Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Problem Solving Paul

Paul is notorious for over reacting to problems! So badly in fact that he called the police once when he broke his pencil! The kiddos roared at Paul's reaction to the size of the problem. Paul is the kind of guy that will come around to help us solve writing problems and school problems. We always want to match our reaction to the size of the problem and Paul helps us with just that. I love hearing students discuss solutions and really put them into action. This is the first of many Paul appearances. Maybe you could help use that language at home, too! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Partner Games

During math this week we started exploring partner games. Before we could even start we needed to talk about what makes a great partner. By using a T chart (ask your kiddos) we brainstormed a list of student jobs and teacher jobs during partner games. We talked about how we all needed to be doing our jobs in order for partner games to be successful. We then put our list to the test by playing "grab and count". 

Mrs. Hasson Visits

Mrs. Hasson came down to the Safari this week to meet our friends and learn our names. It was awesome to watch the students introduce themselves and share their many, MANY stories. Mrs. Hassan read us a great story about friendship and kindergarten and continued to help promote our community of learners and friends across Pond Cove. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Wonderful World of Writer's Workshop

One of the most amazing parts of kindergarten is watching kiddos discover their ability to write. Probably the coolest thing a friend said to me during our second Writer's Workshop was, "I didn't even know I could write!" With joyful tears in my eyes we celebrated this amazing accomplishment. 

This week we started to discuss what it feels like, looks like, and sounds like to be a writer. During this time students use very special pencils and are transformed into these people who have to power to make change and share what they know; people called "writers". 

Your student may come home this weekend and chat with you about our first "on demand" writing prompt. Through every unit we will do an on demand which assess where students are and where we need to go. In kindergarten we only do one pre-assessment (done on Friday). After that we post assess at the end of each unit. This upcoming unit it all about narratives (a true story that has happened to you). We will continue to elaborate through details, labeling, and much more!!

3 Ways to Read a Book

As we begin reading and learning about strategies, I feel it is very important to remember that there are already ways for kiddos to read! We practiced reading a book in three ways. Reading the words is of course the goal, but we will get there. We also can read books by reading the pictures. We used wordless books like Tuesday and Pancakes for Breakfast. We then practiced retelling a story we already heard. Next week we will build stamina and start Read to Self our first of the Daily Five! Before we know it we will have some awesome readers!

Make it a Good Fit!

This is by far one of my favorite lessons for Daily Five! I brought in a big bag of shoes with varying needs. After reading the book Dog in Boots, we discussed what makes a good fit? We used a matching puzzle of shoes and clues to figure it out. Then we applied it to books! Minds were blown on how shoes are a lot like good fit books! Things to keep in mind when choosing a good fit:

1) Do I like it?
2) Does it fit me?
3) Does it help me? 

It the book is all of those things then you have a GOOD FIT! 

A bunch of crayons

After reading The Crayon Box That Talked we brainstormed for our final anchor question "What makes a great kindergarten?" Our other questions were guided by terrific mentor texts that helped us with out thinking. We thought about "What makes a great teacher?" and "What makes a great friend?" I am always so impressed by the thoughtful responses. With the more recent question I was most impressed!! After reading our book, we created our own crayons, discussed our differences, and how we can help our class be the "BEST KINDERGARTEN EVER". We graphed our crayons (favorite colors) and then added them to a big box. We will hold this quote close to our hearts: "We're like a box of crayons, each one of us unique. But when we get together, the picture is complete!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Handwriting with Ms. Moe

With a strong tie to our phonics program, we also practice Handwriting Without Tears (HWOT). We are lucky enough to have Ms. Moe, our OT, come down on Tuesdays and work in our classroom. Last week I introduced the leading man in HWOT, Mat Man! Mat Man is made of big and little lines and curves just like letters, numbers, shapes, etc. this week with learned about printing lowercase t and the tools for HWOT. We will be learning to print letters as we learn them in our phonics lessons. Ms. Moe said we ROCKED handwriting today with our listening ears and calm bodies. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Room Parent

Would you could you? Are you interested in getting to know the Pond Cove Parent's Association a little better? Are you looking for a way to help out our classroom in a different way? Maybe being the Safari Room Parent is for you!! Each year the PCPA looks to have a parent liaison from each classroom. This parent is someone I might go to to help organize Halloween or Holiday crafting or perhaps could help get support when needed. The Room Parent would not be a huge commitment but is rather a way to help contribute in a different way. If you are interested please contact Kristie Green at Thanks so much in advance.

Successful Week of Firsts

What a tremendous first week we had! I am truly so excited about the enthusiasm our group of learners have for school and learning. Although we have been learning routines and norms, the kiddos never lost their spark!  

This coming week we will begin unpacking our new math goal and really dive into more differentiated math. We will also continue to explore math manipulatives and tools. We will also start Writer's Workshop. We will be doing an "on demand" writing pre-assessment which helps me get more information and understand the best place to start with each student. We will also start Handwriting Without Tears. There will be a large focus on name writing and learning the basics. All students truly benefit from this practice. 

Also this week we will have a strong focus on creating our Shared Vision and Code of Cooperation. This hard work will benefit us as we setup our classroom expectations. This is some of the most important work we will do all year.  I look forward to a terrific week and year!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Upcoming Dates

Below you will find some upcoming dates to add to your calendar.

Monday, September 21st- Early Release at 12:00 

Thursday, September 24th - Picture Day & Open House (6:00-7:00)

Friday, September 25th - Book Order is due!

Friday, October 9th - Teacher In Service - No School! 

Monday, October 12th - Columbus Day - No School!

October 15th-22nd - Book Fair!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Brain Breaks

One of the hot buzz topics in schools right now is all the research behind the mind-body connection. Our youngest leaders show us daily how important it is to get moving! In our classroom we utilize a great website called GoNoodle. These brain breaks are movement based from yoga to dancing to focus breathing. All of these opportunities are just prepping our students to be as ready as possible to get the most from the learning ahead. Check out these awesome videos and more!! 

Cosmic Yoga can be found on YouTube. It is terrific for mind-body and readiness.

Guided Discoveries

One of the most important parts of kindergarten, or any grade level, is to clearly establish norms and expectations around our tools. Although many have used scissors, glue, crayons, etc. in order to have a smooth year we all must practice and agree on how to use these tools. It has been awesome to see kids explore, observe, and grow. 
Gluing after practicing his cutting skills. 


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thank you!

Thank you everyone for riding the bus and being so supportive of our classroom. It can be a bit overwhelming to bring your babe to kindergarten I am sure, but you were all so kind and warm; I really appreciate it!

I also wanted to put out a request if anyone is willing or able to contribute a couple small/mid-size house plants (to sit on our gorgeous window sill). I think 2-3 would suffice. Please email me if you are willing to contribute.

Please remember to send a snack separate from a home lunch and make sure your child knows which is which. Don't forget your SAFARI folder and back pack! It will be a terrific first day!

As always, please let me know if you have questions or concerns! Enjoy your evening.