Sunday, October 30, 2011

November Homework...

November Homework

November is Rolling In...

This coming week we will be doing a lot of learning.  In reading street we will continue our study on how animals and plants are unique.  We will be working on the sound of Ss.  Currently the children have learned the sounds m, t, a, and now s.  In addition to know the sounds in isolation, we have been working on putting these sounds together to make words.  Children should be able to blend (saying the sounds to form the word) and read the following words: mat, tam, sat, and sam.  When practicing blending with your child, have your child say the sounds slowly without stopping (mmmmmmaaaaaaat).  Furthermore, children should also be able to read the sight words: I, am, have, little, to, a, the, is.  In addition, please continue to practice letter identification with your child. Many children are doing extremely well with this skill and some need to continue to practice.  I will be sending home your child's October alphabet assessment on Wednesday and Thursday!

In math, we are continue to work on counting and comparing numbers.  Children will work on counting a specific set of objects and identifying the corresponding numbers.  I will also be asking various questions to the children to work on comparing and ordering.  We have been working a lot on this skill to develop a solid foundation of number sense.  Research shows this foundation will make it easier when we begin to add and subtract in the spring.

Since November is upon us I will be sending home a new homework calendar.  Please keep this safe as it has all of our sight words and math activities to complete at home during the month.  In addition, please continue to complete the Family Ties sheet as this corresponds to what we are doing in the classroom.  I am seeing a lot of progress from the children who are completing these quick activities at home.  It is important to continue this practice since children are at school only 2 or 3 days a week.

October Buddy Meeting...

On Thursday we worked with Mrs. Ryba's 3rd grade class on our bully free prevention.  Children worked cooperatively and created posters about our school rules and procedures.  This was a way for everyone to review what we do at WT.  One of my favorite things a group wrote was "Everyone is included at WT."  Thanks Mrs. Ryba for a wonderful meeting and we look forward to our November get together!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Fair...

I hope everyone has had a great week thus far!  I know we have had a great time in the classroom working extra hard.  We worked on the new "popcorn" words or sight words: have and is.  We will be going to the book fair next week. 
Our scheduled days and times are:
Monday the 31st from 10:30-11
Thursday the 3rd from 10:30-11
If you would like you may join us while we do our shopping.  We would love to see you there.  If you cannot join us and would like to send in money with your child, please do so on the specified day.  In addition, it will be open during our lunch from 12:45-1:15 and I believe during our recess 1:15-1:45.  You may come up during this time and take your child to the book fair too.  Also, you are more than welcome to join your child for lunch too.  The Tuesday group brought home information today and the Monday/Wednesday group will bring more information home tomorrow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Popcorn Words...

Part of our Reading Street program is to work on our sight words.  We call them our "Popcorn Words" because you have to know them right away or in a "pop."  The children love thinking of them as popcorn words and it gets them excited about learning new words.  Sight words are words you are unable to sound out and are irregular; therefore, the children have to know them by sight.  Today one of our parents sent in popcorn for a snack.  As an added bonus she wrote our words on the bag.  The children love grabbing a bag and seeing which words were listed. The children then showed each other their bags and all the kids were reading various words.  Thank you Caleb and Caleb's family for providing this wonderful snack!

We have learned the following words:

News About Me...

Some of you may have heard news about me this past week from your child.  Shannon, my wife, and I will are expecting our first baby in the spring (currently she is due May 4th; however, since children have a mind of their own, it will be interesting to see when the baby actually arrives).  We are looking forward to not finding out if it is a boy or girl.  We would like to be surprised (if any of you really know me this may be a surprise to you).  I will be letting you all know more information as the time comes closer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Exciting Week...

This week we will be working on the letter sound /a/ as in apple, ant, and ax. The children will begin to develop the understanding of decoding simple words, such as, tam, mat, and am. As you are at home working you can show your child these letters and have them begin saying the sounds. You can place the letters m, a, and t on a card and mix them up and have your child say the appropriate sound. This is the beginning skill to decoding words. In addition, please continue to work on letter identification with your child. I am in the process of assessing the children and to obtain an AP for first quarter your child will need to be able to identify 13 uppercase letters and 13 lowercase letters. You may have noticed on Wednesday or Thursday your child has been bringing home a book with letters, sounds, and a story. This is what we use in our reading groups during the week. Your child should be able to show you how he or she can read the letters, sounds, words, and sentences. You can have your child be the teacher and teach you how we complete the booklet in the classroom. This is a great way for your child to take ownership and show you what they are learning.

