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November Newsletter

We are studying black bears and grizzly bears.  We will compare their habitats and behaviors, and taste and graph our favorite bear foods.  Each child will measure and compare the length of a grizzly bear's front paw, back paw, and full height, with his/her hand length, foot length and full body length, using unifix cubes.  Later, we will talk about polar bears.

Key concepts of this theme are:

- A bear's habitat provides what it needs in order to live.
- Bear's specific behaviors and diet vary, based on the differences of their respective habitats.
- We know about bears because of researchers who observe what bears do.
- Like all other creatures, bears must prepare for winter.

Our butterfly and seasons themes, and a majority of themes taught this year, fit under the overarching concept of cycles, which include: cycles of the seasons, of the butterfly life cycle, of the cycles of apple trees and of bears through the seasons of the year, of plants growing, and of human growth, to name a few.  One of the guiding questions raised and discussed again and again is, "What do all living things need in order to live?"

Soon we will begin unit 3 in our math Investigations curriculum.  This theme explores patterns, sequences, and functions and is part of the early algebra foundation.  The mathematical focus of this unit is on describing, extending, constructing and recording repeating patterns:  determining what comes next in a given pattern, and beginning to think about the structure of repeating patterns.  We stress patterns in kindergarten since mathematics is the study of pattern.  The search for patterns is important since it helps to reveal the order that exists in situations and events around us, and since our number system is based on patterns.  My goal is that the children will be able to see order, and to make connections through our study of pattern.  While we will spend much time working on patterns for the next two months, we will discuss pattern all year long.  Please encourage your child to find patterns in your home, your community, and in nature.

Please remember to write a note, and pin it to your child's clothing, if there is any change in how your child is getting home that day.  Without a note I am obliged to follow the normal routine, whether it is sending your child home on the bus, being picked up at school, or going to day care.  Please keep labeling all of your child's outerwear.

Thanks!

Sincerely, Gloria