Sunday, February 11, 2018

FEBRUARY

Kindness Week 

Let's join forces with the Legend High School community, work together to raise money 
for Make a Wish Colorado and support kind actions and behavior! 

Valentine's Day

We will celebrate from 12:30 to 1:40 on Wednesday, Feb. 14th. Please have your child bring in a decorated box/bag/bucket etc to use as a mailbox to collect their Valentine cards from classmates. Please also bring in a Valentine for each of our classmates. Make sure to write who the card is "From!" IF you want to address the cards to each friend....our class list can be found on a tab at the top of the blog! 

100th Day

It was so fun for the kids to present their 100th day of school projects for each other. They were all so proud of what they created. Here are some pictures of our festive hallway! 



Working with concepts of 100! Spinning to 100! 


Reader's and Writer's Workshop

We have been learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction books. The kids had time to go through all of their reading group books that they have in their envelopes and decide which were non-fiction and which were fiction. We also have been learning about informational text features. Our next steps were to begin writing a "How To" book. We will do the first one all together as we write about "How to Wash Your Hands" and then the kids will have the opportunity to write a "How To" book of their own choice! 


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Technology and Math




Technology Week: Basic Programming with Robots

This past week was our turn to work with Mrs. Fleet and learn about GRE's resident robots: Dash and Dot. The small robots sync up with the I-Pads and there is an app that lets the kids learn how to control the robot from the I-pad. The robot will do what they "program" and tell it to do. They had a lot of fun while learn some basic technology skills. Here are a few pictures of the lessons. 

Students worked in pairs or small groups to have Dash follow a series of commands to move around the Twister Board. 
Keeping Dash in a Small Space! 
Working in GRE's STEAM lab for our final lesson. 



Math Center Time in Afternoon Kindie

This past week I put out a variety of math manipulatives and let the kids choose their own activity for the math lesson. There were a large variety of options but here is a picture of two. These kids were all so excited that they told me to get my camera to take pictures of them. I loved that enthusiasm and so I had to share these pictures as well! 

We have been working on measuring with different objects. We had a lesson where they had to
measure different strips around the room with popsicle sticks. I put the strips out again and said
to measure them with unifix cubes. When some had finished that, they asked if they could measure
how far it was from the door to the table. The other kids thought it looked so fun so many started
helping. In the end I had them break them into groups of ten and line them up on the sand table to
count them. Then we were able to count by 10s to 550 to see how many unifix cubes it took to reach
from the door to the Golden Retriever stuffed animals! (even if it was a little wavy) It was a little chaotic
but they were so excited about this self-driven measurement activity. I love that they worked together!

This is a great activity to work together to put all 100 number tiles in the right spot as fast as you can!






Thursday, January 11, 2018

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy 2018!!

We are off to a great start for 2018! The kids were excited to be back after their holiday break. They missed each other and have been working hard all week! I missed their hugs and stories! 

Important Dates for January: 
School starts: Monday January 8, 2018
No School January 12th for DCSD PLC Day
No School January 15th in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day
Kindergarten Tech Week will be Jan 22-26 (just FYI) 


On Tuesday January 16th the kids will bring home their updated Homework folders for second semester. I added a change to their nightly responsibilities. I would like for them to write more this semester! Read below or in their folders for more detailed information:


The new year also brings a new focus in homework.  Last semester students needed to read each night and do an activity. This semester they will continue those activities and add a writing component. This is SO important for their growth and doesn't have to take much time. It helps them get more confident and automatic in applying their knowledge. Let them choose a special notebook or folder to get started to make it fun. If you need my help with this let me know and I can create one with your child. The important thing is that they have a special writing journal to use at home. Below are the basics to Homework 2018. This can also be found in their homework folder.  

Read every day.

  • Books will continue to come home each night for practice and review with you. 
Write every day.
  • Keep a journal and write at least one sentence about your day or a book you read.
1.    Students stretch the word out and write the sounds they hear.
2.    When they get stuck, support them by giving them their Alphabet Chart instead of telling them the spelling.  You can also print one from the blog.
3.   Let them read it back to you. (pointing to words and sounding them out)
4.  If they know some sight words, I would let them find and copy them from the back of the alphabet chart. You can add other ones to the back as they learn them. If they can’t read them yet…just let them use phonetic spelling.
*** If you are doing this…you are practicing sounds, letters, blending, segmenting AND sight words. It is the best bang for your buck!

