Friday, March 23, 2018

Classroom News

It was such a pleasure meeting with all of you at spring conferences! This group of kinders have much to be proud of! We worked right up until Spring Break- a few of our highlights are below:

We wrapped up our latest reading workshop unit on nonfiction text, and will begin learning about poetry after Spring Break. We did a few special themed literacy and math centers for St. Patrick's Day, as well as St. Patrick's Day writing about what we would do if we were leprechauns!

In math, we began our new unit, which focuses on numbers to 100. There is a heavy emphasis on place value in this unit, as well as counting by 2s and 5s in addition to counting by 10s and 1s. This unit will develop and stretch our understanding of all two digit numbers.

We began with some exercises in organizing items by 5s and 10s to make counting large groups of objects easier. We also introduced tally marks and practiced using the rhyme below to help us remember when to cross the group of tallies:

We also wrapped up our most recent science unit, Pushes & Pulls. We tested out a variety of ways to make a toy car move as we studied ways that movement is initiated. Next, we played a robot walking game and directed toy balls along a path to explore the changes in speed and direction. We also explored collisions using playground balls in gym class to integrate science and P.E.!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Spring Break! I will be eager to see everyone back at school on Tuesday, April 3rd!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Classroom News

March is here, and I cannot believe we are wrapping up the second trimester of Kindergarten! This week we had a blast celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss with rhyming word fun and a Cat in the Hat project with these cute cats!


We continue to explore nonfiction text during Reading Workshop time, and have been taking a closer look at the information we find. We practiced stopping as we read, and identifying new learning. Before we read, we take a few minutes to talk about what we already know about the topic of the book. We realized that sometimes we confirm the things we knew as we read, and sometimes we find that what we thought we knew, may not be correct, and that's ok! Together, we stopped as we read to practice the phrase, "I used to think ____, but now I know _____" with our turn and talk partners. In honor of Presidents' Day, we read a biography of George Washington and made our own portraits of him.

We also spent time locating and using the table of contents, index, and glossary in our nonfiction books. We each took some time to look through the nonfiction books in our individual book bins, and find these features. One neat discovery we made was that some glossaries just have the important word and a picture, some have a picture and a short definition, and some have no picture and a longer definition. The students were excited to discover how different they could be from book to book!

Guided Reading

You may have noticed our guided reading groups have slowed recently. I have been using our regular guided reading time to conduct individual assessments for report cards, but we are finishing those up and will resume our guided reading routines this week!


During writing workshop time, we have been reflecting on what we can do to make our writing better! Some of us have found that we can now push ourselves to write more than one sentence. Others are focusing on writing one really good sentence, with nice spacing and words that include a beginning, middle, and ending sound. Some of us have done a great job of getting our ideas down on paper, but have trouble reading them, and are focusing on neatness. Others are working to make sure their writing includes a nice picture with details and labels. We all have different strengths and goals to focus on during writing workshop time, and can all improve our writing in some way! 

We have also continued to work on correct letter formation during our Handwriting Without Tears instruction. We are now transitioning from uppercase letters to lowercase letters, and as we learn and practice the correct formation of those lowercase letters, we hope to see our writing start to reflect this. 


Our study of shapes concluded as we wrapped up our latest chapter of math, and we had such fun! After our investigation of 3D shapes, we moved on to flat shapes, and practiced describing them based on number of sides, corners, size, and then identifying shapes by their names. We went on a shape hunt around the classroom, then used iPads and QR codes to identify shapes in real life settings, and graphed our findings.

Next, we identified shapes in pictures and used shapes to make our own pictures! We read the book, The Shape of Things, and then made our own in the style of the book. I loved seeing their creativity shine through in these! Here are a few examples:

 A square is just a square, until you add some strips and a bow. Then it becomes a present.

 A hexagon is just a hexagon, until you add colors and shine. Then it becomes a diamond.

 A circle is just a circle, until you add eyes and a mouth. Then it becomes an emoji.

 A hexagon is just a hexagon, until you add petals, stem, and leaf. Then it becomes a flower.

A rectangle is just a rectangle, until you add a triangle. Then it becomes a crayon.

Finally, we identified shape patterns, made our own shape patterns, and then practiced extending the patterns our partners made.


We have been working hard on being good friends! An important part of being at school is learning how to navigate friendships and conflicts, and we have been spending time with some stories that help us work through those feelings, and remind us how to be good friends. If you click on the link next to the images of the books below, I've linked them to read aloud versions for review at home if you wish! We read and discussed these at school, but they all have great messages to revisit! My New Friend is So Fun!

All About Me Weeks

We had the pleasure of learning more about our friend, Albena! She shared with us a few of her stuffed friends, including the dog she sleeps with every night, and a picture of her as a baby, and again at age 2 with the same dog. She pointed out that the dog has different eyes now, because her aunt's dog had a little too much fun playing with it! It was so neat to see something that is so special to her!

Albena's parents joined us to read two fun books, I Really Like Slop! and Pete the Cat: Go, Pete, Go! and both books kept us giggling!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!