font-family: 'Shadows Into Light Two', cursive;/ Life in Kindergarten: January 2015

Friday, January 16, 2015

Snowman Art

This week we read a cute poem about what would happen if snow came down in colors (ask your child to tell you the poem).  The children then painted their own colorful snowmen! 

This week during Reading Workshop we:
  • worked on asking ourselves "Does it look right?  Does it sound right?  Does it make sense?" when we think we have figured out a word we don't know.
  • learned about Chunky Monkey, a strategy for reading words we don't know.  When you come to a word you don't know, you can try to find a chunk you do know inside of the word.
  • reviewed that readers think as they read.  We worked on paying attention to the characters in stories.
  • built words from the -at word family.
  • added "all" to our word wall.
This week during Writing Workshop we:
  • learned to write itty-bitty details in our stories.
  • brainstormed different ways to begin small moment stories.  We read the beginnings of several books and talked about how the authors began their stories, then we compiled a list of ideas.
  • talked about using transition words to help order our stories.
This week during Math we:
  • learned about a foot as a standard unit for measuring.
  • practiced measuring objects in our classroom using a standard foot.

  • played a game called The Raft Game to help us practice exchanging.

This week during Science we studied river rocks.  This was such a fun lesson that the children really seemed to enjoy!  Students worked with a partner to sift a pile of river rocks.  As children sifted, the rock mixture was separated by the different sizes.  We used different sized screens to sort the rocks.  When the experiment was complete, the children had five different rock groups: large pebbles, small pebbles, large gravel, small gravel, and sand.

Next week, we will spend some time talking about Martin Luther King, Jr.  I hope your children enjoy their long weekend.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Welcome Back!

What a great first week back the children had!  They settled into routines quickly and picked up right where they left off.

This week during Reading Workshop we:
  • reviewed expectations for read-to-self and buddy reading time.
  • reviewed that readers get their minds ready to read a book by doing a picture walk.
  • learned that when there is one vowel in a word and it is in the middle of the word, it makes the short vowel sound.
  • reviewed that readers make sure what they think a word is matches what the word looks like.
  • learned that in pattern books, sometimes the author changes the pattern in the end to make it the opposite of what the rest of the book was about.
This week during Writing Workshop we launched our small moment unit.  We learned that:
  • writers can think of something they've done and write about it.
  • writers can get ready to write by telling their story across their fingers.
  • writers pick one small moment to write about instead of telling everything they did in a day.
  • writers can write their story across several pages.

We also did our midyear writing prompt this week.  Students had to write a story, without any help from a teacher, about something they've done.  At conferences next month, we will look at the writing prompt from the second day of school and compare it to this writing prompt.  The growth is impressive!

This week during Math we:
  • practiced measuring using paper cutouts of our feet.

  • practiced counting tally marks and using tally marks to show a given number.
  • played a game to help us practice addition facts.

  • played a game in which we built two-digit numbers using base ten blocks (tens and ones).

Enjoy the weekend with your amazing children!