Practice letters and sounds.
  • Finish learning any letters or sounds. Do the weekly sorts each night to help, and review vowels regularly. Prepare for spelling test on that sort on Fridays.
Practice blending and segmenting.
  • The blog has word lists and directions for this.
Practice sight words.  
·      Look on the check-up for sight words to work on

Practice MATH skills.
  1. Identify numbers to 20 or higher.
  2. Writing numbers to 20, 50...100
  3. Counting to 20, 50…100
  4. Skip counting by 10s, 5s, to 100 and by 2s to 22
  5. Compare numbers and sets (greater than, less than, equal)
  6. Addition and Subtraction to 10
      Let's continue work together this semester to help them grow in their learning! 

HOLIDAY FUN

Here are a few cute pictures of some of the kids with their gingerbread houses that they created on the last day of school before winter break. We, unfortunately had a lot of kids out due to sickness, so we were a small group that day but we had fun! Thanks for your donations of food and items for our little celebration. It was a special day! 
Thanks to all of the parents and siblings
who joined us that day too! That made the
party even more special! 
They LOVED this fine motor activity of poking holes in a
dot to dot page that made a Santa! We listened to holiday songs
as they laid on the floor and sang and worked. So sweet! :) 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

DECEMBER

Final Month of 2017 

Hard to believe that we are almost half way done with our year in kindergarten!! It is flying by and the kids are learning and growing more with each passing week. Thanks for all of the work you do with your child at home! Here are a few upcoming dates to note: 

                                    Friday, December 8, 2017- Visit from Parker Library librarian
                                    Thursday, December 21st- Holiday Party 12:30-1:40 
                                     Friday, December 22, 2017- EPR's available (report cards posted) 
                                     December 22- January7th- Winter Break- no school in session 
                                     Monday, January 8, 2018- School Resumes


Thank you to Kelly Detter for taking the lead with our holiday party. 
Please look for an email from her and help out in any way that you can! 

MATH

In math we have been focussing on a geometry unit in which the kids are exploring with shapes and the pattern blocks. We are taking this to a new level by learning the names of shapes like hexagon, rhombus and trapezoid. The students are learning that certain shapes can fit inside other shapes. They can see that parts can make up a whole. They can count and graph the shapes that they have used to make up a picture. 
Rolling a special die to play a game called "Fill the Hexagon!" 
 


SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, READING AND WRITING

We have combined all of these subjects over the past few weeks to make the biggest impact on their learning about the SUN; which is a kindergarten curriculum requirement. They had some great schema from the beginning of the year when we experienced the eclipse! But now they all know quite a bit more. We used websites, the Pebble Go app, read non-fiction books together and watched video clips from BrainPop and Discovery Ed to learn more everyday. Then the students wrote in their own non-fiction book about what they learned! Here are a few examples from 4 different students' books:
"I learned that the sun makes the ocean rise." 
"I learned that the sun is far away! 93 million miles"


"I learned that the sun makes plants grow." 
"I learned that the sun is hotter in the core." 

THANKSGIVING PILGRIMS

Here are a couple of cute kids in their pilgrim hats the Friday before we went on break! 
 

First Thanksgiving in the United States! 



Veteran's Day

We enjoyed listening to and learning about being in the Army from this veteran.  She visited Gold Rush on Veteran's day and has a nephew in our Buddy class. She was kind enough to answer all their great questions. They were an excellent audience. 


Monday, November 6, 2017

NOVEMBER

HALLOWEEN PARTY!

Thank you for providing festive snacks and coming to our party and parade to celebrate together! 
It was a fun day in kindergarten! Loved all their darling costumes! 

IMPORTANT DATES FOR NOVEMBER:

NO SCHOOL TUESDAY NOV 7th
FOOD DRIVE NOV 6th - 17th
BOOK FAIR NOV 13th - 17th
CELEBRATION OF LEARNING WEDNESDAY NOV 15th 12:45-1:15
THANKSGIVING BREAK NOV 20th - 24th


WRITING

We have been working on building our schema(background knowledge) with non-fiction books and writing. Students made a Pumpkin Book with two pages about things they already knew and then after doing some research about pumpkins, they all wrote a final page about one thing that they learned. We will continue this process with other new topics. I was most impressed with how much schema they already had about BATS!! When reading non-fiction books with your child you could ask them what they already know about the topic before you read and then ask what they learned or what they know now after completing the book. 

