Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 6-17

Back to school and back to work!! The last two weeks have been getting back into routine and remembering the expectations of school! We had fun doing projects of snowmen and many winter activities.

We began a new math unit when we returned from school and learned all about the numbers 8 and 9 and how to decompose them. We learned about a new 2D shape, the circle, and came up with circle shapes we see everyday in the environment. We have really been working hard on addition and using different tools to help us solve the problem. (Ex: our fingers, the number line, linking cubes, and dominos). We will begin learning and memorizing math facts to 5 so we don't need any manipulative to solve it, we will just know it! Here are some fun games we play during our math time:

                Roll-A-Dice Addition                                     Domino Addition


              Domino Addition                                               Mystery Number


Language Arts
We have gotten into such a great routine during our Language Arts time. While I meet with small groups each day, the students are busy around the room visiting a variety of different learning activities. They work on writing, heart words, reading, word families, letters, sounds and so much more! They get to do 3 stations a day and continue working throughout the week to visit all 9 stations. In our small group time we are reading books, writing sentences with heart words and learning reading strategies. I love this time of the day and it is fun to see the learning taking place in each of them!

Writer's Workshop
We did not start a new writer's workshop unit, but instead worked on different writing prompts for our winter unit. "If I lived in a snow globe..." was one of our favorites to think and write about.


During our discovery time we discussed the season of winter. We read lots of great snowman books and compared and contrasted the different books.


We made lots of snowmen, did a winter drawing and talked about what we like to do in the snow.

This week we are beginning our study of penguins! It will be a fun week!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 2-13

One more week until Christmas Break! Time is flying! Here's what we have been up to:

-We worked on lucky number 7 last week and used two sided counters to show all the different ways to make 7. We used white boards to write down the math sentences and practiced putting the plus sign and equals sign in the correct spot!
-We continue to work on ten frames and recognizing how many are in a frame without having to count.
-We learned another 2D shape: the rectangle! We talked about the similarities and differences between the rectangle and triangle and found where the rectangles four vertices and edges are.

Language Arts:
-Wagner Wolf was our letter friend last week and Yosobee Yak was our friend this week. Both of these letters have tricky sounds so we practiced really hard on identifying, saying and making words with these beginning sounds.
-We just finished the heart words for Unit 2 (the orange words that were sent home). We continue to work on writing and reading these words everyday! We will not introduce Unit 3 words until after Christmas, so reviewing Unit 1 and Unit 2 over the break would be so beneficial for your child!
-We are learning a reading strategy to help us read words we do not know. It is called Lips the Fish! Lips the Fish reminds us to get our lips ready to say the first sound in a word we come to that we do not know.
-Our word families have been -et and -eg. E is such a tricky sound but they are doing a wonderful job of blending sounds with these families to make words.

Writer's Workshop:
-After reading the book, Ain't Gonna Paint No More, we learned that our words are powerful and if we want something or want someone to know something we can write it down. We have been making posters to tell people things we want them to remember or know. Take a look :)


And here is a finished book! All About Planets!




-Last week we had fun doing lots of different activities with the gingerbread man! We read many different stories and compared and contrasted them. Then we voted on our favorite gingerbread book!

We also painted gingerbread houses and decorated them with dot paint.


And labeled a gingerbread man...

And made a gingerbread cowboy!


And this week we learned about different Christmas traditions. We also made a Christmas tree of our own and decorated it with lights and ornaments!

It's been a fun two weeks! Here are some backstage pictures of our Christmas concert last week!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

End of November

This is a major catch up post! So sorry for getting behind! Here's what we have been up to!

-We learned that 2-D shapes are flat and that a triangle has 3 vertices (corners) and 3 edges (sides). We made triangle man to help us remember that and also drew pictures of real world things that are n the shape of triangles. One of the most important things to remember about a triangle is that if it has 3 vertices and 3 edges it is ALWAYS a triangle, no matter if its skinny, fat, upside down or right side up!
-We have been working on decomposing the number 6 and double checking our work so we never do the same number sentence.
-We learned what the addition sign means and what kinds of words tell us to add: altogether, total, sum, both) We have practiced listening to story problems and drawing pictures of the parts and counting both parts to find out the whole. 
- We learned what "counting on" means. When we see two numbers that need to be added together we find the biggest number first, say it, and then add the next number from there. (Ex: 6+2....we would count 6..7, 8. Instead of counting back to 1)

Language Arts:
-Letter R, M and W are the letters we have been talking about. We know that the sounds of the letters are very important because letters make up words and when we know the sounds of the letters we can sound out words!
-During Daily 5 time your child is doing an excellent job of reading books, writing stories, learning sight words and listening to books...all great things to develop their minds into readers!
-Our word families have been en, et, and ed. Letter e is a tricky sound and we are working really hard to hear the /e/ sound and say words in these families. 

