Thursday, October 27, 2011

Collecting and Pressing Leaves

Hello Families!  I hope your kiddos are enjoying their time off.  I have a favor to ask.  Beginning next week we will be starting several projects using fall leaves.  Would you mind taking a leaf walk with your child and collecting some beautiful leaves for us?

We are looking for all different sizes, shapes, and colors.  The leaves also need to be pressed.  Laying leaves between newspaper and putting heavy books on top works well.

Phone books also work well for pressing leaves.  Once the leaves are inside the book, it will take several days for them to dry out.

Thanks for your help collecting leaves!  Think of all the beautiful projects we will be making with these!

Happy leaf collecting!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Really Owe Her One

Most of you know my pathetic story of falling down the stairs and breaking my foot. Sadly, it happened the day before the pumpkin farm field trip! I called Mrs. Parkhurst, who was very excited to chaperone her daughter's class on the field trip, and begged for help. Of course, she happily said, "Of course! I'll take 50 kindergartners to the pumpkin farm for you!" I really owe her!!!

The kids had a fantastic time on the trip. The weather was beautiful and the kids loved picking their pumpkins! The next day, the kids spent the whole day doing pumpkin math.

The measured how tall their pumpkins were.

They measured the distance around their pumpkins.

We counted the ribs in each pumpkin.

We weighed the pumpkins too.

Thank you, Mrs. Parkhurst, for jumping in and taking our kids on this fabulous trip! The kids were so excited to tell me all about their field trip and pumpkin math when I returned.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our First Reader's Theater

We have started our first Reader's Theater in kindergarten. Every three weeks, our classes will participate in reading a book which is written like a play. Each child will have a part. We focus on reading with expression and reading fluently.

This week, we also focused on concepts of print. The concepts of print seem obvious to adults, but to a child, this is a whole new territory. Here are some of the questions we ask kids (and model for them).

Where is the cover?
Where is the title?
Where is the author's name?
Where should I start reading?
How many words are in this line?
Can you point to a period? What does it mean?
Can you point to an exclamation mark? How do we read a sentence with an exclamation?

You get the idea. These are all questions that seem to have an obvious answer, but many kids are quite unsure. These are just a few things to keep in mind as you are reading with your child.

Happy reading!
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Two Books Can Be Confusing

We have started sending home two different books in kindergarten.

For the past few weeks, you have been seeing books like this one:

These are the books we are asking you to practice with your child.  Your child should be reading them to you on three separate occasions.  When they have read their book three times, and you have signed them off in their folder, we will put a stamp in their reading log.  (Oh, they love earning these stamps!)

This week, we changed things on you!  Are you confused?  These books look different from the others.  They are smaller and focus specifically on the sight words we are introducing each week.

When you see these books come home, please have your child practice them!  We don't have a special reading log for these books, but the more they practice, the better readers they will be!

Sight words are the words we expect children to know quickly, without thinking or sounding them out.  When your child entered kindergarten, we assessed them.  We gave them a list of 25 sight words and asked them to read each one.  To be meeting standards as a beginning kindergarten student, your child should be able to read at least one word.  We will share results of how your child performed at our upcoming parent/teacher conference.  We would love it if you would practice these words with your child at home.

Here's the first list:


We have also been working on:

Keep reading at home!  Thanks for your support!

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