ELA This winter, we begin the new year talking about the big question, Where Do We Live? In this study, we’ll build off of the wonderful sharing our students have done throughout the fall about their families and family traditions. Students will have the opportunity to study these questions together: Where do we live, and where do the people in my family live? Where do people and animals live? What types of homes do the people in our city live in? How do people and animals make homes?
Through these questions, students will learn that there are many different kinds of homes, but there are certain things that true about all homes – they provide safety and security, they provide a loving family and sometimes friend community, and they can change over time, based on the needs of the people living in the home, and based on the world around them (the weather, the neighborhood needs. Etc)
You can support this study at home by inviting your child to notice the homes in your neighborhood, as well as the homes of family members you may have who live outside of our neighborhood. If you have pictures or if you can draw for your child the home you grew up in as a child, or your parents grew up in, all the better! Invite your child to think about how all of these homes are similar and different. Why are they different? (For example, is the weather very different in that area, and how do the homes protect from the weather?)
You can also help them think about animal homes – you can notice the animals that still peek their heads out in winter – and the ones who are “gone”, hibernating or traveling south. At the library, you can look at books about animals to learn about what they call “home” and how they make their homes.
If you would like to take a family trip, consider a visit to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and especially check out their new exhibit, Block Party. This exhibit celebrates the Brooklyn “stoop” culture, where apartment buildings, and even whole blocks, become family and friend communities for the people who live there.
After this study, we’ll turn our focus to Transportation. Together, we’ll investigate the question, “How does my community use transportation?” We’ll begin by sharing the different types of transportation students use to get to school, and we’ll extend the discussion by talking about the different kinds of transportation students see in our city. We’ll consider how each type of transportation is similar and different, and how some types of transportation are operated by community helpers (fire trucks, police officers, mail deliverers, etc), and we’ll discuss why and how we must be safe using transportation.
Here are some of the books we’ll be reading in this study: The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom What Do Wheels Do by April Jones Prince Whose Vehicle is This by Sharon Katz Cooper Go! Go! Go! Stop! By Cherise Miricle Harper
You can support this study at home by noticing the different modes of transportation the people in your family use, and by discussing why you choose to use that type of transportation for each activity. You can also notice the different people in your neighborhood who may use alternative types of transportation from you, and invite your child to think about why those people choose to travel the way they do.
We strongly encourage you to visit the Brooklyn Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn. Here, your children can climb on busses and trains from long ago as well as today, and they have many exciting family programs on the weekends.
At the end of October, we began exploring My Five Senses. In this unit, students studied the essential question, “How do we use our senses to explore, investigate, and understand the world around us?”
To explore this topic, the children took many walks outside, each time focusing on a different sense…. a listening walk, a sight walk, a smelling walk…. Children also had the opportunity to observe, touch, smell, and taste different foods, and use many words to describe what they saw, felt, smelled, and tasted. We also explored new art materials and methods such as leaf rubbing, finger paint, and collage.
Here are some books our children loved reading together in class:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Eric Carle
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Gluemle Rah Rah Radishes! A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre The Five Senses by Aliki Press Here by Herve Tulle
At home, there are many ways you can build upon this study of the 5 senses! Questions You Can Ask Your Child:
What are your five senses? Can you point to which part of your body you use?
How do you use your five senses when you eat your dinner?
How do you use your five senses at the playground?
How can your five senses keep you safe?
Activities You Can Do With Your Child:
Take a sensory walk – talk about what you see, hear, smell, and feel.
Try a new food at home – and talk about what it looks like, smells like, feels like, tastes like.
At the playground, or taking a walk down the street, discuss how your five senses can keep you safe.
Collect sensory objects – take a small bag with you on a walk in the park – be on the lookout with your child for things that are safe to collect, with an interesting texture. These materials can be put to use later in the classroom for sorting, drawing, or collaging with.
We are now beginning our study called All About Us. This is an exciting study in which the children have the opportunity to share more about themselves and where they come form. In this study we explore these questions: Who am I , and who are the people in my life? What makes me important and unique? What feelings do I have and why? What makes my class important and unique? What makes my family important and unique?
During this unit, students will begin by looking at themselves in a mirror, and then representing what they see on paper with a self-portrait. We’ll also return to our feelings chart we made at the beginning of the year, and we’ll talk more about how we feel, what that looks like, and why we feel that way. We’ll also begin to talk about ways we know to help ourselves and others feel better. More on that later!
