Just a quick note about today. We had MAP RF testing in the morning. Since our Chromebooks have not come in, we had to borrow some older Chromebooks. We had to sign the kids in at least twice, then had to pause to practice a Lockdown Drill. Once we got started, and checked the sound and microphones, the kids did a great job following the worm on the screen who tells them what to do. This class is so patient. They waited as we signed in kids, and waited as kids finished the test. They did get to read books quietly as their classmates finished, and they did an amazing job doing that!
In math today, we continued reviewing counting the Math Way, starting with their pinkie on the left hand. We just worked to five and made sure we knew names for the different fingers. We talked about the pinkie, thumb, pointer finger, three middle fingers and the ring finger. We put little caps on our fingers to practice counting the Math Way and to identify the fingers. Here are a few of our friends with their caps on their fingers!
We did have our first Lockdown drill. The kids were awesome. They sat quietly the whole time and didn't question why. I don't share why we are doing this drill, I just tell them they need to stay in the corner of the room and be quiet. The lights are out, the blinds are closed, and the door to the hallway is locked.
Have a nice evening!
The kinders worked hard with our substitute, Mrs. Consroe, on Monday. The studied lines and made some line drawings to help with our fine motor skills. They listened to a story called The Straight Line Wonder, by Mem Fox. This is a story about a line who didn't want other lines to change from straight to zig zag or curved. Then the children looked at some artwork with different kinds of lines. They were inspired by artwork in making their own drawings. We will be making more lines Wednesday with curves, which will help us in making o's. The kinds of lines and direction they go when drawing the lines, is really important as we are working with handwriting. This is the artwork that inspired our art:
We have Get Along Goals we work on in our class to learn about being part of our group. Our first goal we are working on is to choose to be friendly. We know that calling others by their name is one way we can be friendly and respectful. Taking the time to say hello is also part of being friendly. We listened to Hello, My Name is Ruby, by Philip C. Stead. This is the story of a little bird who is friendly to other animals, even if they are not always friendly to her. Ask me to tell you what the bird's name is in the story.
We are working with the letter o in our phonics and handwriting work. We did a couple OG drills, then we read an information book called Gentle, Giant Octopus, by Karen Wallace. This book was about a mother octopus looking for a safe place to lay her eggs. As we study our first vowel, the children are going to listening for the short o sound, as in ahhhhh like they say when the doctor looks down their throat, most of the time in the middle of words. Today we looked at the beginning of words, but tomorrow we will be looking at /o/ in the middle of words.
In math, we worked with counting to five. The children need to have cardinality in counting meaning they know that the last number they say when they count 1:1 is how many. They should not recount. They also are working with showing five in different ways. They can show five the Math Way with their numberline fingers. They used little snowflake building toys to show five in different models and out flat on the floor as well in different ways. They we worked with a more abstract way to show five by drawing sets of five on white boards..
Have a nice evening!
What a day to forget my camera! We had a very busy, fun day and could have had a lot of great pictures!
We learned a new routine for our Orton Gillingham lessons. Today we used the sand trays. We learned how we are going to get them and carefully walk them to the table, and how we stack them to put them away. We know we are to use only one finger in the sand. We also know if we don't follow the routine, we may have to use a glitter board instead, which is not as good for this kind of learning. The kids did an amazing job! We had a little extra time since we are only working with c, so they got to draw and write in the sand for a few minutes.
Mrs. Kanter visited us. She brought a toolbox with things that would help us to remember what she does at our school. You will find a brochure about counseling in your child's folder today. We also filled in a page in our Who Works at Bells Mill book we are working on in Social Studies. Today we drew Mrs. Kanter and her friend she brings to lessons. Ask me to tell you who or what she brought today!
We opened a new station in our play time today. We opened the Art Station. We have construction paper, ordinary and fancy scissors, and glue. I modeled opening and closing glue bottles, using just a dot and smearing it with the tip of the glue bottle, and closing and cleaning off the tip of the glue bottle when they are finished.
I also modeled cutting. We know to hold the scissors with our writing hand, and turn the paper with our hand that holds the paper, not the scissors.
We had our first fire drill today. The kids did pretty well but were very talkative on the way out. That usually happens the first time even though we tell them to go out quietly, but they get excited. We have a siren with a voice that comes on saying to leave the building, so it's not a loud, scary beeping. Everyone seemed fine and didn't need much reassurance about this just being a drill.
This week was our week to eat outside in the courtyard. It's a beautiful area with lots of shade. The kids did a good job eating and not getting up and down all the time. We rotate weeks where we eat in the courtyard. When the children are eating in the cafeteria, they have the option to go outside beside the cafeteria and eat. They sit in the grass and must remain seated while eating. Today when I went in to the cafeteria, Dr. Smith was putting numbers on the benches in the cafeteria. Each child will be assigned a number where they will sit. I asked last week who wanted to sit with whom, and we came up with some pods of students. I'll assign numbers based on those pods.
I will be out on Monday and Friday next week. This weekend I get to see my parents for the first time in about 20 months, and my nephew for the first time in about four years. Normally I would not be out so early in the year, but this is a very important family event that my sister scheduled that originally I was not going to attend. My trip in August had to be cancelled so I decided to go for part of this family trip to take my mom to West Virginia to see where she was born and other family places. Friday I have to have dental work. Both days I have Mrs. Consroe who is, without a doubt, the most amazing and kind substitute teacher EVER! The kids will love her! I will be sending you an e-mail about this as well just to be sure that if you have any changes in dismissal, please call the office and they will tell Mrs. Consroe.
Have a wonderful weekend!
