Thursday, September 29, 2011

 It was another busy week in Kindergarten!
M.B. searching for -an words in her word family book
 Word Study!
This week we began our short vowel study with the letter a. The story that goes along with the short vowel a sound involves opening your mouth wide to take a bite and saying the a sound. The children have loved saying "a apple A!" After introducing the sound we read the -at and -an word family books and began charting any words we knew that had the a sound. Initially we had about 2-3 words per day and today the children added so many that we needed a new chart! Follow up activities included Tic-Tac-Tan and Tic-Tac-Tat where they flipped an alphabet card and had to see if it made a word. The children also received their own copies of the word family books to keep in their book baggies.
Friends writing secret messages with crayon and watercolors
The results of our apple vs. pumpkin study are in! We are studying....... BOTH! The majority wanted to study both and the few that only wanted to study one were happy to know that their topic would not be forgotten. There have also been a few requests for a leaf study so we may throw that into the mix as well!
The children began exploring the + symbol and what it means (a hospital, a sideways x, and, plus etc). We also began using the cognitively guided approach (CGI) towards solving word problems. Children in Room 5 are using their fingers, cubes, pictures, counting on and mental math to solve their problems so the discussions have been quite productive! One of our integrated math jobs was Apple Spill. The children start with 10-20 "seeds" in a jar that they spill onto the apple. They then add up the seeds on each side and create a math equation. The children also began using addition in their grab and count jobs. Next week I will begin the math assessments of your children so many of the jobs that were introduced and practiced this week will be their independent jobs next week.

Our focus this week was on choices we are making on the playground. We have been having a lot of discussions regarding safe play and responsible choices. It can be scary for a kindergarten friend to approach a stranger on recess duty and ask them for help so we discussed options of what to do and I made sure that the children met the teachers on duty before the start of each recess. The week has gone very smoothly, but if your child is still having a tough time please let me know.
Global Buddies & Our Kenya Connection
In Global Buddies we were able to finish up our comparisons of life in Africa with life in America. The children's work is on display near the windows if you would like to stop by and have your child talk with you about what they noticed. One child noticed that a similarity is that children in both countries have chores, even though ours are a lot easier.
I shared the photos and stories of my trip to Africa with the children. Throughout the slideshow we would stop and ask/answer questions about what the children were noticing and think about how it compares to what we are used to. After looking at the photos we discussed the difference between a want and a need. It was a tricky concept for the children to master, but by the time they met with their 4th grade buddies today they had it down. Thank you all so much for your kind donations! I will be mailing the suitcase and letters tomorrow and cannot wait to see photos of their delivery!

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