Under Construction! Critter Homes

Hi Families of Amazing kindergarteners!

We had a wonderful time at the Audubon Nature Center this week. The weather was such crispy, fantastic fall perfection with blue skies and warm sunshine. We met our Audubon teachers at the picnic tables near the sugar house. First, Jamie and Debbie led us on a scavenger hunt at the edge of the field to find photos of common animal homes. Once we observed these images, we made some guesses about which animals built them. We saw a picture of a porcupine home, a squirrel nest and a beaver lodge to name a few. Then, we hiked through the woods to a new spot where we learned about how squirrels and blue jays make their nests and had a chance to make our own rendition of these constructions. Before we moved on to learning about beaver lodges, we hid an acorn in our nests as a test to see if we would remember where we stashed them! Just like animals do in the forest. Next, we learned about how the beaver uses its specialized body to construct homes and to stay safe. You will notice that Rhiannon got to dress up as a beaver – complete with eye and ear protection – just like a real beaver! She was a good sport!

At the end of the program, we got to explore the edge of the pond and construct even more homes on the shore. I know you won’t be surprised that when we returned to check on our acorn hiding spot, almost all of us were able to locate them! Smart cookies, this bunch! Following our trip to the Audubon, we made fairy houses in the outdoor classroom. Unfortunately, I missed this as I had an appointment. But, Miss James, our favorite guest teacher, assured me that it was a dear, exciting and engaging session with Mrs. Gombosi in the forest.

We continued our Reader’s Workshop sessions practicing stamina and sharing our favorite books with our friends. We drew and wrote about our favorite books and you can see our descriptions on the bulletin board outside our classroom. The children really did a fantastic job. We are working on reading the whole time during our independent reading time. We remind ourselves during this time, with the help of self-talk strategies learned from Miss Amy: “Eyes on the book, brain on the book.” We practiced reading the pictures this week so that even though we don’t yet know how to read all of the words on the page, we can use the pictures to tell the story to ourselves. I am really impressed with our work in this area. All of this sets the foundational stage as we continue to grow and to learn as readers.

In math, we continued working with numbers  and combinations of numbers to 10. In this vein, we continued in familiar workplace centers to help us to practice counting a variety of combinations to 5 and to 10. We have been building 10 on our ten frames and on our fingers and with dot painters and with all manner of manipulatives. At the same time, we are noticing a new pattern on our October calendar that highlights directional terms, color patterns, and number sequences. We are also comparing quantities to see which has more and which has less – and “how many more?” and “how many less?”. Finally, we continue working on number recognition and number writing, too.

For Forest Friday, we walked up the gigantic hill to the pond at Big Hollow. One of our goals is for the children to observe the same spot in nature and jot some of those observations down once each season. Our trip up the hill will serve as our fall observation session. Next week, Myriah and I are going to visit an outdoor classroom in Quechee for our In service day on the 20th. This classroom is more established and we can’t wait to add more ideas to our hopes for this adventure.

We are participating in a “Kindness Rocks” experience led by Mr. Huggett. We are asking that each child bring in TWO palm-sized rocks by Monday 10/17. Flat rocks are better as they are easier to paint and to decorate. We will paint the rocks and then add a kind quote for inspiration. On a walk in the Hinesburg Town Forest this weekend, we came across a sweet pile of rocks inspired by this project. It was so neat to see it in action – I think the children will love it, too. Here is a link to learn more about the project: http://thekindnessrocksproject.com/how-it-all-began

Also, a few of the 5/6 students (Brogan, Rosie, & Eve)  are raising money to buy a maple tree to plant between the Pavillion and the Gaga Pit. The cost is $180. Each classroom has a “coin drop” jar that you can contribute to if you are so inclined. If each classroom collects $18, we will have money for the tree. So far, we have about $2 in our jar.

Last of all, we will have “Color Week” beginning October 24 with “Red” day! Each day of the week we will highlight a different color. We will send home more detailed information next week. But, on Tuesday 10/25 or “Orange Day,” we will need some parent volunteers to help make some pumpkin recipes to serve at lunch. We will be working with Laura, our ANESU food cooperative representative to process and to cook four different pumpkin-inspired dishes. Let me know if you are available to help out that day. I think we will begin by 9:00.

Have a wonderful weekend with your fantastic kindergarteners!


Dates/Information to Remember:

Our school is collecting “Box Tops For Education” – If you have any, you can send them in by next Wednesday.

10/20 & 10/21 — No School for students

10/25 – Pumpkin Cooking Project – Volunteers needed!

10/27 & 11/1 – Fall Parent Conferences – 3:15-7:00 pm each day – info in Friday Folder

11/4 – No School for students

11/8 – Field Trip to ECHO in Burlington – info to follow




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