Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Very First Blog Post!

Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging Room 5 families! I have absolutely enjoyed the last 12 days with your children, and have realized that I need to get MUCH better at capturing all of our little stolen moments together! Though I would love for the blog to capture all of the moments we have together, it will end up serving as more of a Best of Blog. Here is a brief run down of what we have done together and where we are headed.
Social Curriculum:
Our Rights and Responsibilities
During our second week together the children used a method of Sharing the Pen to create our Rights and Responsibilities. As we progress through the next few weeks of school we may add or change certain aspects of them and when we are happy with the final product.  Once our Rights & Responsibilities are complete, will all sign them and refer to them as necessary. Sharing the Pen is a way of writing with each other and seeing how to write with "Book Spelling." Children will contribute to the message with either a letter sound they know, or with a complete word. My role is to add in the sneaky e, or the vowel buddy that is often not heard.

 Integrated Curriculum:
J.B. showing us that he knows apples can be red, while pumpkins can be yellow or orange.
The children have enjoyed listening to stories about apples and pumpkins, while spending their job time observing, measuring, drawing, painting (and cleaning) apples and pumpkins. This has given me an opportunity to see what they know about each fruit, as well as how they work independently. On Thursday the children were able to tell me if they wanted to learn more about apples, pumpkins or both. Depending on the outcome (which will be graphed next week) we will know what our fall study will focus on. Below are a few photos the fun we had with our pumpkin.
V.V. measuring our pumpkin

Our painted apples and pumpkin!
Time to get them clean!

Global Buddies:
The real Beatrice, reading her story to children (oh how I wish it was us!)
 Last week we had our first meeting with our fourth grade Global Buddies. We will be meeting with them once a week on Thursday's to learn more about children around the world. During our first meeting we read the book Beatrice's Goat a story about a child growing up in Uganda who desperately wanted to go to school, but could not afford to do so. After being gifted a goat, Beatrice was eventually able to go to school. Based on a follow up conversation we had after reading the book, we were able to watch video's of Beatrice as a child, and where she is now. After learning a little more about Beatrice's story, the classes watched a slideshow of my photo's from the Humble Hearts orphanage in Africa and began comparing like in America, with life in Africa. Next week each group will share with each other what they noticed. My favorite quote from our meeting was when a fourth grader said to himself "Wow, suddenly I don't feel so poor anymore."

During our math lessons I introduced a few math games such as Grab Count & Record, Roll & Record, and Hissss. We read Anno's Counting Book and made versions of our own, and we put together our September calendar and began learning about today, tomorrow and yesterday. My favorite noticing during our calendar lesson was when M.C said "Why does Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Today and Yesterday all end in d-a-y, but tomorrow doesn't?" Yup, I was stumped by a kindergarten cutie.

Assessments & Such:
This week your children were introduced to The Magic Scarf because they are SO good at working independently. This has allowed me to work one on one with each of your children to assess their literacy levels. While I was working independently with your child the class was busy playing Roll & Record, Grab & Count, sharing with me what they know and what to know about pumpkins and apples, as well as getting messy and having fun! Next week I will begin their Math assessments and we will get the learning ball rolling!

Photo Fun:
Some of the children have loved building and organizing their basket choices during peaceful time and drop-off or pick-up. Here are some of the photos they requested that I capture for them. Enjoy (and let them know you saw them).

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