Brrrr!

We have had another cold week! Luckily we have gotten outside about once per day and it really helps us focus better when we can get some fresh (cold) air.

This week we have been very excited to take part in kindergarten mail. We learned how to write and address letters that we can send within our school. Then we had a turn to be the mail deliverers. We had to cancel the stamps, sort the mail by room and then deliver it. If you would like to take part and send your child a letter, stop by the front office where stationary and “stamps” are available for parents.

Spotlight on: Word Work (Trabaja con palabras)

Next up in our literacy time series is Word Work. This portion consists of many different activities from which every student can choose when it is their turn. Some choices include: making playdough words, writing on a Boogie Board, highlighter writing, spelling out words with old keyboards keys, etc. During this time, students practice the words on our Word Wall as well as words around the room. Learning how to spell is important to the reading process because it “helps to cultivate students’ knowledge of the alphabetic system which benefits processes used in reading” (Ehri, 1997 p. 261). Working with words can help children to “break the code” for reading. As they learn to spell out words (encode) their ability to sound out words (decode) also grows.

2-11-15 (11)

 Important Dates:

March 3 and March 5 – Conferences

March 4 – WACKY WEDNESDAY, Hat Day

March 10 – Dine at Culver’s to support GRCES, 5-8pm

March 11 – WACKY WEDNESDAY, Funky Feet day (socks or slippers)

March 18 – WACKY WEDNESDAY, Who-Hair Day

March 20 – Market Day, 8am-4pm

March 25 – WACKY WEDNESDAY, Wear green in honor of Green Eggs and Ham

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week we reviewed sight words up to this point. Here are the most recent group of words if you would to have them at home: Lesson 16-20. We also finished and wrapped up our final how-to books. Many of these came home to go to mom, dad, or siblings – I hope you enjoyed celebrating your kindergartener’s hard work!

In Math, we finished up a unit and took a test (I’ll be sharing these with you during conferences). We are making great progress in our understanding of numbers as well as addition and subtraction. Be sure to make numbers a part of your daily conversations at home.

This week in Bible we turned to stories of the prophet Elijah. We witnessed God’s faithfulness as he cared for Elijah and performed miracles to help Elijah and the widow.

In Social Studies we continued talking about our needs and wants. We also identified more products and services and talked about how we can get products and services through trade of money or other products.

 

Happy Mid-Winter Break

What a cold week! I hope you have all been staying warm and cozy inside this week – just like we have been most days at school.

Next week we will begin parent-teacher conferences. You should have received your assigned time in your child’s blue folder this week. Please let me know if you have any questions. A pre-conference survey should have also come home. Please fill this out and return it to school as soon as possible so that we can both prepare for our short time together. Thank you!

Check out an update on the Photo page to see some pictures from February.

Spotlight on: Read to Self (Lee solo)

For a portion of our literacy time, kindergarteners are engaged in independent work through a few different activities. Each day, they have the opportunity to engage in a different activity. Over the next few weeks I will highlight one of those activities in this section.

2-11-15 (9)The best way to become a better reader is to practice everyday. During Read to Self students are independently reading books that range from emergent level readers to Level 1 or 2 books. Each child is able to read books suited to their reading ability and they learn valuable skills that allow them to self-monitor and self-regulate their own reading. This time helps students to develop a habit of reading that builds a foundation for a love of reading throughout life.

 

Important Dates:

February 20-23 – No School, Mid-Winter Break

February 24 – Growing Deeper, 7:00-9:00pm

February 26 – Conferences

March 3 and March 5 – Conferences

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week our sight words were “van” (they go) and “para”. We also looked at the syllables “lla, lle, lli, llo, llu.” We are able to sound out so many words now! Take a minute to listen to your child read and compliment them on their growth over this long weekend.

In Math, we are continuing to break numbers into parts. We have been practicing writing our own sumas by looking at drawings and we made a booklet to show all of the teen numbers as 10 + extras.

This week in Bible we read about King Solomon’s reign. Though he began as a faithful servant of God, Solomon eventually began to turn away from God and worship pagan idols. Even though Solomon was not faithful, God promised not to break his promise to David that his descendants would continue to rule.

In Social Studies we began a small study of economics. We talked about necesidades (needs) and deseos (wants) and thought of examples of each. Then we grouped some of our deseos into productos (goods) and servicios (services).

¡Feliz dia del amor!

What a fun week we had in kindergarten! Day 100 was a big success, we enjoyed a special breakfast, lots of special 100 activities and most of all just loved being in PJs. And even though he was a day late, we loved meeting Zero the Hero who also celebrated Day 100 with us. We also had a great time showing our love for each today as we celebrated Valentine’s Day together. A big thank you to parents who provided treats for our party.

