Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall Carnival

Fall Carnival was a huge success! Thank you, thank you to Mrs. Oliveira for organizing and decorating our Tattoo Booth. Thank you to all of our volunteers who worked our booth, even in the dark!! I hope that you got to enjoy some outdoor family fun time on Friday at our Fall Carnival, I know my family and I definitely did!

Literary Character Parade

Friday was such a fun day from the beginning to the end! Our students dressed up as book characters and looked great! Thank you to all of our parents who were able to join us for the literary parade!
Literary Characters on PhotoPeach

Five Little Pumpkins

The students have been practicing "The Five Little Pumpkins." Each group of students took a turn saying the lines in the rhyme, complete with turning out the lights on cue.

Literary Pumpkin

We decorated our class pumpkins to look like Humpty Dumpty, the King's horses and the King's men. We are very thankful that Mrs. Long and Mrs. Owens were able to help the kids paint and decorate the pumpkins. They are so adorable!

Rice Krispy Treats!

We made Rice Krispy Treats last week! The students took turns putting each ingredient in and being the photographer. Students wrote about the steps involved in making our Rice Krispy Treats and then enjoyed them the next day after our Literary Parade!
Rice Krispy Treats on PhotoPeach

Question of the Day!

Each day as part of our Math Workshop, we have a question of the day. Students or I come up with the question and then each student has a turn answering yes or no. It is a great way to learn about each other and also model how to collect data, chart it, add the numbers up, and compare how many people said yes to how many people said no. Below is a question of the day from last week.

Where the Wild Things Are

Students love the book, Where the Wild Things Are. It is one of our "Star books," which means we read it quite a few times for repetition and we also study vocabulary words from the book. If you haven't heard the word "rumpus" yet, you will soon! In the book, Max and the Wild Things have a wild rumpus. This means that they sing, dance, and party wildly. Our class now loves to sing our "Reader's Workshop" like a wild rumpus.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Reading Partners

Students have the opportunity to not only read independently during Reader's Workshop, but also to read with a partner. Students sit knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder and share one book together. They take turns "reading," retelling, and/or sharing their favorite part of the book. This interaction and communicating about books is very important so that students see that discussing books is just as important as reading them. You will also see a few more of our reading stations.
1)Students practice matching rhyming pictures. 2)Students clap out syllables for picture cards and determine how many syllables each word has. 3) Students match lowercase letters and uppercase letters. 4) Students look at picture cards and say the word out loud, then determine what the beginning sound is. There are so many ways that different FUN ways for students to "play" and learn with literacy skills!
Reading Partners on PhotoPeach

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Morning Message

One of the things we include in our daily Skills Block is a "Morning Message." A morning message consists of two or three sentences that I write in front of the students. I leave out missing letters, vowels, blends, sight words, letter combinations, and punctuation. Students are called up to fill in the missing part. When we first began morning message, only a few letters were missing and they were mostly beginning sounds. Now, students are filling in beginning sounds, ending sounds, missing vowels, blends, letter combinations, and punctuation. Students try to remember that the first letter in the sentence has a capital letter. We also have discussed that the letter I (all by itself) is always capital as well as names. We try to decide what type of punctuation is needed at the end of each sentence. The morning message is a great way to cover so many skills in such a short period of time. It also allows me to make the skills multi-level, so that students who do not know all of their letters/sounds yet can practice those skills and the students who are ready for the next level of skill can be challenged with more difficult skills. In the morning message below, we filled in missing letters in black, underlined blends and digraphs in green, circled sight words in red, and came up with rhyming words down at the bottom in purple.

Another great resource!

We use many different tools and resources in our classroom. The math resource below is a tool that students use to reference in math. It helps students remember the numbers in order, how to write the numbers, how to group numbers by tally marks,and how to spell the number words. Students will utilize this resource over and over until they no longer need it because they have learned the skills.

