We can't get enough llama shorts! We practiced retelling and noting key events in this video. Ask me to tell you what the problem was that got this story started!
Enjoy the video!
The children really enjoy the Brain Breaks! The dance party videos give the children extra practice in following directions and in movement and balance. They definitely have their favorites! Ask me to tell you my favorite Brain Break dance video.
We combined fine motor practice, counting and decorating our l all into one activity! The children were given a partial sheet of leaf stickers, and as we listened to Autumn from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi, the children took the stickers off quickly and placed them on their l. We were trying to see how fast they could go with peeling the little stickers off. We also counted how many stickers we got on the l. The kids really enjoyed this!
Have a nice evening!
We listened to a great story, told by a little dog named Plum, that had an important lesson to share. The book is called Love is My Favorite Thing, and it's written by Emma Chichester Clark. This story is about a little dog that is still learning self-control. He knows what he shouldn't do, but he has a hard time stopping himself. He is loved by his owners, and the neighbor children, so when he makes the wrong choice, he is very sad because he knows he has let them down. Ask me to tell you about some of the events in the book when Plum did not make a good choice. The story ends with Plum's owners telling her they will always love her, even when she makes mistakes. What a reassuring message for children to hear!
Today we wrote thinking bubbles to show what a character in the story School Rules was thinking. We are going to be doing more writing to build confidence. Even though I modeled exactly what to do and children told me what they were going to write, very few of them did the writing. They turned in their writing paper without writing on it. They had to go back and do it before they could go play this afternoon. We are going to work on putting down the sounds we hear and not worrying about the spelling. The only words they should spell are the Red Words we have learned so far. We are going to practice stretching out words and do daily practice writing a sentence or two.
In math, we continued working with numbers. The children today were using ten frames, to show numbers, learn about odd and even numbers, and to recognize five and some more to make larger numbers. We also played a fun counting game. The kids can count, but had a difficult time because they weren't looking at and listening to each other, and some were not speaking to be heard. We will play the game again tomorrow to try and beat our score. Quite simply, the game was just counting to ten. We sat around the edge of the carpet and each child said one number. The child who said ten had to stand and didn't count on anymore. I turned over our five minute sand timer, and we tried to get ten people standing by the time the sand ran out. We got eight, which was a great start for the first time. We will play again tomorrow to see if we can get more friends standing.
Today during Talk Time, we watched another short. This thrilling short is filled with action and a few moments that caused us to gasp! We practiced retelling with our partners. We thought abhout what got the story started, ;the action that happened in the middle of the story, and the surprise ending! Ask me to retell the story, then watch it again with me!
Have a nice eveining!
After some technical difficulties today, we watched a short video called Hola Llamigo. This fit in perfectly since we are still talking about Hispanic Latino Heritage Month, and because we started talking about the l sound. We watched the video and I modeled a think aloud, asking questions to clarify what was happening in the video. I was asking questions about what I wondered about, which is what we want our children to do in reading, but also in any area where they are learning new information. We also looked for clues in the film, just like we are doing in the stories we are reading in Benchmark. Studying the illustrations and photographs in books leaders to deeper understanding. We talked about the characters in the story and how the boy's feelings changed throughout the story, and how what we thought about the man changed at the end of the story. I hope you enjoy this story!
Have a nice evening!
Today we practiced asking questions. We studied this incredible photograph and turned our wonderings into questions. We are still working on knowing the difference between telling and asking a question, but we really discussing this incredible boulder. We had a lot of questions, but also shared what we noticed. The children have come so far since September in listening and sharing during this time. Ask me to tell you what I wondered about and noticed in this photograph.
We had a great time with Mismatch Day! Thanks for all who participated! Check us out below!
We learned about writing a description today. We wrote a sentence or two to describe a character from one of our Benchmark stories. We practiced stretching out the words and tapping them as we wrote to include the sounds we heard. We also used an alphabet mat to help with sounds and letters.
