It was a busy, happy week before our winter break. I'd like to thank everyone for the book of cards the kids made for me. What a great surprise! I'm so glad to see my singing is so well-recieved. Thank-you for the gifts from the class as well. The ornament is beautiful and the gift card will defintely be put to good use! Thanks to Mrs. Iseman and Mrs. Rogers for putting this surprise together for me.
Friday was Pajama Day. We now have Buddy Reading every Friday when we have had a good week of Independent Reading. Children read from their "just right" baskets to a friend. Here are my friends reading to each other.
Proof I've got the best job ever! There is nothing better than seeing and hearing these little people help, encourage and compliment each other as they read.
We spent the afternoon making snowflakes. We had five stations set up for children to go and make snowflakes. The kids helped set up and clean up, and I did the tying knots and was the glitter lady. We all enjoyed the afternoon!
Have a wonderful, relaxing and fun winter break! See you in 2017!
We started our day studying this birds-eye view photograph. Ask me what I noticed and what this place is called.
We continued on our Read Across America Journey by traveling to Hawaii. We noticed the crater landform left from a volcano. We read a book called Grandma Calls Me Beautiful by Barbara M. Joose. Be sure to look at the Hawaii postcard I am bringing home today!
We read two short information or non-fiction books today about stems and leaves of plants. We identified ways we know the book is an information book. We looked at some text features such as the contents page, headings, the glossary and the index. We noticed that many information books have photographs, but can also have illustrations. Ask me to tell you how a stem is like a straw. We also read a fiction book about seeds. The story is called Miss Maple's Seeds, written and illustrated beautifully by Eliza Wheeler. This book really is a fantasy book about a tiny woman who collects seeds that didn't get planted somehow. She shows them what they need to do and keeps them safe and warm for the winter. Although this book was fiction, we found that fiction books can also teach us things. This book had a page of differernt tree seeds that we could use to identify seeds found outside.
Postcards have started to arrive for our Postcard Project. We got a postcard from Wyoming, two from California, one from Louisiana, two from Florida, one from Texas and one from Holland! We will keep the postcards in a basket for children to use during literacy stations to match to our rug map or a map on a door. Children really love maps. Right now, during literacy stations, one of the big attractions right now is the bag of maps. I have laminated maps of different places the children are familiar with,, and they would spend their entire station time studying those maps if I let them! We you visit different museums, theme parks or anywhere with a map, it's a great souvenir for kids that is free!
If you have not sent out your postcards yet, it's not too late! We will receive postcards for a while, and I will keep them out for the kids to use. If you misplaced the postcards sent home or would like additional postcards, just let me know. I'll be happy to send more home. As you travel over the holidays, if you get a chance, send us a postcard!
Have a nice evening!
Today we began talking about opposites. The children immediately knew what we would be learning about from our Picture Talk. I need to be trickier, but the storm troopers were well received.
We read a poem about opposites. We did a choral reading of the poem with half the class reading one part, the other half the other part, and some parts together. We will read it again tomorrow and I will send it home. The children really enjoy choral reading.
We have been practicing skip counting. The children are doing a great job with counting by 10's to 100, so we are working on counting by 5's to 100, and 2's to 30. Ask me to show you how we exercise and practice skip counting. We also practiced writing the numbers as we skip counted. We are still working on some reverals, so we will continue to work with writing the numerals. Some of the children who have all the skip counting are beginning to work with money. They are working to identify and sort the coins. I will be pulling them in a group to work on counting money. Although this does not show up in the curriculum until second grade, some of the children will be doing it for acceleration since it fits nicely with skip counting.
Don't forget our Spirit Days this week.
Wednesday is College Day
Thursday is Favorite Holiday
Friday Pajama Day
If you family is traveling early for the holidays, please let us know if your child will miss school. You can e-mail Mrs. Vincenty at Marie_M_Vincenty@mcpsmd.org and copy me on the e-mail. That will save a phone call home to you!
Have a nice evening!
Today we started our day by visiting West Viriginia. We read Take Me Home, Country Road, by John Denver. The book we read showed how beautiful the Mountain State is that we had to look at more photographs of the state. Ask me to sing you Take Me Home, Country Road. (We love this song!)
