PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

September 29, 2017

As we come to the end of our first month of Kindergarten, I am excited to see the community that is being built each day in our classroom.  We are really getting to know each other and beginning to form the foundation of a strong classroom community.  We continue to learn and practice routines in the classroom, as well as other places in the school. Our year in academics has gotten off to a great start.  

Reading

We are learning that there are many ways that people read and even if you are not yet ready to read the words in a book, there is still a lot of reading work you can do.  We have talked a lot about looking closely and thinking about what you see to help you read.  We also learned that we can be mindful of what our bodies need to do our best during reading time.  Students are enjoying many stories being read aloud and love to join in on the reading of big books in the classroom.  

Writing

We are putting lots of our ideas on the paper by “making a movie” in our minds of what we are writing about.  Kindergarten writing can range from having a simple picture to some words or even sentences.  Students are encouraged to do their personal best to show the picture in their mind. We generated some writing ideas by thinking about people that we know, places we have been and things we love.  We have also begun talking about ways to add labels to our writing. Encourage your child to draw and label pictures at home about experiences s/he might have.

Math

We have been working on learning the big ideas of counting by trying to figure out how many students are in the class. As we share different strategies, we learn that it is okay to make a mistake and encourage students to try out their ideas.  While doing this, we are creating a list of important things to remember when you count.  Students have also been working in math stations.  During this time, they are able to choose what station they want to work at and when they feel finished, they can clean up and choose another station.  Ask your child about his/her favorite math materials and/or station.

Birthdays

We had our very first birthday celebration here in kindergarten!  The  birthday children got to roll a big die and add the numbers.  Then students got a “present” from the “Birthday Basket” with that number on it.  The present was a poem that we all got to act out!  If your child was born in September, look for a birthday poem in his/her take-home folder!  Take a minute to read and enjoy the poem with your child.

A big thank you to the families of Alexander and Josephine for providing our birthday treats!  Also, please be reminded that cupcakes work great in the classroom.  NO CAKES, PLEASE!

Special Activity

We finished our week by working together to make “Cooperation Monsters!”  After reading a big book called “The Monsters’ Party,”  the children worked in groups of four to complete a monster.  Each child created a part of the monster; head, body, arms and legs.  On Monday, they will decide together how to put their monster together.

Our children are growing and learning so much and it’s only been 15 days!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

September 15, 2017

Here are some highlights from Curriculum Night:

  • A little about me:  Music and the arts are important to me.  I enjoy using them as often as I can in my teaching.  I’ve been teaching for 18 years and 16 of those years have been working with the gifted population. I taught kindergarten for 5 years early in my career.  I’m thrilled to be back!
  • In the classroom I teach reading, writing, math, science and social studies.  We often work with small groups of students who have similar needs.  These groups are flexible and change throughout the year.  We have choice time every day where students choose from different centers such as art, blocks, dramatic play or puzzles, as play is the work of children.  
  • Every day students have a special 45 minute class taught by a different teacher.
      • Monday:  Art
      • Tuesday:  Tribes  
      • Wednesday:  Dance
      • Thursday:  PE (Gym)
      • Friday:  Chess and Art
  • We focus on community and cooperation, not competitiveness.  Students can be gifted and talented in many different ways.  We don’t want kids to compare themselves to each other but to celebrate their own unique gifts.   
  • How to Help At Home
    • No homework but…
    • Read to your child every day.   Stop during the book and ask “What do you notice?”  Let your child tell you what s/he is thinking.  
    • Encourage your child to draw and tell about the drawing. Encourage your child to add details to the drawing.
    • When students are first learning to write spelling mistakes are okay.  We want kindergarteners to write the best they can without worrying about being perfect. We say stretch out the words and write the sounds you hear.
    • Find fun ways to practicing counting.  For example, count a group of toys or how many blocks in a tower or count how many steps from one place to another.
    • Ask your child to help setting the table, sorting the laundry or writing a grocery list.
    • Talk with your child about his/her day.  Have conversations with your child. Teach him/her to ask/answer questions.
    • Help foster independence by teaching your child how to put on and zip up coats.  Your child can pack his/her own backpack.  Kindergarteners are old enough to do simple chores around the house.
  • Lunch/Snack
    • We eat snack every day around 10:10am.
    • Please pack snack separately from your child’s lunch and let him/her know where it is. We store lunch and snack in different places in the classroom.
    • Please pack a healthy snack.  Here are some ideas:
      • Fruit, raw veggies, crackers, pretzels, cheese sticks, granola bars, yogurt
    • Students have 25 minutes to play outside at recess and 25 minutes to eat lunch.  Recess is at 12:30 and lunch is at 12:55.
    • Students are responsible for carrying down their lunches (4 flights of stairs) and carrying them back up so please pack lunch in a box/bag that is easy to carry.
  • We have one monthly birthday celebration for all the birthdays in that month. I will be sending out more information this week.
  • Other Reminders:
    • Toys, candy and gum are not allowed at school.
    • Students should wear closed-toe shoes every day that are comfortable for recess and gym.
    • Backpacks and Take-Home Folder should be sent in to school every day to help maintain routines in the classroom.

Attached below is a link to the powerpoint that was presented. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me directly at dgriner@bsi686.org

 

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September 12, 2017

 

Welcome to our K-001 Class Blog.  This blog is used to get updates on what your child is learning and how you can support the learning at home.

We had a wonderful first four days of kindergarten.  The beginning of the school year is all about learning the routines of the classroom.  For example, students learned how to pack and unpack their backpack, where to put their lunch, snack and take-home folder and how to line up and walk in the halls. We also spent a lot of time building classroom community.  We learned names, sang songs and played together. Today, we introduced our three classroom rules and we will spend a lot of time talking and reading about them, as well as drawing and practicing them.  They are:

Be safe.

Take care of each other.

Take care of the classroom.

We also had time to listen to stories, read/look at books, draw pictures, explore three kinds of math materials (pattern blocks, unifix cubes and geoblocks) and play inside the classroom and out.

Here are some questions to ask your child about the first week of school:

 

  • What do you do when the teacher rings the chime?
  • What table do you sit at? Table 1, 2, 3 or 4?
  • Can you name someone else who sits at your table?
  • How can you be safe when walking on the stairs?
  • What did you play with during choice time?

 

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow for curriculum night.