In math we continued to practice writing numerals. We also played a game called Mind Reader. This game involves me thinking of number and giving more clues. As more clues are given, some children may need to change their guess. We are learning about odd and even to be used as a clue in our game. We know even numbers have a partner when we pair them up in twos. The children really enjoy this game! The math paper the children brought home had multiple directions. I demonstrated, in fact literally doing the problems, to remind them of the things they needed to do. They still, almost all of them, brought me papers that were not complete. Eureka has pages in their workbook with multiple sets of directions, so learning to follow directions is important not only for completing their work to show what they know, but just in general. We will continue to work on this throughout the year. Some things should be routine by now, like writing their name on the paper. Three part directions are what we are working on now.
We had a nice afternoon with time to play and to watch a little video about how Legos are made. The children really enjoy seeing how things are made, and this one is special to me since it has injection molding in it, which is what my father did all his life. He'd still be doing it today, but he finally retired at 84! Enjoy the video!
Today we worked with retelling a story. We thought about key events from a story we had read in benchmark. We thought about the beginning of the story, how it all began or was there a problem. Then we thought about the events in the middle of the story, where most of the story happens. The ending of the story is how the problem is solved or how it all worked out. Ask me to tell you what an event is.
We reread a beautiful story about a goat today. Grumpy Goat, by Brett Helquist. This story is about a goat who has never had a friend. He comes to a happy farm, but because he is so mean and grumpy, the farm is no longer happy. This book touches on mindfulness. It tells the reader the goat kept his head down and never noticed the world around him until one day he sees a dandelion on top of the hill. He takes care of the dandelion and finally feels some joy. The other animals begin to help out. But dandelions don't live forever. Ask me to tell you what happens. The expressions on the goat's face throughout this book as so good. The children can tell how this character is feeling and how those feelings change throughout the book. This story is also about grieving, and how just being near someone, or bringing them food even if they are not eating, is a kind gesture that shows you care. We drew an event from the story and labeled at least four things in our pictures. We are working hard to stretch out the sounds in the words with our stretchy snake, then tap out the sounds as we are writing. I will be hanging these out in the hallway to show them off!
We read a fun poem today that had the m sound in it. We used a highlighter to find words that had m's in them. We practiced being organized in looking for the words in the poem. We started at the top and went from left to right, and top to bottom. This is a counting strategy we are also using in math. We worked with counting groups of objects today. We are working on counting accurately, being sure to say just one number for each point, and having a counting path to follow. We counted items in a grid, columns, scattered and circle. We also practiced writing some teen numbers, and writing the tricky number 8!
Yesterday we didn't have quite enough time for a quick segment from How It's Made so I shared with the kids my favorite Muppets snippet. This will guarantee belly laughs. Enjoy!
Just a reminder...
Tomorrow is Mismatch Day! Your child can wear a mismatched outfit, from head to toe, if you like! I can't wait to see what they come up with!
Have a nice evening!
We had a busy day! We started our day by looking at these six pictures and thinking about what was the same and different in them, and then how they all go together. Ask me to tell you about these pictures!
We began talking about leaders today in Social Studies. We started with the father of our country. Ask me to tell you who is often called the father of our country.
Last week the kids were drawing and labeling a picture. They had some difficulty with drawing the picture so we could tell what was happening in it, and very few of them labeled. Today I took a lot of time drawing and thinking aloud so the children had a better idea of how to draw their picture. Their job was to draw a picture on the back of their poem that showed their favorite kind of weather. I reminded them that they needed to put clues in their picture so whoever looked at it could tell what kind of weather they liked best. I also took time to introduce "stretchy snake." We will only be using stretchy snake for a short time until children become more comfortable saying words slowly so they can hear all the sounds in the word. We also worked on tapping the sounds to be sure we got the sounds we heard onto our paper. The children know their stretchy snake is a tool, not a toy, and if they are playing with it, I will take it away and go fishing. They didn't believe the part about fishing with the stretchy snake. I guess I can't pull that off. Smart cookies these little ones are! Below are a few pictures of the kids working. I started too late to get pictures of them stretching out the words with the snakes, but I did notice improvement in their work. I'll send the song with the picture on the back tomorrow!