Next, we began writing a personal narrative story about an adventure that they went on. Some examples of what they are writing about are a trip to Boondocks, the zoo, Costco, Pumpkin Patch or the mountains!

Finally, we have been creating class books during our Author time. Thanks for reading the books at home with your child, making a comment in the back and returning them to school the following day. They love these books! 

READING

We spend a good portion of our day working on our reading skills! We have our guided reading groups four times a week. Thanks to our volunteers who make this small group time a reality. The kids do well and learn a lot in these small connection groups. The students also have their own individual time to read the books in their reading envelopes and their song books. We have been working on building stamina in this area. We strive to be able to read quietly for longer periods of time. After I read a picture book aloud we do small mini-lessons on a variety of topics. Some literacy topics that we have focussed on lately have been the concepts of beginning, middle and end, rhyming, predicting and questioning. Please continue to read to and with your child nightly! Practice those letters, sounds, sight words (whichever your child is focussed on) and do the homework for the word sort each week! All of these skills will help them succeed! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fall Into Kindergarten

DIGGER DASH FUN!

Thank you to everyone who came to cheer us on as the PUPPIES raced for the first time at GRE’s annual Digger Dash. The kids were super excited and they ran fast! Here are a few pictures of the fun! Congrats to Natalie Heller and Remy for running the most laps for our class AND our class had the most laps total for the 5 kindergarten classes. Way to go Puppies!






Alphabet Chant  


Ms. Marchese made a video of our Alphabet Chant to use in class each day. We practice this so that we know those important sounds well.


Next...


Your kindergarten students were surprised to learn that our Alphabet Chart was not just for those who didn't know the alphabet. Now that they are beginning to know the chant inside and out, the main purpose of the alphabet chart is to help them become independent writers. They will each have one in their writing folder to use as a "spelling" tool. 

How to Spell a Word
Once you know what word you want to spell follow these steps:
1.              Say the word slowly.
2.              Tap it out. (they know how to do that)
3.              What is the first sound you hear?
4.              Find and point to that sound on the chart and the picture that begins with that sound.
5.              Copy the letter.
6.              Go back to the word...what other sounds do you hear? Find them and repeat.
What about Sight Words?
On the back of the Alphabet Chart is a small "word wall" of sight words they can copy. If they can read it, then they can copy it. If they can't, its better to sound it out. They need to be able to read whatever they write, and so if it is a word they can't read...well, that defeats the purpose! Don't be tempted to spell words for them. The goal is to develop independent writers. You can't follow them around in life spelling words for them. (That is google and spell check's job!)

What CAN I do to help them?
Ask them what sounds they hear. Help them say it slowly and identify or "tap out" the sounds they hear. Go back to the beginning and start with the first sound. Let them find it on the chart and copy it. Continue with other sounds they hear. Don't worry about them getting all the sounds on paper. They will get more sounds as they develop an ear for it.  

Practice Game
Get the chart out. Say a word. Help them hear the sounds in the word. Have them find and point to each sound as they hear it. For sight words, say a word on the back and let them find it. Feel free to add sight words on the back as they learn them. You'll notice that not all sight words are there, so add the ones they use the most. 
We have been working hard to develop number sense by counting, writing numbers, learning and practicing math vocabulary, and using that vocabulary to share our thinking and observations. We made groups, sets, sorted, counted, drew, wrote numbers, categorized, graphed...and will continue to work on a variety of concepts around numbers going forward.




Grab and count 
This is a game you can play at home to practice number sense. 
1.              Look for a collection of coins, buttons, legos, macaroni, or something similar around the house, and put it in an open container.  
2.              Have your child grab a handful (or pinch) of items out of the container and place it on the table.
3.              Let them count what they grabbed.
4.              Have them write that number on a piece of paper and draw a picture representing that number.

BIG NUMBERS SONG- This is a song on YouTube that I played a few times. Now some of the kids ask me to play it when they walk in the door! If you want to play it over fall break for them…go for it. This song helps them learn to count and write the numerals to 100!

Here are some links to games you can play at home provided by our Investigations Math Program. These links contain an online version of many of the games that we have learned or will learn soon!
·                Math Games
·                Math Tools
·                Math Words and Ideas