Big Rocks for January: improve reading fluency and writing/apply numbers

0-99, review and apply leadership habits, measurement, animal habitats

Dear Parent(s):

Happy Holidays!!!

Math in January, the children will be introduced to measuring inches and feet. They will review reading, writing, and comparing all random 2 digit numbers 10-99, review writing numbers in sequence 0-31+, review counting and making tallies, addition/subtraction, counting by 5’s/by 10’s/counting 20-0/counting by 1’s orally to 100. All children should be using correct number formation when handwriting the numbers at this point. We will continue our Math notebooks that focus on “show-me” problems in which the children must not only solve the problem but must show how it was solved. Problems in the notebook involve applying a variety of math skills often in combination with one another. We will begin to explore 3-D shapes: sphere, cone, cylinder, and cube. We will learn about ordinal numbers (first, second, etc). Up to this point we have worked hard at understanding what it means to add and subtract being able to solve addition/subtraction solve story problems, and write math sentences. We will continue to write number sentences (4+2=6) and also use flash cards for addition and subtraction to increase our fluency and quick response of these skills. A major Kindergarten skill is being able to “decompose,” or break numbers apart and put them back together. (Ex: 14=10+4)

Reading, our BIG ROCK is to increase reading fluency. Up to this point, the kids are feeling success at reading words or a few words/page. We’ll work towards reading more fluently, and build reading stamina to read longer periods of time. All Reading groups are working on both phonics rules (such as vowel work) and sight word/fluency improvement. We will be learning a lot of new words this month. More importantly, the children are working on reading “just right books” (books that fit their reading level) each day. It is VERY important that you as parents have your Kindergarten student read to you each night. Have them read their sight words. Have them read short books. Read a book together and share the reading allowing them to read as much as possible and you filling in the more difficult words.

We will continue to learn and practice reading/spelling new word families. (Research indicates that children actually learn words in chunks. Word families help children to establish and memorize these “chunks” for reading success. We have learned about several word families in Kindergarten. For example, the “et” word family is made up of words ending in _et such as jet, bet, set, etc) We will also continue work with reading words with initial or final blends (sc, fl, sp, tr, dr, etc)

Also in Reading, we are busy working on comprehension skills. Students should be able to identify what an author does, what an illustrator does, and who are the characters in a book. We will continue to work on identifying and comparing the “setting” of a book. Ask them to tell you this when you read! We will learn that good readers predict (we use a crystal ball); good readers ask questions; good readers stop and clarify (we push pause on our remote control and often clarify or make connections to our prior learning or what we already know); good readers summarize; good readers dig deeper for new information. When you finish reading a book, ask your child to tell you what it is mainly about. “This story is mostly about (character) who _________.” What are some of the details that you enjoyed in the book?

In writing, the children are working on writing sentences. This includes using sound spelling and knowledge of sight words to write a sentence that makes sense, has spaces between the words, lowercase letters, and punctuation. Some testing/practice will be dictated sentences, in which I ask the children to write a specific sentence, but most writing in Kindergarten is reflective or responsive writing in which children are encouraged to be reflective and creative in sharing their thoughts. Writing is essential in the Kindergarten curriculum as it truly builds phonemic awareness and fluency success. Please encourage your child to write at home. Encourage them to write to friends, relatives, a pet, or have them write down a grocery list. When children write, they are using higher level thinking skills and they are READING! This sets the stage for a productive educational experience. We will also be working on “drawing to read.” Illustrators tell who is in the story, tell where the story takes place, and what is happening. ( other words- add more details!) terms of handwriting, we will focus on cleaning up our letter formation and writing all letters/numbers accurately and legibly.

Science and Social Studies, we will continue our study of various animals and animal classification (mammal or reptile). We will begin to shift our Animal unit later in the month to begin to learn about the animals’ Habitats. particular, we will look at animals and habitats of the polar regions, and then the forest habitat. Later in the year we will briefly look at grassland, rain forest, and ocean habitats. Although these are introductory units, please feel free to expand this learning at home. If your child shows and interest in a habitat or animal, follow their lead and learn more! Our learning within this unit will begin to introduce the concept of team projects and team learning. We will begin to research and seek new information.

In SPELLING, (yes, we are starting spelling soon!), the kids will have 4-5 assigned words to practice for the week and will take a Friday or end of the week test on these each week. I will be sure to include these words in the take home binder note at the beginning of each week. The purpose is to improve spelling and also spelling patterns in a variety of words in preparation for 1st Grade.

use of the 7 Habits continues to help children grow. Please remember to intertwine these habits into your daily life. Ask your child what habit they plan to use today! Ask them how they plan to fill someone’s bucket today.

A few reminders:
* Thanks to all that helped at our Holiday party and all who came to our Gingerbread House event!  
Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for winter weather- hats, mittens, etc. Also, make sure that these things are labeled with your child’s name. Don’t forget to practice tying shoes!
NO SCHOOL on January 15 (Martin Luther King Day) and February 2 (conferences).
you have NOT signed up for parent-teacher conferences- please do so! I will also have the sign-up available at the Gingerbread House event. Watch for this!