Title: Building Community
Case Study #2: On the Job!
We have been "On the Job" now for several weeks, working on our second case study. This portion of our expedition focuses on the uses of tools as well as on the building process.
The kindergartners have become experts on particular tools and have honed both their writing skills and their drawing skills as a result of their studies. They have learned how to peer-critique each other's drawings and effectively incorporate the feedback into second and third revisions of their drawings. Through their non-fiction writing, they are being introduced to our kindergarten informative writing rubric. The criteria being evaluated are as follows: naming a topic; providing two or more facts; using evidence from a source. This week we will put together a book, entitled Our Toolbox, which spotlights their factual writing as well as their initial sketches and final drawings.
The kindergartners have also put their tool expertise to work by building geo-boards from start to finish. Each child cut, sanded, painted and nailed his/her own board to use for math exploration. They were extremely proud of their hard work!
Last week, we worked with three experts to better understand the steps of the building process. Jenna Shropshire and her son, Sutter (SELS student, Seaborg Crew), visited our classroom to teach us about the sequence of steps in creating a project: sketch, blueprint, model, build. Jenna brought actual drawings from Faulkner Architects firm and Sutter shared the building sequence he and his crewmates went through as kindergartners two years ago when building the SELS balance beams. Your children were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Sutter and Jenna.
Later in the week, our crew went out into the field to visit the Faulkner Architect office. We saw a variety of models and had a chance to see how their CAD computer can create 3-D images. Next, we were very fortunate to work with expert, Seamus Gallagher, a local contractor and SELS parent. Seamus, with a large book of blueprints in hand, led us through one of his houses and showed the students how the 2-D drawings matched up to the 3-D building. There we were amidst masons, plumbers, builders and more machines and tools than you could count. It was a huge thrill for us all! Many thanks, again, to our experts and to all the chaperones and drivers who made the day a great success.
Dates to Remember:
Nov. 20: Minimum Day; 1:00pm dismissal
Nov. 25-29: Thanksgiving Break; no school
Dec. 5: Gratitude Dinner
We have had a wonderful start to the Kindergarten year!
Your children have become comfortable with the classroom routines and are beginning to form new friendships with their crewmates. It has been a pleasure to get to know each and every one of them. Here is the news...
Title: Building Community
Case Study #1: Building Our Community
Our fall expedition, Building Community, is well underway! In our first case study, Building Our Community, we are working hard to identify the attributes of a good crewmember. We have read stacks of picture books and nursery rhymes in search of examples of "good crewmember behavior." Your children have become quite skilled at finding evidence of this behavior in the literature we have read and at articulating their findings. We are impressed with their willingness to work together in small groups and to cooperate on challenging tasks. In the upcoming days we will complete small-group assessment interviews. Your children will determine which nursery rhyme characters would be good crewmembers--based on clear evidence from the text. Literary analysis in Kindergarten! It promises to be a year steeped in great learning!
Next week we will begin our work with the SIERRA norms-Strength, Integrity, Empathy, Respect, Responsibility. We will model/act out examples of each norm and begin to hold ourselves accountable to those norms both in and out of the classroom. We encourage you to begin using/discussing these norms at home to support our classroom learning. Thank you!
We had a fabulous adventure hike in Martis two weeks ago! Thank you to the many parents who were able to drive and chaperone. We loved your company and your assistance! Your children did a beautiful job supporting each other in the "challenge-by-choice" creek crossing and blindfold/trust walk. We were pleased to hear them encouraging and congratulating each other along the way.
Literacy/Shared Reading Time is a bustling part of the Kindergarten day! Your children work in small groups to practice reading skills, listening comprehension skills as well as beginning math concepts (yes, we know it's called "Literacy Time!"). We greatly rely upon our volunteers during this time. If you are interested in helping in our classroom, please come in and sign up on the calendar. We would ideally like 1-2 volunteers each day. If you are unable to come in on your assigned day, please try to find a substitute if at all possible. Thank you so much! Here are some literacy skills learned thus far:
Goal-setting conferences are two weeks away! Start talking with your student about possible character and academic goals for the year. We will send a sign-up calendar soon via email.
Dates to Remember:
Oct. 14-18th: Goal-setting conferences; Students dismissed at 1:00pm. all week