The children are bringing home a postcard from West Virginia. I told them they may be able to find something to keep all their postcards in as we Read Across America. I suggested a shoe box, but they laughed hysterically saying it would stink from the shoes... I'm going to leave it up to you to work that out!
We studied some paintings of Norman Rockwell today. We were looking at the expressions on the faces of the children in the paintings and discussed what was happening. We made connections to the pictures. Since we have been talking about how feelings change throughout books we have been reading, it was time to add more feeling to our writing. So today in Writing Workshop, inspired by the paintings, the children wrote about an event in their life that they had strong or changing feelings. They did a great job not only choosing a story with strong feelings, but also using punctuation, spaces between words, and writing many high frequency words correctly. I am so pleased with their writing and with how confident they are becoming as writers.
In math, we did a quick lesson to learn about odd and even numbers. We used the ten frame to show odd and even with the pegs having partners. We read a poem that helped us remembered how to tell an odd number from an even number. A ten frame is a tool we can use to show how we know if the number is odd or even. Here's the poem:
Next week there will be another mini Spirit Week. On Wednesday, it is college day. Students can wear clothing that represents a college that is special to their family. Thursday is Holiday Day. Students can wear that represents their favorite holiday. And you guessed it, Friday is Pajama Day. The children can also bring in a small stuffed animal.
Have a nice evening and stay warm!
If your kinder comes home singing Good Morning Baltimore or Somewhere Over the Rainbow, it's because they enjoyed a wonderful concert by our fourth and fifth grade chorus. Mr. Sheetz did a great job selecting music and getting the students ready for the concert. They will have a repeat performance tonight at 7:00 in the APR room. I am so proud of our class and their exceptional concert behavior. They listened, sat flat, and didn't wave and talk during the concert.
We worked today on pictures that showed the LIttle House in either the country or the city. The children worked so hard on these pictures. They thought about what they needed to include in their picture, the kind of lines that the city had in it, and the curves found in the country pictures. They thought about the colors of the city and the country during different seasons as well.
This morning, we did a quick survey to find out which activity they would rather do at one of the landforms we have been talking about. Here are the results.
Ask me to tell you about this data.
Have a nice evening!
Today we analyzed four pictures that have bodies of water in them. We determined what type of body of water it is, and how we knew. Ask me to tell you what type of body of water it is and how I know.
We learned about plant life cycles and important parts of plants. Your child is bringing home a song about the plant parts. Ask me to sing the song and show you the illustrations.
This year, Mo Willems published his last Piggie and Elephant book. The children LOVE the Piggie and Elephant books! This weekend, I stumbled on a new book that is introduced by Piggie and Elephant, but is written by Laurie Keller. The book is called We Are Growing! This book was a huge hit! It is about eight blades of grass who are growing. Each blade of grass identifies something special about themselves. The eighth blade of grass has a difficult time finding something special about it. Then, a lawnmower comes along! Ask me to tell you about this book and what happens when the lawnmower comes along.
We have more plants growing now in our bunny garden. We have lots of radishes, a few carrots, and a cucmber plant is trying to grow. The children love to go study these baby plants every day!
We watched another time lapse video that shows a radish growing!
Have a nice evening!
Today we studied a painting to see how humans have changed the land. We studied the picture Across the Continent, by Currier & Ives. Ask me to tell you two ways humans changed the land.
We read a classic today by Virginia Lee Burton called The Little House. This story shows how humans changed the land around the little house. The little house is happy in the country, but humans change the land and a city grows up around the little house. Ask me to tell you three ways the humans changed the land in the story.
In math today, most of the students worked with a spatial relations problem using Cuisennaire Rods. The children had to cover a giraffe with one set of rods. There are several ways to solve the problem, so we will continue to work with this problem next week. One important lesson today was learned, and that is to try things in different ways and to not give up. As the students work more with the rods, they will become more aware of how they can swap pieces to find other combinations that may work to fill a space.
Have a nice weekend!