During center time, students will have many ways of further exploring our unit essential questions. In art center, they will be offered new materials and methods to create multiple self-portraits – mixing paint to create and match skin color, molding playdough to create a 3D image of themselves, for instance. In dramatic play they will have the opportunity to cook, serve, and “taste” food from their cultures and from peer’s cultures.
The children are also exploring how we build a classroom community that shows kindness and respect to one another. One of the ways we’re talking about this is by learning what it means to be a “Bucket-filler.” We read this book as a launch to the conversation:
The children are practicing giving each other specific compliments as a way to “fill” each other’s “buckets.” In other words, in order to build each other’s self-esteem and self-love. We would love your support in this practice at home! Please take every opportunity you can to give your child a specific compliment, and model for them how you look for opportunities to give others compliments as well.
Here are some of the books other books we will read in our study:
Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
I Love Saturdays y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada
Below are a few wonderful ways to extend this unit at home:
Tell you child stories about when they were little – special memories they can be proud of, or family traditions they can share in class.
Find opportunities to tell you child stories from your own childhood, and as you tell the story point out how you were feeling, and why. This helps them to see that we all have feelings, feelings are important and okay to have, and that feelings can change over time.
Consider what is special about your family – tradition that you celebrate, a food that you cook, a part of your family history that is unique and important to you – and come share this with the class. We will be inviting parents to come in to share a food, a book, a story, or an activity during this unit. If you have an idea of what you would like to share, please let us know!
Toward the end of this unit, we will be inviting parents and caregivers to our We Are Thankful celebratory meal on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We look forward to seeing you there!
This All About Us unit leads us to a short but festive study of Winter Holidays! As winter is a time when many cultures have celebrations, we like to take this time to learn about holidays that are new to us, and to share about holidays we already know about or celebrate. Through books, songs, crafts, and storytelling from families, we’ll explore how the traditions of Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanza are similar and different. We look forward to sharing what we’ve learned with you in the last days before the holiday break during Parents as Constructivist Partners!
Welcome to Pre-K! In our first unit of study, the children will explore the questions that are most likely on their mind: What will I learn and do in pre-k? What do I bring to my classroom community? Who are the people in my classroom community? Who else is in my pre-k program?
Across this month-long study, students will learn the routines of the classroom, they will learn about each other and what they have in common, and they will build relationships with the children and adults in the classroom that are the foundation for a positive, powerful year of learning and growing.
Some of the texts we’ll be reading are:
Our day will consist of the following components:
Quiet work time Morning Meeting Instructional/Choice Centers Gross Motor (outside unless in very inclement weather – please dress accordingly!) Math Workshop Lunch Quiet time Writing Readiness/Alphabet Special – (Art, Physical Education, Science, Music, Dance) Instructional/Choice Centers Second Read Aloud
At home, you can support your child’s transition in a few ways:
Remember that school is hard work, and so weekends might need to be quiet/comforting for a while!
Make sure your child is getting to bed on time and waking up in time to come to school early or on time – we cannot emphasize this enough.
Borrow some of books we are reading from your local library – they are wonderful, and this creates a positive school-home connection for your child!
Ask your child about his or her day….but do not drill☺ Three and four year olds do not always report in the detail that we hope…you can ask them about the best part and the not so great part of their day, or you can ask them what they chose to do in centers, and if they plan to go there tomorrow.
A note on Instructional/Choice Centers: In Pre-K, we want our classroom to meet the needs and abilities of all of the students in the room, and we also want the day to be developmentally appropriate so that all of our students have a positive first school experience. As such, there is not a large amount of whole class direction instruction, rather teachers plan carefully for the Instructional/Choice Center time to delve deeper into the theme of the unit, as well as other areas of need for our students, such as developing fine motor skills, social-emotional skills, or planning/executive functioning skills. Our teachers often plan one or two things each week that they make sure all students have the opportunity to do because they are essential to the study, or to their development. Then, teachers plan more individually for students or student groups, depending on need or interest. And, students will have choice across the week during many center times to play where they want to play. In this case, our job is to meet them there, and teach within the context they’ve chosen.
Student work samples are collected or captured on film/camera to measure and reflect on progress in all areas, and will be shared regularly with parents across the year.
