curriculum, students have been building letters using special blocks. (We will be extending on this soon as we begin using the Handwriting Without Tears workbook. On each page, students build the letters in proper order and follow writing the letter. Students will receive approximately 20 minutes of handwriting instruction per week. (This instruction will be given as a whole class for a few minutes, and practice with a partner for the rest of the time.)
Each day, students arrive at school and sign in. They get their own piece of paper and write their name. Each student is encouraged to write their name using appropriate upper and lower case letters. Those children that are ready, write their last name as well. To give them a purpose for writing their name on a daily basis, students use their names to select their classroom job for the day. Arriving at school promptly at at 8:45 A.M. is crucial, since students pick jobs as soon as they arrive. As a class, we developed our list of classroom jobs. The jobs include: line leader, caboose, weather helper, attendance helper, teacher helper, friend helper, song chooser, book chooser, and pet feeder.
CLASSROOM RULES: As part of our classroom community, students took part in creating our classroom rules. We discussed the need for rules, and how rules help to keep everyone safe. Our Kindergarten rules are: keep your body to yourself, be nice (they gave me many examples for this, such as using nice words, asking friends to play, etc.), sit criss- cross on carpet, wait your turn to talk. We will add to these rules and change them throughout the school year as needed. We have many classroom meetings to discuss how effective our rules are, as well as examples of following the rules. Students will give specific examples of how they saw their friends following the rules during the day. When students play such a large role in creating and following classroom rules, they are more responsive and hold each other more accountable for following the rules.
GYM CLASS: This Tuesday, September 7th, students will begin gym class with their very own personal trainer! Bridget Kubacki will be working with the children from 2:00-2:30 each Tuesday. Please send your child to school in loose fitting clothes and proper shoes (velcro or lace up sneakers).
HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT: Please bring in photos of your child for our personal time line activity. Bring in approximately 3-4 photos of your child showing their growth and development. One should be from birth, toddler, preschool, and a current photo. These will help your child to create a personal time line at school. We will be writing labels for the pictures to document their growth thus far in life. You may want to include a note of any milestones you would like to include in the time line (such as, first steps, first tooth, first bike, swam in a pool for the first time, first play date, or anything other fun milestone. You do not need photos for all of these milestones. Your child will be doing illustrations as well. Please compile the list with the help of your child.) BRING PHOTOS AND NOTE IN BY SEPTEMBER 13.
TAKE YOUR CRAYON FOR A WALK: As a whole class, we completed an art project called: “Take your crayon for a walk.” Students were given a sheet of paper and one crayon. As they sat around a table, I told them a story. I told them that they went to a farm, opened the gate, walked past a dog, climbed over a hill, and fell in a pond.” The job of the student during the activity was to start at one side of the page and draw their adventure across the page. Then they took other crayon colors to outline their drawing. Finally they painted with watercolor over their picture. Each child took their crayon on a unique journey and masterpieces were created! Be sure to look for them in the hallway outside our classroom next week!