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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Teen Number Writing and Reading

This week we read a couple of books. We discussed the 5 senses using Aliki's book My Five Senses. We also read Feast for 10 and worked on counting objects and using illustrations to provide meaning to the text.

Our phonics skills this week are reading -at and -ap ending words. 
You can practice at home by having students read this word list:
(only using letters: M S T A P)


We learned more sight words including:

Students should be able to read simple sentences such as:
Pam the cat sat. I like to pat Pam the cat.

We continue to work hard at writing numbers 0-10 without reversals and by counting objects and writing the matching number. 

Here are some pages we will practice next week. It is important for number fluency that students automatically are able to count a number of objects and represent the quantity with a written numeral. Students who find this easy are encouraged to start working toward the first grade goal of writing numbers from 0-120!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We're Busy

We have been SO busy at school! I can't believe how quickly October flew by. 

In reading we have been working on reading non-fiction text, specifically we are learning about COMMUNITY HELPERS. We read stories about Firefighters, Police Officers, Doctors, and soon we will read and learn about Dentists and Vets.
As we read, we listen to learn names of special tools community helpers use to do their jobs. We listen to figure out what each of these helpers does to help the community. 

We practiced fire-safety this month. We learned that we can call 9-1-1 if we are having a REAL emergency. 
We practiced stop-drop-and rolling as if we had to put out a real fire. 
And we even had a fire-drill during our story about firefighters. I couldn't have planned the timing of that if I had tried!

You should have received a music cd from our Health Curriculum: The Great Body Shop
We played 15 Ways to Stay Out of Trouble. Sorry to everyone who now has that song stuck in their head! We are learning about how rules help us stay safe. 

We completed a Science unit in which we investigated pumpkins. We worked on using adjectives to describe both the inside and outside of pumpkins. We even got to smash open a pumpkin (in a controlled setting). :) We all got to touch the inside of the pumpkin - almost everyone wanted to dig in and feel the squishy pulp and seeds. The cleaned seeds are now in a counting math center.

We have begun Walk to ELD (English Language Development). This means that for 30 minutes (right after lunch) kindergarten students work with a teacher on academic vocabulary. Students are grouped into 3 ability leveled classes - beginners, early intermediate, and intermediate. Mrs. Adams teaches the beginners, I teach the early intermediate, and Ms. Callaway teaches the intermediate students. In the old days students who were ESL were pulled out of classes for language time. Now, all teachers teach ESL (but we call it ELD). Our school district requires us to separate ability levels for approx. 30 minutes a day to work on language skills. Our groups are based on beginning of the year English oral language skills. In all classes we are learning the same type of content, however grammatical difficulty is increased as the classes go up. 

For example: this week we are all using community helpers as the content to discuss. 
In the beginner class, students might learn to say: The doctor is helpful. The doctor is kind. 
In the early intermediate class we worked on past-tense conversations: Yesterday, I went to the doctor. What was wrong? I had a (fever, sore throat, etc). *We have to be very careful to use past-tense words!
In the intermediate class students worked hard at using conjunctions to put sentences together: Can you tell me about the doctor? The doctor is helpful and smart. He/she (verb, helps people by writing prescriptions). 
Language is for EVERYBODY and this is a time for students to TALK, TALK, TALK. At least 50% of this time will always be for students to talk and practice oral language skills. 

We have learned the names and sounds of letters: Tt, Mm, Aa, and Ss. 
Tiggy Tiger, Mimi Mouse, Andy Apple, and Sammy Seal are the "alpha friends" your child has met. 
If you want to know all their names click here.

Using only those letters students should be able to sound out the following words:

at, sat, mat, Sam, am, Tam
To stay "right on track" your child should have 100% mastery of this word list. If they are struggling with writing and/or reading these words please help them practice at home. These words are in our reading books and children are expected to read and write them fluently. 

In Math students are learning to count quantities from 0-10 and write the matching numeral. Many students might have reversals (it's especially common on numbers 7 and 9). If you want to help your child at home, have them write from 0-10 each night. Click the picture below to find some free resources you can print at home. 

I hope this update helps you get a glimpse of what goes on in our classroom. :)
Mrs. Martinez

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Youtube Fun

I've been searching Youtube for some new fun videos. I love Preschool Prep videos and found these fun ones! Check them out! I love that the Phonics song shows the soft/hard sounds that some letters make (c/g/s). These are great for at-home practice!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Lots of Fun

This week we focused our reading targets on learning about the "Setting" of a story. We read The Three Little Pigs and talked about the importance of each of the houses the different little pigs built as it impacted the story a great deal! 
I was excited that most our class had heard this story before and were able to huff & puff when the big bad wolf showed up!