Grab and Count

Grab and Count is one of the math games that we play in Math Workshop. Students grab one handful (although a variation of this game is to grab two handfuls so that students have to count to a higher number) of math tiles or cubes. Then students have to count each one and record how many tiles or cubes they grabbed. This game helps students practice counting, one-to-one correspondence, recording data, writing numbers,and drawing objects to represent numbers. Bonus: They love playing it! (Another variation is to grab and count and then play a second time and decide whether you grabbed more or less the first time and possibly even try to find the difference between the two.)

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

llama llama red pajama

On Friday, we participated in the Kindergarten Jumpstart Read for the Record Campaign. We read the book llama llama red pajama, written by Anna Dewdney. The purpose on reading this book on October 6th was to try to set a record for the most people reading the same book on the same day. It was also to bring national attention to the importance of early childhood education. After readint the book, students wrote a response to the book by drawing/writing their favorite part.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reading and Writing Resources

Students are encouraged to use different resources around the room and at their seats to help them with their reading and writing. Students use the word wall at the front of the classroom that has sight words on it. They also use the alphabet strip posted at the front of the classroom to help them identify letters and sounds. At each table and in each child's writing folder, students have their own alphabet resource sheet and a sheet that has blends and digraphs (two or three letters together that can make one sound, EX: bl, gr, sh, th). Lastly, students are encouraged to reference our letter combination chart (two letters that are in the middle of a word that make one sound, EX: oi (like in the word coin), or ow (like in the word flower) to include these sounds into their writing and identify the sound when they get to a word they aren't sure how to read.

Five Senses (Hearing & Seeing)

Last week we talked reviewed the different functions of each of the five senses. We discussed how people who are deaf and/or blind have to rely on their other senses to take in information. We discussed sign language, lip reading, hearing aids, braille, seeing eye dogs, and walking sticks. Students closed their eyes and were guided by their fifth grade buddies outside on the playground. Students had to rely on their fifth grade guide's directions to find their way around the playground. Students also had to listen to the sounds of their walking stick to help identify objects that were in their way or closely approaching. As for the hearing experiment, students had several plastic eggs with different items in each. Students had a list of the possible items and had to try to identify which item was in each egg. Fifth graders were allowed to help guide their answers by asking them questions such as: "Does it sound like a heavy item? If so, then could it really be a cotton ball?" Although students did not get each answer correct, the purpose was for them to understand how different items sound and to ask questions during the process. Both of these activities were a real "hands-on" way for students to gain more understanding of how much we rely on our senses!
Five Senses (Hearing and Seeing) on PhotoPeach

Star Books

Below are a few of the "Star Books" that we have read in our class. You should see some of these books go home as part of your child's book-in-a-bag. These are classic or favorite stories that kids love to read over and over again and also serve as great stories to retell.

Nursery Rhymes

We are continuing to study one nursery rhyme a week. Students are having fun reading, chanting, and acting them out. We are also focusing on identifying sight words, rhyming words, and clapping out syllables for the words in the nursery rhyme. They love making the nursery rhyme craft at the end of each week!
Humpty Dumpty

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Super Authors!

Students in our class are becoming amazing writers in such a short period of time! Each day in Writer's Workshop, one or two students share their writing with the class. Students give a compliment about the student's work. One of our students, Zachary, wrote his own book at home and brought it in to share. Look at the smile and pride on his face!! Students also spend time "peer conferencing." This means that they share their writing with a partner and try to "reread" their story. Below you see two students sitting next to each other "peer conferencing!"

Five Senses (Smelling and Tasting) Experiments

Last week we worked with our fifth grade buddies. I had different items labeled for students to smell and taste. Each student, along with their fifth grade buddy recorded (on the sheet seen above)whether the smells were good or bad by circling a happy face or sad face. Then, students wrote what they thought the item was. Students also had to close their eyes and taste a few different items (chocolate, lemon, flour, salt, sugar,and potato chips). Students tried to identify whether each item tasted sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. At the end of the experiment, before revealing each item, we let the fifth graders smell and taste. One interesting discovery for the Kindergarteners was that after tasting a few different items, some of their taste buds had a more difficult time identifying what type of taste the food items were!!
Five Senses on PhotoPeach