Today we talked about De-Bug and made a De-Bug booklet. De-Bug strategies are basic strategies children can start with to work out kid-size problems on their own. We are working to empower them to solve the "little stuff" on their own. We really took our time with this booklet, pausing between pages, practicing smooth quiet transitions to the carpet and back to tables, and working neatly in the book. After all the testing we have done, I felt like we needed a little refresher on those things. We also worked on getting right to work and finishing in good time, so we used the 5 minute sand timer. Ask me to tell you about De-Bug and talk to you about my booklet.
We did not do our MAP-P assessment today. I worried about time and a row of the Chromebooks was left unplugged so they were not charged, so we will do it Monday afternoon. All of our other testing is complete, so we will get back to normal on Monday.
Have a great weekend!
We have been working so hard to get through the majority of the assessments this week, and are almost done! We will get to make those dots I have put off due to testing, as well as do a little art project for National Hispanic Month to help celebrate finishing the testing!
Today we watched a cartoon short from Peru. This is a part of a series of shorts we will watch to help us with learning about beginning, middle and end of stories, using character's names when talking about the story, and other story elements. Today we focused on retelling the beginning, middle and end of the story. These shorts are great for an introduction to this because they are so short! We talked about what an event is and told an event from the beginning. The event for the beginning of the story should be what gets the story going. The middle of the story is where most of the action happens, so there may be more than one event in the retelling. The end of the story is how it all works out so there may be more than one event there as well. The name of this short is Caminandos 1: Llama Drama. Before you watch it, ask me to tell you the beginning, middle and end of the story.
We had a Directed Evacuation this morning. During this drill, the children exit the building from the nearest exit and proceed quietly up the hill by Georgetown Hill. The children were in music during this drill but I watched them as they walked quietly and orderly up the hill, and down the hill. They really showed great self-control because no one raced down the hill going back in to the building.
We practiced making compound words today in Really Great Reading, as well as worked with the letter sound /m/.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with a collection of pictures. The children studied the pictures, talked to their partner/s, and worked together to find out how these pictures all go together. After telling them ten thousand times it was not Halloween, LOL, we determined it was fall. I think they just might be a little bit excited about Halloween!
It's been a busy couple of days with LOTS of testing. I'm trying to get through this so we can get into a more normal routine. We made good progress, but there is still so much to do, so Tuesday and Wednesday will be big testing days. I'm hoping it will be done by Thursday.
Today we listened to a story called Decibella, by Julia Cook. This book is provides children with practice and good examples of how loud they should be at different times and places. The author uses the word "slurpadoodle" to practice the different levels of loudness. I'm attached part of the chart I used with the children.
September is the month we practice the emergency drills. Yesterday we had an earthquake drill. The children got under tables and held on to chair and table legs. Today we had a weather drill. We went out the hall, faced the wall, and crouched down like turtles. The children are doing well with the drills and taking them very seriously. They are not shouting out to friends or siblings, just following directions as quickly as possible.
We practiced writing a response to a book today, as part of our literacy station practice. They didn't have to write much, but they practiced finding the title of the book and writing it on their paper, then some tried to write about why they liked the book. Then they drew a picture that showed a favorite part from the book. This is a station they will go to when we start rotating in literacy stations.
In math, the children looked at different ways to represent numbers and did a coloring paper.
The children really did an exceptional job this afternoon working and playing quietly so I could test and hear the child. I did need to remind them a few times, but they really were considerate of their peers.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
We started our day with this collection of pictures. The children knew immediately this collection was a friendship collection. We talked about words that we thought of when we looked at the pictures, and they came up with kind, love, together, happy and sharing. Today we set up playdates at recess. I did this so that the children would play with someone they didn't know very well from our class. Often in kindergarten we see groups of children that are already good friends stick to those groups and not get to know other children who may become a good friend. I gave them a few minutes to find someone they don't know well and told them to talk about what they might do outside and where they might play. They were all smiles when they came in after lunch and shared what they did. They drew pictures and did some writing to go with their pictures. I'll send those home tomorrow.
We read a sweet book called Say Hello, by Jack and Michael Foreman. This book is about a dog who feels left out as he watches a little boy play with his cat. The dog has no home and feels left. Ask me to tell you this story. Our Get-Along goal for our classroom is about greeting each other, smiling to show friendliness, and including others. This book was spot on for all of those things!
