I apologize for the inconsistencies in our blog entries. This year, so much of our testing is happening at the same time. We have more testing to do, but I let up on it a little today just to come back together with some of our routines.
We started our day with this beautiful photograph. I asked the children to use one word to tell what they were thinking about or feeling as they looked at it. We talked about using words that didn't just name what was in the photo. Although a few kids did name things, as we went on we got other words so they could understand better what kinds of words we were sharing. We got words such as family, happy, peaceful, calm, etc. Ask me to tell you about this photograph.
We started making a wind sock today. We will finish it tomorrow and use it to talk about the wind. We reviewed some of the words we used to label the strength of the wind, and we will use those as we use our wind sock. We also read The Wind Blew, by Pat Hutchins. This is a simple story with beautiful language about a gust of wind that blows through town and the items it picks up as it blows out to sea. Then, I gave the students a piece of plain paper to draw and label the items they remembered from the story. They were told before I read the story that the challenge was to remember as many of the items as they could. First they worked on their own to draw and label, then they worked with their table group as a team. One group ended up remembering 10 of the 11 items. They had a great time with this simple challenge.
We worked on finishing up maps we worked on earlier. Some students needed to label more on the map, add a title, or just fix up their coloring.
Have a nice evening!
We had a great time measuring today! We used balance scales, inch worms, and rice to measure. We measured volume with rice. We practiced using level scoopfuls to find out how many scoops it took to fill different containers. We used clay with our balance scales to learn about conservation of weight. We balanced two balls of playdough, then made smaller balls with one of the balls and guessed whether it would weigh more, less or the same as the other ball. We did the same with making flat pancakes and a ball to balance. It took several demonstrations for the children to understand that the weight didn't change because of the number of balls or size of the pancakes. We measured some play dinosaurs, as well as measured books width and height with links. The kids enjoy measuring, but still seem to "play" more than understand that they need to be able to measure accurately. We will continue to work with the materials and build an understanding of the importance of accuracy in measurement. Here are a few snaps of our math time today.
Have a nice evening!
We continued our study of maps today. We read a book called My Map Book, by Sara Fanelli, and saw all different kinds of maps. There was even a map of the narrator's tummy! Ask me to tell you about maps.
We looked at a few maps, then decided on a map we would like to draw. The maps needed to have a title, different places, and labels. The kids worked hard on their maps.
We have a lot of testing to do over the next week or two. I will try and finish it as quickly as I can, but it will impact the lessons in the classroom. The early dismissal and late opening didn't help my plan! Let's hope for lots of good weather and healthy kids so we can get through all the testing we need to do. Most of the testing will be 1:1, but there are two tests that will be online. Fortunately, kinders love tests!
Tomorrow the kindergarten team will be out at training in the afternoon. Please, let me know of any changes in dismissal so I can let the substitute teacher know.
Have a nice evening! Stay warm!
We spent time studying these photographs about balance. Ask me to tell you what I noticed. In math, we began working with balance scales. We looked at the parts of a balance scale and found the line that we need to be sure lines up when the scale is balanced. We compared some objects, then used counters to find out how much different items weighed using the counters as our unit. We estimated how much different items would weigh, and used what we knew about previous items to help us in our estimate of other items.
Have a nice evening!
We had a great second day of 2020 today! We passed The Talking Fish and shared and listened to stories about our Winter Break. Then, the students wrote about their break. They concentrated on using a capital letter at the beginning of their sentences, spaces between words, and ending their sentence with punctuation. They worked to take their time to listen for the sounds in the words to get down the letters that went with the sounds. Many of the children are using the writing mats that have the alphabet and sounds of the letters to help.
In math, we began to compare weights. Today we used human scales and some of the children help The Talking Fish in one hand, and found an item from around the room that was either lighter or heavier than the fish. They tipped their arms to show what it would like if they were a balance scale. We also thought about what we could carry in our backpack for a long walk and what we could not carry for a long walk. We shared our ideas with a partner and talked about why. Ask me to show you the paper I made that shows what I could carry and what I would not want to carry for a long walk.
In reading, we began a new unit about why people tell stories. We thought about the kinds of pieces writers write to begin to answer this question. We thought about how writers tell stories that could happen or that we need to use our imagination for, and stories that teach a lesson. We also thought about stories about different places and times. We reviewed the words characters and settings.
We also learned about making inferences. We studied a picture and the title of a short piece. The story was called Pat's Amazing Pet. We used the picture, what we know about animals, and the title to make an inference or a good guess about what made Pat's pet amazing. Ask me to tell you what made Pat's pet amazing.
We also talked about quotation marks. In the story of Pat's Amazing Pet, we saw quotation marks. We know these marks tells us what the character says or writes. The words inside the set of marks is exactly what the character or writer said or wrote.
We read the classic story called Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey. This story is set in Boston, Massachusetts so it is part of our Read the U.S.A. collection. Your child will bring home the postcard tomorrow for this state and a couple others we have read. We practiced telling the beginning of the story or how the story gets started, the middle of the story or what happens as they work through a problem or situation, and the ending of the story, or how it all works out. Ask me to tell you the beginning, middle and end of the story of Make Way for Ducklings.
I hope you had a wonderful Winter Break! I hope 2020 brings you happiness, good health and lots of time spent with your family!