Sunday, November 5, 2017

Classroom News

We've had so much excitement recently, with our Halloween festivities and the build up to author Henry Cole's visit to Dryden! First, I'll share highlights from our Halloween party with these adorable Kindergarteners in costume! We are so grateful for our fabulous volunteers for planning and putting on a fun party for our class. Mrs. Nuñez, Mrs. Pucilowski, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Piccioni, Mrs. Smith, and Mr. Tosch were so giving of their time and energy- thank you so much! Enjoy this slideshow of Halloween Party fun!

Halloween 2017 from Lauren Glaser on Vimeo.

All About Me Weeks

We have so enjoyed learning more about our friends! First, Ava shared with us a bear named Mr. Bear that she received when she was a baby, and sleeps with every night. Next was a beautiful photo of her family at her aunt's wedding, and a special craft she made for her mom for Valentine's Day. Finally, she shared a rose on a clip that she found that is very special to her, and her favorite Halloween book, The Haunted Ghoul Bus. Her mom joined us as our guest reader, and she read The Haunted Ghoul Bus!

Next, we learned more about our friend, Marko. He shared with us his prized collection of Pokémon cards that he likes to trade with his brother and friends. He also selected a glow stick from his birthday party at Pump It Up, and a Peppa Pig magazine. Then he shared a nice collection of pictures, including a picture of him with his electric guitar, a picture of his family vacationing in Serbia, and him snuggling with his sweet cat, Peggy. Next, he showed the class a picture of him from a Lego building contest that he won at the library, and a picture of him with his buddies at one of their soccer games. We also loved that his mom joined us to read the book, Sneezy the Snowman!

Reading Workshop

We have finished our launch unit of Reading Workshop, and have moved on to our next unit, focusing on fiction books. We spent some time learning how to discern between realistic fiction and fantasy selections. We also practiced book shopping for good fit books for our book bins. These readers loved selecting what they would read during independent reading time!

We learned that once we have our selections in our book bins, we can focus on our reading stamina. Reading stamina is when we are focused on our books for any length of time. We are working to build our stamina by reading for longer stretches of time. Reading does not always have to be reading the words, either! We talked about how reading also includes reading and talking about the pictures, and retelling books you've read or heard before.

Writing Workshop

Jolly Phonics has been our focus for our writing lessons to this point, but now that we have a stronger command of the sounds, we are starting to move forward with our Writing Workshop routines. Students have a writing folder that we will keep at school to build our writing portfolio, and keep our writing on hand so that we can go back and add to previous writing pieces during our workshop time. We have spent time in our word study and Jolly Phonics lessons learning about labels for illustrations in our writing, and how important those labels are for our readers, as well as to us as authors to help us develop our writing. Recently, we've practiced this skill by labeling the parts of a pumpkin. Students were working hard to say the word to themselves, stretching it out slowly, and recording the sounds they hear. I love watching how they think, as they place the letters that match the sounds on the paper. You can see in the example on the left below, how this student was very intentionally recording the ending sound of "stem", leaving a space for the beginning and middle sounds. They did a fabulous job!


During math, we have been pairing sets of objects with numbers, and comparing sets of objects using one to one matching. This also lends itself nicely to work with one more or one less types of number stories. Our next focus will be on ordering objects by size, length, and weight.


Our first Kindergarten coding lesson of the year was a huge success! These Kindergarten coders were clapping with glee as they successfully programmed their Bee Bots to follow directional commands. The Bee Bots then donned Celeste the mouse costumes as we moved them to a special mat with a square grid. On the grid, students either found Celeste's friends, or Celeste's homes, and lead her to them, all the while avoiding her enemies on the board! The Kindergartners learned to press clear after each set of directions was given. If they were trying to move forward 2 spaces, then 3 spaces to the right, they would program each of those commands into the Bee Bot using the arrow buttons on it's back, then pushing the Go button. Their excitement was contagious as they watched their Bee Bots begin to move!

One Book, One School

We've loved finding Celeste around Dryden! I hear a few squeals of excitement when she's spotted, soon followed by, "Take her picture!!" We are so looking forward to Henry Cole's visit to Dryden tomorrow!

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