Sunday, March 8, 2020

Classroom News

We've had a busy couple of weeks! In math, we began Unit 8, which focuses on numbers to 100. There is a heavy emphasis on place value in this unit, as well as counting by 2s and 5s in addition to counting by 10s and 1s. This unit will develop and stretch our understanding of all two digit numbers.

We began with some exercises in organizing items by 5s and 10s to make counting large groups of objects easier. We also introduced tally marks and practiced using the rhyme below to help us remember when to cross the group of tallies:

We have introduced the tens and ones place with connecting cubes, and learned how we can use the tens groups to count the total more quickly.

During Reading Workshop, we continued our study of poetry by taking a closer look at literary devices. We read various poems and had such fun identifying examples of repetition, alliteration, and onomatopoeia!

You may have noticed another pause in guided reading group meetings. I was in the process of reassessing students as we came to the end of the second trimester. I enjoy meeting individually with each child to see the growth they've made, but was excited to return to our regular guided reading schedule!

During writing workshop, we have been pushing ourselves to write more! Many students have found that if they go back and add something else to their picture, they may have another detail to add to their writing as well. We use the phrase, "add to the picture, add to the words!" to remind us to take this next step when we first think we are finished with our writing pieces.

We also marked Dr. Seuss's birthday with a special Cat in the Hat project to celebrate the rhyming practice we have done this week!

We also spent time working with onsets and rimes in words, and blending together the first sound with the rest of the word. We found that some words have a single sound for the initial sound, and others have a two letter blend or digraph at the beginning.

We were excited to learn more about our friend Molly! She shared with us a beautiful photo of her family, and a fan that she likes to play dress up with. We learned that when she's sad, she likes to shake a snow globe her dad got her from Switzerland to cheer herself up! She also brought in some of her favorite dolls, including one that is bendable, and a Descendants doll who sings. Molly is a natural performer, who loves singing songs in her microphone! 

Molly's Gaga joined us to read the stories, The Good Egg and The Bad Seed. We were so excited to share all kinds of fun facts about ourselves with her grandma!

Next up was Antonio, and we had the best time learning more about him! He shared sweet pictures of his family and his adorable dog, Charlie, shaking hands. We learned about some of Antonio's favorite toys, including Pokemon, his blue power ranger, a cyborg that does flips, and a race car that launches. Antonio is also a big Star Wars fan, and he brought R2D2, Luke Skywalker, and Chewbacca figures to represent his love of Star Wars! Lastly, he shared his favorite accessory, his slap bracelet!

Antonio's Nonna joined us to read a special story in honor of St. Patrick's Day approaching, The Leprechaun in the Basement. She also brought in St. Patrick's Day coloring pages for the class to enjoy at home this weekend! 


To wrap up the week, we had our latest celebration for filling our class behavior board. We earn pieces for following the Dolphin Do's, good listening and teamwork, and whenever we receive compliments from other staff members for our behavior in the hallways or specials classes. We always brainstorm ideas for our celebrations, and one of our students came up with one I've not tried before- making slime! I must admit I was very nervous about how this would go, but I was so impressed with how well everyone followed directions and worked cooperatively to make our slime! Great job, kindergarten friends! Special thanks to the Henkel family for sending in some of the items we needed, and to Mrs. Conklin for offering to come in and provide an extra set of hands! And to all of the parents for tolerating a messy item coming home from school! 

Our class recently had the opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance on the school announcements! Here are our brave kindergarten friends reciting the pledge on camera!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Classroom News

We've had an action packed few weeks! Between the Book Fair, Groundhog Day, Global Day of Play, the 100th day of school, and Valentine's Day, we have had so much fun!

Reading Workshop

We are now working on our next Reading Workshop unit, which focuses on poetry! We learned that when we read poetry, we think about the title and what we see in the illustrations to make predictions. As we read, we make connections and also spot interesting features that poems sometimes have. We think about how the poem looks and how it sounds, as well as how it makes us feel.

