We started our day by studying this Norman Rockwell painting, Going and Coming. We talked about what we noticed. After we talked about the car for longer than I expected, we talked about the family inside and what was happening. The children were quick to use clues in the paintings to understand that the family was having a trip to the beach. We talked about how the family was feeling on the way to the beach and on the way back. Clearly, Mom is exhausted, and Dad is actually leaning forward as if to help the car get home even faster. We also discussed car safety. Some of the children are actually hanging out the window! We discussed how cars are now safer for passengers than in the 1950's. The children really enjoyed discussing this painting, and we will be studying other paintings of Norman Rockwell this week.
We are working to write words quicker instead of getting stuck on a part of the word. We practiced playing Switcheroo, so we made new words by changing one letter in a three letter word. Then we practiced writing sentences. We reread the sentences and looked at the tricky words. We can stretch the word out and put a little dot under each letter we write for the sounds we hear. This helps us check to see if we left any sounds out. We continue to work on remembering to start the sentences with a capital letter and to use punctuation at the end of the sentence. We use a smiley face to help us check for these things, as well as spaces between words, word wall words spelled correctly, and listening for the sounds in unknown words. Ask me to tell you what each part of the face represents in the sentence check.
In health, we are learning about families. We are working on portraits of our own family. We are showing the position of family members, so we are working from youngest to oldest. Now I know how old all of you are, or how old your child thinks you are! We are not putting that in the portraits!
Since we are talking about families, this was a good time to read the story Potato: A Tale From The Great Depression, by Katie Lied. This is a family story that was passed down to the author by her grandparents and aunt. We talked about the importance of family stories as a way of learning more about our families. Ask me to tell you what happened when the father in the story could not find work in Iowa.
Yesterday we visited Ohio, and I know you received the postcard, but the kids really wanted you to see Brutus, the mascot for The Ohio State. I showed them what a buckeye was, so of course I had to show them Brutus as well since he has a buckeye for his head.
In math, we are problem solving using decomposition. The kids are listening to word problems and using pictures, number bonds, fingers, manipulatives or addition facts they know to solve problems. We are beginning to work on addition and subtraction facts through five.
We took a word wall check-up to see how we are doing with spelling all the kindergarten word wall words. It is the expectation that by the end of the year they can read and spell these words automatically. These are not words they should stretch out because that slows the child down in their reading and writing, and often these words do not look like they sound.
Have a nice evening!
We started our day by studying the eyes of different animals. We discussed what we saw that was the same and different, and even guessed the animals these eyes belong to!
We enjoyed visiting Oklahoma today. We read/sang in This Land is Your Land, as well as Riding in My Car in honor of Woodie Guthrie. We loved looking at these books because they showed many different landforms and America symbols we had learned about earlier in the year. We also watched a very short part of the song Oklahoma from the musical. We talked about how Oklahoma had a lot of wide open land that is used for farming and cattle. We also talked about the windmills we saw that were used for drilling for oil. I'm so sorry to do this to you, but they love Riding in My Car, the funny version, NOT the Bruce Springsteen version. I'm putting both clips on here so you can choose. The funny version is the pop-up book we read, but the kids had learned this song in music with Mr. Sheets. Just a warning, I'm not sure if there is a way to get the song out of your head once it's in there!
We learned about horseshoe crabs today as we visited Delaware. We read Hightide for Horseshoe Crabs, by Lisa Kahn Schnell. We learn about the horseshoe crabs coming to shore to lay eggs. We learned about their interesting external features and how these features help them survive. Their tail is very interesting! Ask me to tell you what their tail does and what the interesting thing we found out about it!
We sorted animal picture cards into groups by their coverings. The children had to work as a group to do one sort, which meant they couldn't just sort their own cards in front of themselves. They read information on the back of the cards when they weren't sure of the covering. They worked cooperatively and did an awesome job. We will be sorting these cards again in groups by other attributes that the group decides on.
In math, we reviewed solid shapes. We played a Mystery Bag game where kids put their hand in the bag and described what they felt using math words such as faces, sides points and corners. They did a pretty good job! Some of those words are difficult to say, and for an extra challenge, there were hexagonal prisms in the bag, and that's not an easy word to say!
Have a nice evening!
What a great day! We learned about a very unusual animal. We studied photographs of pangolins. We did what readers and learners do and asked questions about this unusual creature. Then, we read an information text about pangolins. We learned about some of their external features and how they help them to survive. Ask me to tell you about this animal and it's external features.
In math, we continued to work with decomposing, writing number sentences, and solving story problems. I added some websites to practice addition, decomposing and skip counting to our website homework tab. Check the homework sheet there and click on the links to find practice games.
We visited Vermont today as we read across America. We learned about making maple syrup. We are beginning to learn about producers and consumers in Social Studies, so this was a great beginning for us. We read Sugaring, by Jesse Haas. This story is about a grandfather and granddaughter going into the woods to empty the buckets of sap into a big vat on a sled that two horses pull. They take the sap to the sugar house and boil it until it is just the right consistency and color. The grandma makes a special treat for the horses and little girl. This is a sweet story about a family working together.
We did a lot of word work today. We are working on writing simple words quickly, as well as learning our word wall words. As of today, we have introduced all the kindergarten words, but many of the students still need additional practice in spelling the words quickly and accurately. We will continue to work with these words, as well as add additional first grade words. I will be giving the students a word wall check-up, and we will work on the words they still need to learn to spell.
We made cards for one of our friends who had their tonsils out. We learned about how to make a card, writing a nice message, and decorating the card with something we know our friend likes. The kids worked hard on these cards and did a really great job!
We are working on building reading stamina in independent reading. The children are working hard to read for 15-20 minutes without interruption. This is hard work! Focus, using strategies and skills, recalling word wall words, and the physical side of making your eyes do the work across the page is a big task! But they are doing it and are so motivated by the Dr. Seuss books, as well as some of their favorite series characters such as Fly Guy, Piggie and Elephant, and Fancy Nancy. Ask me to tell you what I like reading during independent reading.
Have a nice evening1
We started our day with an assembly presented by Odyssey of the Mind. These groups are presented a problem that they solve through a little play that they write and produce on their own. They go to a state tournament to compete. We watched three little plays this morning. The children were so impressed and happy to see friends of theirs in the older grades participating. We talked about how important it is to let the performers know how well they did by complimenting them when we see them later in the halls or at aftercare.
We worked in reading small groups with rereading information texts and answering text dependent questions. It's important the children use information from the text when they answer these questions, so I had the children show me where the information was in the book first before answering. This is very difficult to get some children to do that because they are so confident of what they know. They often know more than what is in the book, but the purpose of these lessons is for the children to use the text and illustrations/photographs to respond. In fact, although the children are very good at studying and talking about photographs each morning, when they read, sometimes they are just "off to the races" and reading to finish the book instead of understand the story or text. We also used the table of contents to find where information would be in the book, if it had a contents page. We practiced stopping as we read, studying the pictures, and reading any captions, vocabulary boxes, diagrams or any other text features on the page to be sure we understood the information the author was giving us through the text and illustrations. You can do this with your children as well as you read with them. Stopping along the way to clarify a story or to check understanding of the text is a habit we want the children to have as they begin to read longer and more challenging texts.
We visited Tennessee today as we continued reading across the U.S.A. We read a book by Patricia Polacco called John Phillip Duck about the ducks at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. We heard a fictionalized account, based on the true story, of how the ducks came to swim in the fountain at the Peabody hotels. After we read the book, we looked at a couple short videos that showed the ducks swimming, riding the elevator and walking the red carpet, and going to their rooftop homes.
I'm sorry we didn't get our Read to Me, Talk to Me books passed out. We have been so busy, and we had visitors at the end of the day which took a little longer than expected so I have time to pass them out. I'll send them Monday, and if you want to keep them longer than until Thursday, that is fine by me!
Have a great weekend!
Today we studied the external features of a duck. We read two books online to identify the external features that ducks need to meet their basic needs. We drew and labeled a duck's external features, then wrote about one external feature and how it helps the duck to survive. Ask me to name three external features a duck has and how it helps them to survive.
Then, we continued on our Read Across America journey and visited Massachusetts. We read Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey. This book tells the story of a pair of ducks who decide to make their nest on an island in a Boston park. Ask me to tell you about some of the problems the ducks had in Boston.
In math, we are continuing to work with decomposition. We are working with number bonds, which is a set of circles that have the whole and it's parts connected. We also wrote a number sentence that shows the decomposition. For example, 7 = 3+4. We listened to story problems and used the number bonds to find the answers, then wrote a number sentence to go with the problem.
Have a nice evening!
The children are enjoying Dr. Seuss books! They are so proud of being able to read many of the books!
We continued to talk about one of our academic success skills today. We listened to a Charlie and Lola story about how Lola learned to ride her bike. It took a bit of convincing by Charlie to get Lola not to give up, and get back on that bike after falling off.
This chart reminds us of the characteristics of persistence!
We started our day by making our suitcases for the postcards we are collecting as we are reading across the United States. We decorated our suitcases with designs and "stickers" with different states we like or would like to visit. Here they are modeling their suitcases!
We had a very quiet day. In fact, it was almost eerie it was so quiet. Springing forward seems to have done a job on these little guys!
We had a visit from Dr. Chawla, Surina's mom, who is a pediatrician. She told about her career, and what she does at her job. We also saw some of the tools she uses at her office. Friday, we had a visit from Audrey's dad who is also a doctor. From what I can gather, from artifacts left and from the kids said, it has something to do with the lungs. The children are learning so much from these visits, and I really appreciate the parents who have taken time out of their day to come visit. It's a great way to start the day, so if anyone else would like to come in and talk about their job, we would love to have you!
We had a visit from Mrs. Kanter today. She also talked about careers. She read a great book to the kids called When I Grow Up by "Weird Al:" Yankovic. Here's a trailer that gives you a peek at the book, read by "Weird Al" himself!
On our Read Across America journey, we stopped off in Florida today. I bet you are all thinking I read a book about Walt Disney or "The World" itself, but I practiced self control and read a powerful book about how humans change the environment and the habitats of plants and animals instead. The book is called Everglades, by Jean Craighead George, and is beautifully illustrated by Wendell Minor. The story is about a group of children who go on a canoe ride with a man who tells the story of the Everglades. He starts at it's beginning, and tells how it evolved and it's plants and animals were prospering, and then the changes humans brought to the area, and how that changed life for those plants and animals. The story ends with the man telling the children that they grew up and changed the Earth again by bringing back those animals and plants to the numbers once in the Everglades. Ask me to tell you about the plants and animals in the Everglades.
We also read another book later in the day called Sam, the Sea Cow, by Francine Jacobs. This is a story based on actual events. We read this story not only because it is set in Florida, but because it has very short chapters that gave us a reminder that readers don't just start reading and race through the words, that they instead read, stop and think about the story or information they read. At the end of each chapter, we came up with one major even from that part of the story. At the end of the story we wrote about one event in several sentences and drew a quick sketch. Ask me to tell you about the major events in Sam the Sea Cow.
Your child is bringing home baggie with tangrams. We used the tangrams to create different shapes with more than one shape. There is a little chart that tells how many pieces to use, and how many bunnies should be on the combined shapes. This is a puzzle, so we worked on trying things in different ways to find the correct way to make the different shape. Ask me to show you the tangram puzzle.
Below I have a included the Reading Rainbow episode of Sam the Sea Cow. We read the book, but I am sure the kids would love to see the whole show! The show is about a half-hour, so I think this episode was recorded twice on YouTube, giving it a longer play time. Anyway, enjoy!
Have a nice evening!
We had a great day! Sonia's dad, Dr. Williamson, came in and talked about his job as a scientist. He told about his education, what he does at his job, and how it helps people. We all learned a lot about MRI's. Thank-you to Dr. Williamson for taking time out of his day to come in and visit with us!
We began working on an information book in Writing. We thought about topics we know a lot about, made a list, then picked one for the topic of our book. We will be using text features in our book. Ask me to tell you two things information books have that fiction books do not.
Have a great evening!