Ms. Holly's Update 9-1-17

Important Dates:
  • We are closed on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. 
  • Next week on Tuesday the 5th we start our Robotics STEM unit!
  • Book orders are due SEPTEMBER 15Any book orders you place earn our class points, and then I can order free books for our class library :) There is a letter attached to this email that explains how to order books online. If you want to place an order via a paper flyer, those were sent home. You just need to return the order form to me with a check and I will take care of the rest!
Important Information:
  • Please check if you have any remaining forms to sign and return to us. I know this can be tedious and time-consuming, but they are important for the school to have. One form we have not received back from many families is the Free and Reduced Meals form. It is red and white. This has to be filled out even if you know you do not qualify; it has to do with the school being reimbursed for snacks served.
  • My official bio is up on the website. It is very similar to the one I sent home, but if you are interested, here is the link: http://sdpk.svvsd.org/staff/holly-smith. I am also working on having this newsletter posted on Spark's website, which you will be able to find on the SDPK website. 
I also wanted to give you all an idea of what we have been working on at circle time (whole group learning time; takes place sitting down on the carpet in a circle) these past two weeks. The order listed here is the order we go through these things during circle time: 
  1. Go Time: During this time, we watch a fun, kid-friendly  music/dance video from YouTube or from a website called GoNoodle (https://www.gonoodle.com/). This is one way your kids are exposed to music in my class and they are able get their "wiggles" out before we sit down and learn!
  2. Pledge of Allegiance 
  3. Review circle time rules: "Eyes are watching, ears are listening, mouth is quiet, body is calm."
  4. Color and shape: Last week was Red Triangle. This week was Orange Circle!
  5. Letter: So far, we have not learned any specific letters. We have been reciting the ABC's and learning about the components of letters (big line, little line, big curve, little curve) through a Writing Without Tears technique called Matman; some of them call him Batman on accident :P Here is a picture of Matman and the link to the song - they LOVE it!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec7J57YewxQ     Inline image 9                 
  6. Kid/Superhero of the Day: A child's name is drawn from a cup. They then get to be the Kid or Superhero of the Day. We give this child compliments, they get to be the line leader, and they get to help me with special tasks throughout the day. They also get an automatic Star Power ticket and sticker!
  7. Weather: Asking the kids what the weather is exposes them to science, vocabulary, and observation skills. We also predict the weather for the following day.
  8. Calendar: Kids have a hard time understanding time like adults do, but doing the calendar every day exposes them to vocabulary they will need to be familiar with in kindergarten.
  9. Number: Last week we learned about the number and concept of zero. This past week we learned about the number and concept of one. We practice writing the number of the week on the whiteboard together.
  10. Circle is over and it is time to play!       
  • For small groups this week, our activities centered on using "pincher fingers" to hold writing tools correctly, and on alphabet exposure. If your child is writing or drawing at home, you can encourage them to hold their writing tool like this: Inline image 6 This is hard for kids, so don't worry if they struggle with it and aren't quite doing it correctly! It will come with time :) Our school occupational therapist, Ty, says that starting to practice pencil grip is best started using crayons. 
  • We use a social-emotional curriculum called PATHS to teach social skills and management of emotions. This week we talked about how everyone from babies to grandparents have feelings, and we discussed the feelings "happy" and "sad" and things that make us happy and sad. Two puppets, Henrietta the Hedgehog and Twiggle the Turtle helped us learn these concepts :) 

That is all for this week! I hope you all are proud of all your children have accomplished in these first two weeks of school. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly children learn new routines and concepts! Once again, have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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