We are finishing up our testing! The kids are doing great. We learned about bodies of water. We stopped along the way as we were learning and doodled what we were learning about. Ask me to show you my doodles about bodies of water. We will be doing more doodling and I will be sending out an e-mail soon about it, but we do it to help remember, stay engaged, and to share with others. My rules for doodling are that you use just one color unless told, it's not a picture just little drawings with boxes around them, and we sometimes add words to learn content vocabulary. We have done this before with read alouds that didn't have pictures, and it seems to really keep the kids engaged.
We took a couple breaks from doing worksheets, testing and writing. We tried to guess the answers to some riddles. The kids were very literal! I had to suggest to them when to laugh and explain why it was supposed to be funny. We also did an activity we have done before to practice strengthening our working memory. We drew a big tic-tac-toe on the back of a used paper to organize what we were about to look at. I showed them a screen with a tic-tac-toe and nine pictures, seen below. We studied the screen for about ten seconds, then they had to draw what they remembered. I suggested they think about how the pictures were related or grouped. I suggested they repeat what was in each row aloud. These are some strategies they can use when trying to remember things. We will play this quick game periodically to continue to work on strengthening their memory. I also let them know they often they might hear people say they don't have a good memory, but you can do things to make your memory better, and this game is just one of the ways we will work on strengthening our working memory.
I'm hoping to finish testing tomorrow! Thursday I'd like to do a quick art activity with them to celebrate the end of the semester and doing a great job on their reading and math tests!
Have a nice evening!
We started this week off by organizing our papers from the pick-up on Friday. We worked more with the u sound. We wrote some two letter words. First, we quietly pounded the syllables. We pounded with the opposite hand that we write with, then tapped out the sounds with our fingers while we wrote them down. We also wrote two sentences, with a focus on putting spaces between words. Again, we used the hand opposite our writing hand to put a finger space between words. I noticed in the children's writing they were forgetting to use spaces again. Now that they are writing more, they are working a little quicker and independently, and that may lead to forgetting some of the things we have done together. We will be focusing on putting spaces between words again, as well as using the three line paper with the dotted line in the middle. We are writing the letters more carefully to print smaller and put the letters in the correct space on the lines. We use the house to remind the children where the lines should be, so we talk about the downstairs, upstairs and the basement.
We will continue to work work through testing this week. Tomorrow we will be doing more reading testing which is one on one testing in a breakout room, and math testing whole group. We got a lot of testing done today because the children worked really well on their own!
Have a nice vening!
Today we worked with sequence in texts. We reread a text about what mother bears teach their cubs. The children were to fold a paper into fourths and draw pictures to show what happened first, next and last. We also worked with /ch/ . We practiced looking for ch in words. It is important for readers to see the ch and know that the sound may be /ch/, /k/ or /sh/. Most of the time it will be /ch/ like in cheese, so that is what we are working with now. We also did a paper to sort /ch/ and /c/ words.
In math, we worked with using the words more, less and fewer. The children need to be able to communicate about comparing groups using these words. They need to understand what is being asked when they are used in questions. When talking about fewer, the children need to thing about which group doesn't have as many. We will continue to practice working with these words.
We tried to have reading groups in the morning, and I was able to get to two which is what is reasonable given the time we have online. Wednesdays I try and have more groups. The children did pretty well doing the work I assigned that you printed out. I will try and get papers sent for each week to you earlier so you have time to print them out.
Have a great evening!
We began a new unit in Benchmark reading. Our new unit is Plants and Animals Have Needs. In this unit, we will be learning how plants and animals have certain needs to survive. We will also learn how animals and plants have different needs among themselves. We will be reading a variety of informational texts, poems and some animal fantasy. We started our unit with a short piece about the needs of a chimpanzee. Ask me to tell you what a chimpanzee does to survive. We also learned about how a mama bear teaches her cub to survive. Ask me to tell you what a mama bear does that teaches her cubs to survive. We wrote about a key idea we learned from the text. We use the writing process and spend time thinking about our idea for writing, rehearsing the words we are going to write so we are ready when we get our paper, and writing then drawing a sketch to go with our words. We are not spending our time coloring the picture unless this is a piece we are taking through the entire writing process and sharing. We instead are spending our time focusing on the writing. The children are to use a pencil or thin pen to sketch, without coloring it.