Today we read a familiar book to many students, Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems. Many of the children love Mo Willems because they read the Piggie and Elephant books, but Mo Willems writes other books too! Mo Willems used his daughter as the inspiration for this book. Trixie and the father go to run an errand one day. Ask me to tell you what an errand is. They go to the laundrymat, but while loading the machines, Trixie's beloved stuffie Knuffle Bunny is loaded into the washer. On the way home she realizes her bunny is missing and tries to communicate this to her father. Ask me to tell you how Trixie does this. The dad thinks Trixie is just getting fussy, but when they arrive at home, the mother immediately knows what the problem is. The story has a happy ending of course! There are two other books with Trixie and Knuffle Bunny that we will be reading in the next few days. Today we focused on looking at how a characters feelings change throughout the story. We are looking at expanding the types of feelings students identify. They often will just identify happy and sad, but we are really looking at more specific feelings. Today we talked about how Trixie was upset, not sad. She also was frustrated because she was not talking yet and couldn't communicate to her father what was wrong.
Have a nice evening!
We read a beautiful story today called If You Plant a Seed, by Kadir Nelson. This is a beautiful story that begins with a bunny and a mouse planting seeds and having a feast when the vegetables are ready to harvest. Birds are watching, and the bunny and mouse become selfish and do not share their food. Seeds of selfishness are planted and when the birds don't leave, the bunny and mouse fight with the birds, ruining all the vegetables. They end up covered in food, and in a heap of trouble. The mouse knows the birds can take the seeds from the vegetables and spread them from above as they fly over, and that kindness is repaid by the birds, the bunny and the mouse all taking care of the garden and sharing the harvest with all the animals of the forest. It's a beautiful story that illustrates the old lesson of you reap what you sow, and what you share with others will bring you joy. We talked about this lesson, but also how the pictures in the story tell more of the story than the words. We read the book slowly, pausing to be sure we understood the story. This is an important lesson, especially right now for these readers who are becoming more confident and fluent, and would like to fly through the texts, instead of thinking and monitoring their understanding along the way. We wrote today about what seed we will plant. The children worked very hard on this, tried to use punctuation, and are bringing their papers home to share with you today. Ask me to show and tell you about the seed I will plant.
Have a nice evening!
We started our morning with this picture for our Picture Talk. This beautiful photograph of the Shenandoah River was very interesting to the children. They liked the birds-eye view. We looked at maps to see the river on the maps and how it serpentined around just like in the photograph. We will be learning more about bodies of water are and how they are the same and different. Ask me to show you the Shenandoah River and what else I noticed in the photograph.
We have been working with short o words. We made word ladders on our white boards and changed the beginning sounds to make new words with short o. We used digraphs and blends, and added endings to words.
In Writing Workshop, I pleaded with our beginning writers to use punctuation. I modeled a made-up story and pointed out the punctuation that would be used at the end of each sentence. Then we made up a class story. Each student added a sentence and used a motion to tell us what punctuation would come at the end of a sentence. They made a stop signal for a period, shrugged for a question, and jumped up and sat back down for an exclamation point. At this point, many kindergarteners are beginning to be aware of punctuation. Some children who have been reading and writing longer are using punctuation, but the expectation in kindergarten right now is that they begin to use punctuation wtih guidance. I don't want them to develop the habit of not using punctuation because it is harder to go back and put it in, and it is less efficient. Really, I don't bribe often, and I don't reccomend it, but I told them we could have a fifteen minute punctuation party on Friday if I saw more punctuation. I have no clue with a fifteen minute punctuation party is, but maybe I'll find something on Pinterest!
We learned more about maps today. We learned about a compass rose and the map key. We will be making our own maps over the next few days. We also started our Read Across America journey. From now until the end of the year, we will be reading a book from each state. Your child will bring home a postcard from that state to show you what we read. Look for the postcard tomorrow because I forgot to copy it this morning! Today we went to Pennsylvania. We took a quick look around the state, especially the rivers in Pittsburgh, Hershey Park and the chocolate factory, and Lancaster. We read a book called Saving the Liberty Bell, by Megan McDonald. This story is about real life events based on the people who hid the Liberty Bell so the Redcoats didn't get it to use for cannonballs and musket ammunition. Ask me to tell you how John Jacob Mickley and his father hid the Liberty Bell.
In math today, we worked with ten frames and finding one and two more and less than a number. We used our ten frame as a tool to find the answer, or in some cases to just show the answer. We also began working with a number line. We used the number line to find the number, think of which way to go for more and less, then hopped either one or two hops. So I asked them, what is two less than five, and they would show me on the ten frame, and someone would show us how to find the answer with the number line. We also used our fluency skills to show the number on the ten frame in different ways.
Tonight is a great night to stay inside if you can! Have a nice evening!