Thank you so much for continuing to send in a snack each day and search for all of those boots, hats, and mittens to send in each day. These little details make our days go so much smoother!

Important Dates:

February 16 – No GRPS Bussing, Gym Pick Up

February 20-23 – No School, Mid-Winter Break

February 24 – Growing Deeper, 7:00-9:00pm

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week our sight words were “ser” (to be) and “en” (on/in). We used these words to talk a lot about what we want to “ser” when we grow up. We also looked at the syllables “cha, che, chi, cho, chu.” These can be tricky because we want to make a hard “c” sound but we have to remember that the “ch” has a different sound.

In Math, we are really working on our “sumas” and “restas” through 10. You can practice these at home in fun ways by asking your kindergartener for help counting out plates for dinner or  picking out enough apples at the grocery store. Make talking about numbers a part of your normal routine :-)

This week in Bible we heard about David and how he became king. God cared about how David looked on the inside and not about his outward appearance.

Space

Another shortened week in kindergarten due to the growing piles of snow outside. I hope you have had time to enjoy the beautiful snow, we have definitely been enjoying our recess times at school.

2-4-15 (1)This week we welcomed Mr. Todd Powell to tell us about space. We enjoyed learning about a trip to the space station from start to finish. Then we were able to take home and build our very own “space station.” I hope you enjoyed doing this with your child.

 

 

We have a fun week coming up. Please be sure to read the important notes that came home on Tuesday about Day 100 and Valentines Day. Wednesday will be a pajama day in celebration of completing 100 days of kindergarten. Friday afternoon we will have our classroom Valentine party from 1:10-2:00. You are welcome to join us. Please send in your child’s valentine box and addressed valentines anytime next week. If you would like to help us with the party you can see our sign up here.

**If you’d like to see pictures from our Christmas Party Photo Booth check them out here!

Important Dates:

February 11 – Day 100 – Pajama Day!

February 13 – Valentine’s Day Party, 1:10-2:00pm

February 16 – No GRPS Bussing, Gym Pick Up

February 20-23 – No School, Mid-Winter Break

February 24 – Growing Deeper, 7:00-9:00pm

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week our sight words were “los/las” and “este/esta”. We talked about how to use these words and then many children realized that “las, los, la and el” all mean “the.” How tricky!

We worked on adding introductions and conclusions to our how-to books this weeks. We also realized that many friends have collections of how-to books. Like a “sports” collection that includes “How to Play Soccer,” “How to Play Football,” etc. We also thought of making a dog collection, a snow collection, a daily routine collection. Ask your child what their growing “Ho-to” collection is about.

In Math we continue to work on breaking numbers into parts as well as fluency with addition and subtraction within 10.

This week in Bible we learned about the Israelites first earthly king, Saul. Even though God chose Saul as king, Saul disobeyed God and did not do what he asked. Because of his disobedience, Saul’s descendants would not continue to be kings and Samuel anointed a new king.

A short week

Firstly, thank you so much for all of your notes and words of congratulation over the past week. My family and I are very excited and it is so much fun to share our news with others!

What a surprise this week with our day off! A reminder that even with the cold temps and snow we do go outside everyday (unless wind chill is below 0). Please keep sending in all the winter gear and take a look in our growing lost and found pile under the main stairwell if you are missing anything.

We had a great week in kindergarten plugging along with all of our current studies. Have you heard about our new first grade reading buddies? We are really enjoying spending a little time each week reading and being read to by a first grader from Sra. Marsh’s class. Today we even got to visit their classroom for our reading time!

Important Dates:

February 3 – SI Parent Meeting at the Middle School (see below)

February 9 – Day 100 – Pajama Day!

February 13 – Valentine’s Day Party

February 24 – Growing Deeper, 7:00-9:00pm

*******Parents and families of Grand Rapids Christian Schools’ Spanish Immersion program are invited to join us for an informational night on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 from 6:30-7:30 PM at GRCMS.  Join Señor Ashanti Bryant (GRCMS Principal) and Señora Sara Seth (GRCS Spanish Immersion Coordinator) as we articulate the vision for Spanish Immersion and learn more about the middle school’s academic program!  You may RSVP to this meeting by emailing Sara Seth at sseth@grcs.org or calling the GRCMS Office at 616-574-6350.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week our sight words were “cómo” and “son”. We studied the syllables “va, ve, vi, vo, vu.” You may notice that our take-home book got a little longer this week. That is a testament to how well we are doing sounding out words using syllables as well as remembering sight words. Please take a few minutes to let your child read to you this weekend.

