Sunday, April 30, 2017

Classroom News

My apologies for my delayed update to the blog! We have been learning so much, I nearly forgot about our last update!

Reading Workshop

As we began April, we launched a new unit of our Reading Workshop, focusing on poetry. We explored various kinds of poems and identified ways that this genre differs from the fiction and non-fiction books we had been working on. These reading experts observed that poems can sometimes sound like a song, there are repeated words/phrases or rhyming words in some forms of poetry, and that poems use "leaping words", or words that are so interesting they leap off the page! We made mental pictures in our minds as we listed to poems to visualize the scene, and made connections to our own lives, as well as other poems and reading selections. When we came to an unfamiliar word, we practiced many of the same strategies we use in our reading groups to decode an unknown word. Looking at the picture, thinking about what was happening in the poem, trying out a different word in its place to see if it makes sense, and using the words before and after the unknown word as clues are all ways in which we can successfully decode a new word!


Our poetry unit in Reader's Workshop went along nicely with some poetry writing during Writing Workshop!  We wrote acrostic poems to welcome spring, and used the poem "Raindrops, Raindrops" to practice identifying rhyming words, and then wrote our own additional lines to continue the poem with rhyming words of our choosing.

As a free choice writing activity, students have been using our Post Office mail station to write letters to friends, and deliver them to the mailbox. Letters are typically distributed on Fridays, so you may have noticed friendly notes coming home! I love seeing what they say to one another- their communication is so thoughtful and sweet!


During math lessons, we have been working on measuring with tape measures as well as measuring time by using counts or different types of movements. Our shapes museum was a great success as we identified and sorted 3-dimensional shapes. We also explored the number grid in various ways, by identifying a missing number on the grid, patterns that we see, and easy ways to use the number grid to help us count by twos, fives, and tens. These counting patterns have become more automatic for the kindergarteners as we practice oral counting whenever we can! We also played a fun interactive game where we raced against the clock to count by twos!


The introduction of coins as an exciting time for these inquisitive mathematicians! We spent time taking a closer look at pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. We counted pennies, nickels, and dimes in isolation, then worked on making coin exchanges. We learned that we can trade in 5 pennies for a nickel, 2 nickels for a dime, and so forth. 


Our current science unit focuses on animals and plants. This will tie in to both our reading and writing lessons as we begin to research an animal and write a non-fiction book about the animal chosen. Each student chose from an extensive list of animals available to research on, and will next find information about the animal's body and habitat.

We celebrated Earth Day by learning about ways we can be kind to our earth, and expressed our love for the planet through our fabulous coloring, cutting, and gluing skills!

Odds & Ends

Dryden was treated to a special assembly, as author and illustrator Peter Brown spoke to us about becoming an author, his early days of writing and illustrating, and demonstrated how to draw one of his lovable characters, Mr. Tiger. His presentation was so entertaining, and the kids were definitely star struck, after learning about Peter Brown and reading many of his books in the LMC! 

Kendall's mom joined us for an Art Appreciation lesson, where she introduced the artist Horace Pippin, and his piece, "The Domino Players". Next, these kindergarten artists used black paper and white crayon, along with some dominos, to make their own piece of artwork, depicting a scene where people were playing a game. 

As part of the ABC25 dolphin drawing raffle, we had two raffle winners join us for their prize of reading to a Kindergarten class. Both readers were so engaging and quickly loved by our class! 

Important Notes:

  • Tomorrow, May 1st- between 9 and 9:30 am, the district will be sending out emails with a link for families to register for next school year.  EVERYONE must register for next year! You will receive a SnapCode specifically for your child. Your child will not be placed on a class list for next year until they are officially registered. Please contact Mrs. Lane in the office with any questions about the process!
  • May 1st will also bring the beginning of the district's conversion of our heating mode to cooling mode for the warmer (hopefully!) temperatures coming soon. Once our building is converted to cooling, it will not be able to switch back to heating until the fall. It will be important to send your child with extra layers on days when the outside temperatures are cooler, as it will be cooler in our building!
  • May 12th- Kindergarten musical 10:25 am: ALL kindergarten students attend in the morning this day. Students will arrive at 9:00 am, have a dress rehearsal, and perform at 10:25. Parents, grandparents, younger siblings, and loved ones are all invited to attend! After the performance, light refreshments will be served, and you are welcome to come visit our classroom to take a look around. The morning typically wraps up around 11:30 am. There will be NO AFTERNOON kindergarten on this day.
  • May 19th- Kindergarten practice lunch 1:15 pm: On this day, our class will go to the lunchroom to get a sneak peek of how lunch works at Dryden to help ease any lunchroom fears before first grade! There was a note sent home for you to indicate your child's lunch choice for that day- hot lunch, or bringing a lunch from home. Please return this form by May 9th.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Our 2nd annual Dryden STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) Night will be taking place on Thursday, May 4 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM.
Try your hand at creating zip lines and marble runs.
Learn to code or create music with Makey Makey.
Take apart old cameras and laptops, and discover how things work.
Make an "Art-bot" or Hot Wheels play mat. 
We hope you will join us for a fun interactive evening of hands-on STEAM activities with Dryden teachers and high school volunteers.
Please RSVP by clicking here.