We also worked with identifying rhyming words. We read Clark the Shark, by Bruce Hale. Clark decides one way he can remind himself of proper behavior is to make a rhyme about what he should do. We listened to the rhyme and picked out the two words that rhymed.
We also talked about what Clark was having trouble with in school. One of the problems Clark had was getting too excited when he was playing then playing too rough. We talked about how this sometimes happens and what we can do to be sure we are not getting carried away in our play and other times when we are having a good time. We talked about checking to see how fast our "motor" is running. If we feel ourselves get too excited, we have to put the brakes on and settle down. This is something we will refer to often in our discussions about behavior.
We FINALLY finished our Aztec suns. We painted paper to do this project. I did the cutting for this project, but the children made designs on their suns like they saw in some Aztec suns we looked at in class, and in my example. They chose shapes and colors for the face, glued them on, then added designs and colors with oil pastels. I think they had a great time! We used a lot of straight lines, zig zag lines and dots to make our designs. Enjoy the photos below! We will have these suns hanging in our room with our Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month bulletin board.
Have a nice evening!
We worked hard today! We practiced writing the letter g. This is a tricky letter, and we worked hard to be sure we pulled back when making our circle, being sure to keep it in the downstairs. We also made sure the monkey tail went into the basement.
We worked on identifying action verbs. Of course this meant another School House Rock. It's from my childhood, and I promise it will be the last!
In mathematics, we are working with 7. We have some reversals of 5's and 7's. We will keep practicing, but I think it may be in part due to the dot that Eureka has them start on for the 5. We also are working with counting scattered groups and groups in a circle. The children need to have a path they use to count so they count accurately. Going from top to bottom, left to right in some groups works, in circles starting just past where the 12 would be on a clock, at the 1, is a good way to count in a circle. We will continue to work on this because accuracy is important!
We took a lot of time today to discuss a couple issues that occured on the playground today. A child was told she couldn't play with another child and her. The child felt left out and sat by herself for a little while. She wanted a little time to herself because it was loud and she needed a break, but then she wanted to play. A couple kids from the class came over and asked if she wanted to play, which just warmed my heart to hear! I encouraged all the kids to play with different kids, not always the same ones they knew from their preschool or neighborhood. You never know who might end up being a best friend for life! We had another problem where one child was wanting to hug another child. We talked about how it is not okay to put your hands on someone else, even for a hug. Not everyone wants that, and right now it's just better to have some distance. We also had some kicking and punching. This happened because of the hugging. We talked briefly about DeBug, but also getting adult help if you are having trouble solving your problem on your own. These are really important things kindergarteners have to learn. They just need to learn what is appropriate at school. They also need to learn how to solve problems peacefully so we will talk more about DeBug tomorrow! It was a long discussion, but a good one, and I think the kids understand but will need more practice. I'll send home more information about DeBug and Mrs. Kanter will also be doing a lesson about it soon.
Read to Me, Talk to Me came home today. The kids are really excited! Our usual return day will be Thursday with books being sent home again on Friday. This week, since we didn't get them passed out on Friday, you may keep them an extra week if you don't get to the book and project and would like more time. I hope you enjoy it! I will be sending home a letter later this evening about Read to Me, Talk to Me.
Have a nice evening!
I have to tell you again how enjoyable it is to work with this group. Their kindness, happy attitudes and respect make each day productive and fun for all of us!
We started our day looking at this beautiful painting. We were looking for clues about the weather. Ask me to tell you about what clues I used to tell what the weather was in this painting.
We used a new tool in writing. We used an alphabet mat. We can use the pictures to remind ourselves of the sounds in words, and we can use the letters to remind ourselves of what the letters look like, specifically the lower case letters which we use more. We listened to a favorite story, Dozens of Donuts, and drew a picture of our favorite part. We practiced writing labels, that were all nouns, of things in the picture. Drawing pictures and labelling is a good way for children to build confidence in writing unknown words.
In reading, we read an information book and learned about text features. We talked about the glossary, table of contents, chapter headings, and bold print. We will continue to talk more about these text features throughout the year. We also looked at dictionaries today. We looked only at picture dictionaries. Being able to find what we need in them quickly is important, so we looked at how these books were organized. We had some organized by topic and a few organized in alphabetical order. We use dictionaries primarily to just practice writing words in literacy stations. We will use them at some point to fix up words that have been spelled incorrectly when we are taking a writing piece through the entire publishing process. This is not something we do with every piece of writing.