Writer's Workshop
-Last week we finished our unit on "How to" writings and we started a new one called "Writing for a Reason." In this unit we are learning that our words are powerful and when we want our reader to know something, we need to use powerful words so they can understand. We are learning that we can communicate with people through written words, not just spoken ones. 

-Our two week unit on Native American ended Friday. We studied the Plains Indians, Southwest Indians and Northwest Indians. Although each area has a lot of similarities, they used different resources based on their environment to make homes, transportation and weapons. Tipis, pueblos, totem poles, clothing, food and traditions were the topics we covered. We made our own native american apparel and had a celebration at lunch one day. We are very thankful for the Native Americans and their kindness and friendship to the Pilgrims.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

October 28-November 8

We have had so much fun in the past two weeks! Halloween party, 50's day celebration and a concert with James Hirsch! Here is a re-cap of what we have been doing.


I introduced the math tool number lines to the students. Number lines are helpful when we are counting. It shows us the order of the numbers and helps us visually see numbers that are one more, one less, etc. We spent a lot of time getting familiar with the number lines and playing different games. We talked about what "one more" means and how to find one more than a given number using the number line. We have also been working on counting on, which means starting at a random number and saying/writing the numbers that come next--instead of starting at 1. They have really gotten the hang of it! Our number focus this week was 5. We spent all morning Friday talking about the different ways to decompose 5. They came up with all 6 ways by themselves!

Language Arts:
Last week was a review week. We went over all the letters we have learned as well as their sounds. We also reviewed all of the word families and sight words that have been introduced. While we continue to work on our letters and sounds, we are also learning how to put those sounds together to make words! We have really been working hard on blending CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and saying the new word. (Ex: c-a-t = cat!) We have learned that when we see a word in a text we don't know, we can say the first sound in the word. If we still don't know what the word is after that, we sound out the other letters in the word and see if it makes sense!

Writer's Workshop:
We finished up our non-fiction writing unit and came away with an amazing product! You will get to see your child's non-fiction book about owls at conferences. They did an awesome job! This week we started a new unit on "how to" writings. A "how to "writing tells the reader how to do something. We have done two writings together: How to Hake a Soda Float, and How to Catch a Turkey. They are now working on a "how to" writing of their choice. It is fun to see what they come up with.


We finished our owl unit by having Charles from the nature center come in and talk to us about the owls we may see around Northwest Iowa. It was very interesting and we were able to tell him a lot of facts we had already learned too! We did a short two day unit on turkeys and Monday we will start our study of Native Americans! This is a fun unit for the kids to study and learn about a different culture and time period.

Important Dates to Remember:
Tuesday, November 12: Conferences
Thursday, November 14: Conferences
Friday, November 15: No School!



Monday, October 28, 2013

October 21-25


We've gone crazy with the number 4! Last week the students brainstormed all the ways THEY could show "four." I say THEY because I did not help!! The students came up with the different ways to represent four, and when someone didn't quite show it correctly the students were the ones to pipe up and say, TRY AGAIN!! I am so proud of them and the number sense that they are developing. Another thing we really try to hit on in kindergarten is decomposing numbers. This means to break a number apart into different ways. For example, this week we broke apart the number 4 into five ways: 1+3, 3+1, 0+4, 4+0 and 2+2. We practice this many times throughout the week in our journals, worksheets and bell ringers.

Language Arts:

Our letter last week was Rr for Randy the Rooster! Along with practicing the sound for letter Rr and thinking of words that begin with his letter, we also learned about the word family "-at." We practiced putting different beginning sounds in front of -at to make new words. After we got good at that, we sorted words in the -at, -an and -ad family to help us differentiate between the ending sounds. Being able to recognize and read word family words in an important skill for your young reader. It helps them identify patterns in words and helps them decode other words they may not know. 

We have introduced 4 of our 5 Daily 5 choices! The students are now keeping busy reading to themselves, working with words (rainbow writing sight words, stamping letters/words, assembling alphabet puzzles, etc.) working on writing (writing words around the room) and listening to reading (listening to book on the Ipads). They love this time and usually get to two choices a day!

Writer's Workshop:

We finished our unit on personal narratives! We celebrated Friday by sharing our favorite story we wrote with the class. I am excited to show them to you at conferences! This week will start working on a mini-unit of non-fiction writing. We will learn about the parts of a non-fiction book and what details they have. Since we are studying owls, our non-fiction book will be about owls.


We started studying owls last week! We will continue working on them this week and digging deeper into the different types of owls and the differences between them. This week we had fun doing an owl guided drawing and painting them in. We also filled in a chart about what we know about owls and what we can learn about them. It was a fun week!

Important Dates to Remember:

Thursday, October 31: Halloween parade and party!
Tuesday, November 5: 50th Day of School Celebration (we dress up in 50's attire and do special activities in the classroom. )