We continued to work with short e today in our Orton Gillingham work. Short e is a difficult sound for many students. The motion we make for this sound is to put our thumb and pointer finger together and spread them apart in front of our lips. We also worked with the red word get.
In Benchmark, we re-read an information book called What Do Animals Need? This book tells what animals need to survive and why. The first time we read it, we focused on the things they need. The book clearly shows and tells what animals need in photographs, headings, and in the text. Today, we focused on a little more challenging task, and that was to find out the reason they need these things to survive.
We also read an information book about elephants. This book is a fun book to read because if read at home with a family member, there is a parent for an adult, and a part of a child to read. Some of our friends could read both parts, so I was able to have a lot of help reading this book! I assigned it in Epic, but you will need to read it just before school, after school, or Wednesday afternoon since Epic is only available for free during school hours. We read a few chapters from the book, but not all. The book is called National Geographic Readers: Elephants, and it is a You Read, I Read book. If you like this book and enjoy reading with your child in that format, you might look for other books that National Geographic has that are the same format. Ask me to show your my Doodle Notebook so I can show you what I learned about elephants today!
We continued to work with number bonds. We used our two-sided chips to shake and spill to find different ways to show 7.
We will be reading this book again and probably a third time, but I wanted to share a truly exceptional book with you. It's called Milo Imagines the World, by Matt de la Pena. There are several great life lessons in this book, and it's a book that needs to be read many times at different times in children's lives. This is definitely one for the family bookshelf. I'm attaching a video of the author reading the story, but this is a book to snuggle up together and read, stopping to talk along the way the second, and subsequent times you read it. Today, we really just took in the plot of what was happening in the story. We will dive in a little deeper the next time we read it and talk more about what Milo was imagining and why. It was great to see Milo doodling about the world around him, and what he was imagining, and how what he imagined wasn't necessarily reality. I can't say enough about this book!
We will be taking a Benchmark test tomorrow. The children should be able to log on by themselves, and will be able to take the test on their own. Our reading specialist, Mrs. Abramson, will be helping out. Hopefully then, we can't move on with learning and not so much testing!
Have a great evening!
Today we worked with the r sound. We also added the words he and me to our red word collection. In Benchmark, we compared two texts. We looked at how the content was the same and different as well as the text features.
In math, we did a sprint. Sprints are used in the Eureka math series to help kids work at a little quicker pace. The beginning of the sprint is usually easier, and the problems become a little harder as the sprint goes on, just like in a real sprint. We don't have many of these in kindergarten, but we try to establish the routine of a sprint. We start at the same time, then when the teacher says stop, draw a line to show where they stopped. We grade the sprint together. Then, in usually in other grade levels, they repeat the sprint, trying to get a few more problems done. It's not graded except by the child as we go over it together, but it's not for a grade. Today they were writing the missing number in a sequence of numbers to five. It got harder when they made the sequence in reverse from 5 to 0.
We made a connection to our new sound, r, to robots. We read an information book at robots that work in space. At the end of the day, when we were all done, we read a beautiful book called The Robot and the Bluebird, by David Lucas. This book is about an old robot who is no longer used. He befriends and takes care of a bluebird. Ask me to tell you what happens. We also had time for a quick Pete the Cat book called Robo Pete, by James Dean. This is a fun book about Pete the Cat creating his own robot. But things don't go the way he planned. We will be talking more about this story and writing our own stories about a robot tomorrow.
Have a nice evening!
We are moving right along in our Orton Gillingham program. Today we worked with the blending board to read real and nonsense words. We have so many letters to work with now! We are reading mostly three letter words during this time, but some four letter words when we use ch in the word. We say each sound then blend them together to read the word. The children give a thumbs up if it is a real word, and a thumbs down if it is a nonsense word. We also worked with a new red word. We worked with the word big. We wrote the word several times on our house paper, trying hard to be sure our letters are in the right place. The b is in the downstairs and upstairs, the i is downstairs, and the g is in the downstairs and the monkey tail hangs down into the basement. That's tricky for some of the children, but we will continue to work on that!
