Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The November Chill is in the Air!

We are moving right along in Mrs. Farrell's room!  The kiddos are working so hard in all areas!  Daily 5 is completely up and running!  The children know exactly where to go and what to do.  There is very little off task behavior and they have all built their stamina to 12-15 minutes!!  We have also added Math Daily 3, which is new for me this year.  Since they were doing so well during Daily 5, they got right into Math Daily 3 without a problem!!

The kids love using our new iPad!  They are using abcmouse.com on a daily basis.  I am able to get 6 children on every day!!  We are using Caitlin Clabby's Word Work again this year!!!  I love her centers :)

When they Read to Self, the children are enjoying big books we have read together in class.  It is so fun to listen to them make up stories through the pictures!

The Salisbury Fire Department visited the Kindergartners during Fire Safety week.  The children love watching the fireman put on all his gear and then finding out about all the equipment on the truck.  We finished off with a walk through the fire truck :)  The children were so cute the next day...anyone that was in the Work on Writing area during Daily 5 wrote a thank you note to the firemen!

These children have come so far during calendar time.  We use Sara Edgar's Calendar Bundle, which isn't available anymore :(  But the children need to write their numbers every day.  Now in November, they do not have numbers 1-20 to trace and need to know how to write those numbers on their own.  Some children could benefit from some practice at home :)  They are slowly getting it, and will be writing to 100 before we know it!

These are some of the things we are doing during Math Daily 3.  The children are either working on their own using supplemental materials, or they are with me learning a new game from Investigations, or they are with Mrs. Dunn working in their Math Interactive notebooks.  We rotate 3 days a week, so everyone gets to all 3 areas each week.

We have learned all the vowels in Fundations and did a sort of vowels and consonants.  The children get a and e mixed up and e and i mixed up.  We really stress those vowels when stretching out words.

We did a lot of work with pumpkins in October.  We did a bunch of experiments using Nicole Ricca's Pumpkin Mini Unit, which I can't find to link to.  The children got to see if our pumpkin would sink or float.  We counted all the seeds then got to toast them and eat them!!  There were over 500 seeds in our very small pumpkin!!

 I found this great activity from Sharing Kindergarten called "Dem Bones"!!  I was able to find the Cheetos that looked like bones and we sorted them, then graphed them.  Then we made a skeleton with them and labeled the skeleton, then we got to enjoy eating all the bones :)  The kids loved this activity!!

 We read "Where's My Mummy?" by Carolyn Crimi.  It's about a little mummy who wants to play hide and seek with his Mummy and ends up running into all these other characters along the way.  The children had to retell the story using the characters in the book.  We got the activities from April Larremore.  This was a great fine motor activity where the children had to tear, not cut, the paper in order to make their mummy face.  Then we colored in all the characters...

 ...And then put them in order to retell the story using the characters!

 The children did their first Top Down Web!!  I was so proud of them!  They have come a long way with writing since the beginning of the year!

 We read "Aaaarrgghh! Spider" By Lydia Monks and took a poll of whether a spider would be a good pet or not.  After reading this book, the spider was very convincing to most of the kids and they thought a spider would make a good pet!  Watch out, Parents!! :)
 We made another Top Down Web about spiders and the children made their own to take home as well. 

 Last week, we talked about which animals hibernate and which ones migrate.  We read a number of books and made a Two Column Notes poster about our findings in the books!  

For the remainder of the month, we will be discussing Veterans' Day.  If you happen to be in the building, you can come take a look at the wall in the Kindergarten wing honoring all the heroes we know!  We will also be doing a bunch of Thanksgiving activities including making some Sharing Soup!  More info to come on that!

Reminders: We have a half day on Wednesday, November 26th and no school on Thursday and Friday, November 27-28th for Thanksgiving.

Please be sure to label your child's outdoor clothing and accessories.  This is the time of year where mittens, hats and gloves start to get lost.  It is much easier to find the owner if their name is in it!

