100th Day Celebration: We will celebrate the 100th day of school on Wednesday, March 19th, with games and craft projects. The children are welcome to bring 100 of something to show to the class on that day. It could be four groups of 25 or two groups of 50 or ten groups of ten or 100 different things...whatever gets to 100! It is totally optional to bring something in to school for this, and please don’t go shopping for anything. If your child would like to participate in this activity, you could help him or her look around the house for items to bring and show. Or perhaps your child would like to make 100 polka dots/x’s/hearts/etc. on a piece of paper. That counts, too!
Spring Break – March 24th – March 28th: We will be closed for Spring Break.
Classroom Notes: Here are some of the things we have been working on:
Literacy/language: We have spent several weeks working on the concept of rhyming. This can be a very difficult concept to grasp, but the children are making good progress with it. We have used many songs, books and puzzles to help develop this literacy skill.
Math: We have continued developing concepts introduced earlier in the year, such as place value, odd/even and ordinal numbers. Many of the children have also been working on the idea of “counting on” in addition using a number line. This is used to reinforce the process used in addition, not memorization. The Kindergarten students have been introduced to the concept of regrouping, or exchanging, with our gold bead materials. This is in preparation for higher-level addition and subtraction. All of the students have been introduced to our solid geometric shapes and have looked at how they relate to the plane geometric shapes. They are getting good at spotting spheres, cubes, cylinders and prisms!
Science: We are well into our reptile study, enjoying many books about snakes, lizards, alligators and crocodiles. It’s an amazing group of animals! The Kindergarten group is finishing up their world maps, as well as a study of the water cycle. Soon we will move into our study of space. To infinity and beyond!
Social Studies: The children have been studying various forms of transportation. Can your child tell you the difference between passengers and cargo/freight? Soon they will be creating their own transportation artwork to add to the bulletin board. We are continuing our look at people and cultures around the world as we prepare for the spring performance.
Music: We are about half way through Mozart’s opera Magic Flute. We are using this time to learn some more music terminology: opera, soprano and tenor. The children have enjoyed identifying the instruments they know, as well.
AVOIDING THE “PERFECT” CHILD
As parents, we look forward to seeing what our children will master next, which milestone will be achieved, what talents will surface. It’s thrilling to discover where there passions lie and to see them work hard to learn a new skill. In the classroom recently, we have witnessed an “explosion” of new skills developing as every day another child begins to read, grasps a new math concept, controls a pencil or gets a challenging puzzle put together. It’s so exciting!
Along with all these successes, however, we are also seeing some signs of anxiety in quite a few of the children, mostly centered on the notion of being “perfect.” As they are striving to learn new skills, unlike in previous years, many of the children are hesitant, afraid of making a mistake. We are working really hard in the classroom to foster an atmosphere of confidence and capability so that each child feels successful in his or her effort, without worrying about a perfect result. This is the age for children to learn with joyful abandon, without hesitation or fear. This is the time to lay the foundation for confident acquisition of knowledge, without anxiety about performance.
As parents and as teachers, we can help build a child’s intrinsic confidence by using the following steps:
1) Praise the effort, not the child. For example, “Wow! You worked hard to finish that!” Try to avoid using “Good boy” or “Good girl.”
2) Make our praise specific and honest. For example, rather than “That’s the most beautiful painting I’ve ever seen,” try “I love all the colors you used. They make me feel happy!”
3) Model an appropriate response when we make mistakes or when something doesn’t turn out as planned. Allow your child to see you handle a mistake or a disappointment without stress. It’s good for our children to watch us work through a problem and either accept the result we have, or try again.
Simple habits like these can help tremendously to foster confident, competent children who are ready to learn with eagerness and excitement.