In Really Great Reading, we worked with positional words. Yesterday we talked about before and after, and today we talked about beginning, middle and end today. We are working on answering questions in a sentence instead of just saying a word or two.
In math, we worked with decomposition of numbers. We worked to find hidden partners for five and six and worked on writing the number zero.
Have a nice evening!
We actually got to use our new Boxlight board today with success! The children signed in on the board moving their name to show whether they brought lunch from home or were buying one of the lunches from the cafeteria. They did a great job!
We studied this photo and talked about what we noticed, wondered, and what feelings this photo gave us.
In reading, we read Yoko Writes Her Name, by Rosemary Wells. Yoko writes her name in Japanese and is teased by two children in the story. Ask me to tell you what happens in the story.
We took time to look at the Chromebook keyboard and practiced "typing" on the Chromebook paper. I highlighted the keys they will need for their username and password, as well as the backspace key for mistakes and the enter key. Their e-mail is at the top, in case you ever need to attend a Zoom meeting for school, you will need their e-mail to get in to the meeting. The number by their name is for their chromebook and is also their folder number. Next week we will start logging in and visiting some sites on our Chromebooks.
Have a great weekend!
Crazy day, but we are back on track. We weren't able to use the old Promethean Board the past few days all day, but we got the Boxlight delivered. But it wasn't set up and we didn't have directions, so I tried but couldn't get it going on my own. Today our IT guy, Mr. Reed, came and set it up for us in the afternoon. We are really excited to have it, especially since our Really Great Reading is done on the board!
We talked more about counting and how numbers get larger and smaller. We showed how that would look with a sunrise and with a rollercoaster. We also listened to a story called My Name is Elizabeth, by Annika Dunklee. This is a great story about speaking up when someone calls you a nickname, and you would like to be called by your full name. We talked about speaking up politely to let people know what name you would like to go by. We found out there are a lot of nicknames for Elizabeth! We also practiced writing our name the kindergarten way. We are working on using a capital letter to start the name, then lower case letters, as well as where the short letters, tall letters, and letters with tails go on the lines. The kids are doing so well learning the names of everyone in our class. In the morning when we pass a hello around the carpet, there are only a few who have to ask the person next to them what their name is so they can pass it on.
We are working still on self-control. We have a lot of kids just touching each other, not really to hurt them, but to distract them. We also have A LOT of tattling. LOL, your kids are advanced because I have found this usually happens around January! We will have another lesson in self-control and next week I'll introduce DeBug so the children have strategies to handle kid-size annoyances. We will talk about what is a kid-size problem, and when to get help right away.
It's been a bumpy few days trying to fit in testing and getting things accomplished. Yesterday and today I pulled kids during play time and, since it was on the computer, I was able to get a lot done in a short period of time. I'm just about finished with the KRA, which is a test/survey with 50 questions. About half of them are teacher observation, so I have been doing that and just need to enter it in the spreadsheet. I will be starting Dibels tomorrow. This is a series of 1 minute assessments. I also have a few other assessments I need to do that we need to report out to the county throughout the year. It's a lot but we're getting a good start.
Tomorrow your child will bring home a computer keyboard with their log-in information on it. Please keep it at home, and if possible, practice either on the paper keyboard or on a real keyboard, so your child can have practice logging in so they don't spend a lot of time doing that instead of working on the computer. I love Fridays because the kids don't go to any specials, and I get more time with them to do some fun things. Today we International Dot Day, but we are going to make special dots tomorrow. I'll take pictures of the kids with their dots and post them on the website, but probably over the weekend. I can do it faster on my computer at home.
I hope you know how much I am enjoying my time with your children. We have had some technical issues but they have been patient. They play so well together during playtime, and they are not reporting any problems at recess or lunch.
Have a nice evening!
We had technical difficulties off and on all day! But we made the best of it! The Boxlite arrived but is not set up. I am hoping tomorrow it works.
We studied this beautiful painting and talked about what we noticed. We looked for clues that would tell us what the weather was like in the painting. The children did a great job finding clues and talking about what those clues might tell us. Ask me to tell you about the clues about the weather in this painting.