We are adding lots of details to our how-to books. This week we talked about imagining each step before writing it, using our sight words to help us, and how to add tips and advice that help the reader.

In Math we are working on breaking numbers into parts. This week we heard about “Math Mountains” and are using them to help us show the parts of numbers.

This week in Bible we talked more about Samuel and his life as a prophet. Even though the kindergarteners knew that God was the best king, the Israelites wanted an earthly king so Samuel told them that God would chose their king.

In Science we finished up our study of pushes and pulls by using all we have learned to choose the perfect car and the right kind of force to move over a certain distance. This challenged our thinking but the kindergarteners enjoyed the experience and showed their understanding of the topic well.

Little Red Riding Hood

We had a wonderful and busy week in kindergarten! We most enjoyed our field trip today to see Little Red Riding Hood with the Grand Rapids Orchestra. We even had front row seats!

You should have received your child’s report card today in their blue folder. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. In addition, there is a form for you to fill out that will help us schedule upcoming conferences.

babyOn a personal note, I’m very excited to share that my husband and I are expecting our second child this September. I shared the news with staff here this week and I look forward to talking with the kindergarteners about it on Monday. I’m giving you this news first in case you would like to talk about it at home before then.

 

No one knows the perfect formula for fostering and strengthening faith in children. Ultimately, we trust in the Holy Spirit and our own wisdom.  Yet our own wisdom can always use some help from the Holy Spirit working within the community and on Tuesday, February 24 there will be an evening we call “Growing Deeper” in which four scholars will give their insights into how faith is formed in children and what current research says about our current cultural situation.  Growing Deeper is from 7:00-9:00 pm at Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School – Iroquois campus. Please consider coming.

 

Important Dates:

February 9 – Day 100 – Pajama Day!

February 13 – Valentine’s Day Party

February 24 – Growing Deeper, 7:00-9:00pm

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week we reviewed all of our sight words to this point. We studied the syllables “da, de, di, do, du.” You can use these flashcards if you would like to practice our newest sight words at home.

We are continuing our how-to books. This week we talked about putting diagrams into our books and making sure that a friend could follow the directions. We have some very interesting and informative books being written!

In Math we began a new unit that will focus on breaking numbers into parts, drawing math story problems and finding 10 groups inside teen numbers. We will also continue to practice and deepen our understanding of subtraction and addition problems.

In Bible this week we read stories about Ruth. We saw how Ruth showed her love to Naomi by returning to Israel with her and working at a hard job. We even tried out gleaning for ourselves.

In Science we experimented with pushes and pulls by trying to make toy cars reach a certain line. We had a lot of fun trying out different types and forces of pushes to make our cars end up where we wanted. (photos above)

A Chilly Week!

We’ve had another chilly week! We are so happy that the weather seems to be warming up (I guess above 0 is “warm”) enough to go outside for recesses. Thank you for sending in appropriate clothing so we can get outside. Be sure to check the Lost and Found area under the stairs in the main lobby if you are looking for anything.

January always seems to be a time for seeing big growth in kindergarten. We are about halfway through our school year and it is incredible to see how much the children have grown in so many different ways. From here to the end of the year we will be flying along in kindergarten learning lots of new things and enjoying the community of friends we have built together over the first half of the year. We will be sharing our progress so far with you at the end of next week when we send home report cards.

Important Dates:

January 19 – No GRPS Bussing, Parent Pick Up will be in the Gym

January 23 – Field Trip to Sunshine Church for Lollipops Concert

January 22 – PreK and Kindergarten Open House 6:30-8:00pm

February 9 – Day 100 – Pajama Day!

February 13 – Valentine’s Day Party

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week our sight words were “ahora” and “quedan.” We studied the syllables “ga, gue, gui, go, gu.” We are beginning to learn some tricky syllables that we need to remember as we are reading. This week I spent a little time one-on-one with each kindergartener to hear them sound out letters, syllables and words. It’s amazing how much they have all grown since the beginning of the year.

We are learning how to write manualidades (how-to books). This week we talked about how important it is to use lots of details so the reader knows exactly what to do. Ask your kindergartener about the silly sandwich Sra. Wolf made when she didn’t have good directions.

In Math we finished up unit 3 and took a test to share all we have learned. Then we celebrated by having a special math time playing all the games we have learned so far.

In Bible this week we heard the story of Samson and how God used Samson to lead the Israelites. Even in death, God had a plan to make Samson help the Israelites.

In Science we talked about the difference between a push (empujón) and pull (jalón). Then we practiced pushing things with different amounts of force to see how far they would move.