Monday, September 24, 2018

Classroom News

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:


We just wrapped up our first unit in math, focusing on numbers 1-5 in depth, as well as the concept of same and different. 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!

I love watching the students do this exercise where they sort their cubes on a 4-square chart to show 1, 2, 3, and 4 cubes in each square. After observing how some students joined their cubes laying down on the paper, some joined them standing up like a tower, and others left them separated and lined them up, we talked about how this is what it means to be a mathematician. All of us can do the problem or the task in different ways, but still arrive at the same answer! It was very cool to see and draw their attention to this representation of all of the different ways we can do a math problem.

We also worked in partners to build towers that matched, and identify why they were the same.

Finally, we worked in our math notebooks to create pictures that were different, and spot differences in pictures and explain what about those pictures made them different.

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 letters and names! We matched magnetic letters to spell our names as well as those of our friends, completed an ABC puzzle, sorted uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet and put them in order, and perhaps the favorite- made our names and those of our friends with play dough!


Computer time in the LMC is a recent highlight of our week! We have been practicing our click and drag skills with a shape sort, and even learned all of the steps to login to the activities. We will continue to build our basic technological skills with these fun activities.

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 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

Last week, we started our All About Me bag routine, where I modeled the procedure for sharing our "Me Bags" to tell about ourselves and our favorite things. Each child has their own assigned week to share their "Me Bag", and on Friday of your child's week, you are invited to be a guest reader in our class! Because my own parents live far from here, Mr. Glaser served as my guest reader and shared one of his favorite books to read to our little Glasers, The Gruffalo, complete with the silliest character voices! In the file folder you received on Curriculum Night, there is a letter about the Me Bag, and on the back of that letter is the schedule for the year. I will send you an email to confirm the week before it is your turn to read. I am excited to learn more about each of our friends in K-1!

Shlok was next, and shared a few things that are important to him! He read a Pete the Cat book to the class, and shared a lovely picture of his family. We also learned that magnatiles are his favorite toy, and he loves the color green because it reminds him of nature! We are excited to have Shlok's mom join us to read a book very soon.


It has been business as usual with our literacy routines! We continue to add a new Jolly Phonics sound to our notebooks each day, as well as a new sight word each week. Please don't forget to review the sight word cards and books in the blue book bag, as well as the new ring of Jolly Phonics cards that were added for additional Jolly Phonics practice! The yellow poetry folder is another great way to practice sight words in context, and help improve automatic recognition of those words.

Looking forward to lots of new discoveries in the coming days! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Classroom News

We have been hard at work in Kindergarten recently! Our routines are starting to fall into place, and the class is doing such a nice job of following directions, treating friends kindly, and doing their best work each day. Below are a few pictures and summaries of what we have been doing during our time together!


The past two weeks, we have really mastered our Jolly Phonics notebook routines! Each day, we introduce a new Jolly Phonics sound, learn the song and motion to help us remember the sound, and work together to create two examples of a word that starts with that sound. We work together to stretch the sounds out in the word and try to match the sounds we hear to their letters to write the word. Thank you for your support at home with the third box for homework! It's fun to see what example they come up with!

As our procedures for reading routines are falling into place, you may notice the blue book bag in your child's backpack has two plastic bags inside with a growing collection. The smaller bag contains sight word cards. So far we only have three, I, can, and we. You can use these flashcards to help your child practice their sight word recognition at home. The larger bag contains paper mini books that go with the sight word of the week. We will keep adding to these bags! These are great ways to practice the sight words in context. Please keep reviewing these at home with your child, and keep them in the blue bag in their backpack. Once our Guided Reading routines begin (where I will meet with small reading groups at their varying instructional levels), you will also see a book at your child's reading level in the bag to practice.

During literacy time, we have also been working on our handwriting, and practicing our writing with a project to learn more about something each friend in our class likes to do!

We have enjoyed several read aloud stories as well, including a few Pete the Cat books, as well has the books Alphabet Rescue, Alphabet Mystery, and Alphabet Adventure, as we focused on letter recognition.


Our first unit in math is underway, and we are learning about numbers from 1-5 in depth, and are working on identifying what is the same and what is different about various objects. We also identified matching objects, and used math manipulatives to practice making a match with our partners. We have practiced sorting objects by attributes such as color, shape, and size. This helped solidify our thinking and made it easier to discuss with our partners why objects are similar or different.

We have also been using our Handwriting Without Tears materials and routines to practice correct number formation as we introduce each number. We first practice on our chalkboards with a small sponge, then a pom pom to trace & dry, and then chalk to trace. After practicing on our chalkboards, we use our pencils to trace and write in our Handwriting Without Tears notebooks!


We enjoyed visiting the LMC for a book tasting and checking out books. I loved seeing the enthusiasm these little ones have for checking out library books! Our book checkout day will be on TUESDAYS!

Whole Body Listening

This week, Mrs. Rebsamen, our Speech/Language Pathologist, joined us to teach us about Whole Body Listening. She read us a story about Listening Larry, which taught us the importance of listening with our eyes, ears, mouths, hands, feet, bodies, brains, and hearts!

When the class is demonstrating good whole body listening, caring behavior, or doing a fantastic job in general, we can earn a piece of our whole class behavior board! We are currently working on a gumball themed board. When we fill the board, we will get a special reward such as extra recess time, a class spirit day of our choosing, a short movie, or other privileges voted on by the class!

I think most of our Kindergarten friends would agree that centers are their favorite part of Kindergarten! They have been doing a wonderful job of learning how to share, take turns, work together, and handle disappointment that may occur during center time. This week, we participated in centers that were all Chester the Raccoon themed. He's one of our favorite characters! We matched lowercase and uppercase letters, matched numerals to collections of objects with that number, did a roll and cover number game, and played a version of the Memory game with characters from the Chester books. Next week, we will introduce name centers where we work with letters and spelling our names and the names of our classmates in various fun ways!