Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Classroom News

How cute are these kindergarten friends in costume? We had a fabulous parade and celebration! Thank you to all of our parent volunteers as well as our parent audience for the parade that made it a special day for everyone.


Reading Workshop

In our most recent reading workshop lessons, we spent time thinking about who we are as readers. As we explored various genres, we discovered that we are all unique readers who have different interests in books! Some of us like poetry books, while others enjoy books about animals. Some of us were excited about dinosaur books, and others love fairy tales. Identifying these favorites will help us choose books that are a good fit for us, but we learned that it is also important to try different kinds of books to see what else is out there that we may enjoy! Thank you so much for helping your kindergartener fill out the reading survey on their book preferences. These have come in handy as we selected new books for our individual book bins that we use for independent reading time during reading workshop. 

We have been exploring features of books and what makes a successful reader during reading workshop time. We learned about the differences between fiction and nonfiction, and practiced sorting the books in our book bins into fiction or nonfiction piles.

We also spent time learning how to retell a story using specific words to start our sentences and keep our retelling on track, making sure to include all of the important events in a story!

We practiced having conversations with books with our turn and talk partners, identifying a thought or idea about a book, and then agreeing or disagreeing with our partner, and sharing our reasoning. Disagreeing about books is something that we learn to discuss respectfully and that it's okay to have differing ideas about what we are reading.

Punctuation marks are another feature of books that we are focusing on and learning how to change our reading depending on what type of punctuation mark we come across in a sentence. 

 We continue to practice composing complete sentences during writing workshop, and I've noticed students experimenting more with punctuation in their writing, which is great to see!

Our most recent word study focus was on clapping and identifying the number of syllables in a word.


In math, we continued to work extensively with numbers to 10. We compared numbers and collections, and identified differences and similarities.  We paired sets of objects with numbers, and compared sets of objects using one to one matching. That also lended itself nicely to working with one more or one less types of number stories. Next, we began our unit on size, length, and weight comparison. During this unit, we focused on ordering objects by size, length, and weight, comparing sizes using words like bigger/smaller, shorter/longer, and heavier/lighter. We had a great time with many of the hands on activities to practice using this vocabulary in our math discussions.

Zones of Regulation

We revisited the Zones of Regulation to talk a bit more in depth about the zones. First, we sorted incidents that could happen throughout our day that may move us from the green zone. We worked together to identify which zone we might end up in if that incident happened to us. Next, we identified strategies we could use to return to the green zone, ready to learn! One of the strategies we focused on was the Take a Break station. We can go to the Take a Break station if we are feeling we need a minute to remove ourselves from the task at hand and return in the green zone. At our take a break station, we have calming cards, a bean bag chair, sensory bottles, coloring supplies, fidgets, and play dough to help us. We are also learning how to appropriately use the Take a Break station without taking advantage of it! 

Our latest Zones of Regulation lesson focused on identifying the size of a problem. We learned that the size of our reaction to a problem should match the size of the problem!

Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, we participated in an all school assembly to honor many veterans who are special to Dryden School. We were so lucky to have Rocco's Papa, Staff Sergeant John Lueth, US Air Force, visit our classroom afterwards to share his experiences and answer questions. We learned so much about the different types of airplanes he worked with, places he traveled, and what it was like to be in the military.

All About Me Weeks & Guest Readers

We loved learning more about our friend, Anita! She shared with us pictures from her trip to Disney World, and her favorite cozy reindeer stuffy. She loves cooking, as well as spending time with her little sister, Vivi. She also brought along a book that she can read on her own, and nail polish because she loves to do her nails. We also learned that Anita loves gymnastics, and we got to see one of her fancy gymnastics leotards! Anita's mom joined us to read one of Anita's favorite books, Bark, George! It was too cute!

Next, we were eager to learn more about our friend, Bradley! A special place for Brad's family is their lakehouse, and he shared pictures from their time there. It is a perfect destination since Brad loves to swim! We heard all about his brother, Nathan, and dog, Jack! We also learned that Brad's favorite color is blue, and his favorite stuffed animal is a shark. He loves nature books, and brought along a yo-yo that he can do on his own!

Brad chose to have his Grams join us to read one of their favorite stories, The Monster at the End of This Book. She pretty much has this book memorized after reading it many times to her children and grandchildren!

Finally, we were excited to hear more about our friend, Olivia! She brought in her favorite owl named Zoe that she sleeps with, and a picture she colored of her favorite cartoon characters, Shimmer and Shine! We loved seeing photos of her sister Amelia and cousin Izzy, along with family pictures, dance recital pictures, and the most adorable photo of her dog, Broccoli, dressed as a sheriff for Halloween! She also shared with us a mermaid toy that she plans to take on her upcoming trip to Florida, and a few of her favorite Paw Patrol and Lego toys!

Olivia's mom and sister joined us to read the hilarious book, Giant Pants, which the class loved! Amelia was a little nervous about her first experience in a kindergarten classroom, but Olivia was so excited to have her come along!

As Thanksgiving Break approaches, I hope everyone enjoys a little extra time with family and relaxation! I am so thankful for my sweet kindergarten class and their families. These little friends bring so much joy and wonder to my days- it is a gift to see the world through their eyes as they learn and explore! Their excitement about learning is contagious!