Sunday, February 18, 2018

Classroom News

What a busy couple of weeks we have had! These love bugs have celebrated the 100th day of school, Valentine's Day, and even a snow day! 

Reading Workshop

As we continue our focus on comprehension strategies we use with non-fiction text, we saw a familiar strategy that we also have used with fiction text- making connections! With our turn and talk partners, we practiced using the phrase, "This reminds me of..." to share a connection we have to our own lives, or something we have read or heard before to build upon our learning. 

We also learned that as we read non-fiction, we are learning new things throughout the book, and it is important that we stop and identify new learning, or confirm what we already know. We worked through this together as we read the book, How Bees Make Honey, and tried stopping and thinking before, during, and after our reading. We practiced how to confirm what we know and identify new information with our turn and talk partners, by saying things like, "Yes! I already knew that!" or "Wow! I never knew that!". Next, we practiced this strategy on our own with the non-fiction selections we have in our individual book bins, and took turns sharing some of our new learning with the class.

Writing Workshop

During writing, we continue to work on stretching out words to include beginning, middle, and ending sounds. As we work more closely with vowel rules and word patterns during guided reading groups, we transfer that learning into our writing. We are also pushing ourselves to write more! Many students have found that if they go back and add something else to their picture, they may have another detail to add to their writing as well. As we celebrated the 100th day of school, we also did a special writing about what we would buy if we had 100 dollars. I loved hearing their creative ideas!

100th day

Speaking of the 100th day, we had a wonderful time celebrating our 100th day of school together! It's hard to believe we have already had 100 days of kindergarten. Highlights of our 100th day celebration included using dot markers to count to 100 by tens to make a gumball machine, playing Race to 100, and sharing our bottles of 100 things. We were amazed by how different collections of 100 items could look, depending on what item was chosen. We had fun identifying which bottles were the heaviest, lightest, most full, and least full. 


As we explore shapes in this unit of our math curriculum, we first focused on 3-dimensional shapes, or "solid shapes". We learned that some shapes have flat faces, edges, and corners, and some do not. We also practiced identifying cubes, cones, cylinders, spheres, and pyramids. Next, we worked on describing solid shapes, and identifying which "flat shapes" (such as circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles) were part of each solid shape. We also did a fun experiment where we set up a large ramp and tested various solid shapes to see which ones would roll, slide, and stack, and then drew conclusions based on our evidence! 

Valentine's Day

We had a fantastic time preparing for and celebrating Valentine's Day! We are so thankful for our amazing room reps, Mrs. Nunez and Mrs. Pucilowski, for coordinating our party, and our wonderful volunteers, Mrs. Pattie, Mrs. Neri, and Mrs. Coad for helping with our party stations that afternoon. I think the students' favorite part was delivering their valentines to their sweet friends! Thank you for the beautiful roses from the class and sweet cards and thoughtful gestures. You all made my day that much sweeter!

All About Me Weeks

We loved learning more about our friend Mallory! She shared with us a picture of her family all dressed up at a wedding, and a picture of her with her dad for her basketball team- the Tigers. The class enjoyed seeing her Teenie Beanie boos and fidget spinner that glows in the dark. She also shared a special pink bowling pin that she had signed by friends and family at her birthday party, and a 5th birthday book. Finally, we were able to see a book she published, titled Never Give Up. This was made even more special when her guest reader, her grandma, read the book to the class! 

Next, we had the pleasure of learning about our friend Autumn! She shared her special stuffed bear that she sleeps with every night, named Curly. We also learned that she especially enjoys villains in movies, and she shared a toy figurine of the villain from the movie Coco that was her favorite present for Hanukkah. She also shared a toy figurine of Scar from the Lion King, that is extra special to her because it was her daddy's when he was little. She also shared her stuffed animal Marie, and a picture of her family with Elsa from Frozen! 

Toys at School

One more piece of information I wanted to share is that it has been brought to my attention that some students are bringing small toys to school, and are trading them with one another. Aside from being a distraction from the school day, this also causes disappointment and disagreements when a student trades an item and then wants to trade back, and is not able to get the item back from the friend they traded with. There was even a report of a student bringing money to recess to pay another student for an item. I talked with the class as a whole this week about the importance of not bringing toys to school, and explained the reasoning behind this. I wanted to make all parents aware so you may check for small toys or money that may turn up in backpacks, and help students understand why we should not bring our toys to school. Thank you so much for your support with this!

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend! I'm looking forward to seeing all of my kindergarteners back at school on Tuesday!

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