Monday, December 10, 2018

Classroom News

We are walking in a ginger-wonderland in kindergarten! The major excitement this week was the transformation of our hallway into a gingerbread house, as we began studying and comparing different versions of The Gingerbread Man. We are using what we have learned during reading workshop time to discuss and analyze these stories to determine the main character, setting, problem, and solution. The gingerbread stories also have an added element of a repeated phrase throughout the book. We have already made some fantastic comparisons between these versions, and look forward to comparing more!

Our centers are also tied into the gingerbread study, as we practice simple addition with gumdrops and gingerbread men, as well as the game, Gingerbread Bump. We are getting extra number identification practice in with a color by number, as well as shape identification with a color by shape gingerbread house. Finally, we are enjoying listening to the book, The Gingerbread Bear at our listening center.

This week in the LMC, we enjoyed the book, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, and explored some fun gingerbread themed activities online. Click here to check them out!

During math instruction, we have been focusing on composing and decomposing numbers to give us a better foundational understanding of addition and subtraction. Next, we spent time ordering numbers to form a number line, which we then used to solve "one more" problems to practice "counting on" from a particular number on the number line. We also learned that using our fingers (and toes!) can be a quick and effective strategy when working with numbers.

Jolly Phonics is now complete! We have introduced all of the sounds, and will begin applying those sounds to decode words during guided reading groups. I am currently assessing all students to determine their appropriate reading level, and once all of those assessments are complete, our official guided reading groups will begin! This is when i will meet with small groups of students to do word work, read a short book together to focus on decoding and comprehension skills, practice our reading fluency, and discuss the book as a group. Feel free to keep the Jolly Phonics notebook at home to continue to review the sounds, and any blank pages that remain in the notebook can be used for writing practice! During writing, we recently worked on a piece where we highlighted something we did over Thanksgiving break. We practiced each step of the writing process and included a detailed picture, then stretched out the words in our labels and our message. 

Next, we focused on the very important, yet sometimes left out, step of labeling as we labeled a gingerbread man. Often times when I check in with our kindergarten authors, I discover that they went straight from drawing their picture to writing their message. Continued practice with labeling will make this good writing habit stick with them! 

We loved learning more about our friend, Mattias! We learned that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are his favorite, and he also loves the Flash. He showed us his action figure as well as a slap bracelet he's showing off in the photo below! We also learned that he has a favorite blue car, and he displayed a special sand art creation that his sister made for him when they were on a road trip together as a family. 

We loved hearing the story of Adam Raccoon and Bully Garumph, and had many giggles as we listened to Mattias's dad do his best British accent for the narrator's lines!

Next up was Liliana, and we loved seeing a photo book of her family, and hearing who everyone was! She shared her two favorite dolls that she enjoys playing with, and a book with her favorite characters, Elephant and Piggie. The proudest moment was when she shared the special sign from when the announcement was made that she had become a big sister, complete with a picture of her with her mommy in matching robes when she first met her baby sister!

Liliana's mom joined us with two special guests, Elephant and Piggie, to read us the funny story, We are in a Book! by Mo Willems.

Thanks for reading! Here we go, sliding into another great week!

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