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!
Thursday and Friday I was finishing up retesting foundational skills that need to be reported out on the report card each marking period. Once a child has completed all the items on the checklist, they aren't retested, but it's meant to be done throughout the year because this is what we are learning in kindergarten. I was able to pull kids into breakout rooms to do this work, while the other kids worked independently. This showed me how hard they have come this first marking period. They were able to do their work, follow directions, navigate with a little support to other sites to do work, and read on their own away from the screen. I think that's amazing for five and six year olds to be able to do all that in the beginning of November. Thank-you for your support, especially in helping the children toggle to Google classroom and Seesaw. As the children become more comfortable with these sites, I will be able to add more that they can do independently.
Today we talked about feelings. We looked at some Todd Parr feelings flashcards, then read his book online. The children then drew in the style of Todd Parr and wrote sentences to go with their feelings pictures. Ask me to show you my feelings pictures.
In the afternoon, we worked independently in the Google classroom and on Seesaw, and also played one of the Bingo counting games in our folder. Your child can go to Google classroom and Seesaw anytime to work on activities and games. I will release new activities that I want them to do in class as we do them, so anything they don't finish in class, they can do another time if they want, or at another time in class.
I wanted to read to the children before we dismissed for the weekend. I read the book Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor. This beautiful book is about differences, and learning about how those differences really show us how much we are the same. We will be reading this book again and doing several lessons with it next week, but I wanted them to hear the beauty of the book before I stopped along the way to talk about the content. I'm including a YouTube reading of the story if you would like to listen to it with your child.
Just a reminder that the children do not have school on Monday. I will send out a revised schedule for Wednesdays from now on.
I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!
We talked about voting and elections today. We didn't talk about the candidates for president, but we talked about what a president does and watched a video to learn more about the duties of a president. Ask me to tell you one thing the president has to do. We read a great book called I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference, by Marc Shulman. This book is so well-done. It makes voting understandable to young children. It also talks about the results of voting not always being what you want it to be, but it's still important to vote.
We had a great time listening to Halloween stories during our Story Hour today. It was fun to just get to listen, and I think some of the children did some drawing too. We listened to Turkey Trick or Treat by Wendy Silvano,
The Very Brave Witch by Allison McGhee, Pig and Pug Trick or Treat by Sue Lowell Gallion, Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman, It's Raining Bats and Frogs by Rebecca Colby, The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain, Hallo-weener by Dav Pilkey, and the Witch's Cat and the Cooking Catastrophe by Kristie Watson. Ask me to tell you my favorite story!
During our afternoon class we read The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams. We listened to the story and identified the key events. We then found pieces of clothing that went with the story, and a doll to use as the little old lady, and practiced retelling the story using my words. I modeled this and we used the book to go through the story. It's a long story but fun to retell! The clothes all make a movement and a sound that are part of the retelling. Then, the children went to break out rooms to practice retelling the story. Ask me to retell The LIttle Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything! Then, remind me to put away the clothes I used!
We practiced listening and writing. I said a Halloween sentence and the children wrote it. The sentences had some "red words" that we have been learning in Orton Gillingham, and some words they needed to tap out to hear the sounds and write the letters that go with the sounds. We also were working on using spaces between words, a capital letter to start the sentence, and puctuation at the end of the sentence.
I hope you have a great Halloween and weekend!
It's been a busy week, and I'm sorry I've not blogged! I had training this week after class in math and in the new report card system.
Monday, Mrs. Abramson, came in to help me with teaching the children to use See Saw, and to help them learn to toggle to a different website while staying in Zoom. I will be sending you information about See Saw so you can visit this site with your child. The great thing about See Saw is that it does everything I need it to do! The children will be able to submit work to me, take pictures of work, make short videos to answer prompts and explain their thinking. The children were really patient in waiting for help, and although we couldn't get to everyone then, hopefully the information I send you will help you get them started. I am pretty sure once they start using it, they will be able to do many things independently.
We have read a couple fables and talked about the characteristics of fables. We also continued to identify key events in stories, for example in The Tortoise and the Hare, the hare took a nap by the tree would be a key detail. We compared characters from two fables we read. We compare the mouse and the tortoise. These lessons connect to the writing prompts, so we also wrote a narrative about what the charters were feeling. We used the illustrations in the story to help with an idea for what the character might be thinking. I model my thinking and idea, then model the writing, and now am starting to pull back some so the children can begin writing more on their own. We are going through the writing process of thinking of the idea we will write, rehearsing it with our study buddy, then writing it. We have some children share their writing when finishing.
In math, we working with drawing sets with one more and one less, counting items in a circular arrangement, and ordering numbers and sets from 1 - 10 and 10 - 1. I also did a few checks to fill in any gaps in my assessments for this unit that we have finished. We will be starting a short unit on geometry soon.
In Social Studies, we continued talking about leaders. We have learned about George Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr. so far. We will continue to talk about leaders next week as well.
This week, in the morning when the children came into the Zoom room, I put them in a breakout room with other children so they can get to know each other better. It's random, basically whoever comes in around the same time. We talked about how to talk in a small group, take turns, and encourage others to talk. We will continue to work on this next week as well!
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with an exercise to practice using short term memory. I asked the children to find three things: 1. Something blue, 2. Something that makes them happy, 3. Something that is soft. I repeated the directions orally twice, then sent them off to look for the items. They were so quick! They found the items needed for the list and quickly brought them back. We shared what some of them brought back for each one. We talked about the importance of listening to directions the first time they are given and that as we go on, I will not be repeating directions as often because that is only teaching them that they don't have to listen closely the first time directions are given.
We read another fable today. Fables are generally a more difficult genre, but the Benchmark versions of these stories are simplified and very short, so we are able to focus on key events, lessons and characters in the story. Today we focused on retelling using key events. I asked the children to go find two little stuffies or little characters to use to retell the story. We practiced together and tried to really exaggerate our voices to sound like the characters talking, and to tell the story in order. After we practiced as a group, we went into breakout rooms with a partner and practice with them as well. The children loved this and are anxious to share the story with you. Ask me to tell me the story of The Little Helper with my stuffies.
In math, we worked with the concept of one less. We also took the sprint that focused on "one more" that we took yesterday. We worked once again on the sprint routine, then took the sprint. Most of the children reported an increase in the number of problems they were able to complete.
We worked hard all week, and were able to take some time at the end of the day to work on self-control, following directions, and drawing a scarecrow. We read the beautiful book Scarecrow, by Cynthia Rylant, and took several breaks to follow directions to draw a scarecrow. We got our marker and paper ready, then listened to the story until they were told to draw something on their paper. We used mostly shapes to draw the scarecrow, but then they had time to decorate the scarecrow as they wished.
Have a wonderful, relaxing and safe weekend!