Monday, December 12, 2016

Obligatory Snow Day Post :)

If you think teachers don't do any school work on snow days, guess again!  :)  Being cozied up inside catching up on Christmas movies is a perfect time to share some kinder fun with you and reflect on our learning the past couple of weeks.  I hope everyone is either getting safely where they need to be today, or having some snow day fun at home!

As you can imagine, December is a busy month in Room 111.  The excitement of snow, Gingerbread fun, continued work on learning goals .  .  . did I mention snow?  It can be extra tricky to remain focused on our learning activities in the classroom when there is all that fluffy white stuff falling from the sky out our kinder windows.   But we are still working hard and learning to read, write, count, and important life lessons.  Here are some updates on our team. 

Number 7 and Days of the Week - Every time we introduce a new number, we try to find the real life connections to that number to really solidify the importance of learning math concepts.  The number 7 ties in well with calendar concepts as there are 7 days of the week.  We read lots of books about days of the week, such as Cookie's Week, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Today is Monday.  We also did fun retelling crafts to practice naming the days of the week.  

Here we are retelling Cookie's Week using our Cookie puppets!

We also played a game called Slides and Ladders (similar to Chutes and Ladders) where we had to read the day of the week that was on the space we landed on.  Fun!  And great practice for game rule following, taking turns, and being a good sport.  

Writing True Stories - During writer's workshop, kinders have been working on developing their writing beyond one simple topic (ex: This is me and my mom.  Or . . . I like dogs.) and working on writing true stories about something they did or something that happened in their lives.  We have focused carefully on adding details to illustrations, coloring carefully and realistically, and making sure we add story elements (who, where, and what) to each story.  We also continue to stretch out words and phonetically write as many sounds as we can in words we don't know, and correctly spell word wall words (passwords) that we do know.  Writing is such an orchestra of skills.  There's mechanics and then there's the creative element.  Our kinder writers continue to grow in these areas.  


Gingerbread Fun! - Gingerbread stories give students many opportunities to practice discussing story elements, sequence story events, and retell to strengthen reading comprehension.  There are also many fun gingerbread activities to enjoy!  

We played "Roll a Gingebread Man" with partners and turned ourselves into gingerbread boys and girls!  These cute decorations currently adorn our "gingerbread-fied" hallway but will be coming home for you to decorate your home soon!

We also have enjoyed our first guest reader to share a gingerbread story with us.  As we read more versions, we'll be comparing and contrasting different stories.  

Have you heard about the Gingerbread Man who visited our classroom?  He wrote us a note and asked us to decorate our classroom like a gingerbread house.  Students worked on math centers with a gingerbread focus this week.  We made patterned peppermints and candy canes!

We also brushed up on our memory skills with a memory match game.

Continued focus on friendship - Social and emotional learning opportunities continue to surround us everyday at school.  I try to capture those small moments just like I would academic learning.  There was something about the cooperation and fun happening on the swings the morning I took this picture.  And the look of sheer joy on the kids' faces.  These moments really are the best.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving Fun (and other recent things)

Annnnnd we're back!  I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving with family and friends.  Here are a few updates on what we've been up to in Room 111.

Six Sticks - Mrs. Ruest joined us as we learned about the number 6.  She shared this really awesome book called 6 Sticks.  The story was all about the imaginative things you can build with just 6 sticks.  After reading, each student experimented with what they could build with their own 6 popsicle sticks and decided on a final design to glue to their paper.  After the designs dried, kinders finished drawing their picture.  During our study of 6, kinders also recognized different combinations to 6 such as 5 and 1, 3 and 3, and 4 and 2.  Learning these combinations as we study each number helps build the foundation for addition and subraction later this year.  

PJ Day - Brought to you by the letters P and J!  PJ Day was a hit in Room 111!  We decorated our own set of pajamas, read the book Llama Llama Red Pajama, and did 5 senses science with popcorn (because who doesn't love to eat popcorn in their pajamas?).  All in all, it was a super comfy cozy day!

Teamwork in Action - During morning choice time, these buddies found a way to create a huge chainlink "necklace" with all the links on the math shelf.  Lots of turn-taking, group planning, and cooperation.  Good stuff!  (Might I also add that shortly after this photo was taken, we quickly learned that trying to walk around as a group while wearing this necklace resulted in accidently clotheslining table materials and chairs.  Woops!)

Turkey Fun - Kinders enjoyed turkey math centers including a color by number, roll and color, 5 little turkeys book, and Thanksgiving bingo.  These centers offered lots of opportunities to practice counting, subitizing, and decomposing numbers.

Kindness Rocks - Did you hear about the kindness rocks we found outside at recess?  It was so cool!  Girls On the Run made this their community impact project this year as they wanted to spread kindness on the playground and throughout our school.  We loved finding all the different rocks and reading the messages!

Book Orders - Please be sure to return or electronically submit your book orders by this Friday, December 2nd.  This is the last book order I will be sending before the holidays.  In order to receive our books on time, I want to make sure I place the order early enough.  :)