Dear families,

This is kindness week at Clark! We’re practicing a lot of small kindnesses as well as large. Kindness to ourselves as well as our classmates are in our discussions. We practiced how to give meaningful compliments and how to feel good for someone who is being recognized for their hard work. We also modeled ways to let someone know (kindly) that they are in our personal space, doing something we might be working on already, or that words they said hurt our feelings. Our school had a building-wide bucket to show just how much kindness we have and how many ways we can fill someone’s bucket, and we know from our “A to Z Bucket-filling” that we can feel good when filling someone else’s bucket.

 Can you believe how much we’ve learned in social studies and practicing the different rules we encounter in different places? We’re talked a lot about how we’ve been in kindergarten for 79 days! Seventy-nine is a big number and as a class we understand expected behaviors about treating friends kindly and walking feet. We’re entering our 1st grade practices now. This includes moving from one work station to the next quickly and getting a drink of water during that transition. We’re going to work productively in the center of the room or at desks or computers with the teachers focused on small groups. This is such an amazing transformation and to some of our class, an entirely new skill. 

We’re entering a new area of math, where we’re reasoning through what it means to have one more and one less (fewer). Last time we practiced one more and one less we had to show adding or taking one away, now we’re saying the sentence: “_____ is one more than ____” or “____ is one less than ____.” It’s important to use the numbers in the example or in the countable items, rather than a really big number that we know is more than the number that we have at the end. The attached pdf will be printed and sent home next Thursday. As we’re ending the unit soon, practice answering prompts like, “Using ‘more than’ or ‘less than,’ tell me about 3 and 7.” While there’s no problem in kindergarten saying, “One hundred is more than seven” in response (because it is!) first grade will ask that both seven and three be in the answer – so that’s what we’ll be practicing.

We talked about continents to extend our landform discussion, and focused on penguins (last week’s animal study). Did you know penguins are only in the southern hemisphere? They’re on many continents, not just Antarctica. As your child what fact they remember best.

We’re extending our differences between words and letters to talk about the letters that make words. So many words our class can sound out are made in a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern. Practice sounding out a few at home! Dog, cat, pat, mat, sat, sun, fun, fin, mit, kit, and so on are all within most of our class’s abilities now.

We’re wrapping up our beginning, middle, and end style narrative structure. While practicing putting spaces between words and punctuation at the end of the sentence is helpful, tying in our reading skills that letters and words are different means that most words will have a couple letters close together and words will have spaces between them. This makes it easier for a reader.

Building and District News:

Weather changes quickly this time of year. Though we have rain in the forecast, we’re entering February, the snowiest month in past years. Snow make up days will be announced in the spring.

Animal Food Drive:  Clark Elementary Student Council is hosting an animal food drive for Seattle Humane Society- Bellevue Location from Monday January 20-Friday January 31. We will be collecting wet and dry food for the following animals: dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, and rabbits.

Dress like a Video Game Character Day (Student council supported):
Everyone is invited to dress up like a video game character if they choose. Please leave all masks and weapons at home, and enjoy the talk our interests can bring.

Valentines/Friendship Day:
February brings hearts and flowers. A class list will come home in February to make addressing cards a manageable, parceled task. We will be exchanging cards in class, but our building snack policy is specific and will be sent home in the coming weeks. In the kindergarten community, we’re also asking that items brought into our classroom support our diverse communities’ dietary needs. Let me know via email or child-delivery if valentines’ cards are a hardship for your family. I’ll ensure that everyone can participate fully.

Dates to watch:

Mon Jan 27  No School – teacher work day
Tue Jan 28    Library Class
Wed Jan 29 -Dress like a video game characters day (student council sponsored)
Fri Feb 7 – Art class (dress for clay play)
Fri Feb 14 – Friendship day rotations (building snack policy coming soon)
Feb17 -21        No School
Fri Feb 28 – Art class (dress for clay glazing)

Learning and growing with your children has been such an amazing experience. I can’t wait to see what next week brings!

Be well,

Kari Ramadorai