Sunday, January 29, 2017

Reading Groups!

Reading Groups have begun in room 103!  For many of us this is a very special time!  Students enjoy the opportunity to work in small groups with a teacher.  They show so much pride in the accomplishment of reading and love to share this skill at home.

Each time students work in a small reading group they will be sent home with a reading pouch and be given the direction to do additional reading at home.  Typically beginning readers are told to read the book at home multiple times.  They can read to a parent or sibling, a stuffed animal or pet or even to someone on the telephone or via a face time conversation!  Reading the familiar text will help students build fluency and confidence!

We practice attending to what we are reading by previewing our books and looking at the pictures, hunting for familiar words and attempting to decode some tricky words before we read.  Then we keep our focus on one word at a time by using our fingers as a guide as we read the words!  Our teachers try to give us books that are the "just right" challenge to help us read!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Magnetic Letter Boards

We love magnetic letter board work!  

Listening to letter sounds we are able to find the letters.  We also demonstrate our ability to alphabetize by quickly returning the letters to the board in correct alphabetical order.

As we are becoming stronger readers and writers we can practice creating our CVC words.  Today our focus was on practicing the sounds of vowels!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Kind Kids are Cool!

As we prepared to open our class post office we brainstormed all the nice things that we might want to write to friends when communicating via hand-written notes.  This discussion led us to the conclusion that we should always do our best to demonstrate the attributes of good friends.  To help us practice living up to the expectations of good friends we decided to wear the words.  As you can see we are peaceful, kind, respectful, funny, brave, wonderful and smiling!

They wore their names as they worked on their dictionaries.

Students continued to smile as they worked on their procedural posters.

We were thoughtful and respectful during morning meeting on the rug.

And we were cheerful while reading our Scholastic magazines.

We continue to be all smiles as we share our blankets, quilts and afghans.  

The highlight of revealing each person's treasure is the opportunity to measure the area.  We have loved measuring with our bodies!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Meal Time!

We fed Galileo, our visiting cornsnake, today!

It was awesome to see him open his mouth wide enough to swallow the mouse whole!  We were very quiet so as not to scare him!

Be Safe!

Safety is of the utmost importance for teachers and students.  Since the beginning of the year we have talked and learned about being safe in the classroom, in the cafeteria and on the playground.  We have practiced bus safety and what to do in case of a fire.

Today we read a booklet that will be sent home to all Pine Glen families.  How I Can Stay Safe at School!  guides us through what to do in an emergency.  After reading we practice how do line up and react to directions the teachers give us in case of an emergency.

A school-wide drill is planned for tomorrow, January 20.  Students are aware that we are practicing and that teachers keep them safe.

Further information about our drill and safety can be found on Mr. Lyon's blog.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Week in Review - January 13

Our work with blankets, quilts and afghans continued this week.  Students continued to measure the area of their toasty treasures using their bodies.  The area of the blanket above was so big we needed to invite 2 teachers and 3 first graders to join us and help measure!

We had our first afghan in to see and measure and we have a huge blanket that required us to borrow more rods from neighboring classes!

As we continue our mock Caldecott voting, we read Freedom in Congo Square with Ms. Small this week.  It tied in nicely to our study of Martin Luther King, Jr.  and our discussion of unfair rules and laws.  

Ms. P visited us again.  This time she wanted to talk about the Jan Brett story, The Mitten.  We talked about the animals in the story and where they live.  Then we focused on just one animal, not found in North America, the hedgehog.  Ms. P taught us all about the hedgehog and then introduced us to Pearl, the Science Center's hedgehog!

Even though she is covered with sharp quills, we were able to gently stroke her!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Galileo the Corn Snake

Ms. Pavlicek of the Burlington Science Center visit our class today and dropped off our next animal guest.  Gallileo, a corn snake will be staying with us for a few weeks.  It was exciting to learn about the snake, what it eats and how it moves.  Many friends were very curious and tried holding him!

His scales feel like our fingernails!

He felt rather cold.  We learned that he is both cold-blooded and nocturnal.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sharing and Caring...and Learning Fun!

 Returning from our December break we jumped into many new activities.  Our blanket, quilt and afghan project involves many speaking and sharing opportunities!  In addition, math skills of measurement, counting and geometry are practiced.  Sharing, patiently waiting turns and encouraging one another through these experiences continue to develop our social skills!

We learned that the area of Casey's blanket is 4 kindergartners lying down.  Utilizing non-standards tools to measure helps us increase our understanding of what we are measuring.  We are also developing our mathematical vocabulary as we discuss and compare our discoveries and observations!

A brief discussion about electricity and energy was had during morning meeting.  It was really cool to create a mini circuit that noisily lit up when we touched it!  As we held hands as a class we realized that the circuit must be closed  when we attempted to make the bulb light up as an entire class.  When someone let go, the light went out!

Students each brought home a tub of play-do to use to practice letter formation at home.  Mrs. Hoyt made some clay for students to practice forming letters in the classroom.  It is messy, but it sure is fun!

Sydney shared her blanket and revealed that she likes to build forts with it!

Sydney invited a couple of friends to help her measure the width and length of the blanket.

We must practice our counting with accuracy to ensure our measurements are correct.

Mrs. Hoyt helped us compared the number of rods wide (12) to the number of rods long (15).  We determined that the length had 3 more rods and is 3 rods longer than it is wide.

The highlight for each share is measuring the surface area.  This blanket's area is 9 kindergartners sitting up and one kindergartner lying down!

Sharing is caring and it certainly helps us build community, confidence and cameraderie!  After developing such warm feelings sharing our quilts we shared more about ourselves and have begun to create paper quilts that describe us.

We cut pieces of papers into triangles from pre-cut squares of foil, gift-wrap and construction paper.  As a team, a group of students made quilt squares.  Then they worked to design illustrations that represent the individual student.  Pictures represented favorite colors, destinations, aspirations and dreams.

We look forward to sharing our finished products in future posts!

We Are Writers!

Students in room 103 had a guest teacher in to share a story about when she was 5 years old and celebrating her birthday.  Literacy teacher, Renee Sacco excitedly told everyone about her birthday outing to Papa Gino's including lots of details about her outfit, the weather and her feelings on that day.  The enthusiasm she shared with the students was contagious and Ms. Sacco encouraged each of us to share a great story them remember with a friend.  We were all knee to knee facing each other and sharing our special story enthusiastically as teachers leaned in to listen!

Next Ms. Sacco shared that we are all writer and we all struggle at times to get our thoughts down on paper for various reasons.  We watched her struggle with organizing her thoughts and spelling challenging words.  When she completed writing the introduction to her story she asked us to share what we notice she did when she was stuck.

We were able to reflect that she did not give up and she utilized many strategies:

sound out words
circle words that you are unsure about 
keep going even if you do not know if you are writing it correctly
tap out the sounds
break the word into syllables and write the sounds in each syllable
remember seeing the word in our world
Do Your Best!

Equipped with these strategies and confidence in our own abilities, we could not wait to do some of our own writing and share the stories we had discussed!