Saturday, September 30, 2017

Classroom News

We have our first full month of school under our belts, and we are picking up the pace in Kindergarten! There has been so much excitement in our classroom these past two weeks- here are some highlights:

Reading Workshop

During reading workshop, we spent time thinking about who we are as readers. As we explored various genres, we discovered that we are all unique readers who have different interests in books! Some of us like poetry books, while others enjoy books about animals. Some of us were excited about dinosaur books, and others love fairy tales. Identifying these favorites will help us choose books that are a good fit for us, but we learned that it is also important to try different kinds of books to see what else is out there that we may enjoy! Thank you so much for helping your kindergartener fill out the reading survey on their book preferences. These will come in handy as we begin selecting books for our individual book bins that we use for independent reading time during reading workshop. 

We also learned about the differences between fiction and nonfiction books, and the characteristics of each. We discovered features of nonfiction books such as how-to pages, diagrams, labeled photographs or illustrations, and fun facts. As we studied fiction books, we practiced reading the pictures along with the words. We had a fabulous time discussing the details in the illustrations that gave us more information about the story with our turn-and-talk partners. When we piece together the pictures and the words, we make meaning!

Novel Engineering

Speaking of fiction books, we had a special treat this week, as Mrs. Wasik, our Advanced Learning Facilitator at Dryden, joined us for a novel engineering lesson. First, we read the book, Peter's Chair together, and learned that the main character, Peter, had outgrown his chair. His chair was then passed down to his little sister, leaving Peter without a chair. We quickly identified Peter's problem- that he needed a new chair of his own! Next, we worked in groups to design a chair for Peter. After working together to combine ideas and make a decision about what the best chair for Peter would look like, these Kindergarten engineers moved forward with their building plans! Together, they selected materials and created a model of the design they had created on paper. I was so impressed with the way they worked in teams and let their creativity shine!


During math, we have been working hard to spot differences, and explain WHY something is different. We have practiced this in various forms, by comparing objects, people, and pictures. We truly understand a concept when we can explain why, and these Kindergarten friends have become experts at spotting AND explaining differences!

Number formation has been another focus of our first math lessons. We use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum for both letter and number formation, and have started with numbers. So far, we have introduced the numbers 1, 2, and 3. We reinforce this practice in our math lessons, and I am starting to see improvements with those numbers! Next up are 4 and 5, which are a little trickier. We will keep practicing!

Center Rotations

In Kindergarten, we have two different types of centers- free choice play centers, and center rotations. During center rotations, we do more academic based play activities, and our last set of center rotations were all based on one another's names! We matched letter cards and magnetic letters to spell our names, and those of our friends, did name puzzles to reveal a hidden picture, completed an ABC train puzzle, and sorted uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet and put them in order.


Computer time in the LMC is always a highlight of our week! Most recently, we have practiced our click and drag skills with a shape sort, and learned how to login to PebbleGo. PebbleGo is a fantastic resource we will use to research various topics. It is very Kindergarten friendly, as the text is read aloud to you on each page!

Zones of Regulation

Last week, we introduced the Zones of Regulation, and began with the book, The Way I Feel. Together, we identified the emotions in the book, and learned that our emotions can be categorized into four zones, red, yellow, green, and blue. We always strive to be in the green zone, where we are feeling happy and ready to learn! We sorted the emotions we identified in the book into the four zones. Our next step will be to learn how to identify which zone we are in when we leave the green zone, and ways in which we can transition back to the green zone successfully!

All About Me weeks

Our "All About Me" routines are in full swing, and we have enjoyed learning more about a couple of our friends. First up was Michael, who shared his NASA monkey, a meditation book with emotions (perfect tie-in to our Zones of Regulation lesson!), a calendar piece for his birthday to represent his birthday AND because he wants to be a teacher when he grows up. He also shared the game "Spot It" that he likes to play at bedtime, and a picture of his family paddle boating at Twin Lakes. Michael's mom and dad joined us as guest readers to share a feelings book and a silly book. We loved hearing their stories!

Next, we learned about Polina! She shared her special stuffed animal that was a gift from her older sister, her swim goggles because she loves swimming in her backyard pool, and a special necklace that was given to her by her mom for her birthday. She also shared a picture of her family, and a comb, because she loves to do hair with her sister!

One Book, One School

On Friday, we attended an assembly hosted by Mrs. O'Kelly to kick off our One Book, One School experience! Even Celeste made a guest appearance, sneaking up behind Mrs. O'Kelly as she was speaking! You should have received an email from me on Friday afternoon with all of the details about this project, and the book for your family to share was sent home in your child's backpack. It should be an exciting adventure!

Thanks for reading! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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