It was such a great day, with almost no testing! We had a few kids that needed to make up MAP P, so they went with Mrs. Abramson to take the test. So grateful to her for doing that so we could start to get back to a more normal schedule.
We took a lot of time this afternoon to work in measurement stations. The children practiced measuring with non-standard units. They used balance scales, measured dinosaurs with links, junk from around the room with cubes, measuring cups to measure scoops it took to fill different containers, and they got to measure with a measuring tape made just for kids. We also have some big foam feet for measuring larger things, and people! Enjoy the snaps!
In Health, we started learning about nutrition. These kids know so much already! We sorted food into the food groups and the children did a great job! If I were five or six, I would say it was the best day ever because we got to watch Captain Vegetable. I hope you enjoy it too. Beware, it might get stuck in your head!
Have a nice evening!
Today was all about testing! We did a practice test for Benchmark Reading. We will take the real interim tomorrow. This test will assess comprehension, while the other Dibels tests were about phonemic awareness, phonics, letters, words, and remembering sentences.
Mrs. Park was absent so we continued our Lunar New Year study and listened to a story Grace Lin wrote about the Chinese New Year. Then, we did a guided drawing with her and drew a dragon. I'll put the video in below in case you would like to draw a dragon as well! There are other Grace Lin videos on YouTube. She is a wonderful author and writes books for the little guys and novels for the older kids.
We listened to a story called The Runaway Wok, b Ying Chang Compestine. Ask me to retell the story.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day by studying these interesting photographs. The children always think on their own first, talk with a partner/s, then we share out as a group. I listen in as the children talk and today I heard words like equal, balance, and teeter totter used in their discussions. We will be using balance scales tomorrow and next week.
We listened to a short story called Winny Loves Winter, by Tiffany Obeng. This story was perfect for a review of opinion writing. The girl in the story states she loves winter, then goes on to give reasons why she loves winter. We made a chart of the four seasons and put in reasons we love the various seasons. I don't leave that up as the children write so they don't just copy, but I did give them the words winter, spring, summer and fall. They did such a great job. We will be hanging these up in our classroom.
We are still working through testing. We have Dibels testing, MAP P for math tomorrow morning, and the kindergarten assessments that go on the report cards.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day collecting data instead of a picture talk. We used this data and collected more throughout the day to make a prediction about which season is the favorite of most of the children in the class. We have talked about collecting data a few times and made pictographs, and we moved into a bar graph today as well. We looked at how many children voted for each item, which had the most and fewest, how many more some items had then another, and what that told us that might help us with determining what the class' favorite season might be. Here is our data. Ask me to tell you about the data.
We had more testing to do, so the children practiced handwriting the letter Aa, colored a heart word, and worked in math and literacy stations while I tested.
We had a quick SEL lesson that connected to the books Out of a Jar, by Deborah Marcero and Thundercake, by Patricia Polacco. This book was about worries. The book is Brave Every Day, by Trudy Ludwig. THIS BOOK! I love this book because the story is just sweet and gentle, beautiful illustrations, and just the right length. The children can make text-to-self connections as well as text-to-text connections, which we will be doing tomorrow, because of previous books we have read. The quote on the cover says "Only when we are afraid can we learn to be brave." Ask me to tell you what the main characters in this book and Thundercake did that was scary, but helped them become braver after doing it. Did you know your children almost always clap after I read to them? And today they claimed this was their favorite book. I love this book, but I bet when I put it in our favorites basket it isn't what is chosen first. The book Dude! is dominating in our room. I may have to hide it since it mostly is the word dude! All I wanted to do was to teach about exclamation marks and question marks, but now I get to listen to the word "dude" repeated over and over again until the announcements come on! And I love it!
Have a nice evening!
We had a busy, fun day! In the morning for our picture talk, we looked at Peanuts comic strips. We noticed the talking and thinking bubbles, and the pictures that helped tell the story.
We learned about CUPS today. CUPS is a way to remind ourselves of what writers need to do so a reader can read their writing. We practiced writing a couple words, then wrote simple sentences. We checked to see that we C: started the sentence with a capital letter, U: wrote a sentence that made sense and could be understood, P: used punctuation at the end of the sentence, and S: the spelling was our best try. We worked together since this was our first time using cups and to work on spacing in our writing. We worked to be sure the letters were in the upstairs or downstairs, or their tail was in the basement, and we worked to be sure we put spaces between words. I was doing this on the board, and the children were up close so they could copy as needed, but after we practice together a few more times, they will begin to practice this with fewer prompts and examples. We also practiced making question marks today.
In math, we took a little break from measuring and worked with graphs. Today we looked at pictographs and made a graph together on the Boxlite board. We looked to see what we could find out from the data on the graph. We will work with graphing more next week. We also took a quick look at the greater than, >, and less than,<, signs. Here's a quick video to remind the children about what the symbols mean.
