Monday, September 30, 2013

Mini iPad!

Exciting news! I worked on a grant from the website Donors Choose and asked for a mini iPad. Well, I got it and I am so excited to start using it in class. 

My first idea is to start recording the students reading their guided reading books and then post it on youtube. I of course would not show any of their faces, it would merely be them showing the pictures and their voices. 

I think there are I some great things we could do with FaceTime, but I'm not sure how to "hook" up with others outside of our classroom. 

Look for new updates regarding our class as we journey into the wide world of technology! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Yay for YouTube!

A fun video for counting by fives!
Counting by 10!

What is a good friend?

Last week our essential question was, "How can we get along with new friends?" All week we read different stories about being a good friend, making new friends, and what a friend is. With our new reading curriculum we read a variety of texts; informational (non-fiction), fiction, fantasy, fable. It is so exciting to see them connecting with the texts using text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections. These are skills that are going to help them grow into lifelong readers.

At the end of the week there is always a research and inquiry project. It usually involves working in a small group. The project for this week was to get in a small group and create a poster about being a good friend. The group had to agree on their idea and then their poster needed to match their idea. They worked so well together  using their collaboration skills that we practice every day! Here are some pictures from the day.
"A good friend shares rainbow toys and basketballs."
"A good friend plays nicely with friends."
"A good friend shares toys and markers."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Little Readers

As we get more and more into the school year, your kindergartener will be learning more and more words!So far we have worked on knowing three words; I, can, the. Each word has a little reader from our reading curriculum. We practice reading the book together, we circle/highlight the word, and then they get to color the pictures. These books are coming home with your kinder and it is a great tool to help them get better at reading!

Monday, September 2, 2013

August 29th Newsletter

August 29 by lauren1983mitchell

Daily Five Beginnings

One of my most favorite parts of the day is Daily Five. This is an hour block of time in the morning where the kiddos move around the room doing various literacy based activities. When I first came to Kennedy our Principal told me that the whole school was going to do Daily Five, so I needed to read the book and figure out how it would work in a kindergarten room. That first year was a learning experience, but all of the kindergarten teachers and staff really saw how beneficial this type of structure worked. Here's the breakdown...

There are five (Daily Five) stations; read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, word work, work on writing. We focus on one station a week in the beginning and create an anchor chart. The big idea is that the kiddos are INDEPENDENT and they have CHOICE! We practice and practice and practice, until they have built up the stamina to be on their own. Then, hopefully, they are on task and I don't have to remind them too much of what they are supposed to be doing.

  • Read to Self: Reading a book one of three ways; read the pictures, read the words, retell the story.
  • Read to Someone: Sitting in EEKK position (elbow, elbow, knee, knee) and reading a book one of three ways to eachother.
  • Listen to Reading: Listening to a book on the computer, on an iPad, on a CD.
  • Word Work: Working on high frequency words and alphabet practice.
  • Work on Writing: Writing in a journal, completing a prompt, or working on a story from earlier in the day. 
You might be thinking..."How do kindergarteners do all of this???" I will tell you, they do it and they love it. It is a process in the beginning and we take small steps, but by mid-year we are cruising and getting so much done during this hour. Also, perhaps the most important aspect of this time is that I work with small groups while everyone is rotating and focused. It gives me time to really work on the skills that those kiddos need.

Here are some photos of the kindergarteners doing some word work this week.
Name puzzles

Letter tile matching

Uppercase magnet letter matching
Letter clips on a wheel