Monday, November 21, 2016

Classroom News

These weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving have flown by!  I'll begin with a long overdue post of these kindergarten cuties in their Halloween costumes.  A big thank you to our room representative, Mrs. Closs, for planning our party!  We also want to thank our party volunteers, Mrs. Carroll, Mrs. Titova, Mrs. Zhang, and Mrs. Simpson.  The kids had a fantastic time parading through the neighborhood, playing games, and making Halloween masks!

Halloween 2016 from Lauren Glaser on Vimeo.


In a coin matching game, students rolled a cube with pictures of pennies, nickels, and dimes on the sides.  With their table groups, they took turns identifying and matching coins to sort them into groups.  They had so much fun, and used their critical thinking skills along with good teamwork to sort all of their coins!

Our recent math lessons have focused mainly on the "teen" numbers.  We started by learning about digits, and how the numbers 0-9 can make any other number, just by moving the place value.  Next, we began practicing the "tricky teens".  We are also introducing the idea that the number 14 is 10 with 4 more, or the number 17 is 10 with 7 more.  This is a tough concept, but one we will keep revisiting to help our little mathematicians think about numbers in different ways to understand how numbers work on a deeper level!


During reading workshop recently, we have been exploring fiction stories.   We first identified the difference between real and fantasy stories with the book, Could Be Worse by James Stevenson.  Next, we began focusing on familiar tales, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  As we read and reread these tales, we worked on retelling stories by naming the characters and setting, then telling the main events of the story using the words "first", "next", "then", "after that", and "last".  Finally, we took a closer look at the problem the main character encounters in a story, and made predictions about how they may solve their problem.  Identifying the problem and solution in a story helped us to think about what lesson the story might be teaching us!

We have also added the following Jolly Phonics sounds to our notebooks: z like in the word "zebra", ng like in the word "ring", v as in "vest", oo/oo as in "look" and "zoom", y like in the word "yellow", x as in the word "box", and ch like in the word "chair".

During centers time, students listened to the book, The Runaway Pumpkin at listening centers, practiced patterns with unifix cubes, used the iPads to complete literacy activities on the abcmouse app, played a fun sight word game, and worked on ten frames with a pumpkin puzzle!


After working so hard on our "ouch" stories, the students used the rubric we created together to reflect on their writing.  They were very thoughtful and took a close look at their work to determine what areas they were very strong in, and what areas they could focus on for improvement.

We made special writing crowns and enjoyed sharing our writing with our friends!

We also did a writing in preparation for our upcoming holiday, where we wrote about what food we like to eat on Thanksgiving.  Many students mentioned turkey, which goes right along with the cute turkey wreaths we made.  First we painted, then we worked on strengthening our fine motor skills by pinching and crumpling tissue paper squares and gluing them on to make the turkey feathers.  They turned out beautifully!


During our Rainbows, Colors, and Light unit in science, we have been making exciting discoveries! We began by reading A Rainbow of My Own, and explored prisms.  We experimented with light and a prism to find small rainbows.

Next, we took a close look at our eyes.  We studied what our eyes look like, and experimented with light and darkness to discover that our pupils get larger when it is dark, and smaller when it is light.  We also chose crayon colors in the dark to determine whether or not we can see color in the dark.

Next, we explored with paints and play dough to see what happens when we mix colors!

All About Me Weeks

We enjoyed learning about Johann as he shared his me bag with us!  He was very proud to share his special stuffed Mickey Mouses, a Mickey book, and his Thomas the Train engines.

Johann's mom and sister joined us as guest readers to share a Paw Patrol book with us, complete with a Paw Patrol sticker for everyone!

Next up was Sophia, who shared with us beautiful pictures of herself in a beautiful traditional dress and a picture of her family, a special bear that she sleeps with, an American flag, and her favorite My Little Pony!

I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving, and I look forward to seeing my kindergarten friends back next week!

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