Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 7 - Seasons (Fall)

This week, much of our learning will center around the changing of the seasons. We will be examining fall leaves and using them as a topic for writing and to sort during math. Thank you for the plethora of leaves that have been provided! Our comparisons shall be rich indeed.

We will be working to produce rhyming words in addition to identifying them.

We have several wonderful books that we will be reading this week: Tap the Magic TreeBear Feels SickLittle Tree, and A Tree For All Seasons.

We will be using an OWL chart (Observations- Wonderings- and Learnings) in science to record our thoughts about the changing seasons.

In math, we will continue to work with the concepts of More and Less. We will also be working with patterning.

The local Firefighters are scheduled to come visit us this week!

I was very impressed last week with how well the students are undertaking the roles of listener and speaker!

As most of the class is finishing up learning all their letter names and sounds, I encourage you to keep studying with them at home. Being able to recognize the letter and the sound it makes (automatically, without having to think or guess) will help them immensely when we start our reading strategies and learning how to decode words. 


HOMEWORK
Reading:
10 minutes each night. Reading can include reading stories, the poems in the binder, sight words, and working on alphabet sounds and letter names. I strongly recommend having your child sing and act the Zoo Phonics song with you. These animals serve as fun anchors to the all important letters and sounds that we use so much!

Math:
Remember, math should be done for 10 minutes.
Monday- 
G.3 Fewer and more - compare by counting
Wednesday- reportH.1 Color patterns
Thursday- H.2 Size patterns


Skills can be revisited and repeated to increase your child's automaticity. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 6- Firefighters

This week, our thematic focus will be firefighters. We will continue exploring a topic through both fiction and nonfiction. We are revisiting many important concepts this week including:
* fiction vs nonfiction
* purpose
* parts of the book and how they help us get ready for the book
* author/illustrator
* how characters are feeling throughout a story

We also continue our focuses on letter names and sounds, as well as rhyming. We have some fun and valuable rhyming activities centered around the whimsical song Down by the Bay (a personal childhood favorite). 

In writing, we are continuing our writing about what we enjoy doing.

In math, we are continuing our work with sorting by attributes and working on the concepts of same number and more than.

We are also really delving into the oh-so-important skills involved in developing strong Habits of Discussion. These are the specific jobs we have as a speaker and as a listener. We will be creating a chart and using hand movements to help us remember to use these skills in our discussions. 

These jobs include:

Speaker:                                                            
* Look at the audience
* Speak “loud and proud” 
* Speak in whole sentences
* Use people’s names

Listener:
* Track the speaker
* Keep my hands down and still
* Wait until it is my turn to talk
  • This is so important: truly listening to what they are saying AND I give them time to think when they need it.
* Time or help?
  • This is the question you ask if someone seems to be struggling
  • Help is reminders, not just the answer

As we transition into Fall, our weather is fluctuating. Please send in a jacket or sweatshirt with your child- just in case the day turns chilly.

If you get a chance, please collect and send in some colorful leaves. During the week of October 16th, we will be exploring the changing leaves of autumn. I would like to be able to have students observe and sort a variety of real leaves. We are looking for different shapes and colors. We would appreciate any you could contribute to our class. Time spent collecting counts as volunteer time :)



HOMEWORK
Reading:
10 minutes each night. Reading can include reading stories, the poems in the binder, and working on alphabet sounds and letter names. I strongly recommend having your child sing and act the Zoo Phonics song with you. These animals serve as fun anchors to the all important letters and sounds that we use so much!

Math:
Remember, math should be done for 10 minutes.
Monday- 
P.5 Classify and sort by color


Monday, October 2, 2017

Week 5- Bats Fiction AND Nonfiction

This week we will learn about bats through a nonfiction text as well as enjoy the story of Stellaluna.  We will continue our exploration of fiction and nonfiction as types of text (this is an endeavor we continue throughout the year). We will also be examining how the different parts of the book (front cover, title page, and back cover) help us get our brains ready for what we are going to be reading.

We will continue our work on identifying rhymes.

We will also continue our writing work. This week's writing will focus on various things we enjoy doing.

We are starting a new math unit this week, which is all about Sorting and Classifying. We will be focusing on how things are alike and different, as well as sorting by attributes.  

