Today we studied this painting by Norman Rockwell called The Problem We All Live With. I didn't share the title of the painting with the children because I felt it might lead to some misconceptions at their early age. We studied the painting first, thinking on our own. Then I asked for children to talk about what they thought was happening in the painting. We talked about important clues in the painting such as the badges on the men, the tomato, and the school supplies the little girl is carrying.. Some of the children thought the little girl was in trouble, others thought the men were taking her to school because her mom couldn't. Usually during our picture talks the focus is on observations, sharing ideas, talking and listening. Today, however, I told them about the little girl, Ruby Bridges. We read Ruby's autobiography Ruby Bridges Goes to School : My True Story. Ask me to tell you what Ruby did that was so brave.
In reading, we started a new unit called Why Do We Use Technology. Ask me to give you examples of technology and tell you why it's important.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with a picture/video talk. The children studied this picture and thought about the title, then made inferences about what might be happening in the video we were about to see. We had some children think the big bird in the middle was a trouble maker and was going to do something to the little birds. There was a huge discussion in several groups about whether the big bird was the mother bird, but most concluded it was not because the smaller birds beaks were a different shape then the big bird's beak. The children also talked about how the little birds were feeling by studying their faces. We watch the short first and practiced retelling. We thought about what got the story started, what the events were that happened in the middle of the story, and finally how the story ended. After the children stopped laughing, we retold the story, then talked about what lesson we could learn from the story. We talked about how the big bird was different from the other birds, how he was not welcomed in with the other birds, and how the other birds treated the big bird. Ask me to retell the story, then watch it with me.
In writing today, we wrote about our favorite kind of weather. We needed to clarify the difference between seasons and weather several times. One of the things that often happens as beginning writers start to tell longer stories is that they don't know where to use punctuation. We thought of our idea in our own head, then talked with a partner. We rehearsed the beginning setence that would tell what our favorite kind of whether is. I said my sentence several times, noting how my voice goes down at the end of a sentence, and I used my arm to pull down like I was pulling a balloon down from flying away. After the students wrote their beginning sentence I had them come back to the rug and we talked about adding details that would support our favorite kind of weather statement. Again I emphasized where my voice went down to add punctuation. The students know we don't color when we are in writing workshop unless we have fixed up the piece. I have the children use a pencil to draw their picture after they write. They can add more details in their picture with the pencil. We have more work to do on this piece, but most children started writing longer pieces. We also used paper that added another line and required them to write smaller to fit their words on the lines. I'm really happy with how they did. and we may hang these in the hallway to show off their progress! I will be revising with the students on Monday to add to or take away from their writing. We will also edit for punctuation.
During our computer time, we practiced making movies. I showed the children two ways we can do that on Seesaw. Many of the children had problems with the Chromebook microphone and/or camera not being turned on, so Mrs. E and I had to get that worked out! I think almost everyone now has that worked out now on their Chromebook. I gave serveral ideas for what they could talk about in their movie, but most chose to talk about a favorite book character and used some of the book character stuffies I have collected over the years. They are getting used to recording themselves, so I gave them lots of practice time. We also figured out, and I should have known this, that they needed to spread out. Some of the kids got silly recording themselves, but that's ok, it's part of the process of getting used to seeing and hearing yourself in a movie.
Part of the reason for making movies today was because I will be sending home a project the kindergarten team decided to send home to do instead of doing in school. It is optional and you will get information about it Monday. The children are also going to do a little weather forecast on Monday. They actually will talk about the weather from Sunday, the current weather, and the forecast for Tuesday.
We talked about severe weather in science, specifically thunderstorms, tornadoes and blizzards. We talked aobut what to do during a thunderstorm, and will talk more on Monday about how people prepare for blizzards. We ran out of time today to finish that up!
We have had a few instances of children being excluded by other children ately. I'm sorry to say we have a few groups that have formed in the class that exclude some children. This often happens during the second semester in kindergarten. The children become more comfortable and start testing the limits. So you may see some notes on your child's calendar that you can use to discuss with your child about learning to being part of a group that doesn't leave anyone out. I have had to remind several children to move apart because of talking during lessons or work time, and also excluding others from playing or talking with them. We had someone completely ignored the other day when they tried to tell some children a story in the morning as they were coming in and getting settled. It's a new marking period so it's time for me to move kids around to other tables so they get to know eatch other better, so I hope this helps. I will also be moving their spots on the carpet as well so as we turn and talk to do partner talk they will have different children to talk to. Since next week we eat in our classroom, I will have students make lunch dates with kids they don't know well, and we will spread out in the room so we can have little groups of students eating together that might not normally sit together. We''re just having a few growing pains right now. It happens every year in kindergarten. At least they aren't kissing each other, like sometimes happens second semester. The masks prevent that!
