The children had a wonderful morning with our substitute, Mrs. Fu. They listened to the story The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams. This is a cumulative tale that features a little old lady going into the woods to collect berries and nuts. Along the way she meets different pieces of clothing who move and make sounds, trying to frighten the old lady. Ask me to tell you what happened next. The students wrote about what frightened them, and what they have done that shows they are brave. They also recalled key details from the text such as the items the old lady met and the sounds they made. The students also practiced writing numerals in order up to 20. They did a counting activity as well that required them to develop a system for counting a mixed collection accurately.
The Halloween party was a huge success. Thank-you to Ms. Pike for organizing the party and for all the help from parents. Here are a few of the photos from the party!
Here's a video of The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything! Enjoy!
We learned more about the water cycle today. We read a book called Water is Water, by Miranda Paul. This beautiful book has beautiful lyrical language that encourages the reader to guess what is coming next. The book goes beyond the basic water cycle, but instead illustrates many different forms we see water throughout the seasons.
In math, we looked at the greater than, less than and equal symbols. We used these symbols to compare collections as well as comparing numerals. This short video is a way to help children remember how the symbols work.
Learning to be part of a group involves managing your emotions appropriately. Sometimes when we get angry, making the right choice is hard, just as when we get too silly and carried away. We talk about our body like a car and how, at times, our motor runs too fast. We can learn to feel when our motor begins to run too fast and learn strategies to slow our motor down so we can make good choices. We read a book called Moody Cow Meditates, by Kerry Lee MacLean. In this story, Peter the Cow is having a bad day. Ask me to tell you some of the key details that show why Peter was having a bad day. Peter's grandfather helps him by making a meditation jar. They put water, glycerine, and glitter in a jar and watch as it settles to the bottom of the jar. Waiting for the glitter to settle gives Peter time to breathe deeply and settle down. We will come back to this book soon to talk more about mediating. I also shared some things to do while breathing deeply such as gently rubbing the temples, taking three fingers and lightly moving them up the inside of your arm, doing slow, gentle head rolls.
Have a nice evening!
Today we sang the Itsy Bitsy Spider song and used our fingers to make a spider climbing up the waterspout. We pressed our index finger to the thumb on the opposite hand, turned and put the other index finger to the other thumb and continued to turn and press. This was a challenge for some children! Ask me to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider song and show you the motions. We also looked at the four parts to the story and illustrated them on the back of the song. Watch for this to come home tomorrow!
We learned more about what leaders do. We learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. today. We looked at old photographs of all the people who came to hear him speak. We saw photographs of others leaders too. Ask me to name three leaders.
We learned more about what the president by studying photographs. This is an important skill to develop as we read information texts.
Thanks to everyone who remembered to send back their Read to Me, Talk to Me books. If you didn't send them back today, please send them in tomorrow so your child can get a new book.
I haven't posted pictures in a while, so I have a few today for you! We worked in collaborative groups to build the tallest tower we could with paper cups. The children were not given instruction in how to build for the most stable structure, so they had to figure it out themselves. It is so interesting to watch how the groups worked; most did a great job of working together and not getting upset when their structure fell. Some groups did many revisions, whereas one group in particular really stuck to their design and didn't want to change it until they saw the success other groups were having. Some groups noticed how others were building and replicated that, which is part of the design process. The children are anxious to build with the cups again. I highly suggest this as a family activity too! It's inexpensive and fairly quiet because you have to be gentle when building with the cups. I have use the Dixie bathroom size cup, which is the smallest. I don't use plastic cups because they are more expensive, and easier to build with, but also if stepped on break and the paper cups can be popped back into shape. As the children have more experiences with the cups I will add in index cards.
Some of the children had done this building in the summer during our Kinder Camp. As they were building, I heard this familiar song softly from one group. They did this in the summer too. They started to sing their own little song as they were building.
Sorry for the sideways view!
Have a nice evening!
Today we started to learn about the water cycle. We read a great book called All the Water in the World, by George Ella Lyon. This book has beautiful vocabulary that we are going to explore more tomorrow, as well as learning more about the water cycle itself.
In math, we worked with comparing and ordering length more. The students were challenged to find ten rods, each a different color and length, and order them from shortest to the tallest. We will be working with Cuissenaire rods more this week and later in the year as well.
Please be sure to check our Homework tab for some new games!
Have a nice evening!