Our Promethean Board is unpredictable. It worked a little in the morning, so we had a Social Emotional Learning lesson about self-regulation/self-control. We learned three strategies to help us to not do something we really want to do. We learned about these strategies with someone who is continually working on self-control, Cookie Monster. Ask me to tell you the three strategies I can use when I need to have self-control.
Here's the video we watched and learned from today. Enjoy!
We read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett. Ask me to tell you what happened in the story. The children are bringing home a picture that shows themselves, at their home, with the food they would most like to see fall from the sky.
Have a nice evening!
We started the day with Picture Talk. We studied these birds to talk about how they are the same and how they are different. The children talked mostly about their physical features and their movement. Then I showed bigger pictures of these bird we talked about how these birds act or what people think about them. I took away the penguin, and we put the big photos around the room. The children needed to go sit by the picture of the bird they felt they were most like. In their group they were to be sure they knew everyone's name, and talk about how they were like this bird. Then, each group came up in front of the class and talked about their group. They did an AMAZING job. I did prompt some with questions to get them talking, but I could tell they had talked as a group, which is really important. The other thing that happened is one bird only had one friend sit there. I was so impressed that this little bird in our flock did not change her thinking and stayed there instead of going to another group. She showed confidence and didn't follow others, but instead stayed true to who she is. We all noted that she was unique in our group. I'm posting photos below of the groups. Ask me to tell you about why I chose the bird I did.
Have a great weekend!
We had a great day! In my class, we have a class captain. Instead of having lots of different jobs that are rotated each week, we have a class captain who does everything. It changes each day. The captain does jobs such as taking the lunch cards to the cafeteria, being the line leader, sometimes being the inspector to be sure things are picked up in the cubbies, etc.
Your child is bringing home a book called I Promise, by LeBron James. This book is about promises the children who go to the I Promise school in Akron, Ohio make each day. The book has some big ideas in it, so we will revisit it from time to time. Although I'm not a big basketball fan, I'm from Akron and LeBron is very special to my family. LeBron grew up in The Projects in Akron. My mother did as well. When my mom was in high school, they got their first house on a road in Kenmore. LeBron's first apartment he lived in with his mom was on the same road, just a LOT of years later. Knowing this made my mom a huge fan of LeBron. She even went and found the home he lives in when he's in Akron and is always wanting to drive me by it. We are so proud of the commitment LeBron has made to the children in Akron. When I saw this book in Scholastic for a dollar, I knew I had to buy it to give the kids. They get to keep the book "for their whole life". I hope you enjoy reading it too. Ask me to tell you how LeBron James helps families in Akron, Ohio.
We wrote a personal narrative today. It really was just a baseline sample so I could see what the children are comfortable doing right now in writing. We went through part of our writing process. Getting an idea was easy once I explained they were to write about something they had done. I provided the example of riding on the Ratatouille ride in a big rat at Epcot. Once the children had a minute or so to get an idea, they turned to talk to a partner about what they were going to write. As we went back to write, we did have a few reluctant friends who were concerned they couldn't spell. We talked about giving it a try or just drawing a picture with their pencil.
We worked more with our math fingers and doing some pages from our math book. The assignments weren't that difficult for the children, but following directions and working at a faster pace was a little difficult. They are doing a good job of finding the page to tear out, since it's the usually the first page in their book since we are tearing them out. They are just moving very leisurely, drawing extra things on their paper instead of just showing the math. So we are working on speeding it up, but still working carefully. I used the five minute sand timer, but we still had some stragglers and children who did not follow directions on the back of the paper. These are new tasks for them, so it's okay if you see they did not circle the pictures on page 14, I think, but instead were drawing lines or circling all of them. We are still learning these new routines and ways we show our understanding. I was hoping to open the Math Station, but they were just a little too slow to make that happen. We'll try again tomorrow!
We are learning about feelings in Health, as well as healthy habits to prevent spreading germs. We read the book Big Feelings, by Alexandra Penfold. This book is about a group of children playing together who have some difficulty getting along. The book shows and labels the different feelings the children have as they work through their problem. It's important for children to be able to label their feelings and to also know that are feelings change throughout the day. We can see that clearly in this beautiful book. The illustrations are by Suzanne Kaufman and show a very diverse group of children. I was able to show where Ms. Kaufman added herself as a child to the illustrations. I love that she showed herself having some very big feelings and having a tantrum!
