This week, we spend some time revisiting some favorite activities, recalling things that make Kindergarten special, and reading books for the sheer enjoyment of sharing a great book.
Our play performance will be Monday at 1:30 in our classroom. This is sure to be a standing room event, but the play is short and sweet. We hope you are able to come enjoy it with us. You will be able to take your child home just as soon as they are out of costume.
I want to thank you for supporting your child's project work. It was so wonderful to watch the children share their writing and learning with so many people. Two of my favorite things about Oasis are the projects we are able to accomplish and the wonderful families that support us every step of the way!
Thursday is FIELD DAY! This is a big deal at Oasis. The festivities last all day and make for a wonderful celebration of our year together with our classmates and school friends.
Some points to consider for Field Day:
* Check the weather. We have had hot frying pan days and freezing cold rainy days for Field Day in the past. Please make decisions based on the weather as much as possible.
* Have your child wear water clothes. Boys can wear swim bottoms and a shirt, girls can wear a one piece swim suit with shorts and a T shirt over it. Children can also wear shorts and a T shirt that can get wet and is comfortable.
* You can send a towel but be sure to mark it with a name.
* No socks, please! The kids will be moving from water activities to bounce houses or other dry activities. Socks tend to get lost at the stops along the way.
* It works best if your child is able to wear shoes that they can slip on and off easily so that they don't lose a lot of time between activities trying to manage their shoes.
* Please send in a snack. We will stop for a snack break along our journey to keep them from getting hungry.
* Many children will want to change out of their water clothes at the end of the day. Please send in a plastic bag for us to put wet items in. Please also be sure to send along a pair of underwear as it is an often forgotten part of the wardrobe change.
****IMPORTANT! Please sunscreen your child very well before sending them in to school on field day. By the time I notice they are getting pink, it is too late! Additionally, I won't know if a child does or doesn't have sunscreen on. I don't want anyone's day to be ruined by a painful sunburn.
I know it is May and the end of the school year is now at hand. Since we do not get to sit down face to face and conference with this grading period, I just want to emphasize a couple of key things as your child makes the transition from Kindergarten to first grade.
Asking and answering questions is a HUGE skill that needs to be reinforced and practiced across a variety of topics- not just because this strengthens reading comprehension, but because it grows critical and collaborative thinkers which is what we want above all else. We want children who pose questions and have conversations about the answers.
Your child has begun to experience the joy of reading several books by the same author/illustrator. We enjoyed several books by Jan Brett, Eric Carle, and -our class favorite- Mo Willem. Beloved authors, series, and characters help fuel a love of reading through their unique combination of novelty and familiarity. Encouraging your child's love of a character or series (even though you may not share their enthusiasm--personal note: Geronimo Stilton is so not my fav BUT my kiddos think he is hilarious and are captivated by him) can help lay a foundation for reading skills and a life long love of reading.
Having discussions about our writing and revisiting it to add more is a valuable experience and great writing habit for your child. Thinking "What more can I add?" leads to detailed, engaging writers.
A parent asked about the summer bridge books that I recommended in the last blog. These are readily available at many places, such as WalMart, Barnes and Noble, and Costco. There are a large amount on Amazon as well. The only drawback is that you can't look through the entire book to see what it contains, but there are some sample pages to view if you click on the picture to activate the Look Inside feature. An example, not an endorsement, can be found at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Bridge-Activities-Grades-Activities/dp/1483815803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495375024&sr=8-1&keywords=summer+bridge+activities+k-1
Additionally, there was a question about children's reading levels and how to find good books for summer reading. Your child's reading level will be reported on their report card, however, I find that this information is not the most helpful in choosing books. Also, remember that your child may be interested in books that are "above" their level and these may be wonderful books for you to read to/with them. Please take advantage of the RazKids site. The kids can read right on the website, and at some levels, can even take a comprehension test to see how well they read. Kids really like it! I have set the site up with a level for your child to start reading. The level is on the easy side as they learn to use the site. They can just move up as the reading becomes easier for them. There is also a pretty cool reading website called Epic! Here is the link: https://www.getepic.com Children can listen to books or read themselves. There is a small fee for home use ($4.99 a month, I believe). There is a free month long trial available.
Finally, one of the best ways to keep your child reading is to join the County Library's Summer Reading Program. They have incentives and fun extra activities to keep your child interested and moving forward over the summer. Plus, I just might see you there!
Our summer work packet will be coming home with your child this week. It includes the OFFICIAL OASIS work: the reading calendars and math fact skill sheets. The packet also includes the bonus material we discussed at conferences- the checklist page and a packet of writing pages. My son and daughter helped compile these and in their stapling zeal they stapled all of these things together. I do not want the large packet to overwhelm. Please remember, my stuff is 100% optional and is meant to be enjoyable- ditch it if it is not shaping up to be that way. Do have your child complete the reading calendar and math fact sheets.
Reading on a regular basis is vital. Keeping our writing and math skills sharp is important too. I believe your child will be able to access their IXL account over the summer (until my account gets reset for the new school year).
If you set up a little Work Station and create a Book Bin for the car right now, it will make it more likely that learning continues for your child and the summer slide in skills will be lessened for them. Set up one or both of these for/with your child and shoot me an email- students will get a move up on our color chart. But the real incentive is the continued growth your child will experience :)
Need books? The Churchill County library is top notch (and their summer reading program is the best). You can even use their website to request certain desired books and they will hold them for you to pick up: http://www.churchillcountylibrary.org/ If you want books to keep, check out the Grassroots Bookstore in Reno. It is phenomenal and they have ridiculously fabulous sales: http://www.grassrootsbooks.com/home/
This year has been AMAZING! I have truly enjoyed my time with this class. I sure am going to miss them, but they are ready for new adventures and first grade learning. Our first grade teachers are lucky to be inheriting a group of enthusiastic learners and supportive parents. Thank you for sharing your child with me this year!