The Week Ahead in Junior Kindergarten - An Example
March 9th, 2020
Does surface change the way things move? Why do things ever stop moving? We will continue to investigate the foundations of force and motion, and take a closer look at how texture affects an object's ability to move. Students will practice making predictions, sharing observations and drawing conclusions as they discover the force of friction.
Using their growing knowledge of force and motion students will brainstorm their own need for physics in everyday life and design a helpful invention. This challenge may need some inspiration, and who better to introduce than Rube Goldberg! This week, students will learn that this engineer, artist and inventor, similarly used his knowledge of simple physics to design creative, complex machines to do a simple task.
How do I keep track of my counting? This week the junior kindergarteners are learning and practicing counting strategies while continuing to strengthen their understanding of numbers to twenty and beyond. Students will use mystery counting jars to practice strategies like counting out loud, touching and counting, moving and counting, lining up and counting, counting on, and recounting. Let the counting begin!
If you give a moose a muffin, then it will…? In Readers Workshop we have started reading books from Laura Numeroff’s fun series, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Through these If...then... books we will begin exploring and discussing cause and effect in stories. In Writers Workshop, students will express creativity and care as they write stories in their journals using illustration and best-guess spelling. Our writers will be challenged to stretch out words using syllables to identify each sound within a word, and also to separate each new word with a finger space.
In literacy groups, small group work will focus on phonemic awareness through word work, snap words, shared reading and interactive writing.
This week in Circle of Friends, students will continue to explore what it means to be responsible in taking care of ourselves our communities.
But what happens when we forget a responsibility?
This question leads us to a wonderful opportunity for integrated learning. In our science explorations of force and motion, we will discover that force can be carried forward in a chain reaction of motion, a domino effect. Do responsible choices also build momentum and create a chain of positive outcomes?
While working together to build elaborate/creative domino chains, the teachers might forget to be responsible for their own body control and best effort, or forget to be a part of the group plan. Students will reflect and guide the teacher to make a responsible choice, fix mistakes and change a negative to a positive. All together we will discuss how one person's choices in actions and words can affect others.
This week students will continue exploring the many shapes we create with our bodies. Students may try a frog jump on the mats and transition to a somersault. Students are developing strength, balance, flexibility, control and coordination through our gymnastic inspired movements. This week the ‘log roll and pencil roll will be introduced as part of our tumbling unit!
This week JK will continue bringing the story of Pegasus to life on stage. This will be an original play the students helped to create! We have the characters of Poseidon, Medusa and her 3-faced dogs, The God Zeus with his lightning bolt, and our four flying horses who embody freedom and magic as they fly through the sky. We will also learn some movements and words to “Riding Free” from the movie “Spirit.”
Next week JK will continue adding lyrics to the folk song, "Deep Blue Sea." We'll also start learning the hit song from Moana, "How Far I'll Go." Students will have a lot of fun adding a bordun and instruments to the tune “Apple on a Tree.”
In connection with their classroom learning JK students will be using magnets to create art! The push and pull of forces can become tools to generate art, and we will be looking at artists who have used these forces in creative and unexpected ways.
Last week, we planted seeds and we will wait patiently for them to germinate. This week, we will move into our unit on Ecosystems. In this unit, students will learn about the web of life and relationships in the garden. We will read the book, The Lorax by Dr. Suess to introduce some of these concepts. After reading the book, we will harvest and make a garden to enjoy together. Before we delight in the garden salad, I will share a practice called The Thanksgiving Address, where we will bring our awareness to all the life and elements that helped bring the food to our plate.
This week junior kindergarten will be learning about clothes. With the use of this vocabulary students will learn different kinds of clothes and describe what they are wearing. This vocabulary is introduced with a lot of movement games, songs, and art projects.
Repetition is key so feel free to practice with your child at home!
Mark Your Calendars
Friday, March 13th: C4 Day, Early Dismissal at 1:30pm
Friday, March 20th: JK/K Palega Park Playdate, 8:45-9:45 am
Friday, March 27 and Monday, March 30th: Parent-Teacher Conferences, No School
**Rube Goldberg Building (April 13-16)**
Students will work in groups to design and create their own Rube Goldberg machines. We welcome you to join us as we tinker together! This challenge will emphasize building and tinkering, trial and error, and peer collaboration. We will be tinkering from about 8:45~9:45am each day, and we welcome you to a morning of learning alongside our students. Use the shared sign-up sheet and mark your calendars if you have a free morning.
Please note that if you are not able to attend one of our tinkering sessions, you will have a chance to see your child's Rube Goldberg machine at work in video recordings.
Monday: Today we learned a new math board game inspired by a great read aloud, “Have You Seen My Dragon?” In your connection folder you will find your own game board, players and dice to use, teach, and invite someone to play.
Tuesday: Enjoy reading your library book with friends and family, and remember to return it to school tomorrow.
Wednesday: Tomorrow we will continue our study of friction within force and motion. Tonight, search your house for a piece of fabric or paper with an interesting texture that might change the path of an object moving across it. If you can, please bring that material into school so that we can test it out in our experiments!