Saturday, September 23, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up

We are getting into the groove in kindergarten! This was our first full week of 5 days this school year, and we were welcome with HOT weather. Just a reminder that we don't have air conditioning, so dress your child so they are ready to deal with the heat, at least for the first part of this next week.

Constitution Day was this week, so we read the preamble using a book by David Catrow called We the Kids. You can see a video of this book here. We talked about how the Constitution sets forth the rules for our country. We talked about rules we have at school, at home, and in the community.
In Science, we learned about Living and Nonliving things. We learned that living things move, breathe, grow and change, need food and water, and make more like themselves. One of the students suggested that all living things can die, so we added that to our understanding about living things. I was so excited that she pointed that out! We answered questions to determine if certain items were living or nonliving.
We looked at pictures to vote on whether the pictures were living or nonliving.

The highlight was observing living and nonliving worms!

We are working on becoming independent readers. We read a book with a partner this week, which will become part of our routine every week.

Another way we are going to practice reading is with reading buddies in third grade. On Friday, we met our buddies for the first time. Instead of reading, students spent time getting to know one another. They wrote their buddy's name and traced their hand. They also asked questions about their favorite things.

In Math, we have been working with numbers 0-5 and discussing different ways to show how many. We made posters for numbers 1-5, then students walked around to look at the different ways to show that number. Either due to camera error (its a rather old camera) or operator error, most of the pictures this week were blurry, so this is the only picture I have of our gallery walk!
We try to do at least one math center a day to practice independent skills we have been working on in the lessons. Some of the centers have a manipulative (a tool we use to show math ideas) to explore with. One of the students made this with pattern blocks! He said it was spiderman. I love seeing the creativity of this group!
Mr. McGeorge is our school counselor. He came in this week to talk to us about how we all have feelings, and people show those feelings in different ways. He read a book to share this idea.
Next week, we are starting on numbers 6-10. The ideas will be the same concepts we worked on with numbers 0-5. We will represent the numbers with objects, pictures, drawings, and writing the numbers. We will start using tens frames to show the numbers. We fill a tens frame from left to right and top to bottom to represent numbers.
Image result for tens frame 

In Reading, you will see the reading bags come home on Tuesday again. We are going to start working with one letter a week now, and our first letter in Mm. We will focus on the sound and listen for M in words, both at the beginning and the end. 
In Writing, we are working on completing sentences. You should have seen a couple writing pages come home this week. Students completed those on their own! They did not copy the word the wrote to finish the sentence. Some students are writing a string of letters to represent their word, and that's ok right now! As we learn more sounds and letters, their words will start to look more like the words we recognize. I do not focus on spelling words correctly, but rather writing the sounds they hear. 
In our Science and Social Studies time next week, we will be studying apples. This is one of my favorite weeks. We will learn about Johnny Appleseed, how apples grow, and what we do with apples. 
If you have any questions, please let me know! 
:) Mrs. Steinman

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Weekly Wrap Up

We are getting into a good routine in kindergarten!
We became scientists this week and used the properties to help us sort objects. We sorted cereal by color.

We talked about texture and students used texture words to sort objects as a class.
We also sorted by size, color, and shape.
We have been working on handwriting and trying to use the proper motions when we write each letter. We will go back to each letter more in depth as the year progresses, and these first few weeks just serve as an overview.

We also became writers this week! We learned that writers start by thinking, and brainstormed a bunch of things we could write about. We wrote about the way we come to school. At this point, we are using sentence frames to finish writing. We write our words first, then sketch a picture using a pencil that includes details, then color. The kids worked hard and I am so proud!

We are working on numbers 0-5, and started comparing using the words "equal" and "more" or "greater than." We will look for groups that are less this week.

We have a short week this week due to the fair. We are going to take our i-Ready diagnostics on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is important for your child to be at school these days. This gives me an idea where we are starting and gives us a way to measure growth. We will take another diagnostic in January and April. These assessments are given on the Chromebooks. There is one for Reading and a separate one for math. I sent home some information with your newsletter this week. If you want to know what to expect, you can click here to watch a 5 minute overview video.

It was brought to my attention that the online book order option was not working, but it should be working now! I apologize for that. If you want to order books this month, I will place the order on Wednesday.
Have a great rest of the weekend!
:) Mrs. Steinman

Friday, September 1, 2017

First Weeks

I am so excited to share our first couple weeks of kindergarten with you!
We have spent a lot of time working on routines and learning how to be kind to one another in our classroom.
The first day of school, we read Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes. You can find a recording of the book here, plus other videos with Pete the Cat. This is a big hit, and we made crowns to go along with the book. We also took a school tour to start to learn where everything is. Thankfully, East isn't that big of a school and the kids are doing great!

Working on learning names has been another big focus! We read the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and made letters for the first letter of our name.

On Thursday, we had an assembly from the bus garage to learn about bus safety. Barney Sue is the bus, and she came with some bus drivers to help us learn how to be safe.
We started learning the Pledge of Allegiance and talked about the American Flag. We spent time coloring the American Flag. If you haven't completed your flag about yourself, please return it by Tuesday.

In Math, we are working on numbers 1-5, and have been using a lot of objects to help us do that. We have learned that we can show "how many" with objects, pictures, and numbers.

We played a game called bump, where students work with a partner and work on number identification and have to strategize to win the game.

In Reading, we did work with the sight words I and am, and worked on writing letters A-E. Students read their first book independently as kindergarten using sight words and picture clues! We also worked on rhyming - students did a great job coming up with words that rhyme. It is ok if words are nonsense words, as long as they rhyme with the given word.
We read the story Giraffes Can't Dance and talked about the importance of the word "yet." If something is hard, we can try our best and never give up! The kids came up with a list of things they can't do...yet.
We've worked hard this week, and will continue working hard throughout the year. On Tuesday, you will see a bright yellow sheet come home in the orange folders with an update on how your child is doing with behaviors in our room. These will come home every week, so please be sure to return them! Please also leave the August calendar in the front of the folders, we will switch them out on Tuesday. I like to keep the calendars to have a record!
If you have any questions, please let me know! Looking forward to another great week.
:) Mrs. Steinman