We will be meeting our final Tribble Appreciations, while learning about the concept of Bucket Filling. Essentially, "the concept of being a bucket filer comes from Carol McCloud’s Book Have You Filled A Bucket Today?  and stems around the idea that everyone carries around an invisible bucket that throughout the day is being filled by the kind things that you do for others or that others do for you.  A bucket filler is someone who is showing positive character traits (kind, considerate, caring, respectful) and is being a responsible citizen.  When our buckets are full, we feel happy and when our buckets are empty we feel sad." (from https://sites.google.com/site/wearebucketfillers/parent-letter) When we do something that saddens or hurts another person, we are dipping into that person's bucket. We strive to avoid being bucket dippers and to fill others' buckets as often as we can.


We have an important Kindergarten benchmark approaching. We hope to have all students able to identify all of the letters names and primary sounds by the end of the 6th week of school. A handful of students have demonstrated this, with several more quickly approaching this goal. However, this is not a demonstrate-the-skill-one-time-and-we-consider-it-mastered type of skill (nothing really is). Kindergartners are exposed to and are using an astounding amount of information.  They are practicing a wide range of skills.  This can lead to some "using and confusing" of information (such as using the wrong word to identify a new concept or idea -author for illustrator, fiction for nonfcition).  As well as a seeming lack of consistency with some skills (one day they know a letter sound, the next day they don't recall it).  This is normal. Kindergartners are working to transfer information from their short term to their long term memory. This requires a lot of repetition and practice using developing skills. Alphabetic knowledge is key to our students becoming confident readers and writers, so I am urging you to have the Zoo Phonics song be a part of your reading homework each night. These animals and motions are a great anchor for your child’s developing understanding of these letters. Once students have been able to identify letter names and sounds, we work throughout the year to make these skills more solid and automatic.

Your child is accomplishing an amazing amount of learning and growth week in and week out. I am constantly impressed with what these students do!

HOMEWORK
Reading:
10 minutes each night. Reading can include reading stories, the poems in the binder, and working on alphabet sounds and letter names. I strongly recommend having your child sing and act the Zoo Phonics song with you. These animals serve as fun anchors to the all important letters and sounds that we use so much!

Math:
Remember, math should be done for 10 minutes.
Monday- 
P.1 Different
Tuesday -P.2 Same

Skills can be revisited and repeated to increase your child's automaticity. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 4- Fiction and Nonfiction

This week we will be enjoying the story Bear Snores On, as well as reading a nonfiction book about cats and dogs. With this week's theme, we jump into an important concept, distinguishing between fiction and nonfiction. Students will be learning about how works of fiction are stories that are made up and works of nonfiction teach us real information and facts. You can reinforce these concepts when reading with your child by having them identify what they are reading using these terms and having them explain how they know. These terms are very similar and are often switched or used inconsistently which makes it important that the students have many encounters with the terms and opportunities to use them appropriately in their conversations.

This week, we begin a phonemic awareness focus of rhyming. Kindergartners need to be able to identify rhyming words as well as generate their own examples. This link includes a couple of ideas you can use to reinforce this skill at home, if you are interested: http://www.4nannies.com/blog/10-fun-rhyming-games-to-play-with-kids/

The students are now working to incorporate all 3 Ways to Write (detailed pictures, letter/sound labels, and planned out sentences) to craft their writing pages. They are doing impressive jobs, especially with only 3 weeks of Kindergarten under their belts!

In math, we continue to work on the important skills of being able to determine, model, and label amounts. Our work on ordering numerals and amounts continues. We are also comparing amounts to determine which has more and which have less/fewer. This week will end our first math unit. In addition to the listed objectives for this week's homework, now is the perfect time to have your child revisit any objectives from IXL sections A and B as you see fit.

The students will meet another Tribble this week- No Put Downs. This Tribble helps us recognize how our words can upset and hurt others. It also helps us realize that our words can uplift others as well, which will lead into our final Tribble- Appreciations. The story The Crayon Box That Talked illustrates both impacts. (We also have several activities this week that will have us working with color words.) 

The students will have a 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed take home game. This game serves double duty, when it is used to practice retelling the story AND to reinforce math concepts (both number orders are illustrated, as well as one to one correspondence when counting).

