Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Good News and . . . The Good News!

Why the title, you ask?  Well, originally this post was going to be one of those "What do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?" type deals.  The good news being that I'm here with a new blog post.  The bad news being that I failed to upload photos from the past week onto my computer because my iPhone duped me.  I will spare you the riveting details, but basically my trusty iPhone tried to outsmart me.  However, with slightly too much patience and a whole lot of technology detective skills, I prevailed.  And let me tell you, when I figured the whole thing out I felt like I had solved a legitimate mystery.  

So here I am with a ton of fun new photos of these amazing kinders and some updates about our kinder days. YAY!  :)

Guided Discoveries
We've done several new guided discoveries with classroom materials recently.  Pictured below are white boards, playdough, and water colors (pictured further below)!

Morning Choice Time
While students arrive and complete their morning jobs, choice time is now available first thing in the morning.  Students can pick from four options of play based activities.  This gives them a chance to socialize with their peers, feel energized from activity, and activate those brains for learning.  It has proven a really successful way to start our day.

Self Portraits
After a drawing lesson on how to draw faces and closely observing details like hair and eye color, kinders used mirrors to draw self portraits to display on our wall.  Since I like to display these for much of the year and then do a comparison in June, I decided to take a picture of all the portraits as well so you could all see at home.  THEY.ARE.AWESOME.  We have some thoughtful artists in our classroom!  Can you guess who's who?

Word Work
With our study of letters and passwords (sight words), so begins word work.  Each day we spend some of our reading time practicing our letters and letter sounds of the week.  We also practice our passwords in fun and repetitive ways.  

We loved experimenting with color while we used watercolors this week.  These will be a great medium for all kinds of learning this year!

Read to Self
We begun read to self this week, which will later be a small group center during reader's workshop this year.  Students are expected to read to themselves using at least one of the three ways we have learned to read books:  read the pictures, read the words, retell the story.  During read to self, students read silently while they stay in their spot.  So far, we have built our reading stamina up to just over two minutes.  We're aiming for five at the end of this week!

Upcoming Week Preview
Some topics to keep your ears listening for this week in conversations with your kinder at home: 
  • Shapes - We have studied circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles.  We'll be adding hexagons this week too.  Psst . . . we also learned a fancy new word for corners - VERTICES!
  • Letters of the week - We'll be studying the letters n and m this week.
  • Drawing - Kinder writers will be learning about drawing people using shapes we know and working on picture backgrounds.
  • Zones of Regulation - Our team will continue to learn and talk about how we are feeling and making choices using the zones of regulation.  The green zone is where we strive to be so we are ready to learn!  But sometimes we might feel like we are in the blue zone if we are hungry, sad, or tired; the yellow zone if we are anxious or feeling silly; and the red zone if we are angry or out of control.  This type of learning helps us to clarify feelings and fosters rich conversations about interactions among classmates and peers.  
Here's to the week ahead!