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Popcorn Words

Please read these weekly Popcorn Words with your K-Kid each night!

*I *it *run *help *away
*a *in *jump *down
*is *we *one
*am *big *two
*to *for *make
*the *this *get
*go *red *play
*me *like *find
*see *my *funny
*and *come *look
*can *up *blue
*you *not *yellow
Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall is Here!

We had a blast this week beginning our Fall Harvest unit. We began this unit by discussing our 'schema' related to Fall fruits and vegetables. The K-Kids came up with quite a list of facts they already knew. Next, we had a big discussion about what 'Harvest' actually means! Many of the K-Kids made connections to visiting the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, etc. and were enjoying telling us stories of their adventures. Next, we put on our 'scientist' caps to begin making observations about the outside of each fruit/veggie. We even charted our observations! Remember, writing is just 'telling on paper!' at this point, so writing and drawing helped get our message across. Next week, we will cut open each fruit/veggie to make similar observations for the inside. 

We are now going through our typical daily routine of literacy and math workstations, and the kiddos are moving quickly through our transitions. I have loved meeting with each group during guided reading and math groups, and I have already seen so much progress! I hope you enjoy hearing your kids read the books that have been coming home. Remember that often they have read these books with me multiple times, so for the beginning of the year it should be fairly easy. That being said, I will NOT send books home until I feel like they have  had adequate time to spend with the story. Please understand that books may not be coming home every time your child's reading group meets. I cannot wait to watch these K-Kids soar!

We have also continued doing Writer's Workshop each day and this week finished our first unit. I will be holding onto all of the K-Kid writing throughout the year and in May you will have quite the folder of stories to take home. I have been 'conferencing' one-on-one with each K-Kid to challenge them while writing in a way that makes sense for his/her individual writing strengths. The kids are working hard on stretching out sounds and writing letters/words/sentences that make sense for the reader. The best part of Writer's Workshop is that each child is allowed to work at his/her own pace. The kids' are doing a nice job of monitoring the writing they do each day, and letting me know if they are going to 'keep working on it' or if they are 'all done.' This is another way we strive to encourage independence. 

We have also begun introducing our Leader in Me character/leadership program. The past few weeks we have focused on the first two habits for happy kids. 1. Be Proactive reminds us that we should do the right thing even when no one is watching. It also reminds us that we are in charge of our own moods, feelings, and attitudes. The K-Kids have worked hard to be proactive the last few weeks taking care of themselves, their friends, and our classroom. 2. Begin with the end in mind reminds us about goal-setting. We should strive to achieve our goals and think about cause and effect when making decisions. As we continue learning and emphasizing different habits, you will see these posted on the cubbies.

The last thing we did this week was create a class promise. Hanging on our classroom door you will find the things we promise to do this year, which includes: "We promise to always do our best." "We promise to listen and care for ourselves and others." "We promise to make mistakes and work through them." These promises will help shape our behavior all year long and you are more than welcome to use these at home!

This week we will continue our Fall Harvest stations and I can't wait for another great week!
Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Monster Teacher Loves Me So

We had a fabulous week finishing up our monster unit. We have now mastered the routine of both literacy and math work stations, and get right to work when it's time for these each day. We introduced both our listening station and our writing station, which led to some super collaboration amongst the kids.

We love working with our partners on the various activities, and have been using all of our problem solving skills to work through any conflicts that may arise. This past week, I began calling over formal guided reading groups and guided math groups. All of you should have seen a book come home, as we have a full class of readers! Each week, I will meet with every math and guided reading group 2-3 times to do some more individualized instruction at each student's appropriate level. I can't wait to watch these K-Kids soar!

We have begun three various journals as well. In our math journals, we focus on a different story problem each day to get the K-Kids comfortable with comprehending and solving various math skills. In our poetry journals, we look at a poem each week and focus on various reading and phonics skills. Finally, in our language journals we complete our readers' workshop activities. Using a book to study each week there are a variety of comprehension strategies that we will discuss each day. 

In Writer's Workshop, we have continued working on stretching out our sounds and we are loving building our writing stamina. Did you know that writer's need to build their writing muscles?! We also read a funny story called The Best Story Ever by Eileen Spinelli, to help us focus on discovering a writing topic. The K-Kids have been very proud of themselves as they are adding writing to their stories each day. 

Next week, we will start our Fall Harvest unit, where we will be looking at the various fruits and vegetables that are harvested in the Fall. We will be studying both their life cycles and the patterns we notice as we compare/contrast them.
Sunday, September 11, 2016

Our Mon-STARS had a terrific week!

We had a fantastic week diving into our Monster theme in the K classroom. The kids have begun to grasp the flow of literacy centers, math centers, writer's workshop, and reader's workshop, which has made for very smooth transitions throughout the day. I am so impressed with their ability to work in their partnerships during our work stations, and all students have done a terrific job of staying on task!

As I continued assessing the kids, it was nice to take a brief moment, look around the classroom and see all of my little learners hard at work! Our literacy stations were in full gear this week as students began the following: Handwriting Books, Fine Motor Stations, Sound Recognition, and Emergent Readers. They were encouraged to solve problems independently and work for the whole time! I was so impressed to watch them succeed at this with flying colors.

In our Math Stations, we began activities to work on the following skills: numeral order, sorting, fine motor, patterning, number matching/memory, and number identification. Our literacy and math workstations will be on a two week rotation, so you may hear me talk about similar stations from week to week.

Our Writer's Workshop is in full swing! The K-Kids have learned that writing is just 'telling on paper!" and all are attempting to sound out words at their own levels. It's really a treat to see! We discussed the different processes of our writer's workshop each day (mini-lesson, try-it-out, share chair) and talked about what to do if we cannot think of something to write about.
Sunday, September 4, 2016

Back to School!

It has been a busy first week in the Kindergarten classroom! Our little monSTARS have been hard at work building our classroom community and learning the daily routine while we travel throughout the building to all of our specials. This week we met Mrs. O'Donnell for art, Mr. B for gym, Mrs. Novesky for music, Mrs. Wirth for Library and Senora B for Spanish.

In our classroom, we focused on developing some classroom rules with the help of a monster who visited our classroom for the first time. Unfortunately, this monster had not yet been to school and did not know how to act in the classroom. The kids came up with a great list of rules for this new monster: Be Kind, Be Safe, and Listen. We decided these would be three wonderful classroom rules to use in our classroom.

Each week you will see a write-up of the week's major activities here on the home page. If you look above to the navigation bar, you will see a few links. By clicking on 'Little Monster Magic' you will see a weekly photo slideshow and a bookshelf full of what we've been reading. This will not be an exhaustive list of all of the read-aloud and shared reading books we have been reading, but it's a good overview focusing on the theme. When you click on 'Schedules and Such' you will see a classroom schedule. I will go in depth on what we do in each of these 'blocks' on Miniature School night! Throughout the year the 'Ideas for Home' section will change with some things you can do at home (websites, apps, etc.) with your kiddos. Also, I have attached my Scholastic order link to the blog on the home page. I do use the rewards points earned by each class to buy books for that specific class. Scholastic offers great deals on books, and by clicking on the link from the blog, it will automatically order it to be delivered to our classroom.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!