Instead of playtime today, the children worked in groups to build towers and walls out of bathroom dixie cups. This is an activity that many children have seen now, but when I started doing this about 32 years ago in my classroom, it took some time for the children to find out the best way to position the cups so their structure was somewhat stable. They had a fun time today, but I was only able to get a few quick pictures. One group came up with a tower taller than they were, but I was switching lenses, and it got touch ever so slightly and fell down. Building with cups has so many positive lessons in it. The children have to work as a team. They learn to be patient as they build. They learn not to blame anyone for the tower collapsing. They also really notice what other groups are doing and take some ideas from them. Hopefully we will get to where they are encouraging each other and complimenting each other for their ideas and work. They had a great time with this. I highly recommend this for a family activity. The plastic cups break if stepped on so I recommend the paper bathroom size paper cups. Our rule is they can only work with one stack at a time. If their structure falls, they have to put the cups back in a stack before building again. Usually it's a quiet activity, but that was not happening today! They have been pretty noisy lately, but we'll work on that!
Here are a few quick pictures I took today:
Have a nice weekend!
Today we studied this Norman Rockwell painting and looked for clues that would help us tell the story of this painting. One of the first things the children talked about was the "squiggly white line" up the center of the painting. NO ONE was able to identify this as smoke from a cigarette. They didn't have that background knowledge. This made my day. Several children had heard the word once I said it and said they saw cigarettes on the ground before, but they didn't know about smoking. We talked about the clues in the picture and the children were able to figure out that dad was hiding from the family that was going to church. They were intrigued by all the newspaper on the floor, and I pointed out the color comics page which some children said they had seen, but most had not so we will probably look at comics Friday.
We worked more with measurement, counting on one and counting back one, and reviewed five sticks. We will be doing more work with the five sticks because it's such an important concept for them to get a firm understanding of counting on from five. They need to look at a stick with five cubes of one color, and five or less of another color and know they could just count on from five instead of counting the whole stick.
We enjoyed reading the poem about Catsup. We looked for words that had the short a sound, and we studied the punctuation in the poem. We practiced reading the poem using the punctuation.
The children had time on the Chromebooks in the afternoon going to the Really Great Reading Playground to practice what we are learning while I tested. They did a nice job logging on mostly on their own.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day studying these two birds. We talked about what we noticed and what we wondered. We will be learning more about plants and animals in reading, as well as by reading books and studying photographs in our classroom library.
We continued talking about severe weather and how to stay safe. We listened to the story Thunder Cake, by one of America's best children's author Patricia Polacco. This is the story of a little girl and her Russian grandmother, her babushka. The little girl is afraid of thunderstorms, and one is on the way. Her babushka coaxes her out from under the bed and tells her they just have time to make thunder cake before the storm comes to their house. She also tells the little girl how to count between the lightning and thunder to tell how far away the storm is from them. The wise babushka keeps the little girl busy getting the ingredients for the thunder cake, with many of the tasks also being scary for the little girl. Ask me to tell you what the little girl did to help make the thunder cake. Be sure to ask me what the secret ingredient in the thunder cake is!
We made text-to-self connections as we listened to the story Thunder Cake. The children drew something in the story that was scary for the little girl, then drew a picture that showed something that was or still is scary for them now.
We listened to a book that gave us ideas for what to do when we feel scared. Sadly, this led to a movie-to-self connection that forced me to show the children this clip from a classic movie.
We also reviewed what to do to stay safe during a thunderstorm. Ask me to tell you three things to do in the event of a severe thunderstorm.
Have a nice evening!
We had a great first day of school for 2023! We read a book to learn more about New Year's Eve and Day traditions.
We started talking about severe wet weather. We listened to the story Blizzard, by John Rocco. This story is about the blizzard of 1978. This is a personal experience story with Rocco telling the story of the blizzard's impact in Rhode Island, but sadly for your kids, they had a listen to a couple stories from me about my experience in Ohio with that blizzard!
We started a new unit in math. First, we used our "math fingers" to count beyond ten. Ask me to show you how we did finger push ups to show numbers larger than ten.
We also began talking about the vocabulary we will be using as we compare objects. We discussed using words such as "longer than" and "shorter than" instead of saying one is bigger than the other. The word big doesn't tell us enough, so we are building vocabulary for speaking accurately about measurement.
We also talked about measuring time. We talked about the months of the year and watched and listened to the amazing Carole King sing the book Chicken Soup with Rice, by Maurice Sendak. I will not lie, I drove to school singing this song! The kids really enjoyed the music. I hope you do as well!
Have a nice evening!