We will be beginning our Listen to Reading station this week. Please send in some over-the-head, inexpensive headphones that can stay here at school, as soon as you are able. Only a limited amount of children can visit this station per day, so if you need a bit of time to get your child's headphones- no worries. 

Reading: 
10 minutes each night. Reading can include reading stories, the poems in the binder, and working on alphabet sounds and letter names. I strongly recommend having your child sing and act the Zoo Phonics song with you. These animals serve as fun anchors to the all important letters and sounds that we use so much!

Math:
Remember, math should be done for 10 minutes.
 
Monday- 
B.9 One less - up to 5
Tuesday -
B.10 Count one less - up to 5
Wednesday- 
reportG.1 Are there enough?
Thursday- 
G.2 Fewer and more - compare by matching

Skills can be revisited and repeated to increase your child's automaticity. 

Optional math extension: Count small objects with your child. Have them move each object as it is counted. Have them count as high as they can. Some ideas for objects are cereal, pennies, tiny toys (Shopkins or Hot Wheels or LEGO pieces or whatever your child has a bunch of).

At times, your child may bring home a math sheet that appears to be "unfinished". This will be because the back sheet was an extension activity for students that finished the assigned task earlier than others. If your child is interested or if you desire, they may finish the sheet as part of their homework time. It is not required, but it is encouraged.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 3 - Open a Book

Our theme this week is Open a Book. We will be delving into the 3rd Way to Read- Retelling a story. This involves a reader sharing what they heard when the story was read to them and what they see in the pictures. Our read aloud will be Bears Don't Read. We will also be revisiting Froggy and Big Bear to practice our retelling skills.

We will continue to focus on and practice our skill of Attentive Listening.

The Kindergartners did a great job of writing their first sentences this week. We will continue to work on crafting pages that include detailed pictures, labels, and complete sentences. This week we will be writing about pets that we like.

We will continue our focus on letter sounds and names, as well as word awareness. When your child reads to you, please encourage them to point to each word as it is said.

In math, we continue our work with reading, writing, and counting amounts. We also begin to notice and practice descending number patterns (5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0) in addition to the ascending pattern (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) we may be more used to.

HOMEWORK  
When logging in to IXL, please make sure that you are using the updated login provided by Mr. Kelly- otherwise your child's work will not be reported to my teacher account.
  
If your child has not yet decorated their binder cover page, please have them do so, as this will be the topic of our Community Share on Monday.
 
Reading: 

10 minutes each night. Reading can include reading stories, the poems in the binder, and working on alphabet sounds and letter names. 

Math:
Remember, math should be done for 10 minutes.
 
Monday- B.5 Show numbers on ten frames - up to 5
Tuesday - B.6 Represent numbers - up to 5
Wednesday- B.7 One more - up to 5
Thursday- B.8 Count one more - up to 5
 

Skills can be revisited and repeated to increase your child's automaticity. 

Optional math extension: Count small objects with your child. Have them move each object as it is counted. Have them count as high as they can. Some ideas for objects are cereal, pennies, tiny toys (Shopkins or Hot Wheels or LEGO pieces or whatever your child has a bunch of).

At times, your child may bring home a math sheet that appears to be "unfinished". This will be because the back sheet was an extension activity for students that finished the assigned task earlier than others. If your child is interested or if you desire, they may finish the sheet as part of their homework time. It is not required, but it is encouraged.

Note from the Principal:
If your child is going to be absent from school please notify the front office by 9 a.m. 423-5437.  Please remember that if anyone comes to check your children out of school who is not on the emergency card, they will not be released to them. You can update that list by going to Infinite Campus Parent Portal.

Note from the Office:
Beginning Monday, Sept 18, 2017 we will have gate monitors at the walk up gate.  You will now be able to park in the big parking lot on the south side of the building (the Bealls, Big Five and Dollar Tree side) and walk up to get your child if you choose. In the morning, please instruct your child to go to the walk up line. Parents, please form a single file line outside the gate and wait for a gate monitor to bring you your child. 

If you choose to do this, please be ready to tell the gate monitor your child's name and teacher.  Hold your child's hand all the way back to your car.  


Thank you for your patience and dedication to the safety of our students.