KG News December 31, 2016

Happy New Year, friends and family!

Can you believe a new year is upon us? I am sure you are all taking stock of the year, just as I am. The children left us on December 16th with imaginations raging, reading and writing skills exploding and a deepened sense team and family. Jill and I offer you this newsletter as a look back on some highlights from our last two weeks in 2016 with KG and a look ahead to January. We hope you will enjoy reading, reliving and anticipating the remainder of this precious kindergarten year! Happiest, healthiest New Year to all! We can not wait to greet our friends back to school.

Reading & Writing

The first half of our year ended with friends spending a lot of time exploring books and writing books. Many friends have become quite prolific at school! We have started to talk about some of the things readers do when they come to words they do not know. We have also started to practice "reading" to ourselves using reading phones. New centers we are exploring include Reading Around the Room, book baggies and using iPad apps such as Homer and EPIC.

In Fundations we finished learning all the letter-keyword-sounds of the alphabet. We are now focusing on blending sounds together to make consonant-vowel-consonant words, also referred to as CVC words. The children have been taught how to tap out individual letter sounds and blend them using their fingers. This strategy is used for both encoding and decoding words. They also have been learning to use one-to-one correspondence when following words in a sentence by placing a finger on a word each time it is read.


Counting and exploring numbers is a concept we play with all year in kindergarten. Chapter 4 allows us to explore numbers further by composing and decomposing numbers. The picture above shows a massive paper chain the kids worked on, adding on and taking away pieces to count forward and backward. This activity was not only fun but instructive!

When we return to school we will finish up chapter 4 in math. We will continue to practice counting up to 20 and comparing numerals and sets using the terms more, less, fewer, and same number. They are combining numbers and learning to count how many in all. Children will use their fingers, as well as manipulatives and pictures, to determine the number that is more or less than a given number. In this chapter, ideas of addition and subtraction are introduced concretely. Children combine and take away objects, and then count to find the result. These activities help children develop an understanding of the meaning of addition and subtraction.

Social Studies

From Las Posadas (pictured above) to playing the Dreidel game, KG friends were immersed in the transitions and costumes of each other's families. KG friends:

- Learned about the nativity story

- Crafted piñata and broke an authentic piñata used for Las Posadas celebration.

- Made paper gingerbread houses.

- Watched parts of the Nutcracker presented by the Pennsylvania Ballet

- Talked about the significance of the menorah in the Jewish faith and played Dreidel

- Crafted ornaments and enjoyed "dry" hot chocolate (by far the yummiest and most cleaver cocoa recipe EVER)

- Learned about the German roots of the Philadelphia Christmas Village at City Hall and the many festive offerings our great city offers at holiday time.

This month we will begin our study of "Me on the Map". We love to have students share with the class their own experiences of travel outside of Pennsylvania. We invite KG families, their friends and extended family, who live elsewhere in the United States or abroad, to send pictures or postcards to the class. We will learn about where the points of interest are located in relation to Shipley and also learn some interesting fun facts. Our mailing address is Shipley School, Ms. Grillo's Class, 814 Yarrow Street, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Looking Ahead

Tuesday, January 3rd - WELCOME BACK!

Friday, January 13th - Spirit Day

Monday, January 16th, MLK Holiday - No Classes

Tuesday, January 31st - Maya's Birthday!


Created with images by Blaer - "winter frost cold"

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