In Social Studies we read a book called I Can Be President, Too! This book by Yanitzia Canetti has young children telling something about themselves that would make them a good president. The children discuss taking care of their family, being respectful, determined, honest, organized, friendly, generous, responsible, fair, solving problems, taking care of the Earth, being a role model, working for peace and keeping promises. The book illustrated these characteristics in ways the children can relate, showing children doing these things.
In math, we learned about comparing length and width of objects. We used a 10 cube stick to compare the length of objects in the classroom. The children learned how to measure by making sure they lined up the object and measuring stick so they were even. We found some that were longer and shorter as well and practiced stating whether the object was longer or shorter than the measuring stick.
Have a nice evening! Enjoy this beautiful fall weather!
We had a great Picture Day! The children waited so nicely and followed the photographers directions beautifully!
I sent out an e-mail to families this afternoon about a discussion we had about respect and play at recess. This is the t-chart we made during our discussion. Like most things we learn, this will not be the only time we talk about respect, but this was a good beginning, building on what they have learned at home and in preschool.
Ask me to tell you about respect.
We learned about President Lincoln today. We studied artifacts about President Lincoln, then talked with partners and the whole group about what we knew about President Lincoln. Then we watched a quick video to learn more, and drew a picture and wrote about what we learned.
Ask me to tell you something new I learned about President Lincoln.
Have a nice evening!
In reading we are working on answering questions from the text that are "right there" questions. We are working on this in responding to books read in reading groups. The children are learning to find key details in the text that answer a question. Depending on the level of reader, the questions and answers vary with complexity. The important part now is that they learn to locate the information and formulate an answer. I model this as we read books in whole group, as well as in reading groups. The children are learning to go back to the text or illustrations to find the answers. They are orally answering, contributing to a shared writing which means they are helping to create the answer as I write it for the group on chart paper, or drawing and writing or orally responding to show they know.
Have a nice evening!
We started talking about leaders today. Over the next two weeks, we will talk about different leaders in our country, past and present. We will talk about the job of the president and what good leaders do and how they act.
We practiced writing numerals in math. We practiced the stick numerals, (1, 4 and 7) first, then practiced 2. We will begin working on writing the numbers to 20. Children who show they can do this consistently without reversals will move on to higher numbers.
We had a visit from Mrs. Kanter today. She talked about using strategies when someone is annoying you. We use DeBug at Bells Mill. Your child should have a packet in their folder from Mrs. Kanter that tell you about the strategies used in DeBug. Ask me to tell you about DeBug.
DeBug is to be used for kid-size problems. Bigger problems, such as hitting or saying very mean things require adult help immediately. The children will learn to use the DeBug strategies and will be encouraged to use them before coming to an adult for help. We will continue to talk about DeBug so students understand what they can do and how it can help at school and at home!
Have a nice evening!
We had a busy day! We had a bus evacuation drill this morning. This is a drill we have twice a year where students learn what to do in the case of an emergency on the bus. The children did a great job listening to directions. Ask me to tell you what I should do if there is an emergency on the bus.
Today we also looked for differences between information or non-fiction books and literary or fiction texts. The children looked through our collection of books and found an example of each kind of book then shared with a partner, then a few shared with the whole group. We looked at the cover, back and title pages, but also peeked inside the books. We will dig deeper into information books and their text features later in the year. We thought about questions that might be answered in the information books we chose.
We made birthday cards for Mrs. Oglesby today. We talked about what goes on a birthday card, and how when you buy a birthday card you look for a card that has something on it the recipient might like. We know Mrs. Oglesby loves kids and Bells Mill, but that she also loves Elvis and the Baltimore Orioles. We looked at some pictures of both and added those to our cards. We talked about what goes on the outside of the card, and the message on the inside. We also made sure we signed the cards with our names so Mrs. Oglesby would know who made them for her.
Please be sure to check your child's folder for a few papers and an interim report. Everyone gets these so you know how your child is doing. For kindergarten, it's just a start; we have spent a lot of time learning routines, testing, and learning before getting graded assignments, so this reflects a limited number of assignments. We are really off to a great start with children coming in with strong skills that we can build on. The kids are doing a great job of working in Literacy Stations and Math Workshop so children can be pulled into small groups, or I can plug into a group in Math Workshop to see how the children are doing with some of the games we have introduced. We finally opened our desktop computers and some children played a fun subitizing game that focused on ten frames.
Have a great weekend!