Saturday, August 31, 2013
We began using our science journals last week. Students were asked to think about what a scientist is, who could be a scientist, and what scientists do. Each student recorded their thoughts by drawing pictures. It was awesome to see that some scientists were girls and some were boys. Most students drew their scientists with some kind of tool. After sharing some of their journal entries, we talked a little about scientists and who could be a scientist. Once one student recognized that they "do science" and that they are a scientist, other students chimed right in-recognizing that they "do science" too and now see that they are scientists too!
We are so fortunate to have Mrs. Jackson, a beloved retired teacher, who does a character education lesson once a month for all of the Kindergarten and First Grade classes. She reads one or two books to the class that emphasize the character trait that she is teaching them about. She discussed "RESPONSIBILITY" with our class. The kids really enjoyed her books and lesson. Be sure to talk to your child about being responsible and what he/she learned from Mrs. Jackson's lesson.
Last week, we began reading "Star Books." "Star Books" are books that we have deemed as classic childhood favorite books that have all of the important story elements. We read The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Caps for Sale last week. We read these books over and over again so that students get really familiar with them. The kids colored and cut out puppet pieces for the characters for The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Students sat with a friend and practiced retelling the story. Once everyone had the opportunity to practice retelling with their partner, we chose two students to share with the class and show them how they recalled parts of the story and tried to use character voices. They did a great job!
Last week, our "resource classes" started up. The resource classes that we have at our school are Art1, Art2, Music1, Music2, and P.E. Our class went to Music and P.E. last week. They had a great time with Mrs. Bell, one of our new music teachers. They listened to a song, rhythm book and also got to hold little stuffed animals called "Beat Buddies." At the end of the day when we were sharing for our class meeting, lots of friends said that Music was their favorite part of the day. Students also went to P.E. with Coach Bailey, Coach Robinson, and Coach Jones. It was evident that they kept them busy and using their muscles because their little faces were beat red and they were super sweaty! Here's a look at the kids in Music. I didn't brave the heat again to try to capture a picture of them at P.E.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Another fun, hands-on part of our day is Math Workshop. Students will review number recognition, writing numbers, exploring math materials, and building their number sense. Below, students are exploring pattern blocks. Students were encouraged to take a handful of different pattern blocks, trying to count how many they had and also trying to recall the names of each shape.
We began our academic schedule last week. A very important part of our daily schedule is reader's workshop. Students had the opportunity to "read" both nonfiction and fiction books this week. We reviewed the rules of handling books: One book at a time, tummy to the table, keep the book flat down on the table, turn the pages carefully, look for sight words you may know, and try to tell the story by reading the pictures. Reader's Workshop on PhotoPeach
We began a new Skills Block activity this week called "Star names." Each child has their name in a bag. The star student gets a special star sticker and gets to sit in a special chair. I write the child's name on the board, modeling that each name begins with a capital letter and the rest of the letters are lowercase. I interview the "star student" and write their answers out, again modeling sounding out and writing from left to right! We talk about what we notice about the letters in the their name and also words that begin with the same sound. We put their name into a song and also make a puzzle with their name. We cut the letters apart and ask another student to put the letters back together in the correct order. This Skills Block activity allows students to practice many phonetic skills in a fun and interactive way! Students also go back to their seats and draw a picture of the "star student," trying to include some of the things that the "star student" shared in their interview. Students are encouraged to sound out the things that they drew. For example, if they drew a soccer ball, they could write /s/ to represent the first sound or /scr bol/ to phonetically sound out the words. Each student works at his/her individual writing ability.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The second day of Kindergarten was full of more fun and our second visit to see animals on our Safari. Students began their day by sitting in the cafeteria, saying goodbye to Mommies and Daddies and waiting for us to come and walk them to the classroom. We have two patrols (fifth graders) who are assigned to help our classroom. They will become familiar faces to our K students. We unpacked and practiced a fire drill. We reviewed class rules and asked students to share some of the rules/guidelines that they thought we should have in our class. We reworded statements so that they were positive (Ex: Use quiet voices) instead of negative (Ex: No screaming). These rules will serve as our "Class Promise" which we will recite each morning. We also read the book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and reviewed letters. Students worked on drawing and cutting out their hands to make their own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree. "Smarty Tarties" were challenged to write as many lowercase letters as they could going up and down their own tree. Lunch went a little smoother today, allowing kids to have plenty of time to eat. Recess is already a favorite! It's great to see the kids making new friendships already and practicing good manners for including others. Students had time to explore math manipulatives at their tables today. Students worked very hard to earn class happy faces and also worked together to earn stars for their tables. In the afternoon, we continued our Safari journey to see more awesome animals! Day 2-More Fun & Animal Safari on PhotoPeach
Each student received a "Wild Adventures Passport." At the end of each day, for the first three days, students get to visit different rooms in the school that have taxidermy animals. Students listen and learn about the animals and then get to touch each one. We are very fortunate to have this amazing hands-on experience for our students this year. A big thanks to the Safari Club for partnering with our school to provide such a wonderful opportunity for our kiddos! Animal Safari on PhotoPeach