Milestone #2: Kindergarten!
This summer, since I wasn’t working as much, we had time to prepare for the coming school year, and actually were able to get all the school supplies gathered without stress or fuss. Sharpie markers? Check. Colored pencils? Got ’em covered. First-day assignment to make Poster All About Me? Done.
Here is D all dressed up for his first day of Kindergarten with Teacher Katherine (he chose which tie to wear).
Kindergarten is truly magical thanks for the highly talented Teacher Katherine.
For example, take a look at the “book club” bags she made for each child:
(in the Book Club each child will read one of the Elephant & Piggie books; then in October, they’re taking a field trip to see a play based on these much loved characters.)
Katherine is also the head of early childhood development at Gardner and her experience really shows. She presented us with a very thorough orientation and the curriculum is challenging but still tailored to the needs of each child.
Check out their schedule!
|8.30 – 8.40||warm up thru 8.50 then Circle||Circle||Circle||Circle||Circle|
|8.40 – 9.25||Math||Music 9.15-9.45 (Starts in Jan)||Math||Math||Math|
|9.25 – 10.10||Thematics||PE 9:45-10.10||Music 9.40-10.10||Music 9.40-10.10||Indoor/Outdoor Choice|
|10.10 – 10.30||recess||recess||recess||recess||recess|
|10.30 – 11.00||Indoor/Outdoor Choice||Indoor/Outdoor Choice||Indoor/Outdoor Choice||Indoor/Outdoor Choice||Art 10:30-11:15/Literacy|
|11.00 12.00||11.00-12.00 1/2 groups, Spanish & Literacy||11.00-12.00 1/2 groups, Spanish & Literacy||11.00-12.00 1/2 groups, Spanish & Literacy||Whole Group Literacy||Art 11:15 – 12:00Literacy|
|12.00 – 12.45||lunch||lunch||lunch||lunch|
|12.45 – 1.30||PE||Art 12:45-1:15||PE|
|1.30 – 1.45||Circle||Art 1:15-1:45||1.30 classes back with homeroom teachers||Circle||Circle|
And here is an email from Katherine, which will give you a sense of the level she is working at!:
Hello Kalama Folk,
Today was our first Monday of this school year! Our class is running smoothly on the right track with routines, activities, and following the schedule.
Last week we began Writers’ Workshop. Each day we do a mini-lesson on some aspect of the writing process. Then the kidlets take their writing folders and find a writing spot. So far we have covered a variety of ideas. Our focus is writing to teach others about things that you know well. We discussed the idea that “When you are done, you have only just begun!”–meaning when you finish one piece of work and have added all of the details you can think of, you go to the paper shelves and choose the page for your next story. They were asked to write slowly and/or sing their words to help themselves hear each sound. Today, we talked about how writing takes courage and perseverance. On our second day, when Writers’ Workshop was announced, one of the kids said, “Oh good. I love Writers’ Workshop!” My goal for the class is to have the kids working diligently and independently for 20 minutes at a time by the middle of the year. The class is well on its way. Once the kids settle into their writing routines, I will have time to do writing conferences with individual students.
In math, we have been practicing patterns, counting by ones, recognizing shapes and becoming introduced to the manipulatives that will be used in math through out the year. Sometimes, math is done with the whole class and sometimes with half groups.
This year, Claire will be teaching science twice a week. Last week the class harvested kale and tomatoes and then helped prepare it too be cooked. Claire cooked it and then everyone had a chance to sample it during lunch. Not everyone chose to try it.
In reading, we have been learning about reading to yourself. While many kids read stories at home, it can be challenging to find a book, walk quietly to a spot without other friends nearby, and read. We talk about stamina and how you need to build stamina mentally in the classroom, just like athletes need to build stamina when training. The goal for reading is to be able to read independently and quietly for 20 minutes as well. Once the kids are able to read for extended periods of time, I will be conducting reading groups.
We also began FAST–a multisensory phonemic training program. I introduced the kids to the language used and the routines involved in the earliest stages of the FAST program. Watching the kids manipulate sounds helps me to have a better understanding of each person’s phonemic awareness. Most of the kids will be doing either Phonographics (another phonemic awareness program with less sounds to manipulate than FAST), or FAST in the coming months.
Last Friday, we began our Elephant and Piggie reading club. Kids get to bring home a book and keep it there until they feel done and then exchange the book for another one. Each kidlet has a laminated page showing all of the book covers and titles. Your child will put a dot on a book when taking it home. When the book is returned, the dot will be turned into a check. When all of the books have been read, your child will get to take a picture with Elephant and Piggie. We have Gerald (the elephant) and Piggie stuffed animals in the classroom. Each day, they hide in new places and the kids try to find them, similar to “Olivia” at the Vancouver Trader Joes.
The kids have gone to Spanish, Art, Music, PE, and Science.
Today the students met their Tahoma (7th/8th grade) buddies and played a game with them in the wetlands.
This week we will introduce the multiple intelligences and do some activities to experience learning through different “smarts.” We will continue solidifying routines, becoming more familiar with the schedule and continue working on reading, writing, math.
Don’t forget that next week begins the PTO sponsored Scholastic Book Fair, It will be set up in the Great Room during the week of September 21-25! This is a great opportunity to buy books and support the PTO!
Have a great week! Thank you for sharing your kids with me. We are having a wonderful time.
What a week huh? Tired? I know, me too. But D is totally energized by it and I must say, any doubts I’ve had about Gardner in the past have evaporated!
I do hope some G’Mas and G’Pas could think about being in town with use mid-December when the kids will be putting on a special play for their Culminating Event…think about it! It promises to be very memorable.
Marvelous school! You and Jeff have done an incredible job providing the BEST foundation for Dash’s educational needs! This school doesn’t leave anything out. And in tandem with the love of learning you have fostered in Dash since birth he is truly amazing.
Oh, I forgot to mention how adorable and sweet he looks. Love the bow tie!
What a cool dude!