font-family: 'Shadows Into Light Two', cursive;/ Life in Kindergarten

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rocks, Trees, and Poetry!

The children have been very busy little scientists.  We launched our Pebbles, Sand, and Silt unit last week. The children looked closely at, and learned about, three types of volcanic rock: basalt, tuff, and scoria.  Ask them to tell you about each!  They also studied river rocks and sorted a collection of them by categories of their choice.

Last Friday, we walked to Royal River Park to celebrate Arbor Day.  We watched our local arborist plant a tree.  We had the opportunity to decorate our own pots and plant tree seedlings.  We learned about tree pests and learned why trees are so important.  It was a great morning!

As a follow-up to our Arbor Day celebration, the children painted beautiful tree pictures, then we launched our poetry writing unit by writing a tree poem.  We've spent this week writing poems.  I have been so impressed with the poetic language of the children.

During Reading Workshop, we've been working on going deeper with our comprehension.  The children have learned to infer what characters are feeling, add dialogue where they think appropriate, write predictions, and compare and contrast characters and stories.  We have also been working on word families.

On Thursday of this week, Mrs. Vitalius came to our classroom to play the violin as I read aloud The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson.  The children participated in this interactive read aloud by waving scarves to the tempo of the music, and they shook their own percussion instruments during different parts of the story.  Then, she gave all of the children the opportunity to try playing a mini violin.  This was such a lovely performance and a great experience for all involved!  Thank you, Mrs. Vitalius!

During Math, we've been playing lots of addition and subtraction games.  In first grade, students will take timed fluency assessments, so we are working on becoming fluent with our addition and subtraction facts.  We have also continued to work on number stories and writing number models. One day last week, we worked on using positional language by playing a game called "Make My Design."  One child built a design on one side of a privacy wall then described the design to a buddy. The buddy had to build the exact design without seeing what his/her buddy built.  The children loved this game!

Dates to Remember 
Monday, May 29 - No School for Memorial Day
Wednesday, June 7 - Ice Cream Social
Tuesday, June 13 - Rowe School Beach Day (more information to follow)
Monday, June 19 - Portfolio Celebration (4:00-6:00 PM)
Monday, June 21 - Last Day of School (dismissal at 11:45)

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Thank you to all the people who work so hard to keep our country safe.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Elephant and Piggie

On Monday, we had a great field trip to Merrill Auditorium to see Elephant and Piggie's "We Are In a Play!"  The children enjoyed many laughs as they watched these beloved characters come to life.

The play aligned nicely with our current Reading Workshop unit: Getting to Know Characters. Readers have continued to learn to:

  • pay attention to characters' facial expressions and body language.
  • notice how a character's feelings might change throughout a story and why.
  • pretend to talk like the characters.
  • act out a story with our reading partners.  
  • retell a story when we have finished reading.
During Writing Workshop, we have been working on our end-of-year small moment writing unit.  The students have learned to:
  • think of something they've done and tell the story across multiple pages in a booklet.
  • use sequencing words to tell and write our story in order. 
  • end our story in the moment instead of continuing on to another story.
  • draw illustrations that show what was happening in our story.
  • make sure the faces of people in our illustrations show what those people were feeling.  
During Math we:
  • played Clear the Board to help us practice adding and to learn more about probability. 
  • played Car Race to practice decomposing numbers.
  • worked on combinations of ten.
  • solved addition and subtraction number stories.
  • played Addition Top-It.

I hope you all have a great Mother's Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sharing Opinions

The last couple of weeks during Writing Workshop, the children worked on opinion and persuasive writing.  Students learned to state their opinion about a topic and support their opinion with reasons. Children also learned to write persuasive letters.  This was a short but exciting writing unit for the children.  Be on the lookout for samples of this writing to come home in the next few days.  I'm sure your children will be very excited to share their persuasive letters with you!  We have now moved on to our small moment writing unit.

During Reading Workshop, we started a character unit.  Children learned that:
  • characters are the people or animals in a story.
  • readers can get to know a character by doing a picture walk before they start reading.
  • readers can pay attention to a character's facial expressions and body language to understand how a character might be feeling.
  • readers can change their voices to sound like a character.
  • readers should notice how a character's feelings might change throughout a story. 
We have also been learning about different types of punctuation.  We have learned about periods, commas, question marks, exclamation points, and quotation marks.  Children are working on reading sentences like the punctuation tells us to read.

During Math we:

  • showed different combinations for a number.
  • played a game called Bump to help us practice adding numbers.

  • reviewed names and attributes of 2-dimensional shapes and 3-dimensional objects.
  • compared and contrasted 2-dimensional shapes to 3-dimensional objects.
  • played Dice Subtraction.

On Wednesday and Friday of this week, I will be doing kindergarten screening with our incoming kindergartners.  Isn't it hard to believe that last year at this time your kindergartners were the ones coming in for screening?!  Time sure does fly!  Although I will be in the building, your children will have a substitute on Wednesday and Friday.  

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Light Lab

Here's a little snapshot of the light stations students participated in before vacation.  We had a great morning and learned many facts about light!  Thank you to all our helpers who made the morning a success.