Visit the 'Learning Links' page of our class blog for some helpful websites:
School is almost out for the summer! That means lots more time for family, friends, free play and the outdoors! If you have some downtime though, you might like to support your child in practicing and extending literacy and math skills learned over the course of Kindergarten 1. We also recommend continuing to read together every day. Check out a suggested summer reading list below. You may also like to help your child develop their emergent reading skills by pointing out and reading signs and other environmental print during your travels.
Visit the 'Learning Links' page of our class blog for some helpful websites:
Here are some literacy apps you may want to download on your iPads:
Here are some math apps:
Click the link below to download a list of books recommended for summer reading by The American Library Association (http://www.ala.org/):
Both at school and at home, the children have been exploring writing. At this stage in their development, the children are 'emergent' writers. This means that they understand that writing is a way of communicating messages. They are experimenting with mark making, gradually making connections between sounds and letters, practicing letter formation, and asking lots of questions about how to spell their favourite names and words.
In the classroom, lots of materials are available for emergent writing in our writing centre and other play areas, including templates for lists, letters, and stories, as well as an assortment of blank and coloured paper, envelopes and writing utensils. We also have path of motion letter cards, class names, alphabet and number charts, and an alphabet chest full of cut-up letters for pasting to support independent learning and exploration. I encourage you to also have these and other writing materials available at home. We have a space on wall in our classroom for hanging our writing pieces. We love looking through our own and others' work whenever we can. You may also want to display emergent writing on the fridge or walls at home to celebrate and encourage your child's development.
As you observe and support your child's independent writing at home, you may be interested in making connections to the stages in emergent writing posted below. It is important to note that children's work usually represents engagement with more than one stage.
The holidays are just around the corner which means there will be lots of time for extra family reading! Mrs. Burden has kindly prepared a list of books for young readers which you can reference if you're looking for some new titles to refresh your at-home library. You can click on the PDF link below to open this document.
In Kindergarten 1 we have also been doing lots of work with rhyming words, so you may want to focus on rhyming texts at home. The 'No Time for Flashcards' website has a great list of 25 Picture Books That Rhyme. Many of these can be found in our classroom library so the children will be familiar with them.
The Significance of Play
Children love to play and play often mirrors what is important in their lives. When asked about play children talk about having fun, being with friends, choosing activities independently and being outdoors. Play can take place inside or outside and develops as children grow and change. Children play for different reasons. Sometimes they are exploring or learning new things. At other times they are consolidating existing learning or practising a skill. Play can also be a way of building or strengthening a relationship. Children often play simply for fun and enjoyment. They bring their own interpretations of situations, events, experiences, and expectations to their play.
Children need time to develop their play. They like having spaces inside and outside, and often enjoy playing with other children and adults. They also need props such as toys, open-ended materials and real objects to play with and manipulate. They love to make choices about when, what, where, how, and with whom to play. These guidelines offer information and suggestions on how adults can extend and enrich children’s learning and development through play.
The first stage, solitary play, starts in infancy. In this stage, infants are exploring their environment, constantly discovering new things, and learning from them. Solitary play continues into the toddler years. The children, playing alone, are completely absorbed in what they are doing and are not paying attention to others. They may be playing near others but they are playing alone with their own toys without notice of the other children.
Parallel play is the next stage. It is common in toddlers but can occur in any age group. Children will be in the same room with other children, they will play with similar toys, but they do not play with each other. They are observant of others and may copy how others are playing but seldom interact with them. They are playing beside them rather than with them.
The third stage, associative play, occurs when children are about three and four years old. These preschoolers play together in loosely structured activities. Although they play together and talk with each other, they are not working together in an organized manner to create something.
Cooperative play, the fourth stage, begins emerging at four and five years old. As their social and emotional development matures, children play cooperatively with others. Their play has an organized structure and children will communicate with each other as they work together towards a common goal. In this play stage, children learn respect for others people’s property, realize they may need permission to use others’ materials, and are more willing to share their toys.
It is important to remember that children move through the different levels of play at different rates. They may also exhibit play behaviours associated with more than one stage depending on the nature of their interests and engagements.
Are there different types of play?
Play helps children to develop a broader range of skills and understandings. You can support and encourage your child to engage in a wide range of play through dialogue and the provision of diverse and interesting environments, objects, and materials.
The different types of play include:
Source: Queensland Department of Education (Australia), http://deta.qld.gov.au/earlychildhood/pdfs/tip-sheets/different-types-play.pdf
In K1 we learn how to hold our pencils so that our hands do not get tired and we have the most control possible over our drawing and writing. We do many different fine motor activities and games at school to strengthen our hands and help with our pencil grip, which may or may not involved a pencil. It's important for parents to know what 'correct' pencil grip looks like so that they can support handwriting and drawing at home.
Here is a video about pencil grip which you may wish to watch yourself or share with your child:
Pencil Grasp (Learn to Pick Up a Pencil)
Here is a poster we use in class to help us remember:
While encouraging and supporting pencil grip is important, it's also important to be aware that what may look like 'incorrect' pencil grip, may actually just be your child progressing through the stages of pencil grasp development. To learn more about this, visit the OT Mom's Learning Activities webpage and read her post about Pencil Grasp Development.
At ISS, we encourage the use of D'Nealian style handwriting. In this format, most letters are formed with a single continuous stroke which makes it easier for students to trace and write. It also minimizes common reversals like 'b' and 'd' since these letters have different starting points. If you'd like to practice using D'Nealian handwriting at home, you can visit these links for support: