We had a great end to our week! We focused on identifying the setting in a story. Ask me to tell you what a setting is. We chose two books and sat with a partner to identify the setting. The students talked a little about the setting and how it was important to the story. Then we read a beautiful story called Come On, Rain by Karen Hesse. This book is the story of a little girl who knows rain is coming. It hasn't rained in two weeks, and the city is hot. Ask me to tell you what happens.
We learned more about clouds today. We watched a video that showed the three main types of clouds. We made clouds, and fog, and brought them home. Ask me to show you the three main types of clouds and the motions we use to remember what they look like.
Have a nice weekend!
Today we learned about symbols. We looked at all kinds of symbols from car companies to symbols you might see on the highway. Then we looked at symbols of our country. We watched a video that told about six different symbols of the United States. Ask me to name two symbols of the United States.
We read a beautiful book at being yourself. The books is called Be a Friend, by Salina Yoon. This story tells about a boy who is extraordinary. The trailer below will give you a better idea of the book. Ask me to tell you what a mime is. Maybe they will even show you their jazz hands!
In math, we played at game with dot arrangements. We are working on subitizing, which means being able to know how many without counting. This is an important concept in building strong number sense. Here's a video to give you a little more information about what subitizing is and why it is important.
As you may have heard, MCPS has been having some internet problems, and it's making it tricky for me to post some days, so please know I'll post when I can!
Yesterday we studied a very interesting photograph in the morning. The students are doing a really great job of making inferences based on what they know and clues they see in the photograph. We are working to discuss what we notice and what we are wondering about. It is so interesting to listen to how their little discussions progress and how they come to a better understanding based on what they are talking about with their partner, and also what they are overhearing. We are talking about symbols, so I chose this photograph with prayer flags at a Tibetan monastery. We had so much to talk about! Ask me to tell you about this photograph!
We are getting ready to take the MAP-P test, in fact we were going to take it today. We went over how they will respond on the Chromebooks to the questions that are asked. This test will give us a better idea of the math concepts the students know and where we need to instruct them next to build on what they already know. I am hoping to assess the class on Friday morning. Keep your fingers crossed our internet works!
We sorted names today using comparison circles. This gave us the opportunity to sort the names by two attributes. It also gave us the opportunity to read and hear our classmates names again since we are still working to learn everyone's name.
Have a nice evening!
We had a busy day! This morning we studied a beautiful photograph. We worked on talking about interesting things they noticed, not just naming things in the photograph. We also talked about things we wondered about after studying the photograph. This photograph had a lot of students thinking they were seeing a tornado, but it is a very special kind of cloud. We will be learning more about clouds this week!
Ask me to tell you about the photograph.
We read a special book today about making friends. The story is called Ribbit, by Rodrigo Folgueria. This story is about a group of frogs who go to their pond one morning and find a pig sitting in the middle of it. The pig actually says "ribbit." The frogs do not trust the pig, and as other animals arrive with similar apprehensions about the pig, they decide to go to the Wise Old Beetle for help. Ask me to tell you what happened and how the story ended. We will be revisiting this story several times this week to talk about the characters and key details.
Nobody panic! This is not a new reading program I am trying out. Over the weekend I read an article about how vital executive functioning is to kids' ability to learn. Executive functioning is abilities people have for managing themselves and information. This study concentrated on focus, self-control and working memory. It's important students develop these skills when they are young to have success in school. The school in this study did a lot of balance activities as one part of their emphasis on strengthening students' self-control. We talked about what would be important for them to do to walk with the book on their head. Students came up with slowly walking, holding their head up, feeling the book on their head so they knew when it was slipping, and using hands to balance themselves as if they were on a tightrope. (OK, the last suggestion was mine.) We didn't do this too long because the books falling on the floor was loud! However, it was obvious that with some practice they got better with the task. This could also be done quieter with bean bags. Other activities that help children develop this self-control and focus are things such as ballet, the martial arts and yoga. We will continue to include exercise during our day to develop these abilities further.
Mrs. Kanter came in today to discuss autism with our children. The children with autism are in classrooms in our hallway. She talked with the students about how students with autism learn and process stimulation differently and how their reactions may be different than how we react to our environment. She also talked about how some of the students communicate differently and may not talk as they do. Sometimes we can hear the students if they are having a hard time communicating when something is not right for them. The autism students seem very upset and may run or slam a door, but they have extra teachers who are keeping them safe and helping them. We wanted to talk about our friends in the autism program early in the year so the children have a better understanding of what is happening when they see the students around the building. Your child is bringing home a puzzle piece which they colored with something special about themselves. We talked about how the puzzle piece has become a symbol for autism.
Speaking of symbols, later this week, we will be talking about symbols of the United States, so we will be talking about the Pledge of Allegiance, the flag and the Star Spangled Banner. Of course our instruction is not political, but I did have to just laugh at the timing!
I will be updating our class website hopefully this week. You will find more tabs and information about our curriculum. I will also be opening the homework tab later so you can see a few activities your child may want to do.
Have a nice evening!
We had a great morning! We met with our Bear Buddies from Ms. Wang's class today. They helped the students log on and off of the Chromebooks and bookmarked a couple websites I wanted the children to use in math. It went really well and the kids had a great time. We will meet with Ms. Wang's class this year for special activities or just to get together and read or share writing. I have just a couple photos since I don't have permission from her parents to post their child's photo, but as you can see from these photos, the kids had a great time!
We missed World Peace Day yesterday, as well as Talk Like a Pirate Day the day before that, but I decided it was more important we talked about peace than talking like pirates all day. We analyzed this picture and made inferences based on the parts. With help in thinking about the dove being a symbol of peace, we thought Romero Britto wanted to encourage children to bring peace to our world as they grow up. We read Todd Parr's book, The Peace Book, and began a discussion of what we can do to be peacemakers. This is a topic we will revisit as we were short on time today. Here is the pop art picture we studied by Romero Britto.
I also shared the circular peace sign symbol with the children. We practiced making straight lines, slanted lines, and making a circle by pulling back and around in a counterclockwise motion. These are the lines we will use as we begin handwriting. The children had time to practice making peace sign symbols, and I'll send home the papers they did on Monday.
In math, we sorted collections and organized them so we could answer questions about the quantities. We know that when we line up like items to compare, it's easy to see the differences in each set.
Have a great weekend!
We read a funny book today about a dog named George. The book Oh No, George, by Chris Haughton, is a simple book with a strong lesson about a dog who really tries to be good, but sometimes has a hard time controlling himself. Ask me to tell you two things George did when his friend Harry left the house. George is very sad when Harry comes home and sees what he has done. Here's a trailer of this great book. Ask me to tell you about what is happening in the clip.
We practiced having self-control today with bubbles. We got a big bottle of Super Duper Self-Control bubbles that I floated over the children's heads. The children had to sit and not pop the bubbles with their fingers or by moving their bodies. Ask me to tell you what self-control is.
We practiced writing our name the "kindergarten way" with an upper-case letter at the beginning and the rest of the letters lower case. This is something you may want to practice with your child at home if you know they still need practice. Putting a little shaving cream on a cooking sheet and having your child use the pointer finger on their writing hand is a good way to reinforce the path, and is a nice break from just writing it with pencil.
Yesterday we had a fair amount of kindergarten students with skinned knees. They are playing chasing games on the blacktop, and skinning their knees. Many of the students did not listen when told to stop, or stopped for a minute or two then began chasing again. Mrs. Bekdash came up with a cute phrase "race don't chase" that she used with the children to get them to go to the grassy area on the soccer field and have a race instead of chasing each other. We talked about it today in class as well, so hopefully the chasing will continue. We reinforced that children can't chase you if you just stop, but we still had some chasing today. We will continue to remind students about this, as well as listening to the adults on the playground.
Please check your e-mail for an e-mail from me for Room Parents and party helpers. You will have an e-mail from Sign-Up Genius from me. You might want to check your junk e-mail if you don't see it. If you still can't find it, let me know so I can check your e-mail address I have in my address book. Thanks!
Have a wonderful evening! Don't forget, no school for students or teachers tomorrow!
My entries keep disappearing today! I'll post more tomorrow, but the big news for today is that we finished our reading testing and reading groups will begin tomorrow!
We had a good day, but with a few bumps in the road. A few children are forgetting, and not listening to reminders, to turn in folders and sign up for lunch. I will start pulling stickers and letting you know so you know they are needing reminders to follow the morning routine. We also have had a noise issue, but that happens many years with groups of students. I will be working with them on a way they can remember what voice level they should be using different times of the day. We are also hearing those words we all love to hear as adults, "STOOOOOOP IT!" We will be working with DeBug to learn strategies for what to do when someone is bugging them so they have an alternative to that loud alarm.
I really do still love them! They really are right where they should be! These things are all part of kindergarten, and even in the curriculum!
Have a nice evening!
We had a great day! We started our day analyzing two paintings. We were looking for differences and similarities, as well as noticing the weather. Ask me to tell you about these paintings.
I introduced a new tool to use in writing today. We can use a stretchy snake to help us to stretch out words to hear the sounds. Stretching the snake helps us slow down and say the word slowly. We know the stretchy snake is a tool, not a toy. We wrote about our favorite kind of weather. We drew a picture that showed the weather along with a background for our picture.
We collected data in math that showed our favorite weather as well. We talked about what we noticed about our data. Ask me to tell you about our weather data.
I am hoping to finish our reading testing tomorrow. After that I can start reading groups and a couple other routines for handwriting and learning to read and spell word wall words.
Have a nice evening!
The second week of school seems always to be the longest, so you probably noticed some tired, and possibly emotional little ones coming home. Friday is a long day with no specials, but we broke up the day with Brain Breaks and play, in addition to recess. We started our day by having kids try and name all their classmates. Two children were able to do that today and received a certificate to note their accomplishment! I will continue to give kids the chance to try to earn their certificate next week!
We had a Lock Down and Shelter in Place drill today. We sat in a corner of the room with the lights out and door locked. Our blinds were closed, so the room was somewhat dark. The children for the most sat quietly as directed, but a couple children were laughing and crawling around under chairs. After the drill, we talked about the importance of being serious and quiet on any drill we have so they can hear and understand instructions. I don't share any circumstances when we would need to have these two drills, but I did tell them it is important for them to remain silent and still. I shared a few ideas for how to sit quietly and wait. We talked about thinking about a place we like to visit that makes us happy. I gave them a couple examples and did a think aloud where I told them what I was thinking and visualizing, or making a little movie in my head. We did have a couple very nervous friends, so the second idea I shared was just holding hands with the child next to them. In the next couple weeks we will have a weather drill and an earthquake drill. We talked about these drills, and I stressed that this is something that we have to practice to be sure we know how to be safe, but it is not a situation we think would likely happen. You may want to just mention the drills and ask them how it went to find out if they have an worries. We talked about talking about any problem or worry they have with a grown-up so they can share the worry and the child won't have to worry anymore.
We started our weather unit today by playing Stand and Deliver. This is an exercise where students think about words associated with weather. Everyone stands in a circle or rectangle and says one word related to weather. They can't tell a story or say more than one word, which for kindergarteners is a challenge in itself! Then we go around the circle with students saying a word, being sure not to repeat what someone else has said. If they run out of words, they sit down and cannot get up again. They did a great job, especially for the first time! Then we read Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, by Judi Barrett, and put a thumb up each time we heard a weather word. Ask me to tell you five weather words!
I'm getting our reading testing done as fast as I can so we can get into the routine of reading groups. We have at least a couple more days, but hopefully sometime next week I will have them in groups so we can begin our reading groups.
Have a great weekend!
Just a quick post today about a fun game we played in math called "Guess My Rule." This is a sorting game where I think of rule and call children up who fit that rule. We started with an easy one by picking all girls, but as the game went on, the rules got trickier! We will play this game again with students, but also will use other things such as stuffed animals.
Have a nice evening!