Thursday, October 31, 2019

Classroom News

Thank you so much for taking the time to come in and meet with me last week for Parent Teacher Conferences! I enjoyed having the opportunity to share all of the progress your children have made in the few short months we've been in school, and just how much I have enjoyed getting to know them. I cannot wait to see where they are headed as we continue on through this kindergarten adventure together!


Since the last blog update, we have been working hard on numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. We have enjoyed songs and rhymes that help us to count up from one. Through our hands on activities and math notebook pages, we have been practicing pointing to each object as we count, which helps us to count accurately.

We also tie this into our handwriting curriculum by learning the correct number formation for each of those numbers and practicing them in our handwriting books and on our chalkboards. Many of the math activities we have done throughout this unit focus on matching groups of objects that have the same amount. A trick we have learned is that in our math book, the objects are sometimes organized with a row of five on top, and the rest of the objects on the bottom row, so we can easily see which collections have more, less, or the same amount of objects.

Reading & Writing Workshop

During reading workshop time, we introduced all of the mentor texts we will be using during our first unit of reading workshop. These are read aloud books that we use to introduce a variety of skills. The typical format that our workshop lessons follow include a whole group reading lesson where a skill is introduced, followed by group or partner time to practice this skill together, and finally independent practice with our book bins. We selected books that we would like to read from the classroom library to add to our book bins for this independent reading time. 

We also practiced the routine for turning and talking to our partners on the rug.

Don't forget to send in a picture of your favorite reading spot at home if you have one! We will have these pictures displayed in the classroom. Our first submission looks like a great place to read- I love her mini rocking chair! Can't wait to see more cozy reading spots!

We have also spent time identifying the differences between a letter, a word, and a sentence. We know that letters go together to make words, and we leave spaces between words so we know where one word ends and another begins. When we write sentences, we signal to our reader that we are starting a new sentence with a capital at the beginning, and that the sentence is finished when there is a period or other ending mark. This tied in nicely with our word study lesson about identifying beginning, middle, and ending sounds in words.

We have just wrapped up the uppercase letters in our Handwriting Without Tears instruction. Next, we will move onto the correct letter formation of all of the lowercase letters, and will begin to place more of a focus on using a capital only when appropriate, and lowercase letters the rest of the time.

We also put our writing skills to work as we participated in a project with the entire primary grades hallway! We all read the book, The Kindness Quilt, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. Next, we brainstormed what kindness is. Finally, we each made our own square on a quilt to share our ideas about the meaning of kindness.


During LMC, we had a fantastic time using the BeeBots to practice basic coding skills as we programmed them to move to various pumpkins around the board. It was so exciting to watch the students successfully move their BeeBots to their target spot! Miss Natalia, our student from the Teacher Internship Program at Hersey High School assisted with one of our groups.

Zones of Regulation
As we have been learning about the Zones of Regulation, we read 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 the 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!

Behavior Board Celebration

We filled our class behavior board by demonstrating good behavior as a whole class! We voted, and for our reward this time, we chose to have a pajama and stuffed animals day. It was so fun to be extra cozy for a day! We now have a pumpkin patch behavior board up, and when our pumpkin patch is full, we will vote on a different reward. Way to go, kindergarten friends!

Speaking of pumpkin patches, we made our own pumpkin patch along our windows! We created pumpkin glyphs to represent ourselves and our preferences. This task also included lots of practice with direction following and fine motor skills as we cut and glued! 

All About Me Weeks

We enjoyed learning more about our friend, Rocco! He shared a beautiful photo of his family and told us all about his pet bunnies and bird. We also learned that he loves the color green and the Chicago Bears. He also enjoys visiting the zoo to see his favorite animal, the giraffes!

Next, we celebrated Wade! He shared with us pictures of his little sister, and a photo of himself playing hockey with his dad. We also got to see a picture of Wade taking on the responsibility of walking his dog, Hank! He also shared a sweet drawing he did for his mom, as well as an apple magnet to represent his favorite food. Ice cream is his favorite treat, and blue-green is his favorite color! He brought a statue of his favorite comic book character, whom he was named after, and a fun Build-a-Bear that plays the Happy Birthday song! 

We also loved learning more about Maeve! She showed us pictures and told us all about her adorable cats, Dooley and Daisy, who are both Russian Blues. We saw beautiful photos of her family, and she told us about a vacation they took to Oregon. She brought in some of her favorite toys, her Barbie and LOL dolls. We discovered that she loves animals, and the book What Zookeepers Do.

Guest Readers

Having guest readers join us is one of our favorite things! We enjoyed having Rocco's mom join us to read The Lorax, and Wade's mom to read We Don't Eat Our Classmates. Thanks so much for joining us with these great stories!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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! We worked in partners in the photos below to build towers that matched, and identify why they were the same, as well as towers that were different, and identified why they were different.

During Jolly Phonics time, we are now doing the two letter blends, and are only adding new sounds on the first two days of each week. The third day of the week will be used for Jolly Phonics review, and the extra time on Thursdays and Fridays will be dedicated to additional Reading Workshop and Writing Workshop time. I also added a set of Jolly Phonics cards on a ring to your child's blue book bag for additional review at home! Don't forget to utilize these tools pictured below for practice at home. Review of Jolly Phonics sounds, sight word cards, and reading sight words in our sight word poems and sight word books will build your child's confidence as a reader. 

Now that we have so many sounds added to our command of letters and sounds, we are able to communicate our ideas in writing much more effectively. Each time we write, we follow the four step process of Think, Draw, Label, and Write. 

We enjoyed having Mrs. Goldstein, one of our technology teachers, join us to practice logging into Seesaw and creating a drawing of our family. These types of lessons help our students build familiarity and independence with the app.

All of our kindergarten friends were looking adorable for picture day! Thanks to the picture day volunteers for helping us look our best!

During LMC, we have been learning how to use the Pebble Go website to learn about various topics. We go step by step through the process, from plugging in our headphones, to locating and opening the browser, navigating to the LMC page, and listening to Pebble Go read to us about the chosen topic. Our kindergarten friends are building skills that will help them as they learn to do research!

We loved learning more about our friend, Annie! She shared with us a picture of her family, as well as dance shoes from Irish step dancing, ballet, and tap! We also saw her favorite art supplies, because she loves doing art, as well as lip gloss, since she loves to wear makeup.

Annie's dad joined us to read the book, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. We loved this silly story!

Arie's mom surprised us and read us two books with great messages! Swimmy and A Bad Case of the Stripes. Arie was so tickled to see her when she least expected it!