We had a great first week of school. The children are doing a great job of learning routines, starting instruction in math, reading and social studies, and most importantly building relationships with new friends and teachers. Today's blog will be mostly photographs. The kids are anxious for you to see what has been happening at school. I wasn't able to get many photos the first day, and I had a problem with blurry pictures because something on my camera was selected that shouldn't have been, so if you don't see your child in the photographs, you will see them next week.
Here are a few pictures of the kids in their Bells Mill Kindergarten shirts. The feather is to remind them they are part of a special flock here at Bells Mill.
Kids and books. What could be better!
Play! I had more pictures, but the blurry pics had to be cut. I take a lot of pictures so more will be coming soon!
Today we drew pictures to help us find friends who liked some of the same things we liked. The kids walked around with their papers and introduced themselves and tried to find some matches.
I'll be sending out a newsletter later tonight or tomorrow with information and updates.
Thanks for all your support and understanding this week! We have a lot of new routines at school that we tweaked as the week went on. It was a busy, fun week and I'm looking forward to getting to know your children better. It's going to be a great year!
Enjoy the long weekend!
We had a great day! We continued to work on, and make some upgrades, to some of our routines. The kids now have to turn in their yellow folder every day, their lunch box and water to put on the bottom of their cubby, put a water bottle at their table, wash their hands and go read a book. This is also a great time to use the bathroom before we start our lessons.
Today we got to play! The kids really enjoyed playing and were not too loud or too rough! We do need some reminders that at Bells Mill, we are not going to play or build pretend guns. Ask me to tell you what I played with today!
In math, we started counting using our fingers. Eureka Math, our program, has a special way of counting with fingers. They start with the left hand pinky and count to five, ending with the thumb, then count on with the right hand starting with the thumb and ending on ten on the pinky. I put a video of counting the math way under the curriculum tab in the math section.
Have a nice evening!
Well that was an eventful day!
Today we worked with rhyming words. We read a quick poem and added a couple verses of our own following the poem's pattern. Ask me to show you the poem!
We watched a funny video with a sassy goat, so we wanted to let you have a chuckle too!
We talked about playing with toys today and were all set to play during indoor recess, then we got the message that we were going home. So, another day and a broken promise. So MAYBE tomorrow we will play! No photos today either. With the events of the day, it just wasn't possible.
We listened to the story Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathman. This is a cute story about safety rules. We will be talking more about rules over the next couple weeks, but I was set to introduce our simple classroom rules today. I guess I'll do that tomorrow too!
Ask Me About Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Day 2 went very well! We are continuing to work on learning classroom routines. We worked on unpacking and getting our lunch and water bottle ready for lunch, putting a water bottle at our table, and coming to the carpet. We are also learning our morning routine for our Picture Talk. Today we practiced Turn and Talk. Turn is Talk is when the children face each other and talk for a couple minutes about the picture. They need to stay on topic, listen to their partner and share what they are noticing. We studied the picture above today and compared it the picture we looked at yesterday.
We are working on smooth transitions from one activity to the next. We know we need to push our chairs in, follow class traffic patterns (go in the in and out the out for the cubbies), and traffic patterns on the carpet.
We also worked on the routine of going to our classroom library and reading books. I was so excited to see books in kids' hands again. Nothing makes me happier than seeing kids reading books. I'll try and snap some pictures tomorrow so I can post them.
We listened to a short story from Benchmark, our reading program about a little girl who doesn't want to get up and go to school. We are working on looking at the illustrations for clues and to learn more about the story. We also listened for rhymes in sentences.
We read some great books today. We read Yoko Writes Her Name, by Rosemary Wells, then practiced writing our first name using an uppercase letter to begin, then lowercase letters for the rest of the letters. Ask me to tell you what happens when Yoko writes her name using Japanese characters.
We also read School's First Day of School, by Adam Rex. This story is about a new school who isn't sure he wants all those kids in him!
I didn't have time to read the book I choose to read at the end of the day yesterday, so I read the kids I'm Sticking With You, by Smriti Prasadam-Halls. This book is so sweet about a friendship between a bear and a squirrel. Ask me to tell you what happens when squirrel decides he wants to be alone.
My math was all on the Promethean Board, and I messed up the board sharing with our new computer, so I will have to catch up in math tomorrow! We will be learning about looking at objects that are exactly the same, objects that are different, and then sorting. The children will have a math workbook at school that they will keep in the pocket on their chair. They will learn to tear the pages out so they can bring them home.
I'm having a great time getting to know your children. Thank-you for sending such polite children to school! It makes my job so much easier!
I PROMISE to send home the Daily folder tomorrow, and to give the kids time to play! The afternoon seems to go by so fast, although I think that was mostly because they come in pretty tired after recess so I give them a little time to cool down before jumping back into instruction.
Have a nice evening!
Today we had a good start to our year. Each morning we will do a Picture Talk. The picture will be photographs or artwork, or possibly even just a quote or cartoon. This morning we studied the picture above. We talked about what we noticed and what we wondered. Today we practiced thinking in our head first about what we noticed. We will usually turn and talk to a partner, but we will work on that tomorrow, then we share out. Ask me to tell you what I notice about this painting.
We unpacked, found our cubby, and ordered lunch. We listened to a funny story called "You're Finally Here!," by Melanie Watts. We noticed the bunny character and how his feelings changed throughout the book. We will be talking about feelings often this first marking period in Health.
We watched a short video of Bert and Ernie today to learn about a portrait. The children drew a portrait of themselves. We will save this in our time capsule that we will open at the end of the year.
We had a great first day!