Monday, November 20, 2017

Classroom News

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am so thankful for my sweet kindergarteners and their families. This group of kids is full of fun, excitement for learning, and caring for one another. They are truly a wonderful bunch! Thank you for sharing them with me. Here's what we've been up to recently:


The kindergarten authors have been hard at work on writing and labeling with their Jolly Phonics sounds. During writing workshop time, we apply those sounds as we go through the writing process. Our first step is to think of an idea, then draw a picture, then label the picture, and finally, write about the picture. We also have been working on some special writing recently- we wrote about what we have for Thanksgiving dinner, and what we are thankful for in preparation for the upcoming holiday. We also used PebbleGo to research and write about the fall season!

We have also spent time studying words to learn about syllables. After learning what syllables are, we clapped syllables in words and sorted them by the number of syllables each word has.

During handwriting instruction, we have now completed all of the lessons on correct number formation, and are working on uppercase letters. 

During Reading Workshop, we have been learning about fiction books, and identifying the main characters, setting, and events of a story. Using the book Could be Worse, we sorted those characters, settings, and events of the story into two categories- realistic and fantasy. 

Next, we read the book Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall, and used the story elements to retell the story. The class did a wonderful job of talking with their partners to identify key events and retell the story including all of the important points! Next, we reread the story on another day, and learned about the additional information illustrations and dialogue in the text can give us about a character. We used that information to help us infer what kind of a character Goldilocks was. 

We also spent some time book shopping in our classroom library for more books to add to our individual book bins. We love this time that we spend reading our books and applying the strategies we've learned about during our whole group Reading Workshop lessons!


We have just completed the unit on size, length, and weight comparison in math. During this unit, we focused on ordering objects by size, length, and weight, comparing sizes using words like bigger/smaller, shorter/longer, and heavier/lighter. We had a great time with many of the hands on activities to practice using this vocabulary in our math discussions.

Social Emotional Learning

We revisited the Zones of Regulation to talk a bit more in depth about the zones. First, we sorted incidents that could happen throughout our day that may move us from the green zone. We worked together to identify which zone we might end up in if that incident happened to us. Next, we identified strategies we could use to return to the green zone, ready to learn! One of the strategies we focused on was the Take a Break station. We can go to the Take a Break station if we are feeling we need a minute to remove ourselves from the task at hand and return in the green zone. At our take a break station, we have calming cards, a bean bag chair, sensory bottles, coloring supplies, fidgets, and play dough to help us. We are also learning how to appropriately use the Take a Break station without taking advantage of it! 

We also had a visit from a couple of 5th grade Kindness Ambassadors. They talked to us about ways we can be kind, or show random acts of kindness. There is now a kindness tree at Dryden where we can share ways that we have helped others!


During centers these past two weeks, we have enjoyed the listening center with the book The Runaway Pumpkin; building and recording patterns with unifix cubes; rolling, reading, and writing sight words; building letters with legos, and building towers in order from least to greatest using the numbers 1-10!

All About Me Weeks

We have loved learning more about our kindergarten friends! Jaslyn shared with us a special box that is important to her because it was her grandma's, a picture of her family, a dancing monkey and yo-yo  with her name on it that her dad brought her from Mexico, a walking dog, and a baby blanket of hers from when she was little. We were excited to have Jaclyn's mom and sister join us to read the sweet book, Rainbow Fish.

Next, we enjoyed learning about Nell! She shared with us her favorite Barbie Super Girl, and learned that she loves superheroes. She also showed us her favorite Belle dress that even comes with a pretty fan. We got to see a few pictures that are special to her- one of her family, one of her with her friend from preschool, one from a dance recital, and another with her dog, Cocoa, who is 8 years old. She also brought in a bear named Stuffy that her mom bought for her before she was born, and she loves how soft and cuddly he is! Nell's mom mesmerized us with the beautiful fairy tale, The Frog Prince

Henry Cole Visit

We had a blast with author Henry Cole! He taught us all about the process of writing, to never stop revising, and never give up on our dreams. He was such an entertaining speaker! We were thrilled to watch him drawing live!

As always, thanks for reading! I look forward to celebrating your child's progress with each of you at conferences, and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families! 

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