We had a busy day! In Benchmark, we started a new unit about characters. We read The Tortoise and the Hare and talked about key events in the story. This is still somewhat difficult for our learners. They seem to have a hard time just focusing in on one thing that happened that is important to the story. I think this is very important to think about because it really shows us so much about their thinking. Often if we are talking to young children about a conflict or something that is bothering them, sometimes it's hard for them to tell just what happened, and in what order. Key events and retelling are skills we will work with throughout the year in reading.
We also wrote about a key event, although I modeled it and they copied. We will come back to this and they will need to write independently. Independently in kindergarten means that they will be writing the sounds they hear which may not be spelled correctly. We are looking for this to develop over time. They are learning words that are not encodable and those words, such as the,, we would expect to be spelled correctly once they are learned and practiced. Being able to talk about their writing, and their drawing is important, so getting their idea across is the most important thing right now in their writing.
In math, we worked with matching numerals to dots, putting numeral cards in order from 1-10 and from 10-1, and putting the dots cards in order. We took time following directions to cut, fold, and make the cards. Following directions is a skill we are working on every day. It's important that they are ready to hear the directions, so we are working on getting rid of "distractors" around them. Some of the kids do an awesome job with this, and others are still working on the self-control to leave things alone and listen. I started the day by talking to them about getting their workspace ready. It's really important that they have the materials they will need in folders and in a basket or bookshelf near by where the children can get them on their own. THANK-YOU for your help with this! It makes our day go so much smoother and we don't lose time looking for things. Moving toys and things they enjoy showing me before class is working pretty well. I'm trying to get them to get up and move them out of reach of the computer. The self-control, following directions, and remembering what they were told are all executive functioning skills that are so important for our young learners. We will be doing some fun activities that will help develop those skills. If you would like to learn more about executive functioning, you might want to go to the ISFP tab on our website and watch the video I put on there about executive functioning skills.
The other thing we talked about, and I am encouraging now, is for students to wear headphones. The headphones help them block out what may be happening in other parts of the house and just helps them stay focused. I was hesitant to wear headphones to listen to music for so long because I live alone and I was afraid I would miss something like a knock on the door or a phone call, but once I started using headphones to listen to music and relax or read, it because a much better activity for me to do to relax and take time for myself. I was really getting away from what was going on around me and could really just focus on my book or the music. I think the same is true with the headphones for learning. If your child does not have headphones with a microphone, this might be something you get for them. If you are not able to do this, please let me know and I will see what I can do to get these to you at the next distribution.
Thank-you for your continued support. I really can't tell you how much your kind words and encouragement mean to me. Even though we have been at this virtual learning for a while now, it's still a challenge and I do still feel like many times we are still "building the plane in the air."
Have a nice evening!