This has been a very busy week for the kinders! We had MAP P testing on Monday. I was all set until I realized the new Chromebooks were not charged and the cart of old Chromebooks was going to be used by Miss Kim in the morning. So we flipped our day and did the test in the afternoon! The math test is a little trickier for kinders not because of the content, but because they have to be able to click and drag objects and figure out how to answer some of the questions. It's not consistent like the MAP RF, which is a newer test. Since our class didn't have their Chromebooks, some of this was new to our kinders. However, they did well on the test overall. We use this test only as one data point, and this administration was to really see where the children are at the beginning of kindergarten. We take this assessment two more times. The data is not used for grading.
Before I forget, I want to share some fun videos we use for Brain Breaks. These videos are from Disney Family, and they are so well done. I'm sure your families might enjoy doing this together! I'll post them at the end of this entry and you can save them if you think it's something your family might like to do!
In math, we are continuing to work with counting. We talked about zero, showed different ways to compose numbers to four, and are practicing numeral formation. We are continuing to practice using our fingers for counting the Math Way. If you are unsure of how the children should do this, I have a short video on our math tab under curriculum.
We learned the routine for using our bumpy boards in Orton Gillingham, and used the sand a couple more times. The children are doing such a great job of remembering the rules about the sand. The bumpy boards will be used for writing letters and words.
We worked on retelling a little bit this week. This is something we will work on throughout the year. We started with a simple story called Silly Sally, by Audrey Wood. This cute rhyming story is predictable which makes it easier to retell. As we move into literacy stations next week, the children will have the opportunity to practice retelling this story with picture cards.
We also have been working with identifying fiction and non-fiction books. We know that fiction books are story books that may have animals doing things people do, magic, and most often have illustrations that are drawn, painted or made digitally. We know that a big clue that helps in identifying non-fiction or information books is that it is usually not a story, often has photographs but not always, and has information that is true. We also looked at how the pages look different in some non-fiction books.
In Social Studies we talked about roles we have at home. We talked about responsibilities at home and school. Ask me to tell you a responsibility I have at home and one I have a school. For example, a responsibility that we are working on is to turn in our yellow folder every morning and to take it home each day. I am still reminding them several times, as is Mrs. Greene who helps us out in the morning, but soon it's the expectation that they will remember to do this on their own.
In Science we talked about different kinds of scientists. We also talked about our five senses. We will be talking more about the senses as it relates to talking about weather as we begin our weather unit.
We went outside on Friday morning to review playground rules and routines, as well as learn a tag game they can play on the blacktop. The children really enjoyed Mr. Fenton, our staff development teacher, and Mrs. Kemp teaching them the new game Turtle Tag. Ask me to show you how to play Turtle Tag.
Mrs. Kanter visited on Friday to introduce the children to our No Place for Hate program. This is a program developed by the Anti-Defamation League to help schools provide more inclusive and equitable climates in their schools. I'm suggesting two links on the ADL website you may be interested in to learn more about what we can do to help even our youngest learners become aware of these important issues and learn to be upstanders to provide support and those who may not be included or may not be treated fairly.
Monday we will be signing the No Place for Hate Pledge.
Early Childhood Questions and Answers
Table Talk - more for older kids but this is still a nice resource to check out
Today we read a beautiful book called Islandborn, by Junot Diaz, to introduce Hispanic Heritage Month. This book is about a little girl who was born on an island but does not remember it. At school, she has an assignment to draw a picture that shows where her family is from, but she does not remember it. She takes a notebook and talks to people in her neighborhood about the island to help her make a picture to present to her classmates at school. We had an interesting discussion about where our families are from. You would not believe how many families in our class are from West Virginia or France. It was truly remarkable! I encouraged the kids to ask their family about their family's heritage. We will be having a monthly focus of different cultures throughout the year. We will read books, listen to music, look at maps and flags, look at food, art, and landscapes of these areas. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrate through mid-October. I have included a book trailer for Islandborn if you would like to know more about it. It's a long book so we took a break and read the book in two parts.
As promised, here are some of the Disney Family videos we have been using for Brain Breaks. I'll have to try and video the kids dancing or stretching when we have Brain Breaks. I think the Brain Breaks are not only important to give the kids a chance to move and take a mental break from learning, but also in following directions. In just the month we've been in school, I've seen the children more able to follow what is happening on the screen and pay attention to feet, legs arms and whole body movements from where they started at the beginning of the year.