Week 8: First Field Trip To Gizdich Ranch!

Mark Those Calendars!


We had our first field trip to Gizdich Apple Ranch!

  • Kate Absent THIS Monday & Friday: Due to unforeseen circumstances, I will be absent this Monday. I originally planned to only be absent this Friday, for personal reasons. However, I am unable to do so and so a sub has been arranged. Thank you for understanding!
  • Community Snack Schedule: This week is the Guiang Family. Please, use the snack signup genius here to sign up for a week to ring snack. Let the Snack Coordinator  Kudsana (kkizaraly@yahoo.com) know if you need special accommodations. And a BIG thank you to the Steinhauer family who volunteered last week!
  • Full-Day Kinder Starts: Monday October 10th
  • NO SCHOOL: Professional Development Day for D2 staff October 21st
  • October Parent Meeting: Wednesday October 26th 6:30-7:30pm
  • Parent Teacher Conference Week: We have EARLY dismissal at 1:10pm 10/24-10/28. Please click here to sign up for Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, or Friday conference times, (Yes, I said Sunday!). I have commitments Tuesday and Thursday that I cannot change.
  • Second Field Trip: NEXT Tuesday October 18, 2016 at 9:30am (Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch in Los Banos, CA)
  • FUTURE Parent Meeting Dates: Wednesday Nov 9th, Wednesday Dec 14th, Wednesday Jan 25th, Skipping February (short month, too many conflicts), Wednesday March 22nd, Wednesday April 26th, Wednesday May 24th, and Wednesday June 14th.
  • Halloween Celebration: On Monday, October 31st, children may wear Halloween costumes to school for a whole-kinder pod celebration day. We know they will be excited about trick-or-treating and we want to lean into that culminating energy explosion with joy and anticipation, in an effort to channel their energies!

Field Trip Photos: 10/23/16

Emergency Parent Sub List:

  1. Jennifer Coscarart (Tuesdays 2nd shift & some Thursdays)
  2. Doreen Stitt (Tuesdays 2nd shift & some Thursdays)
  3. Akiko Fukuhara (3rd shifts) 408-614-9793
  4. Angela Henshall (Thursday 2nd shift)
  5. Christine Ging (always around Thursday morning, though I may be in Rm 12)
  6. Lonnell Graham (408)-836-0385
  7. David Ramos (408) 393-4456 (Thursdays after 1pm)

Weekly Highlights:

  • Art Enrichment: Using glue and yarn children made wonderful wax alphabet letters

    Voting on apple types we liked! Gala won 🙂

    together! See them hanging in the Art Corner.

  • Science Enrichment: Working with water, different containers, and primary colors to explore color mixing.
  • Apple Taste Test: Children tasted 12 different types of apples, voted for their ultimate favorite and then put stickers next to all the types they enjoyed. We talked about the results for math time.
  • Story Workshop: Using this prompt children drew pictures and came up with a short story “If an apple went for a walk, what would happen?” Many of the stories ended in consumption, as you can imagine, but they were hilarious getting there!
  • Handwriting: Looking at vowels using dry erase boards and markers. We explored how “vowels OPEN up words with their sounds!”  Children looked at the word apple first, then their own names. We wrote up everyone’s name and children circled only A, E, I, O, or U. We focused on how our mouths were shaped saying emphasizing the vowels. Then, we said the words without the vowels to show how our mouths closed up with consonants.  They loved this game, especially how silly words sound without vowels.
  • Math: “Show Me” with counters and snap cubes as well as dry erase boards and Jumbo Dominoes where kids made their own domino mats and added the sum of the dots together.
  • Literacy games: Children asked to bring out various literacy games during exploration times, and I’ve let them. It’s great practice!
  • Nature Self-Portrait: Children use recyclable items to create their self-portraits Spiral Cutting/Coloring: A great fine motor art activity!


    New Clean-up Zones!

  • Mosaic Pattern Making: I introduced gluing colorful square shapes onto black and white mosaic prints to make various patterns. Children enjoyed this activity
  • New Clean-up Routine Tool: Kids and adults agreed that clean up time was hard with children not knowing when to stop cleaning and getting distracted. So, they came up with having areas to be responsible for perhaps and that’s how the zones of cleanup began.
  • Birthday Books: To celebrate your child’s birthday, they may bring in a book for us to read to the class! Please, refrain from bringing food.
  • Share Chair: If children would like to share, the 3rd item on our meeting agendas are usually sharing. They can bring in a book or special item from home to show. If they bring a toy, it will have to go right back into their back packs.
  • Family Photo: Where is yours? I know who you are and your family name label is waiting for you! lol I’m missing 2!  Please bring in your photos ASAP. We’re a community!

