Everyday we participate in various routines within the classroom. These routines include such things as signing in, greeting our friends, participating in our selected jobs, and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. One very important routine is the Morning Message. Our message contains the same sentences daily to maintain consistency. The sentences are about the date, weather, and daily classroom attendance. The rest of the morning message may change daily, such as asking a daily question. Then students are asked to participate in the message writing in a variety of ways. Some children may help fill in certain sentences, while other children may be called on to identify letters or words.

Why Do We Write A Morning Message?

By participating in the writing of our morning message, students learn…
writing is speech written down
proper letter formation
upper and lower case letter recognition
associating letters and sounds
left to right progression
differentiate between a letter, a word, and a sentence
reading of common sight words
spacing
punctuation
to look for patterns within words (word families)
(excerpt from www.hubbardscupboard.com)

Sky, Moon, Stars: Over the past two weeks, we have been learning all about outer space. This theme has been expanded into all of our learning centers. In the drama learning center, the students created a large rocket ship that reaches up to the classroom ceiling! Three students can be astronauts at one time. They have even created a control panel in the space ship. In the construction learning center, students have been able to build with various small rockets and astronaut figures. Last week, several of the children were building space stations and launch pads. In art, we participated in a long term art project of creating the eight main planets in our solar system. We started this project by participating in a science exploration about the orbit and rotation of our eight planets. Then, by doing some research, we blew up eight balloons to their approximate size in relation to each other. After paper mache, we painted our planets. Hopefully we will hang them up in the classroom this week.

As we wrap-up our unit on space, we will be talking about nocturnal animals until Thanksgiving Break. To enrich this unit, we will be making a cave in the classroom, and even dissecting owl pellets!

Math Workshops: We have just concluded our unit on Ordering in math. Students were learning various ways to place numbers in the correct order. We did this by taking our name towers and putting them in order from smallest to largest. The children really enjoyed getting to write their friend’s names during this activity. We also had many number cards in a bin. They were numbers 0-10. Students had to blindly select 4 cards, and then place those four cards in the correct order. Next week, we will be moving into our unit that primarily focuses on patterning.

Our kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast is next Tuesday, November 23. Please remember that you do not need to pack your child a lunch on this day.

HOMEWORK: This week (November 15) will be the last week for reading logs. Please continue to read with your child for at least 20 minutes a night. After Thanksgiving Break, your child will be getting one book (printed from our reading enrichment online site) to keep each week. This book should be read every day to build vocabulary and reading fluency. This book will be at your child’s reading level. This means that your child should be able to read most of it independently. In addition to this book, there will be one page of work to further extend on the story. The homework page might be extra work on sounds or sentence structure seen within the book.

Homework folders will still go home every Monday. They are due back every Friday. (The children are on a reward system for bringing back their folders on time. If they bring their folder back with homework on Friday, they get a sticker. After 5 stickers, they get a special snack to eat during Writer’s Workshop.)