80 (8 tens and 0 ones) days in Kindergarten!

Everyone got taller over winter break 🙂 Welcome back! Firstly, help me in welcoming our new friend! We are so excited to have her join us for the rest of the year.

General Studies: Can you believe it’s been 80 (8 tens and 0 ones) days of kindergarten?! We celebrated by making the number ’80’ out of play-dough!

We are continuing through our math curriculum and have arrived at counting up to 20! We have been very busy learning about place value. We have counted with everything in sight – beans, checkers, magnets, bears, cars and more! The process of thinking of our numbers as tens and ones helps to organize our minds as we progress through the curriculum. For example, the number 13 is broken into 1 ten and 3 ones, yet the number 21 is broken into 2 tens and 1 one.

We will soon be starting number bonds! Number bonds are a different way to think of addition. We have 1 part and 1 part that make a whole. You will see this illustrated as a triangle-like figure with circles on the end!

Please visit the following link to learn more about number bonds so you can help your child learn: https://komodomath.com/blog/parents-guide-to-number-bonds

Jewish Studies: We finished up Hanukkah and have moved on to Tu B’Shevat! We learn new vocabulary related to the holiday along with the meaning of the holiday. We learn new songs, do projects, and more. We hope to see you at the Tu B’Shevat program on January 23rd, at 6:30pm!! We are going to surprise you with a song 🙂 We continue to work on reading and writing during Hebrew centers. Our vocabulary continues to grow! We are still learning the Torah stories each week, too.

Thank you for all the tzedakah! We continue to give tzedakah every Friday, if possible, towards our mitzvah trip at the end of the year. We will go to Winn Dixie with our tzedakah money and buy food for the poor to bring to the food pantry.

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Toasting to the New Year!

General Studies: We had a great week before Winter Break! We had some things to wrap up and continued our learning across all subjects while making it fun 🙂 During Maker Monday, we got to explore with Spheros, straw connectors, and even Legos to make Hanukkah related items! We started numbers up to 20 in math and boy were we good at it! We are learning to find a ‘ten’ first, then to count the ones. We love getting to visit the older kids and see what they are learning about. This week we got to see their science fair projects that they worked so hard on! The middle schoolers did a great job of explaining their projects to us. We even got to collaborate and celebrate with 1st grade during their reading celebration!

We started to get ready for the new year and made our very own ‘toasts for 2018’! We talked about the month and year changing and we also talked about how we are growing and changing, too!! We noticed some of us even have wiggly teeth, so we are going to graph it when they come out 🙂

Jewish Studies: We wrapped up Hanukkah this week! What a fun time we had. We got to make edible dreidels, and we even got presents galore…we are so loved!! We continued to learn about the story of Joseph and we even acted it out. We are excited to start learning about more holidays, like Tu B’Shevat, when we get back from break! We are always reviewing our vocabulary including colors, numbers, seasons, alef-bet, and shapes.

Specialty Spotlight: Library – Coding: Creating Animated Hanukkah Greeting Cards

For the last few weeks, Kindergarten students participated in coding activities. At this age, it’s all about building a relationship with algorithms — a list of instructions that can be followed to finish a task. Think about the steps involved in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or tying your shoes or, as we did in class, drawing a smiley face. All instructions have to be completed in a certain sequence in order to finish the task. We started with two “unplugged” lessons. Next, we applied those concepts by integrating coding skills with literacy skills. We read I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz (David Slonim, illus.), a story that lends itself perfectly for a sequencing activity as the Old Lady devours ever greater Hanukkah foods and symbols to be at last reconnected with her family. Students completed a coding sheet, placing arrows in the correct order of events. This allowed students to code and connect to Hanukkah all in one lesson. Finally, we went digital with the Scratch Jr. app where students created an animated Hanukkah greeting card. Please look for your child’s coding project on his/her blog.

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Did you know we have SUPER POWERS?

General Studies: Did you know that we have SUPER POWERS? Reading powers, that is. In our Lucy Calkins Reading Workshop we have learned (and designed) several powers to help us become better readers! I thought I would take this opportunity to describe our powers so you can encourage your children to use them at home while reading every night 😉

Pointer Power: You put your finger under one word, then the next, and the next, and you can actually read what the words say.

