Thursday, May 30, 2013

Getting Ready For The Beach

We've been exploring shells this week!
The kids love sorting the shells by size.
There are so many to explore! We can't wait to see some live sea creatures at the beach next week!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Books We're Reading Now

For the past few months, kids have been self selecting books for independent reading time.  They keep these books in their book bags, and exchange them once a week.

Some of the books are easy readers, that kids can read on their own.

Some of these books are more challenging, and kids use the pictures to retell the stories.

We try to encourage a nice balance when kids self select their books.  Over the past few weeks we been trying to build our stamina in reading.  Just like runners need to build their stamina for running, readers need to build their stamina for reading independently.  Last week, our record was 5 minutes and 35 seconds of quiet reading.  This week, we made it all the way to 10 minutes!!! Kids were so proud of themselves.

I'd like to encourage you to continue reading with your child at home, but also try to add independent reading to their "to do" list.  I would suggest 5-10 minutes each day of independent reading time for kindergartners.  Set a timer, have your child grab some books, and let them read! Don't worry if they can't read all of the words in a book.  There is value in retelling a familiar story as well.  Please keep reading to your child as well!  It's truly the best thing you can do to help your child develop in literacy!

Happy reading!
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We've been working our way through assessments in kindergarten, preparing for the end of the year report cards.  Sight words are just one small piece that we are assessing, but it's hard to take pictures of assessment!  We have been checking kids' progress in letters, sounds, phonemic awareness, concepts of print, comprehension, number sense, probability, measurement, problem solving, communication, and MUCH more!

I am happy to report that kids are doing a great job!  Our class tends to be quite strong in letters, sounds, and ability to use their letters and sounds in their writing.  We are seeing kids use their sight word knowledge in reading and writing every day.  It's so exciting to see such an academically strong group of kindergartners!

It's our job, as teachers, to use assessment to drive our instruction.  There are a couple of areas that we have noticed, the class as a whole, tends to be a little weak in.  Those are the areas we will really be focusing on in the few weeks we have left!  We will be working on graphing and interpreting our graphs, and we will also be practicing our problem solving and communication in math.

We don't have many days left, but rest assured, we are using every minute of our time with your kids!

Happy learning!
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Friends and Flowers

Parents in our classroom have probably heard about new friends.  They're kind of a big deal.

There are 11 of them and we LOVE watching them.  The kids have been observing, drawing, and writing all about butterflies.  I love the descriptive words kids are using in their writing.  They flutter, shiver, and float, according to our kindergartners.

We will be releasing our friends tomorrow (as long as it's not pouring).

We were so lucky to have a few flowers to add to our butterfly habitat!  We are the luckiest teachers in the world and feel SO appreciated.  Thank you so much for all of the cards, flowers, and kind comments during Teacher Appreciation Week.  We have fabulous students AND parents!
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Thursday, May 2, 2013


It was a beautiful sunny day in kindergarten, so there just HAD to be an outdoor activity built into the day.  We chose to have a bubblerific time outside.  We started by reading a book about bubbles.
Pop will be read later, but it's a fabulous book about the science behind bubbles.
Then came the fun part....

I have some great bubble wands that make giant bubbles.  Oh, how the kids love exploring!

Of course, it isn't just free play with bubbles.  We have other motives.  We use the bubble experience to inspire kids to write!  We are working on our poetry unit right now, and we love seeing how a little inspiration gets the kids super excited to write!
I can't wait to share a few of their finished poems with you!
Happy writing!

Snails in Kindergarten

 You have probably heard about our new class pets!  Personally, I prefer pets who are cute, fuzzy, and cuddly, but fish and snails are part of our curriculum.  So, we are loving our new pets even though they don't really have personalities!
Most of the kids will let the snails sit on their hands.  (Yes, we have them wash!)

The snail races are... well.... very slow going. I don't think it really qualifies as a "race" but we get to watch how they move.

Today we watched how they eat too.  Hmmm... now I know where all of the lettuce in my garden goes.

I can't remember the names the kids call these snails, but it was something like Swirly and Shelly. (The snail that was accidentally stepped on today, will now be known as Crush.)

I'll bet you didn't know that when snails are frightened, they make bubbles!  You learn something new every day in kindergarten.

Be sure to ask your child what they have learned so far about snails!