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

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year!

The children were excited to be back this week.  With it being such a short week, I didn't have the opportunity to take as many pictures as usual.  I will make up for it in the next couple of weeks!

This week during Reading Workshop, we learned a new strategy: Chunky Monkey.  This strategy reminds us to look for chunks we know inside of larger words.  For example, we can use the word/chunk "an" to help us read the word "hand."  We also learned that when reading pattern books, the last page is often different than the pattern on the rest of the pages in the book.  Often times, the author will make the last page the opposite of what the rest of the book was about.  Next week, we will learn another technique authors use when changing the pattern on the last page.

During Writing Workshop, we wrapped up our pattern book unit.  Before vacation, all the children chose a book from their collection of pattern books that they wanted to publish.  I typed the words, and the children spent writing time this week illustrating their books.  Today, we celebrated the end of our unit by sharing our books with the class.  Now they will become part of our classroom library.  Next week, we will start our small moment writing unit.

During Math, we explored patterns on the number grid.  We also played a game to help us practice identifying combinations of ten.

Although it was too cold to play outside most of the time, we did make it out for a couple recesses.  Here is a snapshot of our fun in the snow!

Stay warm!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Gingerbread Houses

The children had a great time building gingerbread houses on Friday!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Gingerbread Baby

This week, we kicked off our Gingerbread Man unit with the Gingerbread Baby read aloud.  The children have all been assigned a part in our play, and lines for their parts were sent home.  We will be practicing our lines and play at school, but please also help your child practice as much as possible at home so he/she is confident on the big day.  The children are very excited about the play and gingerbread house building.  As a reminder, we will build houses on Friday, December 15 beginning at 12:50, and the performance of our play will be on Wednesday, December 20 beginning at 1:00.  Please let me know if you have any questions about either of these events.

In addition to our Gingerbread Man unit, we will be spending a lot of time talking about "Holidays of Light" and family traditions.  Below is a list of the holidays we will be learning about in the next couple of weeks.  Please let me know if there are any holidays your family celebrates that are not listed, and I will be sure to include them.
  • Hanukkah
  • St. Lucia’s Day
  • Winter Solstice
  • Christmas
  • Kwanzaa
During Reading Workshop the last two weeks, we:
  • learned a new strategy, Stretchy Snake, for reading unknown words.  This strategy reminds us to stretch the word out and say the sound that each letter makes. 
  • added "a," "see," and "is" to our word wall. 
  • learned to search for popcorn words when trying to figure out a new pattern. 
  • learned that we can become better readers by rereading the same text several times.
  • learned about seesaw patterns (books that go back and forth between two different patterns).
  • learned that when readers get stuck, they can go back to the beginning of the sentence or page to get a "running start."
During Writing Workshop, we:
  • learned to use the words on our word wall to help us think of patterns.
  • learned to leave spaces between words.
  • reviewed that illustrators draw clear, realistic pictures so readers can use Eagle Eye to help them with unknown words.

  • learned that we can write seesaw patterns and patterns with two sentences.
  • learned that as we are writing, we should reread what we have written to make sure it sounds right.
  • reviewed how to stretch out words and write a letter for each sound we hear.
During Math, we:
  • played a new game, Monster Squeeze.  During this game, one child writes a mystery number found on a number line, and his/her partner tries to guess the number.  The child who chose the number gives clues such as "my number is bigger" or "my number is smaller" until it is narrowed down to one number.  It is a great game for comparing numbers.

  • learned about teen numbers as being "one group of ten and some extra ones."
  • used a tool called Cuisenaire Rods to visually represent teen numbers. 

  • sorted blocks by common attributes.
  • reviewed characteristics of common shapes and played a mystery shape game.
  • made a graph to show our favorite colors.  Then we discussed the data.
  • worked on composing and decomposing numbers through the use of ten frames.
  • showed a hexagon in different ways.
During Word Work, we added p, jh, k, and l to the letters and sounds we are practicing.

During Science, we observed our growing plants, discussed what plants need in order to grow (water and light), and pollinated the plants.  Now we are waiting for seed pods to grow.

In addition to all the great learning discussed above, our technology integrator, Mrs. Wolinsky, introduced the children to coding with an iPad app called Turtle Logic.  The app requires the children to sequence and move in patterns.  During future math station time, the children will continue to practice coding with Turtle Logic. 

Finally, please remember to send your child with a jacket, hat, and gloves/mittens every day.  Many children have still been coming without this gear, and it is important for them to be warmly dressed during recess time.  Thank you for your help.

Have a great weekend!