Please make sure your child's yellow folder is emptied every night and returned the next day.  Things that are in the "Return to School" side usually need to be filled out and returned.  If it is something that doesn't pertain to your family, then you can still remove it and just throw it away. :)

Don't forget that your child can do their abcmouse.com lessons at home too!  They are begging to go on at school!  The more they play, the more they earn tickets to take care of their hamster and fish!

Thank you for your continued support at home!  Things you can be working on are:
  • writing numbers 1-20
  • letter formation-the new letters go home every Monday (or Tuesday!)
  • coloring neatly and coloring that makes sense (ex. a yellow sun, brown hair, not blue)
  • writing stories with words and picture to match
  • table manners :)
Aimee Farrell

Friday, October 3, 2014

One Month Down!!

We have been working very hard on getting our routines in place, getting through our September themes and eating some yummy foods!!  Here is what we have been up to the past couple of weeks!

 The children worked very hard on their Nursery Rhyme booklets!  They came out so cute!!  They worked on a lot of cutting and writing letters while making them!  These are skills the children need a lot of practice with at the beginning of Kindergarten.

 We are moving along in Fundations!  We have learned the letters t, b, f, n, m, i and u.  We work on sky writing the letters, finding the magnets on their magnet board and forming them properly on their white boards.  Any practice at home will be greatly appreciated!!  Alphabet rings will be going home next week to some children to practice the story of each letter.  The children have to say the letter, the picture, then the sound. (t, top, /t/)  They should be practicing these every night!!  Also, I will be sending home a laminated piece of Fundations paper to practice forming letters properly and eventually to write words and sentences on! 

 We have added Word Work and Work on Writing to the Daily 5.  We now have all areas up and running!!  The children have worked hard at building their stamina and we are up to two 10 minute blocks!!  The children are working the whole time, staying in one spot, working quietly and cleaning up their materials quickly.  I am so proud at how quickly we got to 10 minutes!!!  These Playdoh mats were from Kindergarten Lifestyles on TPT, but she only has Sight Word ones available now.

I have been using DeeDee Wills Work On Writing area and the children love it as much as I do!  They are going to become great writers in this area!  I lowered my writing table and they sit on little pillows on the floor!  So engaged, aren't they?!  I love using Deanna Jump's Dab of learning Fun Sampler!  Who doesn't like to use Bingo Dobbers?

Playdoh Dig is my new favorite Word Work center!!!  I can't find it on TPT, but I linked it to Pocket Full of Kinders page.  She has tons of other great products!
The children liked spinning to find letters with this No Prep Apple activity!

 We have finished up exploring our math materials.  We are moving onto counting!  The children had fun making different things out of shapes :)  Here is a train and a person!  They are so creative and beginning to realize that everything is made of different shapes!  They also worked on sorting buttons different ways...by size, shape, number of holes and color.

 Apple time is one of the best parts of September!!  We did this apple craftivity (that still needs to be put together and sent home!!) to show what the inside of an apple looks like. 

 The children helped Mrs. Dunn make applesauce...

 and helped me make apple crisp!

 They were really good cooks!!!  

 Applesauce was liked by more kids than the apple crisp.  Maybe we will go with apple cake next year :)

 Lastly, the children have started reading with their 4th grade Reading Buddies on Fridays!!  They get soooo excited for Friday afternoons!  The 4th graders can't wait until the Kinders can read books to them!!!

Ways to help at home

  • Have your child practice writing their name with only the first letter capital.
  • Practice letter identification and the letter sounds-out of order, not in abc order
  • Help your child learn how to tie their own shoes.  They will get a Pete the Cat Shoe Tying License!!
  • Count with your child by 1s, 5s, and 10s.  Count backwards from 10.
  • Say words to your child and have them tell you what the first sound is. (What sound is at the beginning of "door"?)
Please start sending your child to school with a coat every day.  It is very cool on our playground because it it in the shade at the time we go out.  A lot of children have only been wear their shirt or a thin sweatshirt.  Please LABEL your child's coat.  They often forget what they wore to school that morning :)

Don't forget to send in your child's signed permission slip to go to the farm.  They will not be allowed to go if you do not send in a permission slip.

Have a great weekend!