The Week Ahead
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Sophie Koshland ("Miss Sophie")
Simone Busuttil ("Miss Simone")

May 1, 2017

Dear Junior Kindergarten Families,

Welcome back! We hope you had a fantastic spring break filled with family, friends and laughter.

We would like you to take a moment to think ahead to the coming transition into summer and a new school year. Our Junior Kindergarten class has developed into a very close and caring community. And so, we encourage you to make playdates to foster the wonderful friendships your children have built. Please remember to be inclusive of all families. This is truly an incredible group of children and parents, we so appreciate your support of each other and JK.

Over the next five weeks in science and literacy, students will apply their growing reading and writing skills within the genre of nonfiction literature. Students will learn how to gather and share information as they research, write and present animal-inspired literature. In this Area of Expertise (A.O.E.) research project, students will create truly remarkable work that captures both their enthusiasm for and knowledge of a unique interest. We cannot wait to begin this Wow!-Nonfiction study!

This week, our Junior Kindergartners will explore the purpose and features of informative text, graphics and media. They will explore a variety of resources (books, posters, diagrams, videos, etc.), take a trip to the San Francisco Zoo for inspiration, and create shared models to build a framework for the expectations of this research challenge.

In addition to our exploration of Wow-Nonfiction in literacy, students will continue to practice habits of readers and writers: choosing "just right" books and playing games to boost their sight words, letter and sound identification, digraphs, and letter formation.

Over the next 3 weeks in math, we will begin our Playground Project. During this project students will use prior math concepts and skills like patterns, number sense, measurement, geometry, data and graphing, to work together to design and create playground blueprints and 3-D models of their dream playground. This week we will be using aerial playground maps and blueprints to examine 2-D shapes, define symmetry and think about designing our own playgrounds.

To research our Playground Project, in humanities we will explore maps, visit local playgrounds and ask design experts questions to understand how parks and playgrounds foster a sense of community in neighborhoods.

Have a great week!


Sophie and Simone

In Case You Were Wondering

Special Friends Day: On this day we invite "special friends" (grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins, etc.) to join us for a morning at Alta Vista. Special friends are encouraged to begin the day with the whole school for Community Meeting. Then we will ask that they enjoy a special presentation until snack time, when our students will join them outside for a picnic snack and recess. After recess, students will invite their friend upstairs to the JK classroom. There, students will introduce their friends to the class and share a prepared gift of appreciation. Next each pairing will move through a rotation of learning centers. For instance, they might play favorite math games, read books, share writing portfolios, and tinker with concepts in science. Students and special friends will then be dismissed to enjoy lunch and the afternoon.

*Please RSVP for your child's special friend by Monday, May 8th, so that we can arrange for a staff or faculty member to visit as a guest in his or her place. The morning schedule may change slightly, if so we will let you know as soon as possible.

Mark Your Calendars

Friday, May 5th: Field Trip to the San Francisco Zoo

Friday, May 26th: Special Friends Day (Half-Day, Lunch Dismissal)

Monday, May 29th: Memorial Day, SCHOOL CLOSED


Monday: No homework! Celebrate your performance in the Art Showcase!

Tonight for homework please ask an adult to help you find a map or picture of a favorite playground that you really enjoy. Feel free to email the link or PDF if you do not have easy access to a printer. Think about why you like this playground. Tomorrow we will share and discuss.

Wednesday: We have been busy reorganizing our classroom library into two sections: fiction and nonfiction books. Tonight for homework, talk to someone at home about which type of book you prefer to read and why.

Thursday: Tonight in your homework folder you will find a map of our San Francisco Zoo. Take a look at all the animals and circle the one you want to make sure we visit. Then get a good night's rest and eat a healthy breakfast to be ready for tomorrow’s field trip!

a progressive learning environment
an emphasis on science, math and technology

Alta Vista School  |   |   Telephone: 415 / 467.3700