Welcome back and Happy, Happy New Year!
With a most successful Holiday Party filled with gifts and laughter behind us, we look forward to the month of January. A huge thank you to all the parents who participated in making December such a joyful time. Our Room Parents outdid themselves in their creative gifts and organization. The children truly enjoyed the crafts and, of course, the company!
We love January in Kindergarten. It is an uninterrupted month of being able to focus on:
- Writing our letters PROPERLY! If you need a copy of how we form our letters properly, please let us know.
- Work on mastery of letters and numbers. Some children still need a little work in this area. ABC mouse.com and pbskds.org/games/ABC are two computer games to help those who are still having difficulty mastering their letters.
- Work on nonsense words. Dibels testing will be done this month. Fluency in the alphabet is considered extremely important in developing strong readers. That means that the children don’t have to stop to think of the letters but can “rattle them off”!
- Phonemic awareness syllables, rhyming, letter and sound substitution will continue as part of our Circle and Language times.
- Beginning to write full name and fine motor skills for some has been very difficult. Patience and practice are important. I will schedule teacher requested conferences at our usual optional conferences in January to discuss things that can be done at home. If you have a particular area of concern, please let me know and please certainly schedule a conference. I will be sending out Optional Conference forms at the end of the first week in January.
- Sight words continued.
- Blending sounds together to make words.
- “Reading Partners”: A new time when children enjoy the many, many books we have at BVMS while working together to pick out, share, and enjoy books and each other!
- Our Abraham Lincoln Unit begins the last week in January.
- Playing games and drawing pictures on our Smart Board. (Greater than and less than is a favorite adventure!)
- At last Math Blaster is available for play. This is a VERY popular math program on the computer that the children totally enjoy while developing skills at their individual levels.
Now does that sound like too much academics? Does it sound like we ONLY do play? Wrong on both counts! All of the above is done with movement, joy and the love of learning. We have always said that BVMS Kindergarten is a bridge between idealism and reality. It should never be a cliff. Therefore, we do what we need to do to fully prepare our kids for the “real world” while holding fast to the fact that children need, want and deserve a childhood……without pressure!!...and with PLAY!!!!!!!
We love January in Kindergarten. It is an uninterrupted month of being able to focus on PLAY:
- Fully exploring all the different mediums for art while learning about famous artists.
- Painting with rolling pins, fly swatters, craypas, watercolor sticks, etc.
- Mixing water (colored) and discovering what colors we can invent.
- Painting pictures on the easel.
- Making more stories with our sand tray miniatures.
- Building and creating mazes for marbles.
- Creating roads and runways using tape and recycled materials.
- Singing songs, learning cheers and finger plays and always practicing our self-control and focusing whether it be during work time or play time.
Here are a few favorites songs that you will be hearing:
Ice skating is nice skating
But here’s some advice about ice skating
Never skate where the ice is thin
Thin ice will crack and you’ll fall right in
And come up with icicles under your chin
If you skate where the ice is thin.
I made myself a snowman
Just as perfect as could be
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me
I gave it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head
Then last night it ran away
But first, it wet the bed!......GOTCHA!
MOST OF ALL: January brings our long awaited COMMUNITY UNIT!! Our room will be transformed to include a hospital, restaurant, beauty salon, x-ray department, lab, pet store, doctors’ offices and Veterinarian’s office. The children will prepare the posters, build the roads, make their houses and stores. The children remember seeing it from the sidelines last year and have been anxiously waiting…and asking…and asking. Well, it is finally here!! The week of January 22nd will be our Community Week. The week before this, we will be building our community and learning all about what makes a community!
During our Community Week, we invite parents to come in and share their occupations or hobbies with the children. The presentation usually last approximately 15 to 20 minutes and can be scheduled around your schedule. In the past we have had doctors, musicians, engineers, bankers, moms, dads and any other occupation you can think of! Please let us know if you are willing to come in and share with us.
So, no, we haven’t sold out!! We are still believers in CHILDHOOD! We are still believers that a child has an absolute right to experience their age, enjoying each moment as it comes! Thank you for being believers as well!!!!!!!