Learning our ‘snap’ words

The children are learning some common words we call ‘snap’ words. They are the words that are being placed above our alphabet letters in our classroom. We are slowly adding ‘snap’ words above our alphabet letters as we discover them, use them, and learn to read and write them. We call them ‘snap’ words because we want to be able to read and write them without having to sound them out or think about it.

Occasionally, your child will bring home a slip of paper we have used with the ‘snap’ words on it. Feel free to help your child learn them. We have all year to learn them so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away.

Here are the words we are working on so far: (the line in front of some of the ‘snap’ words means that we can add a letter or letters to the beginning of the word to make new words.We are also learning that some of them rhyme (have the same sounds at the end), some of them have the same sound at the beginning (be, by), and some of them have 2 letters to represent one sound (she, the).

Here are some fun ideas to help your child learn these words (or other words they may want to learn if they already know these words).

International Bazaar information

Dear Kindergarten Parents, 
The International Bazaaar is approaching and we are excited to share the cultures, traditions, and holidays from our homes. We are entering the season of holiday traditions for many families at SIS.  This is the perfect opportunity to participate as Global Citizens by celebrating each other’s different customs and family traditions. 
The kindergarten teachers would like to invite parents and/or parent teams to teach either a cultural aspect, activity, or holiday tradition from your home country. Some examples of holidays celebrated from previous years are: Hanukkah, Saint Lucia Ceremony (Sweden), La Befana (Italy), Weihnachten (Germany), Chuseok (Korea), Chinese New Year (China).
Who: Kindergarten Parents/Parent Teams 
What: Teach a cultural, traditional activity, or holiday. Please prepare a short hands-on activity for all four KG classes (about 30 min per class).
Where: Kindergarten Classrooms
When: November 19 – November 22 from 8:00 – 10:55
How: Follow the Sign-Up link. On the “My Comment” box, please include the name of the holiday tradition you would like to share. If you need supplies, please email Mrs. Erlendson at nerle1@sis.org.cn with specific details about what you need at least 2 days before your scheduled time, if possible.
Volunteers will be grouped by country and asked to collaborate on an idea. If you are interested, please sign up. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher. You can start collaborating with your country group as soon as you sign up. The Kindergarten teachers will contact you and provide more information regarding specific dates and times.
Kind Regards,
The Kindergarten Teachers

Making inquiry real

Last week, one of the children asked to use the doctor supplies and I had to tell her we didn’t have any. After discussing what we could do, we decided to make some of the supplies that doctors use. Other children soon found out what we were doing and became involved. We started to have all sorts of doctor supplies being made: medicine – complete with homemade bottles to put it in, stethoscopes, crutches, bandaids, X ray machines and a measuring chart. They also realized they needed someone to organize the patient appointments (a word they were familiar with because of our appointment time) and they needed a doctor and nurse. 

Measuring the patient
Making the  supplies

Making the medicine and a container to keep it in
Crutches for a ‘broken leg’


Soon signs were being made to put on the door to say, ‘Doctor Office’ and ‘on/off’ (open/closed). 

Even the stuffed animals were taking part.

At the same time other children were inquiring about nature. Finding bugs, learning about gravity (trying to climb up the slippery hill) and collecting interesting items for our collection.

The potential patients

The collection

Suddenly, the two worlds collided. Someone got hurt outside and was told to go to the doctor’s office. The classroom was suddenly converted to a real doctor’s office. After that, it was amazing how many children ‘got hurt’ and needed to visit the doctor’s office…
…even Miss Karen!

Shapes are everywhere

We went on a walkabout to discover shapes in our environment. Using an iPad with a partner, we took photos of different shapes we saw.

When we were done, we looked at our shape photos and recalled the name of the shape each object looked like. Then we exchanged iPads with other partners to compare the shapes our friends found.


We are becoming inquirers. We are going to learn that inquirers are thinkers, risk takers, explorers, solve problems, investigate and discover. Today, some children chose to inquire outside. At first, they were walking up the hill behind the library, sliding down the hill and picking up sticks. After a while, they began to find things that aren’t normally found  in the ground-things like plastic, parts of ceramic dishes, snails, and cement. We started a collection with them and wondered if they should be in our ground or how they got there. We talked about how cement is made, why snails would be so far away from water, how ceramic dishes are made and if plastic was good for the environment. These children shared their findings with everyone. As some follow up, we may try making some ceramic dishes with clay, learn why plastic is not good for the environment, and do some reading on snails. I think there may be a few more children interested to join our inquiry group tomorrow.

What is a word?

I wrote a sentence (a thought) on the whiteboard and right away the children told me, “You didn’t leave spaces between your words”. We talked about why it is important to leave spaces between words (so it’s easier for readers to read it) and then we tried to find the words. After counting the words, I drew 8 lines  to rewrite my sentence correctly. Along the way, we found the snap words ‘the’ and ‘is’, noticed we had two ‘at’ words but one was supposed to be ‘ate’, changed our beginning word ‘i’ to ‘I’, and realized our snap word ‘is’ was supposed to be the word ‘ice’. Remembering a ‘c’ can be an ‘s’ sound too, we changed it.

Fun with shapes

Yesterday the children attained their goal of collecting 5 points by being collaborators, global citizens, independent learners, respectful, responsible, safe and empathetic. As a surprise, they were given toothpicks and marshmallows to make flat and solid shapes. And yes they got to eat the marshmallows after making the shapes. Enjoy the photos.

We have found 100 words

Yesterday we decided to count all the words we’ve been collecting that have ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘ing’ and ‘th’ sounds. We counted them in groups of ten and to our surprise we had exactly 100 words! Wow! We have realized that names don’t always have the letter sounds you think they should.