Pre-K Math Module 3 Counting to 10
Module 3 challenges students to build on their work with numbers through 5 to make sense of and count groups of 0, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 objects arranged in different ways (e.g., in a straight line or in rows). They will extend their ability to make tallies, recognize numerals, and count on their fingers the Math Way (from left to right). Additionally, students strengthen their understanding of 1 more and discover different ways to take apart numbers (e.g., 7 cubes can be broken up into 5 cubes and 2 cubes.
Students also continue their work with the number core in the following ways:
Rote counting up to 15
One-to-one correspondence (one object paired with one number word from 0 to 10)
Cardinality (how many in a set of up to 10 objects)
Number recognition (matching written numerals to quantities)
Throughout the module, children participate in engaging experiences that help them make critical connections between these four understandings.
How you can help at home:
Touch and count up to 10 objects together. During playtime, count up to 10 toy cars. Move the cars into a line or a circle and count again. The number of toy cars stays the same!
Buy or make a set of numerals from 1 to 10 (paper, foam, or magnets work well). Show a number on your fingers. Ask, “Which number shows how many fingers I am holding up?” Switch roles and let your child show a number on his fingers.
Ask for help with counting during everyday experiences. While cooking, say, “I need 6 mushrooms. Can you count out 6 mushrooms for me?”
Continue to sing songs that involve counting forward or back, such as “The Ants Go Marching,” “This Old Man,” “Eight Little Ducks Went Out to Play,” or “Eight Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”
Look for numerals when walking, driving, or taking the bus. “I see the number 10. Let’s clap 10 times!”
At snack time, line up 10 blueberries and ask your child to count them. Each time she eats a berry, have her touch and count how many are left.
Use the illustrations in picture books to count as you read together. “I wonder how many vegetables Mr. McGregor planted in his garden. Let’s count them!”
Share information about your child’s counting with the teacher. If you notice that your child is skipping a number while counting, communicate that in a note to the teacher.
Module 2 Shapes
In Module 2, in the context of classroom play, children learn to identify, describe, sort, compare, and create two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) shapes and objects. Children generally progress through the following levels of geometric understanding during the pre-kindergarten year to varying degrees:
Being able to recognize and name exemplar and variant shapes (e.g., an equilateral triangle and a right triangle oriented diagonally) from among other shapes.
Attending to shape attributes: “I counted three sides and three corners on this shape.”
Thinking about parts: “This triangle is made of three sides and three corners!”
Relating parts to the whole: “Any shape with three sides and three corners is a triangle!”
In this module, children develop vocabulary to describe the relative position of objects (e.g., top, bottom, up, down, in front of, behind, over, under, and next to), building foundational spatial reasoning abilities. In Module 1, children developed an understanding of numbers to 5. In Module 2, students practice these counting skills in the context of geometry (e.g., counting sides, corners, or a group of triangles).
How You Can Help At Home:
Help your student look for and describe shapes in common objects
Discuss what types of 2D shapes you can identify “inside of” 3D shapes
Continue to review and practice counting numbers up to 10
Identify and describe shapes such as squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres
In the month of September, Pre-K used the energy and excitement young students have as they enter their first day of school by providing a playful and active yet carefully sequenced structure through which children progress. In this module, we set up a friendly learning environment in which children have sustained interaction with four core ideas, collectively referred to as the number core:
rote counting (the number word list)
one-to-one correspondence (one object paired with one number word)
cardinality (how many in a set)
Throughout the module, children have experiences that help them make critical connections between these four understandings.
Numbers to 5
In the first half of Module 1, children match and sort objects based on their attributes (e.g., color, size, use). Along the way they are shown as many as three objects and asked, “How many?” Touching one object at a time, they count to find the total, and match the count to a numeral.
In the second half of Module 1, children touch and count groups of up to five objects arranged in different ways. They learn to match their count to a numeral 1–5. Children also see patterns in the counting sequence. When counting forward, they see each number is 1 more: One. One more is 2. Two. One more is 3.
How you can help at home
Have your child help with household chores that require matching or sorting, such as matching socks in the laundry, organizing shoes, or collecting utensils for meals. As your child matches objects, ask questions like, “How do they match?”
Play I Spy together to continue developing vocabulary around size, shape, color, and texture. For instance, seeing a banana, you might say, “I spy something yellow and smooth.”
Identify and count parts of your body, noticing if there is a matching body part (1 ear, 2 ears) or just 1 body part (1 nose).