WHAT TO EXPECT: Starting Our First Week of Full-Days!

This week will be exciting and tiring for everyone, as we are now FULL DAY kindergarteners. Here’s what to expect:

•  Our routines for the beginning of the day will remain the same until 9:30, we will move snack to 10:30am, post-recess. Then, the day will remain the same until 12:20pm.
•   Before recess/snack, students will be working on math and/or literacy stations in small groups: Students will listen to a short whole group lesson, do a teacher-chosen activity and then choose from a menu of other academic activities.
•  We’ll have a check-in meeting before moving on to an enrichment activity.

•  If you have ordered hot lunch for your child for the day, please have them write their name on the “HOT LUNCH” list attached to the cart.
•  Order lunches in advance online (see D2 school newsletters/emails).
•  Students bringing their own lunch should put their lunch containers on our black metal lunch cart, as they come to class in the morning.
•  Lunch cart will stay outside the classroom except at lunch time, it will be brought around to the black top. Students should only be accessing lunches at lunch time.
•  LABEL all lunch containers with your child’s name.
•   Please practice opening all containers with your child, and use only those they are able to open. There will be almost 75 kindergarteners potentially needing help at lunchtime, so please make it easier for us adults.
•   There is a lunch area lost and found near the yard duty closet. Lost lunch boxes can often be tracked down there after school.

•  Kindergarteners will be on the playground and other recess areas with older grades, who come out at staggered times.
•  The area right outside Room 8 will be available for kids to play with sidewalk chalk and I will encourage kinder parents to lead games like “Duck Duck Goose,” with teacher Joan’s parents. Every child stays within the gates. No wandering!
•   Students may NOT come into the classroom during lunch or recess unless they have adult permission.
•  Balls will be available for checkout from Coach David, but MUST be returned at the end of recess.
•  Scooters MUST be ridden only in the back half of the blacktop during lunchtime.
•  ALL YARD DUTIES are available to help any child needing help. Please encourage your child to seek help from anyone wearing a yellow vest right away if they are having trouble with other kids, especially bigger kids who are hard to track down once recess is over.
•   Students are expected to line up where they do for snack, just like when they hear the “first recess bell.” Kinder teachers and classroom parents will be rounding up kinders using our “Time to line up” song, but some kids may be spread out on the field or near the classroom, so we will head for the classroom shortly after the bell rings.
•   I’ll send an adult to look for any child not reporting back to the classroom. The older kids stay out longer, so it can be confusing for some kindergarteners who don’t hear the bell.

•   We’ll have QUIET TIME after recess which includes reading (a read aloud to bring our energy level down or looking at books silently), resting (laying down), or reflecting (drawing or writing)
•   We’ll do STORY WORKSHOP. Students may choose from several ways to be working on their story: playing with materials to make a story; getting inspiration from existing books; creating a setting or character; recording their story by writing, illustrating, or dictating to an adult.
•   We’ll have EXPLORATION, and then CLEANUP, CLOSING CIRCLE, and DISMISSAL AT 2:50pm.

•  Many kindergarteners strive to be at their best all day at school, and are exhausted at the end of the day. Don’t be surprised if your child has more meltdowns as soon as school is out. Even though the routines and people are all familiar, they are processing a LOT in the time they’re in class. Often the kids who are the best behaved at school have the hardest time after school!
•  Lunch time recess can be a bit overwhelming for kindergarteners, as they’ll now be sharing the playground with the rest of the student body! Yard duty adults will be looking out for them as much as possible, but it will take some time for our little ones to adjust to having lots more bodies to maneuver around. Please do let your child know that ANY adult with a yellow vest on is there to help them solve problems.
•  If your child comes to you with concerns about other children, please remind them that the best way for us to help them is to TELL AN ADULT at the scene, so that they can address it while all parties are still present, if possible.

•  Expect the kids to be full of energy! Usually after a break, we do a lot of reviewing of Agreements, routines, etc. Keep redirecting them back to the agreements posted in our meeting area, on the headphones basket, and near the trampoline.
•  Please continue to support whole group time by parking yourself behind kids who might need reminders/redirection.
•  I’ll post parent directions in the parent corner on the whiteboard, whenever possible. PLEASE check there as soon as you come in!
•  Some of the kids will have difficulty following parent directions until they get to know you better. Try to connect with the kids, as much as possible, before redirecting them.
•  We will have some more Enrichments starting this week, including Music & Movement and Gardening!

Camille Leach, our wonderful OT at D2, will be leading a “Handwriting Without Tears” (our handwriting curriculum) training this Wednesday, 10/12 at 1:30pm in her room, near the office. Please strongly consider attending if you would be willing to work with small groups for Handwriting during your shift, and let me know! Thank you!

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