Sunday, March 22, 2015

BEAR Day


We had a wonderful day, filled with lots of bear love!  We liked to think that BEAR stands for "Be Excited About Reading!"




We started the day with bear waffles--yum!





Then it was time to make bear bags and do some bear math!

With a partner, the children took turns shaking the bear addition baggie and recording the number partners.



While we were away at the restroom before snack, our bears looked pretty hungry and got into the snack!








We finished off our week with several versions of the Goldilocks story.  We started with a traditional telling from James Marshall:



Then we read a few cool versions:


Then we finished up with an adorable reversal of the story, Goldilocks and Just One Bear.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Looking for Leprechauns


We finished up our St. Patrick's Day activities on Tuesday with a leprechaun hunt!  A clue fell out of one of our stories, so we were on a chase around the school, looking for clues and hoping to find a pot of gold!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Daily Five

We recently began our literacy station rotations known as "The Daily Five."  The Daily Five allows the students to explore hands-on word work and writing activities that reinforce some of the skills we are working on as a large group.  Now that we are in the spring season, our kindergartners are ready for more independent choices, allowing the teachers to also meet with our guided reading groups more often during the week!  The "Meet with the Teacher" Daily Five choice means meeting in our guided reading groups with one of the teachers.  Although we cannot always get to our Daily Five every day, we will try for at least four times a week--close to "daily!"
Each week, we will be adding more stations to our daily five--until it actually becomes a daily six!  You may see a sheet go home at the end of the week with your kindergartner's choices that week.
The Daily Five also gives the children the opportunity to read "just right books" or books right at their independent reading level.  So many children are engaged and finding more books they love!

Our "read to self" station
Reading "just right" books

One of the students' favorite "read to self" activities are our fluency cards!



As students become more comfortable and speedier reading short phrases, they move from level 1 through level 8.  The children practice reading the phrases with expression too!
Once done with our fluency cards, our kindergartners are ready to try more complex sentences with our rainbow sentence strips!



One of our popular choices is "listen to reading."  We have several guided reading leveled libraries on the iPads, along with familiar emergent stories like The Gingerbread Man.  In addition to stories, the children are free to explore apps like Little Speller, Montessori Word Families, RhymeSorts and more.



Word Work is often a time for children to build familiar or new words we are learning, like color words.
spelling color words with paper letters

Work on writing means that children are building stories, trying our poem challenge for the week, or creating sentences based on our popcorn words.  We have a bin called "maze stories," wherein a student can find their way through the challenging mazes with a dry-erase marker, then come up with a silly story to tell what happened through the maze.

matching rhymes and building maze stories
For more information on the Daily Five, check out the authors of the Daily Five here and see some of the positive things educators note about the routine.
Sunday, March 15, 2015

Last Skate of the Year

The students did so well with their last skate of the year!  We didn't use any chairs, and all of our students were skating independently.













Happy Birthday!

We had a spring birthday celebration for one of our students this week.  Frozen is still a popular theme, so our birthday girl sported an Elsa and Olaf crown.  Her family also read a special personalized Frozen story to the class.





Happy Birthday!  We hope you enjoyed your special day.  We have LOTS of April birthday coming up, so there will definitely be more pictures and celebrations to come!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring Biobuddies


We had another wonderful visit from our biobuddies today!


We started out thinking about the digestive and nervous systems--drawing our favorite foods and drawing our brains!







Then it was time to finish up our body tracings and take them home...

Bodies complete with circulatory systems, brains, lungs and digestive systems

We had some extra time, so why not tackle the muscular system and see how strong we are?


Everyone tested to see how many sit-ups they could do in a minute.  The new class record is 39!

Then it was time for push-ups.  What a workout!



Jumping jacks were the best.  One friend counted 100 in one minute!



Everyone checked in with their weighing and measuring--lots of growing and changing this year!  We weigh and check height with the metric system, so our kindergartners may recall their measurements in kilograms and centimeters.

Our last visit from our middle school science buddies is at the end of April.  They will host us in the middle school cafeteria for a special pizza lunch!  The kindergartners are already looking forward to it!