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!