We worked on reading fluently. This is something we work on during our small groups, but also in whole group. We talked about the importance of punctuation in helping us know how to read the text. We talked about each of the marks, then practiced reading a piece line by line, with the students echoing the lines.
We continued our study of measurement by working with balance scales and weight. Of course, we needed to use a virtual balance scale. This balance scale can be found in our Google classroom. We read a story called Just a Little Bit, by Ann Tompert, to learn more about the concept of balance. This is a sweet story of animals who are helping an elephant to enjoy a seesaw. As you might imagine, it's not easy for an elephant to seesaw. I've included the story below for you enjoy with your child if you like.
We continued our study of weight by becoming human balance scales. We stretched out our arms and leaned toward the heavier item we were holding. We worked with a partner in a breakout room to practice using the language necessary to describe the weight relationship of the two items. We also looked at the comparison of two objects and talked about why one might be heavier than another, especially when the larger of the two items is lighter than the other. We discussed how the material an item is made of would determine the weight.
We also learned more about the word equal, and how it relates to the concept of balance. We read a story called Equal Schmequal, by Virginia Kroll. In this book the idea of fairness is considered in different ways. Two teams of animals are going to have a tug-of-war when it is discovered the composition of the teams is not fair. This is a wonderful book, and one you might like to listen to with your child. I've included a YouTube story below.
We stretched our thinking about balance to include balancing numbers with a virtual math balance that helps children learn about addition. I have added this virtual tool to our Google classroom as well.
Have a nice evening!
We had a great day! I chose everyone as Star Students. We reviewed counting syllables. This is important because we will be reading longer words that can be broken up to read them more easily, and will be used when we are writing longer words so we can pound out the syllables, then tap out the sounds to write the word. Ask me to show you how I can pound out the syllables on the words below.
We listened to a story today to practice visualizing and listening to story details to answer questions. This was not a picture book, but a story I read orally. We stopped along the way to draw sketches to show what was happening in the story. The story is called Why Hippo Lives in the Water, and it is a Nigerian folktale. Ask me to show you the pictures I drew and to tell you the story.
In math, we drew a picture of a stuffie, or the Eiffel Tower, and measured different parts with our cubes. We wrote the length of the parts, along with a picture of a cube to represent the units, on our picture. Ask me to show you my picture and how I can measure.
Have a nice evening!
Today we continued to work on visualizing and finding words with similar meanings. We listened to the poem Little Lizzie. We visualized what was happening in the poem. Each stanza had words with similar meanings. We talked and acted out these words. We also talked about how the character felt about going to bed. We talked in small groups in break-out rooms about not wanting to go to bed. We reviewed how to have a discussion and involve all participants in the breakout rooms, as well as keeping the discussion going. We know we should make sure everyone gets a chance to talk, that we can encourage others to talk by asking questions, and to ask questions to find out more and to keep the discussion going.
We also listened to one of my favorite books. We read The Napping House, by Audrey Wood, and illustrated by Don Wood. This book was shared with me when I was in college in a "kiddie Lit" class, which was my all-time favorite class. This book started my collection of children's books I would use in my classroom, and was the beginning of my love of children's literature. This book has many different words that have shades of meaning to the word sleep. Ask me to tell you some of the words I heard for sleep in The Napping House. I assigned this book on Epic, if you would like to read it with your child.
We watched a video about the importance of sleep. We learned about how long children should sleep, why it is important, how it recharges us like a battery, how it helps our brain and how body, and the importance of a sleep routine. This was a really good video, but the presenter spoke at such a rapid pace, it was hard to keep up. We used a strategy readers use, so we stopped along the way to summarize and check for understanding. Ask me to tell you what I learned about the sleep.
It's going to be a cold night! Stay warm!
Today we started our day with a social emotional learning lesson. We read the book I Promise, by LeBron James. This book is written about the promises the students that go to the I Promise public school in Akron, Ohio. This is a special book for me because Akron is my hometown. The promises in this book are simple and provide a good focus for students' learning and life skills. We will be looking at parts of this books and discussing these promises and why they are important over the next week. Here's the illustrator of the book reading the book, with an introduction and follow-up by LeBron James himself.
We tried to take a Benchmark unit assessment today. We had some trouble getting started, but trudged through it. We had some trouble ending the test, with many students leaving the site before they slicked the finish. We will be practicing this more because we will have a big assessment using this format in a couple months. The design of this test online is difficult for kinders, so we just need a little more practice. Thank-you for those parents who came in and helped when needed today. I didn't think it would be so difficult to log on since we have practiced it before, but it was! Benchmark can be logged into easily from Clever, which is bookmarked in your child's favorite bar. Benchmark may also be in the favorites bar.
