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Kindergarten Newsletter

January 17, 2012

How We Express Ourselves: Tales and Legends An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values: the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity: our appreciation of the aesthetic.

Central Idea: Tales and Legends can help explain the unknown and teach lessons Profiles: Open-Minded, Principled, Thinker, Reflective Attitudes: Respect, Tolerance, and Empathy Lines of inquiry into: Purpose of the tales Similar tales between different societies Responsibilities of an artist, writer and presenter Key Concepts: Function, Perspective, Responsibility We continue to read together and explore “Cinderella” stories from around the world, finding in each, many connections to our development of IB profiles and attitudes. As we look at each story we are reflecting on the geographical features of the country that is presented, the dress, shelters/housing, customs, and beliefs and then making comparisons. In our first comparison we reflected on a traditional Cinderella story from France that we had read and a Cinderella story entitled, Yeh-Shen, a Cinderella story from China that was the first to been written in the T’ang dynasty (618-907 A.D.). The students were excited as they reflected on each detail of the stories and listed the differences. We also read a story from Korea and the students especially enjoyed the magical ox, frog, sparrows, and angels that extended love, empathy, respect and compassion to the Cinderella character as she was mistreated by her stepmother and stepsister. Our next two books were, The Rough Faced Girl, which is an Algonquin Indian Cinderella story and, Bubba The Cowboy Prince, whose character is a young lad from Texas that overcomes great obstacles to find his true love with the help from a fairy god cow. We finished off the week by seeing the similarities in a Zuni Cinderella tale entitled, The Turkey Girl, who wishes to attend the Dance of the Sacred Bird and Cinderella stories from India, Egypt, the Middle East, and Ireland. Together we have also read an African Rapunzel, American Thumbelina, and a variety of stories based on the The Three Pigs, including Three Little

Grace working hard

Making slime with the Mad Scientist….gooey fun!


tales from Mexico, Africa, American Cajun, and Germany. The students have been inquiring into the geography and natural resources of additional fun stories brainstorming ideas as we begin to write our own class story based on animals and resources found in Colorado. As we reflected back on our readings of many Cinderella stories we realized that most centered on some kind of slipper and that led children to question; who invented slippers? And were they really made from glass? We also discussed the importance of customs in Japan and China in that women’s feet were considered highly beautiful the smaller they were and that the social order supported the size and importance of the individual girl. The students also had questions about the types of carriages used before there were cars. These are perfect questions to help lead us into our new unit of inquiry which will start on January 30th. Title: We are Scientists Central Idea: People can learn about things around them by using the scientific method Our lines of inquiry into will be: how inquiry is used to discover and invent, connecting with and finding science in the world around us, and how we can all share our discoveries. Get ready for some fun both in the classroom and at home as we all slip on our science jackets and safety goggles, becoming scientists that will record, collect data and communicate our findings. We will begin the unit by looking at inventors and how he or she sees beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary. As we read and discuss the lives and inventions of these inventors we will see that an inventor needs to be creative, imaginative, and willing to explore and develop new ideas.

Working on our Cinderella comparison charts; we love hearing all the stories!

The Japanese were accustomed to taking off their shoes before entering their homes and donning slippers at the threshold and during the Meiji period (1868 to 1912) the Japanese slipper became more stylish and fashionable. During the Victorian era Prince Albert designed a slipper that could be worn outside as well as inside, called the Albert slipper, of course. Slippers as we know them today in America were invented and designed by Florence Zacks Melton who marketed her slippers for men and women under the tag of Angel Treads, which later became known as Dearfoams. The carriage Cinderella used to transport herself about was designed during the 14th century and was used by royalty. These rocking carriages were elaborately decorated and many were cast in gold. They were on four wheels often and were pulled by two to four horses depending on the weight. Reading/Writing: Our Daily 5 and cafĂŠ menu continue to grow and the students are showing such growth in independent learning. Each reading group so looks forward to our time together, as we strengthen our goals in vocabulary, sight words, blending, comprehension, recognizing new blends, and decoding. The students are being excellent risk-takers in inventive spelling and using their sight word cards as they write in their journals. We reflect on spacing between words, the use of lower and upper case letters, complete sentences

It is a polymer; it can bend, break, bounce, and go back to its original shape!


with endings and illustrations that match our creative writing. We ask that the students continue to read for 15 to 20 minutes each night and practice writing by helping out with creating lists of chores, grocery shopping, personal notes to friends and relatives. We love the stories that have been written at home and brought in to share with the class! Math: We have explored the concepts of measurement using a variety of standard and nonstandard units of measure including connecting links, connecting cubes, footsteps, and inches. We have been sharing our predictions and observations as we use our thinking skills working together as a group, with a partner or independently. In addition to measurement we have been skip counting by 5s, estimating, collecting and analyzing data. We will learn as we experiment that variables may be controlled or fixed and that we need to conduct more than one trail for each experimental observation before we can find the median. (Distance of cars traveled when leaving a ramp) We also measured a collection of “slippers, boots, etc.” to strengthen our addition and subtraction skills comparing sizes to our own feet! Our last lab was on the population of colors of Fruit Loops as we sorted, counted and estimated using data we had collected and graphs. Our present unit has taken us into inquiring about volume, using connecting cubes as our standard unit of measurement, as we create models of building and animals. Additional inquires: We will begin to explore the canvas of our night sky through studying ancient tales and the names of constellations that seem to twinkle as we observe them with our families. Mr. Ashworth and I are presently exploring a way in which we could all gather together to view the evening sky and share in the beauty it presents. In our readings of Cinderella stories and other tales/fables we have been locating each continent and country which supports our learning of geography. Together we have been recognizing and discussing the major oceans and seas that separate and surround our earth. We continue to work in our map books which support geography skills with our discussions of boundaries, directions, oceans, and hemispheres. Announcements and updates: February 6th: Bemis Library February 1, 2012: 7/8th grade play “Romeo and Juliet” at YGP. Please let us know if you can drive on this field trip! February 3, 2012: Grades 1-8 School Spelling Bee February 17, 2012: Half day, in service February 20, 2012: No School: President’s Day March 5, 2012: Bemis Library March 9, 2012: Half day; in service March 26-30, 2012: Spring Break

Kids Conner: I wonder…….. If all fairy tales have a happy ending? Why is there usually only one parent in Cinderella stories and a stepmom later? How people think of the stories to write? If any fairy tales ever written have been true?

Sharing books with our friends during Daily Five/Café


Why most fairy tales start the story by saying “Once upon a time?� Who made the first slippers? Are they different now or with other people? What were carriages first like and did people really use them? Do all tales or fairy tales have magic in them? Why are there so many tales or stories alike? Why are so many families different? We would like to thank all of you for your continued support with our amazing Kindergarten class. We truly love them so and are proud of their accomplishments in academic areas as well as our learner profiles and attitudes. They have shown a true love of learning with eagerness and we look forward to inquiring with them through the rest of the year. Ms. Lambert and Mr. Ashworth


Mackintosh Littleton Kindergarten Newsletter