The children are spending a lot of time erasing. Usually I give students the pencils they use, and I remove the erasers. I will be giving them pencils again in the next couple days because they are becoming reluctant to try and write and continue to erase, which leaves them less time for writing. We will be using a "stretchy snake", which they will get tomorrow, as a tool to get them to stretch out the word slowly and write the sounds they know. On the pencils I will give them, they will have a pencil topper instead which will be used to tap the words they write as they reread to make sure their piece makes sense.
We are working on listening and following directions. Many of the students yesterday did not follow directions on a fairly simple paper. They didn't use the color they were told to use for the word, and some used many colors for the other words. I made a point of being very clear and telling and showing them what to do. I gave the same directions several times. It might seem trivial to worry about the color they used, but following directions is something they need to do to learn to do now when things are easier so they are ready for more complex directions later on. They need to learn to attend to what is said and not let our words just be noise. Holding them accountable helps them learn words are important. We had a few good models to share from students who followed directions so I'm hoping the children see it's important to really listen and do what is asked of them.
We are hoping to have a surprise for you tomorrow! I am going to introduce Seesaw to the kids, so hopefully they will be able to do a couple things that you can see when you get access to their online journal. I will be sending a code later tonight or tomorrow that will give you access to their online journal, which is really more of a portfolio of their work. They will need to log on, so if you have a few minutes tonight, ask them to practice logging on to their Chromebook.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day with our Talk Time, studying these beautiful photos. We are working on identifying similarities in photos and texts. The children had a really robust discussion with their partners. They noticed that this photo was taken from the exact same location at different times of the year.
We continued thinking about similarities in our reading comprehension lesson. We compared two texts and made a chart that listed how the texts were the same and different. This was more difficult for the students, but in part because they have not had enough instruction in informational text features and different types of texts. This is a lesson that will be repeated throughout the year with other texts.
We had a Social Studies lesson about rules. We read a beautiful book called The Golden Rule, by Ilene Cooper. This is a beautiful book that I highly recommend. This book talks about the golden rule being a part of most cultures and religions. It also talks about how simple the golden rule is, and that you need to use your imagination to put yourself in someone else's position and to think about how you would feel. We talked once again about the most important word we will talk about this year; empathy. We watched a video from Sesame Street that helped us understand empathy better. I will be attaching a video of the book I read as well as Mark Ruffalo talking with Telly about empathy. Enjoy!
In math, we worked with writing the number six and adding one more to a set. When it was time to do the page out of the book, what I found was that, although I went over the directions and modeled several times, children still did not follow directions. They understand the concept but do not follow the directions so their work is incorrect. This also occured in the morning with coloring the word "the." We talked about, and they saw me use, the color yellow. I also told them they could use one other color to color the remainder of the spaces. Although we went over the directions several times, we still had many students not follow the directions. We will be working more on following directions. The children know this is something they will be graded on, so it is something that is not only important in being the best learner they can, but also is important because it is on the report card. This is something we have to work on every year in kindergarten, so it isn't that they are not listening, I think it's more of understanding that what we say is not a choice, it is what they are expected to do.
Have a nice evening!
Our classroom has been a busy place! We have been practicing retelling using poems and short stories. Today we used a poem called Dinosaur Dig. We used paper that had been folded into four parts to retell the story. Ask me to tell you what happened in the story, then read the poem with me
We have also been learning about nouns. We enjoyed this old cartoon, from my childhood, that you might also enjoy..
The children are doing a great job following the Orton Gillingham routines we have been working on. We are moving through the drills and activities quicker and have added enough letters to start making words. We are also adding Red Words that are expected to be "overlearned" so they are read automatically when seen in text and writing "just like that" when we want to use them in our writing. These words are in our weekly newsleeter. Most weeks we will learn two Red Words in OG, however more words will be introduced in the children's reading group.
Have a nice evening!