Have a nice weekend!
In Orton-Gillingham, we are working with the u sound. We looked at umbrellas today during our Picture Talk and chose the one that was our favorite. Then we turned and talked with partners giving an opinion about the best umbrella. We know that when we share or write an opinion we need to give support, so we told why we chose the umbrella. Then, we shared out to the whole group with a partner sharing what their partner said. We do this often to remind the children of how important it is to listen to others. Ask me to tell you which umbrella was my favorite and why.
We listened to the story, The Hat, by Jan Brett, today. This is such a beautifully illustrated book. We knew we had to listen carefully to the events in the story so we could retell the story in sequence. Today the children are bringing home a paper with the characters that were in each new event. Ask me to show you the characters and retell the story.
We played some math games today to practice some skills we have been working on, and to practice playing by the rules and being fair.
It's that time of the year in kindergarten where we have been having to do a lot of testing. Although we do have two big tests that we take on the computer, we also have many assessments that are done one-on-one. We are in the homestretch! This group works so nicely on their own so I can get through quite a few children while the class works on something on their own. Right now we are doing the Benchmark reading passages to determine see what strategies and skills the students are using, and to see what we can build on to make their reading more fluent. There is also a quick comprehension piece that goes along with the reading sample. One area I know we need more work on is reading the Red Words quickly, without stretching them out to say each sound. These words need to have automaticity in reading and spelling. We will begin to work more on the spelling of the words. I will be sending home a list of the words and sounds we have introduced so you can see which words they need more practice with. We sent home flashcards recently, and on this website under the curriculum tab you will see Reading. There are activities you can do with your child to practice the Red Words.
Have a nice evening!
We studied these gentlemen this morning as an introduction to our Health mini-study of healthy eating. I'm not sure how appetizing these guys are! We looked at recreations of these paintings by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Ask me to tell you three reasons eating healthy is important.
We did a shared writing to add an event to the story Ungalala that we have been reading. We decided on another animal that could be in the story. We made a human graph on our rug to decide which animal we would use in our event and decided to use the flamingo. We wanted to use interesting language to talk about how the flamingo moves, but we had some trouble with that. Visualizing didn't work because we didn't have enough background knowledge so we watched a quick video of some flamingos. This helped us decide on the event that we added to Ungalala. Ask me to tell you the story of Ungalala.
The kids wanted you to see the clip I showed about flamingos. They really enjoyed the way this flock moved together!
Have a nice evening!
It is so good to be back with the kids. It was a long day with no special, and with lunch in the classroom and indoor recess, so I was with the kids all day. That accounts for the three hour deep sleep I did after school instead of the half hour nap I planned when I got home! I really do enjoy the weeks when the children eat in the classroom, or in Miss Wolfe's Restaurant as I call it. We listen to fun music and try and have quiet conversations. Sometimes it gets a bit loud, but as always with music on in the classroom, I remind them that if they can't hear the music, they are too loud. We enjoyed some Disney Jazz today since Friday is Jazz Friday in our classroom. If you enjoy Dave Brubeck, or love Disney, Dave Digs Jazz is a great album!
We reviewed words with multiple meanings today. These words are homophones. We enjoyed the book Did You Say Pears, by Arlene Alda which is a book of photographs with witty text. We noticed the homophones but also used it as an opportunity to dig deeper into vocabulary. For example, we clarified the word "pairs" which many of the students didn't really understand. With vocabulary developement, children have often heard words but don't have a good working definition of the word. We have been working on vocabulary strategies such as using the context of the sentence to understand the words. I call the children Word Birds and use a bird graphic on the slide in the slideshow to remind the children that this is an important word in our content.
In math, we have been writing numbers that come before and after a given number, and identifying words as more than or less than. We are also using the word "fewer:" when we talk about quantity. We can use the words "less than" when talking about the value of a number, and "fewer" when we are talking about quantity. It's a pet peeve of mine when I hear it used less used to describe quantity on tv, but I think I'm going to have to get over that! But it's important the children know this, especially since it comes up on the MAP P test.
I am continuing to see reversals in writing numbers and in letters. We will continue to work on handwriting to address this. It is very common for children in kindergarten and first grade to reverse letters and numbers.
The children brought home Read to Me, Talk to Me books today. Remember they can keep this book at home for a week so you can read it several times. Don't forget about the questions that are in the front or back of the book. These were written to support the curriculm and give you a focus as you read the book during the week. It's not necessary for your child to answer all the questions. I want this time to be enjoyable and to not feel like a quiz. We have one child in the class who does the class project each week, and several others who do them sometimes. I am moving the display for the projects in the classroom so we have more room for projects.. The projects are optional but encouraged.
Have a great weekend and stay safe!