Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Classroom News

I hope everyone has been enjoying the warm weather and special end of the year activities! It is hard to believe we are approaching summer, and that these kindergarten friends are almost first graders! We have reached that point in the year where they are demonstrating independence and work habits that show me they are more than ready for the next chapter!

During reading workshop, we are wrapping up our study of nonfiction selections. We spent time comparing fiction and nonfiction, and identifying nonfiction text features that help us to gather important information about a topic.

We have also been practicing nonfiction writing, as we wrote about a special person in our lives, as well as our favorite season.

Next, we began our research project. Using, we each selected an animal we would like to learn more about. Through PebbleGo and nonfiction books from the library, we researched our animal’s body features, food, habitat, and life cycle. We took the notes from our research and created a page for each subject in our book. We are excited to finish publishing our books and share them with fifth grade buddies next week! 

Our animal research goes hand in hand with our current science unit on animals and plants. We have learned that animals have four basic needs, air, water, food, and shelter, which they are able to find within their habitat. We are now learning about and observing what plants need, and how they are the same or different from animals. We planted our own zinnia seeds, and are excited that they have sprouted and starting to grow taller! We are eager to watch their continued growth, and for each of us to bring home our own plants at the end of the year.

We also had the pleasure of observing an animal in real life who uses our courtyard as a habitat each spring, Gertrude the duck! Her ducklings hatched, and we loved seeing them scurry past our windows, or go swimming in their makeshift pond. Whenever I heard a chorus of squeals or “awwwww!”, I knew we must pause to observe Gertrude and her ducklings!

Once Gertrude feels that it’s safe for her babies to enter the wild, she leaves the courtyard through the school, and exits on the playground side of the building. She does this every year, and it is the sweetest experience! Below is a video that was created last year after her journey was captured on film.

After we had completed our last class behavior board, we voted for a special time in the courtyard, reading from our book bins. Unfortunately, that happened right before Gertrude’s arrival, and we didn’t want to disturb her. So once she left the courtyard and we had a nice day, we ventured outside to have a peaceful outdoor reading session!

Our kindergarten musical was a smashing success, and this group of performers was full of enthusiasm as they performed for the first time on Dryden’s stage. I was so proud of them! You should’ve received a link by email to the private sharing site where you can download photos and videos from the musical, but if you did not, please let me know and I can send it to you again!

Our math instruction recently has been all about addition and subtraction. We have tried out strategies like using cubes, using our fingers, drawing pictures, and counting up or back to solve addition and subtraction problems. We have practiced with word problems, picture problems, and simple fact practice to strengthen our addition and subtraction skills!

One exciting rite of passage we participated in was our practice lunch!, This helps to make the lunchroom not so intimidating on the first few days of school next year. We learned all about how to go through the lunch line, where to sit, what to do if we need help opening items, and how to clear our garbage and recycling, and where everything goes. They did a fabulous job!

I can't wait to see what the last bit of kindergarten brings!

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