Touch and count three objects together. At the grocery store, count, “1, 2, 3. We need 3 apples.
Touch and count up to five objects together. At snack time, say, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5. You have 5 crackers.” Move the crackers into a line or a circle and count again.
Buy or make a set of numerals 1-5 (paper, foam, or magnets) When getting dressed ask, “Which number shows how many shoes you are wearing?”
Point out and name numerals in everyday experiences. While riding an elevator, ask, “Which button has the number 4?”
Sing songs that involve counting forward or back, such as “The Ants Go Marching,” “This Old Man,” “Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play,” or “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”
My name is Mr. Manley and I am the new Physical Education teacher at P.S. 172. I am very excited to join this community of teachers, students and families. I’ve taught Physical Education and Health the past six years at the middle school level and coached a variety of sports to all ages. I look forward to getting to know you and your child this upcoming school year.
In the month of September, students in grades Pre-K to 2nd grade will be participating in a variety of locomotor and fitness skills as well as learning to cooperate with others. Students in grades 3-5 will be participating in team building activities and personal fitness. For their safety, please have them come prepared wearing sneakers on days that they participate in Physical Education.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Welcome to art! My name is Mrs. Siskar and I teach art to class K 103 and grades 1-5 for the 2017-2018 school year. I’m so excited to have a creative year together in the art room. Childrenl have art class once per week for 50 minutes. Participation in the art room is encouraged and we can prepare each student by making sure on their assigned day for art they arrive prepared and ready to learn!
I recommend no new clothes on art class days. Even though everyone will wear their art t shirts to protect clothing accidents and messy masterpieces still happen. Please provide your child with the following materials by September 25th so they feel prepared and ready to learn.
MATERIALS: Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 : Sketchbook with blank pages OR a composition notebook. Please label your child’s name and class room on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
SEPTEMBER IN THE ART ROOM: As each class in grades K-5 begins to learn the routines for our art room we will be starting with a school wide community art lesson inspired by the literature The Dot, by the author Peter Reynolds. Students will be using their imaginations to invent their own dot artwork and contribute it to our community dot gallery. September 15th is International Dot Day!
Parent Conference Night: Wednesday September 13th Parents & students meet me in the auditorium during our enrichment fair to make a dot together for our dot gallery.
ART DOJO This year I will be connecting with parents through classroom dojo to share student masterpieces and communicate your child’s progress and different art events throughout the year. Please make sure you are connected to your child’s classroom with their teacher’s invitation.
If you need assistance with materials or have questions, please contact me by email.
Welcome to 2017-2018 school year at P.S. 172! I hope your summer was a fun and relaxing one. We have an exciting and creative year ahead in the art room. There is a small number of materials your child will be required to bring to art class each week to support their success and preparedness for their learning experiences.
Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 are additionally required to bring a composition notebook with lines OR a sketchbook with blank pageswith their name, and classroom labeled on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
small or large paper plates
Please contact your child’s teacher or myself with any questions or concerns regarding these materials. I look forwarding to working together this year in supporting your child’s artistic growth!
Mrs. Siskar firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are dance units/ mini units we will be working on in Sept/Oct- In Prekindergarten and kindergarten, we start the year creating good habits for dance class. We learn how to move safely in one place and through space. We also learn how to focus our energy on our bodies and not our voices. Our focus in our first larger unit will be pantomime, in which the children will learn and create movement to communicate ideas. We will then move to studying opposites in movement and how contrasting efforts can give us a wider dance vocabulary. We will then work on a unit based on the fall, in which the children will continue to explore movement options based on books, poems, songs, pictures and other inspiration based on the autumn. In first grade, students in dance class start the year learning how to do a set warm-up. This warm-up helps children keep their bodies safe throughout class and reminds children how to move in their own space with energy and effort. First graders will focus on making shapes of different sizes with their bodies, taking movement with which they are already familiar and extending it in creative ways. After we have expanded our movement possibilities, we will study the human body and how our bones, joints and muscles allow us to move in different ways. In second grade, students start the year with a complex warm-up routine which incorporates standing, sitting and traveling all while executing various movements. We will work together to develop our movement vocabularies by performing movements at different levels, in different shapes, and in assorted relationships with other students. We will also challenge ourselves by planning dances with multiple movements and working to remember and perform our dances. We will also practice our audience skills as we respectfully watch other students perform their dance work. In third grade, students first learn a set warm-up which we will use throughout the year in order to keep our bodies healthy and safe. Our first big unit of study will be Chinese dance, and through books, photos and videos, we will be studying the dance characteristics, culture, costumes and music of Chinese dance. Students will also begin to create their own choreography based on the characteristics of Chinese dance, which they will perform for their classmates and assess together. In fourth grade, we start the year by reviewing the importance of a good warm-up and learning the important components that keep our bodies healthy and safe; raising our body temperature, building strength and stretching our muscles. Our first big unit focuses on American Indian dance, aligning with the social studies standards in fourth grade. Using books, images, videos, poems and more, we will learn several American Indian dances and also create our own choreography based on what we have learned. In fifth grade, students take the reins! They’ve learned the importance of a good warm-up for several years, and pretty soon, students lead our class warm-ups! We quickly start our unit based on New York and choreographers who have lived and worked creating dance based on New York. We will study the choreographers Jerome Robbins, Trisha Brown and Pascal Rioult, learning about their different dance styles and characteristics and practicing their movements. Our creative and team-working skills become important when we use the ideas and movement styles of these NY based choreographers to craft our own dances, also relying on our audience and assessment abilities to help ourselves and each other continually improve our work.