I saved the best for last. This is the picture I shared for our morning Picture Talk.
One of our friends lost a tooth last night, so this was the perfect picture. But what the children talked about with their partners, then with the whole group is so impressive. The first child to share with the group said he noticed that one girl was left out and feeling sad. We talked about how she might be feeling and what might have happened next if this was a story. Each girl was showing a different feeling. Other children had talked about that in their group as well, and I'm happy to see they noticed. We talked about how our class is a little family, and how we need to watch to see that we don't leave kids out. Ask me to tell you about this picture.
My clients wanted me to share this Brain Break with you. Move over Koo Koo Kanga Roo, we might have a new favorite! I hope you enjoy the Sid Shuffle.
Have a nice evening!
Happy Friday! We had the best day so far, and they've all been great so far. Today we studied these paintings and talked about whether they were exactly the same, the but a little bit different, or just different with little the same. This is what we have talked about in math this week. Then we listened to a story by the amazing Mem Fox called The Straight Line Wonder. This book is about three straight lines. One straight line decides he wants to be different and make jumps and bumps. His two best friends want him to stay a straight line and worry that people will stare. Ask me to tell you some of the other shapes the first straight line makes. This book was about lines, but also about being unique. We may revisit this next week to talk about how we are each unique. We ran out of time today because we are still suffering from beginning of the year "kindergarten time." They don't all saunter around leisurely, some are very quick to follow directions or finish and go to the carpet, but enough are that we are still a little slower in our transitions! I love that they don't feel the need to rush all the time. We should all feel that, but we have a schedule to learn and follow. We'll get there! Learning to make quick and quiet transitions is part of our lessons in our Benchmark reading program as well, so it will really help as we move into small group work later in September.
We read This School Year Will Be THE BEST, by Kay Winters. This book was about wishes the a teacher and students have for their new school year. We also made wishes and drew a picture to show what our wish is for the year. Several were very inspired by the book and would like a chocolate fountain in the school! I hope they are not disappointed when it doesn't happen! I'll have their wishes up for Back to School Night so you can see what they wished for!
In math we learned a new routine for how to quickly get manipulatives for tasks. We used a ruler today to match animals that were exactly or almost alike in math. They are learning to stay in their order in the rows on the carpet and follow a path to the cabinet to get their materials before going to their seats. Some are leisurely in completing their work, others finish quickly, so we will be working on getting right to work and working the whole time.
During playtime today, they made their own choice about where and what to play. I've told them they can change what they are playing with after they put the first thing they chose away, but so far they just are playing with one thing. We will have a little lesson on switching toys next week. They are playing together very nicely, but we do need to work on their noise level. We got louder as the week went on!
We had another fire drill today. This one was with the alarm. It's just a little siren with a voice. They were amazing. They walked about and stayed together, stood quietly and walked back in quietly. We just need to work on forming a straight line. Today's line was pretty wiggly!
I totally forgot yesterday to post a fun thing we will get to do when they are packed up early enough before patrols start coming. We watched a short clip of How It's Made. I haven't been able to do this for a couple years, but because of changes in how we dismiss, and how well the children are packing up, we may get to see more of these! Yesterday we watched how bubble gum is made, and today we saw how sprinkles are made. I'm hoping to plant the seed for future engineers by sneaking in a little extra science with these episodes! I'll post them below in case you've never seen the show.
We ended our day with a really sweet story. We read I'm Sticking With You, by Smriti Prasada-Halls. This is a story of two good friends, Bear and Squirrel, who do everything together. But squirrel needs some time alone, at least he thinks he does, so he goes to stay in an igloo. Bear follows. Ask me to tell you what happens next. Squirrel finds out he needs his friend in the end, and decides they should stick together. The message at the end of the story really sums up our start to the school year. "And whether you like it or love it or not, We are a team...And I LOVE YOU A LOT!" I'm hoping our little birdies are at least liking school and adjusting to a new teacher, new friends, new classroom and new school. It's a lot of listening, and it sometimes feels like boot camp that first week of school, but we are laying the foundation for a great year.
Thank-you for your support this week!
Have a great, long weekend!