Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 29, 2016

What a wonderfully busy, productive week we enjoyed in kindergarten!

In math, we are focusing on numbers 1-10.  While this may seem very simple, we are really delving into number sense, and how two parts make a whole.  We especially like partner games, where one partner breaks a set of cubes into two parts, hides one part behind their back, and shows the remaining part to their partner.  Then the other partner has to figure out how many are missing to make the whole.

In reading and writing workshops, we are learning that patterns can help us read and write.  We looking for patterns in a book (one with repeated phrases) is one strategy that good readers use.  And we can use patterns when we write, too!  We are taking our investigative writing about natural objects and using that information to write pattern books.

We brought happiness to the residents of Walker Care Center.  We sang and performed and brightened the day of the senior citizens.  "All Things Bright and Beautiful" and "You Are My Sunshine" were two favorites.  We each made a pop-up Halloween card to give to one of the residents.  "We brought them joy with our songs and our cards," said your loving little children.  I think they beautifully summed up the purpose of our service trip!  We will return to the Care Center in May.

Here are some photos from the trip to The Landing last week.  The children eagerly shared all that they remembered about the day with me.  It sounds like it was a fantastic trip!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 12, 2016

  • We met our Bio-Buddies!!!!!!!  These seventh and eighth grade students will join us for activities each month as part of their service learning program.   Our Bio-Buddies will help us with projects that tie in with our science curriculum for that month.  This month we used mini-pumpkins to help us explore our five senses for the final time.  Each kindergartner got their own pumpkin to smell, touch, hear, see and taste (we had roasted pumpkin seeds for the taste portion of the experiment).  What fun! 

Bio-buddies also helped weigh and measure us.  We will graph our height and weight (using the metric system) each month, to see if we have changed.  

We also got to spend some time together learning about each other.  We each filled out a “favorites” chart with our Bio-buddy to see if we had any connections.  The middle schoolers seemed just as excited to meet us as we were to meet them!  This will be a very special relationship for your kindergartner.

  • We are exploring patterns in math. The pattern detectives in Room L51 are finding them all around our school:  on clothing, on walls, in snaps and claps during music-- Patterns are EVERYWHERE! 

  • During reading workshop we have introduced three strategies good readers use.  Each strategy has a character to help us remember it.  “Lips the Fish” reminds us to get our mouth ready to read.  “Eagle Eyes” helps us remember to look at the pictures.  And our newest friend, “Stretchy Snake” tells us to stretch the word w-a-y out so that we can hear all of the sounds.  We learned that these strategies can help us in writing workshop. as well! 

  • Our Guided Reading groups are in full swing.  We will have guided reading opposite our Chinese ½ and ½ groups.  Each group will be reading books at their current reading level.  We will also be working on sight word acquisition and spelling, sentence dictation and word work.  We are beginning to segment words to spell them.  The children are quickly catching on to this strategy  (for example, dog would be chopped apart to hear each sound:  d-o-g). Expect to have your child bring home a guided reading book to practice reading with you (for one night) about once every two weeks to start. 
  • Mrs. Wegner will be gone on Friday this week, and Monday next week.  Mrs. Hegg will be our guest teacher.  Additionally, Wednesday October 19, I will be gone for knee surgery, but should be back on our next school day, Monday the 24th. We are lucky to have a familiar, friendly face in Mrs. Hegg, and she is a PRO with kindergartners!  Blog posts will resume on October 28th.