Saturday, January 14, 2017

Classroom News

Happy 2017!  I missed all of my kindergarten friends over break.  I hope you all enjoyed your time together!  Here is what we have been up to recently:


During Reader's Workshop time, we have been introducing and practicing comprehension strategies as we continue our focus on fictional stories.  So far, we made predictions about what may happen next in a story, and asked questions as we read to better understand the story.  We also made connections as we read, and practiced sharing our connections with one another by using these sentence starters in our conversations:

As we read the stories, we also noticed repeated words or phrases, and used text signals that the author gives us to help us read with expression.

When we returned from Winter Break, we began meeting in small Guided Reading groups!  Students meet with me to do word work activities, read a book, and discuss what we've read.  Afterwards, we add the book to their blue book bag.  It is great practice to read those books as you practice the Jolly Phonics sound rings and sight word cards!  Just keep them in the blue book bag so your child has it to return to me the next time I call their reading group, and they will bring the new book home.

While I am meeting with these groups, the rest of the students are working on a variety of literacy and math activities independently.  They are catching on quickly to these new routines, and are really enjoying themselves!  I cannot wait to watch them continue to grow as readers.


During Writer's Workshop, we recently started writing not one, but two sentences to match our drawings.  This added challenge has also brought about a greater focus on the structure of our writing- including using capitals and ending marks correctly, as well as using a space between sentences instead of skipping to the next line.

We have also increased the time we spend on letter formation, still using the Handwriting Without Tears materials.  Now that we have finished all of our Jolly Phonics sounds, we have some additional time to work on correct letter formation.  You may have also noticed that we are now practicing writing both our first and last names on all of our papers.


We have been working hard on our number sense with various activities in math, such as working with number stories, and ordering numbers from least to greatest.

We also experimented with a pan balance to get a visual for what the concept greater than and less than looks like! We discovered that the heavier items caused the pan balance to drop lower, and in order to balance both sides, we needed to remove items from the heavy side.

We also learned a fun game called Monster Squeeze.  A letter came home in your child's take home folder explaining how to play.  The game can also be accessed on the Everyday Math online website for practice at home.  If you need another copy of your child's login and password, please let me know! Not a moment is wasted in kindergarten, as we often practice this game now as we are packing up and bundling up in the last few minutes of the day.  I think the motivation to play the game has cut their bundling up time in half!

All About Me Week

It was Alec's "All About Me" week, and we enjoyed learning more about him!  He shared with us a picture of his family, and a ball to represent his love of sports.  He also brought a blue marker, because blue is his favorite color!  He showed us a really neat Star Wars puzzle and told us that he loves to do puzzles at home and at school.  Finally, he brought a Pokemon card and shared his Pokemon enthusiasm with several friends in the class!

Alec's mom joined us to read the book, Snowmen at Night. The students loved hearing about the secret life of snowmen, and what exactly they do at night while we are sleeping!

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend, and look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!

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