Thursday, December 13, 2012

Detail, Detail, Detail...

Writers Workshop is a daily favorite in Kindergarten. We begin each workshop with a mini lesson, then work independently or with a teacher, and finish with some type of share. Students are encouraged to write about whatever they want, yet incorporate the concepts taught during our mini lessons.

 I have decided to start differentiating the journal structure for some students. Students will still continue to draw a picture and write on the lines- but some journals have a smaller picture box and more lines to encourage kids to "tell me more". Sneaky, I know.

This week we have been focusing on adding details to our writing. Kindergartners often get into a comfortable pattern of repeating the same sentences, which is great. Yet, I believe that some students are ready for more.

We have learned about 3 new ways to add detail to our writing.

1. Add details to your picture- lots of color, nice neat drawings

2. Tell me more- Tell your reader as much as you can about the topic you have chosen to write about

3. Use color words- All the color words have been added to our word wall, and they make our stories much more appealing to readers.

I'm so happy with the enthusiasm these kiddos show for writing. It is exciting and fun for us all! 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thank you Tari Shattuck Educational Fundation

Something exciting happened this week! 

Each year, grants are offered through the Tari Shattuck Educational Fundation. This fundation offers mini grants with a maximum of 250 dollars to be spent. Last year, I applied for the grant and was able to purchase a new listening center for Kindergarten which has been awesome to have! The kiddos love it and it helps so much with literacy and the development of early reading and comprehension skills. There was even a photo of a couple of our K students using it in their newsletter. We're famous!

This year, the grant money I was awarded went to purchase new puzzles and games to update our puzzle and games center.  This center is devoted to developing social, gross, and fine motor skills. The money purchased the following: 
Set 3 Melissa& Doug Jigsaw Puzzles (4pack)             
UNO                                                                          Jenga                                                                                
Doodle Pro                                                                          
Fish Sticks                                                                       
Lego community worker set                                          
Lego Bricks set                                                                  
Wonderfoam Hopscotch Mat                                           
Bugs Magnetic Game Puzzle     
Our new shipment of fun and learning came in this week, and we have slowly been adding the new things to our daily explore time. The students are so excited and so am I. Thank you Tari Shattuck!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ketchup and Mustard

Hello Readers,

Sometimes in Kindergarten we have "ketchup and mustard" days- basically we are catching up on projects or activities that never had closure or taking some time to revisit activities that we once did in the classroom.

I'm carrying over the "ketchup and mustard" theme to our blog. 

Here are some of the great things that have been going on in Kindergarten lately:

Last week we worked on a whole-class reader's theater of Bill Martin's "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?" We were able to perform for Ms. Davison's and Ms. Way's classes. We were so proud of our work! Check out our video. Coming soon....sorry :(.

We have had some visitors this week from Ms. Way's class. The authors have been in to share some personal narratives that they have been working on. Today, a former student (Piper) was able to share her narrative with the class all about her sister (Hazel). It was really sweet! What a special treat to have the first and second grade authors in to visit!

Let's math we have been continuing our work with teen numbers, place value, and base 10 concepts! We continue to play race to 100, and scramble using teen numbers. We're getting there. :)

This week in writing, we completed our district's writing assessment. This assessment asked students to journal about a "their special place". Kindergartners drew pictures, and wrote words and sentences about a place that is special to them.

We've wrapped up our science unit about the five senses. We had fun carving pumpkins,  playing sound bingo, watching a video about our five senses, using our sense of hearing to match film canisters filled with various materials, and our sense of touch to play a touching game.  As you probably know, the clue in the sharing bag was "something that makes a sound".  As usual, the treasures from home revealed a lot about each kiddo. We even have a guitar player who gave us a mini lesson in here! 


This month we will work on some holiday projects and participate in a few MCS traditions such as a holiday bazaar and winter concert. December seems to fly by at school but of course there will be plenty of room for play!