Reread Power: You can pick a story to reread the words and do it in a special way! For example, will you whisper reread? Reread with a beat or to a song? Reread in a special accent? Rereading helps us learn more words.

Partner Power: Partners can help make your reading even stronger. Partners also help remind you to use your powers (e.g. echo reading, hunting for snap words)! Partners are a way for you to double your reading power.

Picture Power: When you are reading and encounter trouble, that’s the time when you especially need to activate your super powers! We could activate picture power to help us figure out hard words by looking at the picture. We use the pictures as clues to find out what the words are.

Snap Word Power: We can make our own snap words (these are words we can read in a ‘snap’)! If you want to turn a word into a snap word you do this: look, read, spell, write, look, read.

Sound Power: Sometimes picture power isn’t powerful enough to tackle the really tough words, so we have to activate sound power! We use our alphabet chart to remind us of letter sounds as we read them. We put the sounds together to read an entire word.

Persistence Power: If one power doesn’t work, super readers use another one!! Readers try one thing and then another to tackle the trouble. We don’t give up, we persist 🙂

Book Talk Power: Super readers don’t just read books, we TALK about books, too! Try introducing a book or retelling a book.

Pattern Power: Even when there are more words on a page or the sentences are longer, there is often a pattern in the sentences! We can use pattern power to help us read almost every page and help us know what our book is about.

Jewish Studies:

We are into Hanukkah! We have enjoyed making projects related to the holiday. We continue to learn the stories from the Torah and we are going to learn about Joseph and the “technicolor dream coat.” During centers we work on writing and reading Hebrew. We are always reviewing vocabulary related to the seasons, numbers, colors, shapes, and letters.

Hanukkah Celebration:

We had so much fun with the whole school at our Hanukkah party! We were broken up into teams and played a really fun game of dreidel. We even got to have sufganiyot, yummy! Please watch our performance below. We sang to the whole school 🙂

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S P E L L …ing

General Studies: We are so very thrilled to introduce our new spelling program. The authors of Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction determined that “the purpose of word study is twofold. First, students develop a general knowledge of English spelling. They learn how to examine words through active exploration using a hands-on, manipulative approach. Students also discover generalizations about spelling, instead of just spelling rules. They learn the regularities, patterns, and conventions of English orthography needed to read and spell. Second, word study increases students’ specific knowledge of words. Specific knowledge relates to the spelling and meaning of individual words.”

The spelling program is very individualized! We get to explore our ‘sorts’ through cutting/gluing, games on our interactive smart board, and we even write on the wall!

For more information about Words Their Way and how you can help,  please visit this PDF link (it will download to your computer and then you can open it and read): wordstheirway(1)

Jewish Studies: This week we continue to learn about Hanukkah! We are  learning the vocabulary and songs for the holiday. Our projects are also all about Hanukkah! We continue doing centers twice a week. During centers we get to practice reading in Hebrew, writing the alef-bet, and exploring the Hebrew language through games and puzzles. We are constantly reviewing our everyday vocabulary along with out numbers, shapes, and colors.

Spotlight: In ‘Maker Monday’ this week, we designed our own tin foil boat and then we each counted how many pennies it would hold before it sank! This was a perfect connection to math as we have been learning about weight – heavier and lighter.

 

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Centers, Hooray!!!

General Studies: “Aw man, I missed it!” exclaims a kindergartner as she walks into the classroom at 8:30am. We’ve started centers!!! Can you believe it? We get to start our morning with some independent, hands on learning activities and playing. What are centers and why are they such a big deal? “Learning centers are areas within the classroom where students learn about specific subjects by playing and engaging in activities. Play is an active form of learning that involves the whole self. Even cognitive development, the primary focus in today’s kindergarten, is achieved through child-initiated exploration and discovery. However, children need certain strategies and skills, such as making decisions, carrying out plans, cooperating and sharing with others, and problem-solving, in order to play and learn independently” (www.scholastic.com). We are lucky that we have the chance to grow and expand on these skills!

