Introducing the K/1 Village
Little Blue: Pinky Patel, Nancy Tamondong, Lissa Kim and Staci Yee
Galapagos: Lisa Zankich, Lori Ng, Jamie Barboza and Crystal Viswanatha
Instructional Aides: Linda Tong, Srushti Railkar and Suhagi Mehta
We are happy to be your children's teachers! Teaching is a joy for all of us and we look forward to each day in the classroom. Thank you so much for letting us be part of your families' lives. Although kindergarten and first grade are an integral stepping stone between preschool and the upper elementary grades, it is important to remember that school should be fun, engaging and full of adventure. Of course, we plan to ensure that your little one will be fully prepared for the academic challenges that are coming up, but we are also dedicated to creating a peaceful, loving and exciting classroom family that will create lifelong learners as well as foster a community spirit. Our children are learning how to live in this world. Let us teach and model to them that a loving heart, a strong mind and a kind and empathetic disposition are attributes that are important and valued within our community.
We all deeply believe in the multi-age classroom and are excited that you have committed to the philosophy of Murdock Portal. As you know, the multi-age classroom is not just a room filled with kids of different ages. Rather, it is a highly organized and thoughtful approach designed to take advantage of the diversity and strengths of the children. The multi-age classroom is designed to give every child the opportunity to find success on his or her own path of growth.
In our villages, children progress along a continuum of simple to more complex material and stay with us for two years (from kindergarten through first grade.) K/1 students interact with the curriculum independently and in smaller collaborative groups. At Murdock-Portal, self-help skills are strongly encouraged as is a growth mindset. Our students have an opportunity to become mentors to their peers. This is a powerful, positive experience for all of our students. We look forward to creating villages full of learners, teachers, artists, mathematicians, scientists, writers and philosophers!
Our number one priority is your child and we know that together we will have a wonderful year!
Weekly News - begins August
Your child will write a letter to you on Seesaw or bring home the Weekly News Journal on Fridays. He or she will read the new entry to you. Parents, please respond on the back of the page. No cursive please! Directions are on the inside cover. The Weekly News journal is to be returned on Monday (or Tuesday morning at the latest!)
10 minutes per week at home
Homework Journal - begins September
Daily assignments can be found in a monthly homework calendar. Take a moment to read all of the instructions on the first page with your child (we have already reviewed them at school). Pictures should be colored, writing should be on the lines. Kindergarten parents can help a little with writing if necessary at the start of the year. Please note, the activities are open-ended, and your child can extend the assignments by writing more detailed sentences or more background pictures if they find that they are "too easy" ...we're building that growth mindset! :)
15-20 minutes per day at home
Trimester Projects - begins September
More information will be provided.
Ideas for Home
Math in Everyday Activities:
-Give your child plenty of opportunities to count
-Play number games such as counting the number of steps, the number of trucks you see while driving, or counting the number of items going in the laundry.
-Read the calendar, and determine the number of days until an upcoming event.
-Young children can count the number of items that you bought at the store. If you buy multiples of 1 item (such as 10 cans of catfood), practice counting by 2’s, 3’s, or higher numbers.
-Have your child count the change needed to pay for an item.
-Watch your child play to understand her mathematical knowledge. When your child counts, does she touch each object once? Is his voice in sync with his touch?
-Have your child distribute cookies or toys to family members, with each person getting an equal number.
-Help your child recognize shapes and size relationships.
-At the grocery store, ask your child to find items that are triangles, circles, rectangles, and other shapes.
-Ask your child to recognize or stack the groceries you bought by container shape or organize by size.
-Organize a scavenger hunt where your child has to find objects of different shapes.
-Make snowflakes using symmetry. Fold a square piece of paper in half diagonally to make a triangle, then fold in half 2 more times. Cut out small diamond or circular shapes from the edges, then unfold it. Experiment with different numbers of folds and shapes.
-Find ways to collect and organize information.
-Look around the house to find groups of 2 objects, like pairs of gloves or socks. Look for groups of 3’s, 4’s, and on up to 10’s.
-Have your child help sort the laundry by various categories — by color, or by who an item belongs to.
-Take measurements for a project around the house.
-Using paper of different colors, make a paper chain with paper strips and tape. Encourage your child to create patterns by repeating colors and numbers of rings in a regular order. This can be done in connection with reading the calendar and counting down days to a special event.
-Collect objects in nature— leaves, rocks, shells and the like. When you get home, sort them by color, size, or type. How many different categories can you find? How many objects are in more than 1 category?
-Help your child develop reasoning skills.
-Help your child think about the permanence of a set. Put 6 pennies in a row, then change the arrangement. Ask “did the quantity change?”
-Kindergartners love repetition and patterning, which fosters mathematical thinking. Clapping patterns help your child discover sequences and predict what comes next.
-Many card games require counting and score keeping.
-Dice games and dominos help kids learn to quickly recognize groups of dots from 2 to 12.
-Play board games that involve counting squares, such as Chutes and Ladders.
-Tic Tac Toe and Connect Four build recognition of rows of 3 and 4 counters.
-Play games that challenge your child to rhyme, use reasoning and logic and include opportunities to explain their thinking.
-Sing songs that have a repetitive pattern and have lots of rhyming words.
-Constantly ask your little ones questions that do not have yes or no answers. For example: Did you have fun at school?" VS. "What are some things that you did at school today?"
-Take your child on walks and ask them what they think about the world around them. Let them touch things...ask them to make connections. For example: "Look at this green plant...Can you think of other things that are green?" or " SSSSSSand starts with what letter? What other words start with a /S/ sound?"
Reading and Writing:
-Limit screen time and encourage your child to draw or write. This will help with development of fine motor skills.
-Take your child to the library and let them pick out a book to read at bedtime.
-Read with your child daily
-Ask them questions about their books.
What do you think will happen next?
What character do you like? why?
How does this book make you feel?
Can you think of a different ending?
What do you like about the illustrations? etc.