Later in the week we read these two versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We continued our talk about the setting and noticed that both of these stories took place in the woods just like the 3 pigs. Some of our students noticed that in all of these stories there were 4 characters - 3 who act "good" and 1 who acts "bad". I love it! Our students are analyzing the stories and noticing patterns within the text! It's amazing! I think my favorite part was when I asked the class what they would do if they were Goldilocks parents. Everyone had an answer for her punishment for sneaking into the house. Some friends said she should go to time-out, while others would give her a spanking, send her in a rocket to the moon, or sit her down and talk to her about how dangerous bears could be!

 I read the Three Billy Goats Gruff story to our class. Oh boy, did our class howl when the biggest billy goat knocked the troll off the bridge into the water. They loved how the characters tricked the troll so they could get to the other side. We also discussed how sometimes authors tell stories to be funny or to teach lessons. We discussed that trolls are pretend characters and that there are NO real trolls in the whole world. As a class we thought of the Frozen movie and remembered that they had trolls in that story too.

Review our sight words:

This week in math we practiced counting. We played Which Bug Will Win? We picked sides and later switched sides so that the whole class won when ladybugs zoomed to the top. We counted and compared numbers as the bugs climbed to the top. We are still exploring with our math manipulative and building up our game knowledge. Soon students will be freely selecting math centers to play. I start the year by introducing games - playing them whole group as a class, and then gradually let students play the games independently once they know the rules, how to play fair, and how to maintain focus with a friend. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

New this Week

This week we have been working on procedures, procedures, procedures!

We are learning how to work in our Rise and Shine binders. Every morning we come into the room and find our Rise and Shine binders and settle into a comfortable spot to work. Some children choose to sit on the floor in front of the calendar while others sit at their desks.

Rise and Shine binders consist of a variety of pages.  Each page is in a plastic page-protector. Students use a dry erase pen and eraser to write on them each day. There is a cover and several pages that were  made by another wonderful teacher. I added more pages to help students meet the rigorous common core state standards.

My students haven't started working on these sight word pages yet, but they will be coming!

 After students are done working for about 15-20 minutes they are allowed to take a break and have choice time. We work on puzzles, building with magnetic tiles, playing with the farm, dollhouse, Barbies, Legos and more! This social time is fun for students. They are working on negotiating language, sharing, practicing social skills such as getting a friend's attention, making requests, and so much more!

Our weekly social skill focus is getting the attention of a friend by saying their name. We have learned how to do a soft touch on the shoulder to make eye contact with a classmate. I watch to see who is using this social skill during choice time. Research shows that students who have strong social skills and "friends" in kindergarten do better in many aspects of life down the road. I am helping to coach students through conflicts and help them problem solve as they learn to make friends.

In math we have started calendar routines. We count to 100 on our 100 chart and clap on the decade numbers (10, 20, 30....etc). We sometimes watch Jack Hartmann's Counting to 100 video. 

Today was the first day of fall so we discussed the seasonal changes we see in trees. I talked to students about how leaves make their own food and how without sunlight the leaves begin to die. 

We counted our calendar up to today's date. We practiced saying the whole date in complete sentences: Today is September 23rd, 2015. 

We echo-chant the shapes as we say their names together repeat-after-me style. 

 This week during reading we have focused on finding CHARACTERS in stories. We have read this story multiple times and we watched the Scholastic live-action video of Corduroy. Our students were amazed to see the characters "come to life." One of our kindergarten standards is to differentiate between books, magazines, plays, and videos. We discussed how the video was similar and different from the book. 

Each morning we do phonics practice. Students have learned the sight words: am and I.
I write charts that look like this: 
 We practice our sight words, letter names, and word reading as a whole class doing this. Reading words and letters like this builds fluency for early readers. Eventually the charts will get more difficult and we will begin reading more difficult words. 

In writing we are beginning to use journals and are learning to label pictures with letters/words. 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the update! 
~Mrs. Martinez

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Welcome to Kinderland!

Welcome to all of my little kinders and families. This is going to be a great year. We have 14 boys in our class and 8 girls so far!  I'm so excited for what the year holds for us.

This week we did gradual entry and I got to meet everyone in a small setting. I can tell you that my students are so precious.

We read two books:

1) Pete the Cat - I Love My White Shoes
We told each other what our favorite colors were. 

2) Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
We noticed that Miss Bindergarten has many things in her classroom that are also in our classroom. We both have ABC strips, blocks, and books. 

Students worked on following directions as they made Pete the Cat headbands. Students used glue and did a wonderful job. There are many artists in this class!

We worked on coloring pictures and tired our best to make our Pete the Cat picture look like the REAL character from the book. We wanted to be able to tell our family about the story we read and about all the funny things he stepped in.

Next week we are working on letters: ABCDE and we are going to learn all about school rules so our classroom is a safe place for everyone.