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/allie-magnuson/learning-centers-part-1-why-theyre-important/

Jewish Studies: We continue to work on the letters and numbers all the way to 100! We are working on our vocabulary with each letter of the aleph bet. We are working during centers with handwriting and we are even starting to read Hebrew! We work on the Torah portion, too. We split our time between the Torah portions and between our usual study including shapes, numbers, colors and parts of the body. We continue to learn about the seasons and more! We are so excited to learn about Hanukkah. We are learning the holiday vocabulary, songs, and meaning of the holiday. We are making fun projects to take home related to Hanukkah and we are learning the Hanukkah vocabulary, too!

Specialty Spotlight: Science Lab

We have gotten to go to the science lab TWICE recently!! We got to expand on our learning about night and day by learning about the phases of the moon with oreos 😉 we also got to expand on our learning about the plant life cycle! We are germinating!!!

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Thankful Turkeys and VIP Day

We’ve got so much to be thankful for! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and friends. We can’t wait to see you when everyone comes back!

Thank you for coming to celebrate VIP day with us! We enjoyed building and crafting with all of our special guests 🙂 Please enjoy these pictures showing all the fun we had with our favorite people!

PSSST . . . The Book Fair is Coming!!!

I’m inviting you to be part of our school Book Fair. It’s taking place December 4 – 8th in the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School Library. You can shop for books for your entire family! If for some reason you can’t make it, or you want to shop from an expanded selection, you can now visit the Fair online at www.scholastic.com/bf/mjgdslibrary November 29-December 8 at your convenience.

The Online Fair:

  • to view my “Classroom Wish List,” select the “Classroom Wish Lists” tab on the online Book Fair site, and then look for my name or class under the grade listing on the left.
  • is available November 29 – December 8 and all orders ship FREE to school the following week
  • provides a chance for you and your child to create and send “Wish List” to friends and family so they can participate in the Book Fair
  • offers an expanded book selection for all ages—from preschoolers to adults. All in-school and online Book Fair purchases benefit our school.

Thank you for helping us foster a love of reading for our children!

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Studies Weekly

General Studies: Let’s use our magnifying glass to dive into history! We are lucky to have our very own curriculum, Studies Weekly, to guide us through science and social studies. This weekly magazine curriculum teaches the same information as a textbook, but in a colorful, illustrated format. To stay current, these publications are updated annually to cover state content standards and provide relevant information. We enjoy learning about science and social studies through our reading and writing too! Our science lab is equipped with amazing tools to help us learn and expand on our lessons taught in the classroom. We also are lucky to explore our large maps in the classroom and our globes! Some of the topics we have already covered and will cover throughout the year are below:

Science: safety, earth, water, weather, day/night, the sun, living vs. nonliving, plants, animals, 5 senses, growing/change, healthy habits, families, homes, matter, energy, movement, magnets,  gravity and money.

Social Studies: location, rules & citizenship, responsibility & privacy, time, history, transportation, basic needs, Thanksgiving, communication, children around the world, holiday celebrations, inventors, maps & places, regions, patriotism & presidents, American monuments, individual rights, human and natural resources, consumers & producers, jobs and money.

Here are a few great resources to help enjoy science and social studies at home with your kiddos!

http://www.sci-techkids.com/partners/parent-resources

http://www.jumpstart.com/parents/resources/social-studies-resources

Jewish Studies: We are learning the Torah portions! We have learned about the creation of the world and the story of Noah. We have learned animal names in Hebrew and have been having fun learning about them on the ark. We continue to review letters, colors, and shapes.

We even played out the story of “Avraham and the Three Angels!” The angels visited Avraham and he took care of them. Sara gave them food and cleaned their feet. The three angels told Avraham that in 9 months he would have a baby. Sara laughed so loud because she thought she was too old to have a baby. The baby was born and they named him Yitzhak (laughter).

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Easy as 1..2..3!

General Studies: Singapore Math

Our math curriculum, Singapore Math, is a ladder based development system. This means that in Kindergarten we lay down the foundation for many math skills that will be learned throughout a student’s career.  “One of the defining features of Singapore Math is visualization. The concrete, pictorial, and abstract method underscores real-world application of math. It takes students from hands-on activities to pictorial representations, and finally to numbers (SingaporeMath.com).” We have mastered matching and sorting, numbers to 10, and sequencing numbers through 10.  We are getting ready to start learning more about shapes and patterns!  We have the opportunity to learn through action and exploration! “Singapore Math is about drawing connections, supporting the thinking process, and instilling comprehensive understanding. It encourages perseverance and naturally gives students confidence as they become equipped to solve problems using many different tools (SingaporeMath.com).”