In Benchmark, we read a poem and identified rhyming words, and worked with text importance. We identified the important parts of the poem about growing plants in a garden. Understanding the most important parts in a text is still tricky for kindergarteners, but we will continue to work with that throughout the year. We also worked with an important vocabulary word to use when talking and writing about plants. We talked about the word sprout. We studied some photographs that showed what a sprout is, and talked about how the word can be a verb or a noun. Ask me to show you my Doodle Notebook. You will see that I doodled b's and drew pictures of a bean sprouting.
I showed the children a short video of a time lapse of a mung bean seed sprouting. The children really enjoyed watching this video. I'll include it below!
Have a nice evening!
We had a great Monday morning! We worked with the letter b in Orton Gillingham. In Benchmark reading we looked again at labels and how they can help us learn more as we read. We read a short book about bees and looked at the photographs and labels. It was great to take turns reading so I didn't do all the reading!
In writing, we wrote narratives. The children could pick their own topic. We brainstormed first, then planned out our story. We rehearsed it with a study buddy. We talked again about putting spaces between words, using complete sentences, and using a capital I when using the word I in a sentence, not just at the beginning of a sentence. Most of the kids worked the whole time on their writing. They are writing more sentences now. Their illustrations, just with pencil or Flair marker, have more details in them. Some of the children didn't work the whole time and were reading instead while I was working with reading groups. I have stressed the importance of working the whole time. In writing, they can also fix up their writing, add to it, or add more details. Although I love that they love to read, it's important they show their best effort and build writing stamina. They have a lot of freedom in virtual learning, and sometimes they take full advantage of that! I know it's hard, but I know they can do this. You can ask them to see their writing, or most of them posted it to Seesaw. If they did not get it on Seesaw, could you please give them a hand in taking a picture so that I can read it and give them feedback. Thanks!
In math, we are working with composition and decomposition of numbers. We worked with number bonds today. We noticed how the whole group is in the circle with two lines, or paths, leading to two other circles.
We also had a really fun read aloud. It was called Bee-Bim Bop, by Linda Sue Park. This book is so lyrical and fun to read. It shows a family working together to make dinner. I've included the story below along with the slides we used to changed the words in Bee-Bim Bop to practice saying each sound, then blending it, then putting it in a sentence. Ask me to read some of the Bee-Bim Bop word play slides with you.
I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the beauty of the snow! If it were only a little bit warmer to be able to stay out longer and enjoy!
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with an activity that focuses on executive functioning skills. We worked on working memory and following directions. We had a scavenger hunt with four items the children needed to find items that fit the directions. I gave the directions twice, then gave the children time to hunt for the items. I gave the directions one last time after most had returned just to give another chance to children who were not able to remember the all the items.
We listened to a classic story by Virginia Lee Burton called The LIttle House. We were looking at how humans change the Earth, but also noticed the change in seasons. We studied illustrations from the story to see how humans changed the land around the little house until it was unrecognizable. The children chose to draw a picture to show the little house either in the country or how she looked when the city grew up around her. We looked at the different lines in the two settings to help the children draw curved lines in the country, and mostly straight lines in the city. Below are illustrations from the book, in sequence, that show the changes that happened. Ask me to tell you about the changes I noticed.
If you would like to enjoy the story, The LIttle House, by Virginia Lee Burton, I have posted it below.
In math, we did a little final testing to write numbers that were more or less, just using the numbers, not sets. We also wrote the numbers from 1-10, and also 10 - 20 to see how the children are doing with writing two digits numbers in order. They did a great job! The children need to be able to write the numbers with no reversals of the numeral.
In the afternoon, we listened to The Map Book, by Sarah Fanelli. This is a book filled with unique maps that appear to be drawn by a child. Then, the children made their own maps. They needed to included a landform, a body of water, a human-made feature and a natural feature. The really enjoyed making and sharing their maps! I was so excited to see almost everyone anxious to share their map!
I hope you enjoy the weekend!
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!