We are reviewing solid shapes in math, and working with measurement now. The children just need more practice hearing the solid shape names. We have been practicing comparing items to determine which object is longer or shorter. The children are doing a great job of remembering to line up the endpoints when they are comparing the items.
Have a great evening!
We started our day today with an executive functioning activity. We worked on remembering items in a collection. I showed the children 9 items on a tic-tac-toe grid. I had them draw their own grid before I showed the items, then I named each item, left it on the second for 30 seconds, then had them draw as many items as they remembered. I put 9 items on hoping they would remember some of them, but knowing they would not be able to remember all of them. We talked about remembering details, and how organizing our paper and thinking about the arrangement might help us remember the items. We will play more of these types of games to continue to exercise our memory and make it stronger! This is a fun game for a family to play as well! It's an old wedding and baby shower game!
We continued talking about characters today. We compared two characters from different stories, then wrote our opinion of which character we liked better. We know when we write an opinion we have to tell what our opinion is and a reason. The children worked on their own to write and draw a picture, although I had modeled an example of what they could do. Then, I asked the children to take a picture of their writing on Seesaw. Many of the children were able to do that on their own, and a few needed a little help. I know it will get easier!
I math we learned about hexagons, and practiced using precise math language when talking about shapes. We used words such as sides, corners or verticies or angles, and flat shape.
We added the red word "got' to our collection of words. We continued to practice working with /i/ .
We had a great day!
We had a busy day! We started our day chatting in small groups in breakout rooms as students came in. They were talking about characters from movies. A couple groups had some problems. One group had someone screaming and yelling while kids were trying to talk. We had talked about a signal we could use to let people know they needed to stop so someone else could be heard. Another group had friends who did not stick to the topic. This is why we do these types of activities. Learning to stick to the topic is something we work on in kindergarten. We will continue to work on listening to each other as well. When we came back together, I asked the children to tell me what someone else said in their group, and some were not able to do that. We also need to work to be sure the kids are learning the names of other children.
In Benchmark, we read a shared reading about a fox and a bear. Ask me to tell you what happened in this very short story. We practiced visualizing as I read, so we did not look at the illustrations first. We read the story and drew what we visualized, talked a little about the details in the story that should also be in the illustration, then looked at the illustration in the book and compared. We added details to show how the characters were feeling. We talked about the word sneaky. Ask me to tell you what it means to be sneaky and who was sneaky in the story.
We talked more about the characters in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We talked about text dependent questions, or 'right :there" questions that are in the book and illustration. Then we talked about the characters and chose one to describe in writing.
In math, we talked about triangles, and what makes a triangle. We also used virtual geoboards to make triangles, rectangles and squares. The link to this is in my Google classroom.
Let's hope this rain stops soon!
Have a nice evening!
We had a busy day! We started our day with a biography about Joe Biden, written by his wife Jill Biden. The book is called Joey, and it tells stories about Biden's childhood and a little about his life as an adult, and the experiences that led to him becoming a leader. This book had many clear examples of how even as a young person, you can begin the skills necessary to become a leader, which fits perfectly with our Social Studies curriculum right now. Ask me to tell you about what I learned about Joe Biden!
In reading, we listened to another version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears written by Steven Kellogg. This book has more details than the version we read several times in Benchmark. We practiced asking and answering who, what and where questions, as well as answering these questions too. We reviewed red words we already have studied, and introduced two new words, had and can. Ask me to sing you our three letter word song with the words had and can. The song we sing is to the tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush." The words go like this:
We can spell can
We can spell can
We can spell can.
We also began working with /t/. The children continue to work hard going through the Orton Gillingham routines. We are working hard to move more quickly through the drills, which is an important part of this program.
In math, we began our lesson with a fluency drill of making five. The children were presented with groups of dots and had to draw more to make five. They needed to do this quickly. They did a great job and were very quick!
We started a short geometry unit. We will be learning about flat and solid shapes. Today we sorted shapes that had either curved or straight lines. We will be building vocabulary necessary to talk about the shapes so the students are able to talk about the characteristics of the shapes, and not just name the shapes.
Have a nice evening!