Please visit http://www.singaporemath.com/Singapore_Math_s/301.htm to learn more about Singapore Math. At the bottom of the link, there is a great read about why Singapore Math ‘might just be the better way!’

Check out another article for more information on Singapore math and how you can help your child at home: http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/math/math-tips-for-parents/whats-singapore-math/

Jewish Studies: We have been busy! With all the holidays we have been celebrating, we have learned so  much. We have learned about Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah! With the new holidays, we have learned new vocabulary. We hope you have seen the many projects we have made and brought home 🙂 We are working on the Hebrew calendar, too! We continue to learn about our Hebrew letters with vowels, numbers, and colors.

*A special ‘todah rabah’ to the parents who came and walked with us on our Sukkah Hop!!*

Specialty Spotlight: STEAM

We love starting our week with “Maker Monday!” Have you seen our key chains we made with the 3D printer? They have our names on them. When we learned about maps and keys, we decided to make one for our school. Each of us was in charge of a room in the school. We 3D printed our symbol for the map key and created our very own classroom map. You can find it on our door! Using “stop-motion” video, we are going to retell and sequence the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff using puppets and bridges that we produced!

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Redy to Rite?

Jewish Studies: We are learning about Rosh Hashana! We have been learning new songs and the meaning of the holiday. We are working on new vocabulary associated with the holiday and we even get to practice our writing in Hebrew. We continue to review colors, numbers, and shapes.

            

General Studies: Writing Workshop

Az ur child bringz hom riting for the ferst tim, do not be serprized at the speling. The inglish langwij is confuzing for studints!

Don’t panic. It is called “invented spelling” or “inventive spelling” and many teachers encourage it in the early grades. When children create their own spellings for words they do not know how to spell correctly, they’re using invented spelling. Invented spelling allows children to communicate in writing long before they are ready to spell each word correctly. Invented spelling also helps children progress toward standard spelling. Sounding out words and predicting how they will be spelled reinforces students’ understanding of the connection between letters and sounds and lets them experiment with the spelling patterns they are learning.

The researchers state that “ultimately, children who engage in the writing process in an environment with fewer constraints become more successful as writers because of their ability to independently explore and experiment with language.” For more information, plus helpful hints about the writing process, consider a great read: https://www.education.com/pdf/The_Dos_and_Donts_Invented/

We are so excited about our Lucy Calkins writing curriculum. We will be learning narrative writing,  informative writing, and opinion writing.

Specialty Spotlight: We got to explore in the science lab! In our classroom we have been learning about different tools scientists use to investigate and explore. We got some hands-on time with the tools we have been learning about 🙂

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Why Should We Read?

 

General Studies: Did you know that reading is all around the world?! From here to China, we don’t just read in our classroom or at school. We read EVERYWHERE! This week in our new reading curriculum, Units of Study by Lucy Calkins, we started exploring ‘learn-about-the-world’ books (non-fiction). We are so excited to explore each and every page! We even get to enjoy private reading time as well as partner reading time with our friends to share ‘Wow!’ pages! We love filling our table tubs with exciting books to read.

Speaking of partner reading, do you read with your children at home? “Study after study shows that early reading with children helps them learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and read early themselves, and reading with kids who already know how to read helps them feel close to caretakers, understand the world around them and be empathetic citizens of the world.” (Washingtonpost.com) For more information, please visit the Washington Post website and read the entire article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/02/16/why-its-important-to-read-aloud-with-your-kids-and-how-to-make-it-count/?utm_term=.38d43f4e00f9

Make sure your child reads at least 10 minutes every night. Hands in…3..2..1..Super Readers!!!

Jewish Studies: Our vocabulary is growing! Did you know that we are learning our very own Hebrew words? We work with Morah Adva every day to grow our Hebrew language. We are working on learning our colors, numbers, shapes, and parts of the body. In kindergarten, we lay down the foundation of the Hebrew language. Knowing these basic vocabulary phrases and words will help us grow as we continue to learn!

Specialty Spotlight: Art

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