One of my favorite quotes I overheard recently was one student saying to another, "Kindergarten seems like it would be not very fun, like it would just be too hard, but it's so much fun, isn't it?" We are loving learning... see what we've been learning about below!
Along with continued practice to strengthen our counting skills, we have done a lot of work recently with shapes. We worked together as a class to manipulate tangrams on our Mimio in order to fit into various templates.
We also began working with ten frames. We learned that we fill in a ten frame in the same manner that we read a book. Starting on the left side, we fill in the top row, then move to the left side of the bottom row and move to our right again. Ten frames can help us to visually analyze a number, counting how many spaces are left until we reach ten. For instance, if we have seven boxes filled, we can easily see we need three more to make ten.
During reading workshop, we stop during read alouds to "turn and talk" with a partner about what we've been reading. Now we have learned that there are helpful phrases we can use to share our thoughts in an organized and respectful manner. We can start by saying, "I think...because" or "I notice..." and then giving our partner the opportunity to agree or disagree. Our partner can respond to our statement by saying "I agree...because" or "I disagree...because". We learned that it is not a bad thing for partners to disagree with one another, but that it is important to always back up our statements with a "because", explaining why we feel that way.
Next, we learned that we can read stories again and again, and that helps us to become stronger readers. When we read something that is familiar to us, it gives us the chance to read more fluently and with expression. We also may spot details in the story that we didn't notice the first time!
We began choosing books for our book bins, and practiced using the strategy of studying the cover, looking inside the book and thinking, "Does this interest me?" in order to select our books. As we choose books, we take care of them by making sure to use two hands to handle them carefully, turn the pages at the top corner, and place them back in the book bin with the covers facing out and right side up. These kindergarten readers took this VERY seriously, and were so careful choosing their books!
Jolly Phonics & Sight Words
We have recently introduced the following sounds and added them to our Jolly Phonics notebook and the Jolly Phonics sound rings in our blue book baggies:
/g/ as in "girl"
/o/ as in "on"
/u/ as in "umbrella"
/l/ as in "lollipop"
/f/ as in "fish"
/b/ as in "bat"
We also spent time reviewing the sight words we have introduced so far:
You can practice those at home by using the sight word flashcards in the blue book baggies, as well as reading them in context using the mini books in the blue book baggies. We practiced the word "we" by writing, coloring, finding/circling, and stamping the word.
We spent some time reviewing our writing workshop procedures and the process that authors go through as they write. We are taking each of the four steps and reviewing them, then putting them into practice on a new writing piece. Authors think, draw, label, and then write.
As we reviewed the "think" step, we read the Elephant & Piggie book, I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems. We discovered the Mo Willems told the story by telling who was there, what happened, when it happened, and where the characters were. We then used these guiding questions to turn and talk with a partner about our own "Ouch" story, and shared an experience where we got hurt!
We have some special dress days coming up to celebrate Character Counts week:
October 21: wear GREEN for responsibility
October 24: wear YELLOW for respect
October 25: wear RED for caring
October 26: wear BLUE for trust
October 27: wear ORANGE for fairness
October 28: wear PURPLE for citizenship