In the month of September, Pre-K students will learn how to utilize their voices in order to sing songs. We will start by singing familiar songs, which many students were exposed to when they were younger. During this month and the coming months after, the students will be developing their voices and improvising movements for each of the songs.
In the month of September, the students in kindergarten will be learning about many different instruments including the Tambourine, Djembe, Guitar, and the Egg Shakers. Students will be using these instruments to develop the important skill of keeping a steady beat. Building up from this skill, students will also have a chance to experiment with different rhythms, making sure that the rhythms being performed are played steadily. The students will also be clapping their hands or playing percussion instruments while singing children songs to reinforce the idea of steady beat, and to develop their individual voices.
1st Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in first grade will review steady beat, one of the most important skills a young musician can develop. Once reviewed, students in first grade will learn about quarter note and eighth note rhythms, using one syllable and two syllable words to help the students understand the timing of each rhythm. Students will then begin to compose their very own rhythms using one syllable or two syllable words, which will then lead them to having a share of their composed rhythms in class. There will also be a great deal of singing to further develop the students own voices.
2nd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in the second grade will be reviewing steady beat, and will be performing rhythms using quarter notes and eighth notes. The rhythms will first be performed by clapping, but instruments will then be introduced into the performance. Students will also be singing and clapping the same rhythms being sung in order to practice quarter note and eighth note rhythms. After the students have practiced, there will be a slight introduction to the pentatonic scale, a scale in which sounds pleasing to the ear, and is very fun to play.
3rd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, students in the third grade will be focusing on maintaining a steady beat, but what changes in the third grade is that students will now have to pay attention to a time signature, which tells you how many beats are in a musical phrase or measure. Not only will they have to watch for how many beats are in the measure, but they will also have to know which of those beats are strong (louder) and which are weak (softer). Students will also review past rhythms, and incorporate this idea of strong and weak beats into their performances.
4th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fourth grade will put to use their skills in maintaining a steady beat and use it to perform Native American percussion music. While learning and performing Native American music, the students will also be practicing traditional notations such as quarter notes and eighth notes, eventually leading to notes of different timings (whole notes, and dotted quart notes).
5th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fifth grade students will begin by practicing steady beat, which will then lead to learning new rhythms. These new rhythms will feature sixteenth notes, one step up from eighth notes (instead of two notes to a beat, there will be four notes). These new rhythms bring about a new term called syncopation, which is a skill every musician should know how to perform.
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER SCIENCE NEWS
As we get ready to say goodbye to summer, I look forward to another "sciencesational" year with my super scientists. Both Pre-K classes will be having Science this year. As kindergarten scientists are using their "detective" skills to collect clues, first grade scientists are going on a treasure hunt to gather recyclable objects for our treasure box collections. Grade 2 scientists will be recording observations and learning how to collect data and draw conclusions. Grade 3 chemists will be creating "top secret" formulas, while fourth grade ecologists begin a unit on animal studies. Grade 5 chemists will be concocting mysterious mixtures and solutions and working on spectacular lab experiments. We say hello to Autumn on September 22nd with some "cool" fall activities. Please feel free to contact me, if you have any questions or concerns. I can't wait to work with you and your child during this upcoming school year.