“Get-to-know-you” Assessment Lunches Began!
I began meeting with your little ones for lunch, this week. I really appreciated getting to know them and seeing what their skills can do, right now. It’s giving me a great baseline and helping me to understand them on a much more personal level, too!
Parents are not required to stay, and if your child is the 12:45pm-1:30pm slot, he/she can remain in the classroom with me, until I dismiss everyone and set up for our assessment luncheon. I try to make it fun by starting with lunch, asking some questions to get to know them, showing them what we’ll do with our time, etc. We also talk about brain goals and body goals they have for themselves, as they think about what they would like to be able to know and do by the end of kindergarten. Those answers will go up on our Olympic Hopes & Dreams Board. That conversation then feeds into the math and literacy assessments, which I introduce by saying, “I just want to know what you know, and from what I can tell you know A LOT. So, these questions will give us an idea of what you know and what other skills we will learn in kindergarten!” Sometimes, we even have time to play with a favorite toy in the classroom! Next week, for 8/22-8/27 I’ll meet with the following students:
- Monday: George and Nicholas
- Tuesday: Oscar and Jada
- Wednesday: Nakiya and Tyler
- Thursday: Maddie S. and Pranav
- Friday: Steele and Guido
Whole Body Listening…
This week, we worked on listening with our whole body. This helped during whole group times, on the rug, but aided us in recognizing and participating in transitions. The 3 steps to responding: 1. STOP (your body), 2. LOOK (at teacher), and 3. LISTEN (for directions). Children worked to understand how best to listen and respond during this process, often saying the last word “listen” together. They continued to try two kinds of meeting seats (bubble seat and rocking chair), velcro “hug” vests and weighted vests. All these tools help children in various ways to focus their bodies and minds a little more during whole-group rug time or even other times of day when their energy gets too high or too low. I put away the noise cancelling head phones, until they showed they could handle them. Children were misusing headphones during times when listening was required, such as read-alouds, meetings, or during transitions. For instance, some kids would put them on and not clean up or would want to wear them at meeting and then say, “I can’t hear you.” Next week, we will write agreements about appropriate headphone use and I will reintroduce them to the class Tuesday or Wednesday.
Last week, we introduced the Zones of Regulation. This week, we introduced Whole Body Listening Larry. It’s a great book that depicts what should happen during certain activities at school and how it looks to listen with our whole body…and how it can look the OPPOSITE when we aren’t 🙂 Children really loved seeing the different examples and pointing out what they thought should be happening. Next week, we will work on listening with our whole body:
This is a concept that will take time to implement, but the kids are super responsive to Whole-Body Listening Larry and so we will to do our best! If you’d like to support us at home, feel free to check out Whole Body Listening Larry At Home by Kristen Wilson and Elizabeth Sautter.
The Worry Hat
As we moved into discovering more about who we are inside, we read Wilma Jean The Worry Machine by Julia Cook. This book helped put in perspective how big worries can feel, but how little it helps to focus on them because we waste time where we could be present and enjoy life in the moment. Just like the book, I told children I would bring in a Worry Hat and they could write them down (with help) and place their worries inside. This way, if they were feeling something, they could have the hat hold it for a while and then we could talk about it later. It’s a great system that really seems to help children navigate their feelings, worries, and anxieties in school and with friends. I’ve had a few requests so far!
Mark Those Calendars!
- Parent Work Schedules Due MONDAY: Deepa NEEDS your work shift schedule sheets! They were due last Wednesday. Please, bring them THIS Monday August 22, 2016.
- Lunch Assessments Starting: Remember to SIGN UP your child for either 12:45-1:30 or 1:35-2:20pm! The lunches will begin and END as promptly as possible. Here’s a link to the signup genius for those who haven’t signed up, yet: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f4fadac2ba7f94-getting
- Community Snack Schedule: This week is the Sizelove Family. Please, use the
snack signup genius here to sign up for a week to bring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator Kudsana (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you need special accommodations. And a BIG thank you to the Graham family who volunteered last week!
- Early Classroom Help Request: If you’re a former D2 TK parent, have an older child in the school, and finished your Positive Discipline Requirements to volunteer in the classroom, please sign up to help in the classroom throughout the week, if you can: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0c49aea72daa8-kinder.Thanks!
- September Parent Meeting: The next parent meeting will be Wednesday September 14th 6:30-7:30pm
- D2 Community Meeting: Tuesday August 23rd, 7 PM – 9 PM (D2 Atrium)
- Thank You Parents! It’s been amazing the support and resources we’ve pooled together, as a community, to set up the classroom. Thank you for contributing to our success and fulfilling our needs! We have enough school supplies, a snack cart coming, a lunch cart already, and families have signed up for weekly community snack for a while.
Guided Discovery: Snap Cubes, Creativity, and Measuring!
- Books: See list at the bottom of post!
- 10th Day Celebration: Our pod celebrated the 10th day of school by providing
activities in each classroom for all the children that celebrated the number 10 theme. 10 snacks, 10 object scavenger hat, 10 stip hats, building with 10 blocks, painting 10 nails, etc. Ask your child what activity was his/her favorite!
- Visitor: Danielle the School Psychologist
- Kinder Community Sing: See the list at the bottom of the post!
- Music Breaks: See Go Noodle songs at bottom of the list!
- Community Building/Movement Breaks: Red Light-Green Light and yoga
- Guided Discovery: Children learn about new materials and tools in our room through guided discovery and then exploration with those tools afterward. Tools they discovered this week were snap cubes. Children learned all the different ways they can use snap cubes and how we can use them in math to help us count and to help us measure. Key words from this week: Estimate (careful guess), measure (to see how long an object is using a unit of measurement), equation (math sentence: 5 +3 = 8)
- Goals for the Year: Children began thinking about our hopes and dreams for the year, by starting with what they’re good at and what they’re working on. We will hone those goals during lunch assessments and post them on our Olympic Skills Board to remind us of what we are working toward as we learn 🙂 Each one of us will carry the skills torch at one point or another as we play and grow. “Play” can look very different as children grow older and their interests and skills advance. So, let’s see what’s in store this year!
- Buddies/Exploration: We did indoor/outdoor exploration with 4th grade buddies, on Friday! We will pick buddy pairings in later August/early September.
10th Day Celebration!
Whole-Group Read-Aloud Books & Songs:
- Wilma Jean The Worry Machineby Julia Cook.
- Wild About Us by Karen Beaumont
- Marvelous Me by Lisa Boullar
- Whole Body Listening Larry At School by Elizabeth Sautter and Kristin Wilson
- Kinder Sing Songs: The Pizza Man, Best Day of My Life, The Green Grass Grows All Around, and ASL Good Morning Song
- Go Noodle Songs: Pop See Ko, Pop See Ko 2.0, Dance Like This Dude, I Get Loose, and Wobbly Man