In some of the poems we've read so far, we've discovered that poems sometimes have lines that go in directions other than what we typically see to illustrate a concept:

repeat words to sound like a song:

follow a pattern with rhyming words at the end of lines:

or use sound words to help us imagine what we would hear in such a setting:

Writing Workshop

One special writing assignment we worked on recently was a group effort with all Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, we wrote about reasons we love Dryden School!


As we explore shapes in this unit of our math curriculum, we first focused on 3-dimensional shapes, or "solid shapes". We learned that some shapes have flat faces, edges, and corners, and some do not. We also practiced identifying cubes, cones, cylinders, spheres, and pyramids. Next, we worked on describing solid shapes, and identifying which "flat shapes" (such as circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles) were part of each solid shape. 

We did a fun shape hunt using QR codes where we identified 2D shapes inside of 3D objects found in our everyday lives.

We also worked on identifying and continuing patterns!

After reading a book called The Shape of Things, we each created our own page where we chose one shape to transform into an object by adding to the shape.

A rectangle is just a rectangle, until you add leaves. Then it becomes a tree.

An oval is just an oval, until you add a head, legs, and tail. Then it becomes a pig.

A triangle is just a triangle, until you had head, arms, and legs. Then it becomes a girl.

A circle is just a circle, until you add a line. Then it becomes a lollipop.

A square is just a square, until you add a head, arms, and legs. Then it becomes a robot.

Groundhog Predictions

In honor of Groundhog Day, we read a couple of Groundhog stories and watched a video from last year of Punxsutawney Phil making his prediction. The class was so excited to return to school on Monday and see who had predicted correctly! Hooray for an early spring!

Global School Play Day

Global School Play Day is intended to bring attention to the importance of unstructured play time to help students foster relationships, practice problem solving skills, innovation, and imagination.  We had a great time learning together through play! When we reflected on our play afterwards, we discussed what sorts of things we learn or practice during unstructured play time with our friends. Students identified discoveries that included cooperation, taking turns, using their imagination through pretend play, and playing with lots of different friends!

100th Day of School

It's hard to believe we have already completed 100 days of kindergarten! We had a blast celebrating our 100th day by playing Race to 100, writing about what we would buy with 100 dollars, and sharing our water bottle collections of 100 things. 

Our Hello Helper loved switching our place value pockets over to the hundreds place...

and finishing our collection of ten frames!

We were amazed by how different collections of 100 items could look, depending on what item was chosen. We had fun identifying which bottles were the heaviest, lightest, most full, and least full. 

Valentine's Day

We had a fantastic time celebrating Valentine's Day! We are so thankful for our amazing room rep, Mrs. Tyler, for coordinating our party, and our wonderful volunteers, Mrs. Scalzo, Mrs. Cossentino, Mrs. Kukulka, Mrs. Minero, and Mr. Henkel for helping with our party. Thank you for the sweet cards and thoughtful gestures. You all made my day that much sweeter!


In preparation for our upcoming author visit from Saadia Faruqi, we practiced our coding skills by using the Beebots to sequence a Yasmin story to help Yasmin find Mama! 

All About Me Weeks & Guest Readers

We loved learning more about our friend, Evelyn! She showed us a narwhal she won from a claw machine at a hotel where she recently stayed. We know Evelyn loves Minecraft, and she brought in her favorite Minecraft cube that lights up. She likes glittery things, like the glitter cube she showed us! We learned the Evelyn loves mermaids, and her favorite crystal is prismarine. Her favorite bracelet was also on display, one that was made special from her butterfly wings artwork in art class. The most adorable part of Evelyn's presentation was the picture of her with her beloved kitty, Mufasa!

We loved having Evelyn's mom in to read the classic Dr. Seuss story, Green Eggs & Ham!

Next up was our friend Sam, who loved telling us about tee-ball and sharing the picture of him holding his bat! We also met his Chicago Bears stuffy bear that he sleeps with. Sam enjoys building with Legos, and decided that his favorite Lego creation is the Batman double motorcycle! Sam also shared with us a special photo of his family, including his mom and dad, little sister, and baby brother. It sounds like Sam is an outstanding big brother!

It was so fun having Sam's mom and dad join us to read the stories, Perfect, and Fly High, Fly Guy!