Kindergarten

28 November, 2022

Note to Parents: Our school day begins at 7:50 A.M. Please have your students at the school by that time. We have 10 minutes to do our backpack unpacking, take attendance, and then we go straight to the church. At church, we sit together as a class. In the event that your student is late, bring them to the church, and have them join the class. Thank you!

Christmas Choir Concert Practice

Virtue of the Term: Studiousness

Finding Order in Chaos:

Self Control

As we search for order in the chaos in our lives (and in the classroom), we need to begin with the concept of self-control. What is self-control, and why do we need it? This question, for me, takes us all the way back to the creation and the garden of Eden.

God created the universe in a perfect order, and with the creation of the invisible and visible things, God created us in his image and likeness. He created us as a mixture of angels (spirits) and animals (bodily creatures), and in this way we are angimals (half angel and half animal). We have a bodily nature and a heavenly nature. The bodily nature is reactive and instinctual, while our heavenly nature is introspective, decisive, and thoughtful. We have the capacity to benefit from both natures. In dangerous situations, we have the ability to tap into our bodily nature and make instinctual actions that allow us to avoid injury or peril. In community situations, we have the ability to reason and give thought to the best course of action. Self-control is when we have the ability to control both of these natures to serve God, and our brothers and sisters in, with, and through love.

How do we practice self-control? In kindergarten (and hopefully throughout life), we are practicing self-control through a three-stepped order.

Classroom Rules

Classroom Discussion Expectations

In kindergarten, we have many discussions as a class, and at times they can quickly “go off the rails”. For this reason, I am setting expectations for classroom discussions. These are goals that I will be encouraging the students to meet. These goals run parallel to the self-control steps above, as these are essentially self-control steps to discussions.

Clarity

  1. Students listen consistently and maintain focus.
  2. Students ask questions to clear up confusion.

Relevance

  1. Students responds to questions with an on-topic response.
  2. Students volunteer personal opinions on topic ideas in discussion.

Depth

  1. Students answer questions with evidence or a reason
  2. Students agree or disagree with others’ ideas and provides a reason or explanation.

Weekly Poems

Every week, the students will have a poem to study and memorize. As we study the poem, they will learn parts of speech, story elements, rhyme, letter/sounds, etc.

Sound City

Sound City is a classroom display where newly learned sounds are placed onto a map of a city.

Handwriting

Writing

Writing captures the hearts and minds of people, and allows them to be known, not only deeper, but also across time and space. God has used writing to make Himself known, through the Bible. He has given us a look into his heart and mind, and has sent this message throughout time. We have been reading the word of God for thousands of years. In that same way, we can be known. We can know the minds and hearts of, not only our peers, but also those of peoples long dead. We can read the palette of King Narmer, the cuneiform of ancient Mesopotamians, the frescoes of the Minoans, the epic poems of Homer, the stories of Moses and the patriarchs, and the list goes on. Likewise, we can be known through OUR writing. We can take a snapshot of who we are today (in writing) and it could be handed on to many generations to come. In this way, we can continue to live on earth, past our resurrection into Heaven. In fact, in Ancient Egypt, one of the ways in which immortality was achieved was by having your name and story inscribed into a tomb. Conversely, the ultimate punishment was the destruction of your name and the erasing of your story from records.

The purpose of writing is for us to have a way to be known, in the same vein that God has revealed Himself to us. As kindergarteners, I believe that, although this is a BIG concept to fully grasp, they should know the basis for why they are learning handwriting, parts of speech, phonics, and story telling. They are learning these skills, so they can have the tools to make themselves known to the world. Similar to a painter needing his paint brushes, paints, canvas, etc., we need to have the tools in place before we can even start to create our story. We are putting ourselves into our writing, so that others can read and know who we are.

True Things Are Always True

Faith means to have perfect trust in God. To trust God means to know that he will always do what is right for us, because He loves us.

God loves us. This is a true statement about God. It is not a statement that I created, but it is a truth that God has revealed to us. When God creates something, He makes it to be that way forever. That’s how truth works. It is a bold, black and white statement. There is no bending or diminishing it. It is the way it is.

Some people find truth to be unfair at times. “The world is this way, but I want it to be this way!” This can be a common struggle for a kindergartener. They might want something that they cannot have, and they cannot face the truth, so they cry/throw a fit. How many times are we, adults, like this too? I am the youngest of 5 boys in my family. My mother calls me her ‘baby’ even though I am in my upper 30s. I am obviously not a baby, nor anyone would mistake me for one, and I do not enjoy being called a baby. Does my age or feelings on this matter change the truth of my mother’s statement? No, because I will forever be her ‘baby’. Truth is not up to me to agree with or like. It is what it is.

However, I find that truth can be reassuring. It can be a good foundation to stand on. When I know something is true, I can rest assured that I can count on that thing 100% of the time. Truth is my safety net. It is there to prop me up when I fall, and it is there to pull me down when I get too full of myself. It is the ultimate compass, always pointing me to where I need to go.

If God made everything in the world, and true things are always true, then I can surmise that God created truth. If God created truth and I rely on truth to guide my life, then I am trusting in God. Having perfect trust in God is faith.

How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

Abraham Lincoln

Civilization and Cultures

In history, we learned how nomads wandered around the land searching for food and water. They eventually learned to settle by rivers, where there was plenty of water to drink, plants to eat, and animals to hunt. The nomads became farmers, and developed farming settlements. When these settlements got bigger and produced more food, the number of people rose. After a while, they realized that not everyone needed to be a farmer or a hunter. People began developing new jobs that could help their growing city survive. These jobs included soldier, baker, priest, builder, merchant, and king. As these cities grew, neighboring cities began trading with each other. The merchants invented writing in the process of keeping track of all of their tradings. The process of these cities growing and developing farming, writing, religion, and domesticating animals, is called civilization. Civilization is when people find order amongst themselves, and learn to live together in that order.

Each civilization developed writing, farming, animal helpers, religion, etc. but it did not all look the same. The order that developed in Egypt was different from the order they developed in Mesopotamia. The word that we use for the different ways these people lived and developed is culture.

Schedule

Snack Information
(Please read the red font)

We have opportunities for snack time in the morning and afternoon. These snack times will coincide with recess. Snack is optional for your student. It is not required nor is there any pressure to feel like you need to provide a snack for either time. This is just a time when students can have a snack, if it is needed. In order to facilitate this arrangement, I am requesting a student’s snack to be within the following parameters: 

  • Packed separate from their lunch box. In the past, students get confused as to what is the snack, end up eating their sandwich during snack time, and then their lunch is just a bag of pretzels, fruit snacks, and a juice box.
  • Labeled with student’s name. At the end of the day, I often have many leftover snacks, and the students do not remember if they are theirs, and they go unclaimed
  • Can be eaten without the use of utensils. (storing dirty/used utensils can be problematic)
  • Small enough to be finished within 5 minutes. 

*As stated above, there will be two recess/snack time opportunities, so please plan accordingly based on your student’s needs.

Powerschool

Assignments

Resources

Mr. Andrew Pietryga

Kindergarten Teacher

(734) 769-0911 Ext. 2111

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School