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

Friday, March 2, 2018

Learning to Edit and Revise

What a beautiful week back we had!  The children loved having the option of playing outside without snow pants (although many children decided to still to wear their snow pants).  What a great sign of the weather to come!

This week during Writing Workshop, we chose one of our how-to books to edit.  Each day, we went through a different step on an editing checklist.  The children edited their books for finger spaces, capital letters at the beginning of each sentence, punctuation, correct spelling of popcorn words, and lower case letters where they belong.  They also learned about revising.  The children revised their chosen books to see if they could add more information, like a what you will need page or a warning.  On Friday, we began rewriting these edited/revised books.  We will finish this process next week, then the children will share their published posters.  We will kick-off our new writing unit, All-About Books, the middle of next week.

During Reading Workshop, we worked on retelling stories.  We made retelling bracelets with beads that remind us to retell the characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end of each story we read.  We also spent time learning more about nonfiction.  I taught the children about bold words and a glossary.  We also learned that when we don't know the meaning of a word in a nonfiction text, we can use our prior knowledge and the pictures to help us think about what the word could mean.

During Math we:
  • learned about tally marks.

  • learned about the following 3-dimensional objects: cones, cubes, cylinders, spheres, and rectangular prisms.  We compared and contrasted these objects to 2-dimensional shapes.
  • used ribbon to measure our heights then used the ribbon to measure objects in the classroom.  Through this lesson, we talked about longer than, shorter than, and about the same length.

We also participated in our Science light lab this week.  The children rotated through five different experiments during which they made predictions and tested those predictions to answer five questions:
  • Is light made of many colors?
  • Can we make light bend (refraction)?
  • Can light bounce off objects (reflection)?
  • Is light needed to see an object?
  • Can light travel through objects?



This was a fun morning with a great deal of learning.  Ask your child to tell you about what he/she learned.   

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Fun Day!

We had a fun-filled day celebrating both Valentine's Day and the 100th Day of School!  Rowe School kicked-off the morning with a school community meeting.  We did one hundred exercises, sang a song about 100 days of learning, and listened to Valentine poems.  Back in the classroom, we passed out our Valentine cards.  The children really enjoyed looking at all the cards from their peers.  That afternoon, we counted out a collection of 100 objects.  After our special, we had our friendship snack.  Thank you for making this snack possible.  It was a highlight of our day!  I hope you all enjoyed hearing about the day from your children. 


Happy vacation week to your children!

Friday, February 9, 2018

New Reading and Writing Units

It's hard to believe it is already February.  Where did January go?!

This week at Rowe, we were lucky to have Erica Marcus from Wise Minds, Big Hearts visit all classrooms to work on mindfulness with the teachers and students.  Ms. Marcus will visit all classrooms once a week for the next six weeks to teach the students and teachers different ways to practice being mindful.  This week, we practiced being mindful listeners with a kind heart.  We will continue to practice what she taught us, and next week we will add to our toolbox of strategies.  Ask your child to tell you about what he/she did with Ms. Marcus.

This week during Reading Workshop we started our nonfiction unit.  We learned:

  • about the difference between fiction and nonfiction books.
  • that nonfiction books usually have real photographs that help us better understand what the author is trying to teach us.
  • that the title of a nonfiction book is like a road sign, telling us what to expect.  We can use the title and cover of the book to help us predict what the book will be about.
  • to tell the big idea and details when we finish reading a nonfiction text. 
This week during Writing Workshop we started our how-to unit.  Throughout this unit, students will write books to teach others how to do something they know how to do.  We learned:
  • that we are experts on how to do so many different things, and we can teach others how to do those things.

  • that we can get our minds ready to write by acting out the steps.
  • to use sequencing words to help us write our steps in order.
  • to use a teaching voice instead of a storytelling voice.
  • to draw pictures that will help our reader better understand what we're trying to teach.
During Math we:
  • played a game called "Bump."  This game helped us practice addition facts.  The children loved this game!  Ask your child to tell you about it.

  • played "The Growing Train Game," another game that helped us practice addition facts. 

  • were introduced to KIBO, a robot that children get to build and program.  Check out this link to learn more.  Thank you to the YEF for funding this innovative technology!  
  • started number scrolls.  Throughout the rest of kindergarten, children will continue to add to these number scrolls as a way to practice writing numbers.  They are excited to see how many numbers they can write.

During Word Work, we have been continuing to practice letters and sounds nearly every day.  We have also been spending a lot of time on decoding CVC words, words that have a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern, like "bag."  Children have learned to "tap out" the sounds, saying the sound that each letter makes and then putting the sounds together to make the word.  Practicing this skill will support the students as readers and writers.  During station time, we have been working on reading and writing our "popcorn words."  We add a new popcorn word to our word wall most weeks. 

I look forward to meeting with all of you soon (if I haven't already) for your child's midyear conference!