 In math, we are continuing to work with counting a set of objects. We are going to be working on tagging. This is when you touch each piece you are counting. This allows children not to count the same object twice. This is a common mistake when children have to count a set of objects. All children have to be able to count to 50 at the end of the second quarter; therefore, we are working on counting to 20. You can help by having your child count at home. This is great in the car, at the grocery store, at home while you are cooking, etc. We will also carve a pumpkin on Wednesday and Thursday. We are going to use the seeds to count and explore the inside of a pumpkin. We will take measurements of various pumpkins and order them by size. 

The quarter ends on Nov. 4th; therefore, I will be completing all the final assessments. I want to thank you for all of your help thus far this year. I have seen a lot of growth in all the children! I look forward to continuing to work together to make this a successful year!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sentence Reading...

You may have noticed in the decodable stories sent home on Mondays they are repetitive.  These are known as predictable sentences.  This basically means the sentences are the same except for one or two words.  Sometimes children learn to memorize these stories; therefore, they have difficulty when the words are in a different place.  One way to increase word knowledge and understanding is by writing the sentence on a strip of paper.  Once you write the sentence give it to your child and have them read it aloud.  Once they read the sentence, your child should cut the sentence up.  Finally have your child try to put the sentence back together.  You can also make up another sentence using the words and have them recreate another sentence.  You can also try to "trick" your child by placing a word, which does not fit and have them try to figure out the word which needs to be thrown away.  Here is a clip of one reading group completing this activity in the classroom:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Learning This Week...

This week we will continue to work on letter identification and letter sounds. We will work on the letter Tt and the sound /t/. When working with your child be cautious not to add an /u/ sound at the end. For example, the beginning sound of top would be /t/ not /tuh/. This is important when children learn to blend words together. We will also be continuing to work on our sight words of a and to. We will also be working on the sight word of the. This particular word seems to confuse some of the children. One thing you can do at home is play memory with the sight words by writing the words on index cards and have your child try to match them. In addition, when they find the match they would need to say the word. One of the most valuable things you can be doing with your child right now is simply reading to them. I would recommend taking your child to the library and having them choose some books and throughout the day or evening sit down and read with them. This promotes vocabulary development, fluent reading, comprehension, and word identification.

In writing we are working on writing the sight words and letters. Almost all the children can write their name with a capital letter and lowercase letters; therefore, we are ready to move forward with writing words and sentences. This will take place whole group and during our small group time.

Finally, we will continue to work with counting sets of objects and focusing on counting a set without counting. This simply is when you roll a dice, you know exactly what number is shown without counting the dots. We are working with numbers 1-5. We have simply made cards with dots on them and we show the children and they must tell the amount on the card. This is quite fun because we have turned it into various games in the classroom and the children are really working hard in learning this. We are working on this skill because when we begin to add the children have a great number sense and how numbers work.

The end of the quarter is approaching; therefore, if you have not paid your school fees please do so. If you cannot pay the $50 now, you can pay it quarterly in the amount of $12.50. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or email! Have a great week!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What's Happening in 116...

This week we will begin working on the Mm sound!  Students should be able to correctly identify Mm, make the /m/ sound, and identify words that began with the /m/ sound.  We will also be continuing our work with the concept of a character in a story.  This can be reinforced at home by reading a story with your child at bedtime and then talking with them about the characters in the story.

At this point, your child should be able to identify all of the letters of the alphabet (not all of their associated sounds). If your child is unable to identify all of the letters, please partner with me as we work on this skill. 
We will be working on this skill with your children during reading groups; however, since we are only at school 2-3 times a week, I do need your help and support at home.  If you are able to spend 5-10 minutes every night working on letter identification with your child, it would be a huge help.  

Also this week, we will begin working with the sight words “a” and “to”.  Many of the children are doing very well with the word “little”, but “the” has continued to be a little tricky for them!  Currently, the children have learned 4 sight words (I, am, the, little).  Please continue to review the “Family Ties” throughout the week to reinforce the skills we are teaching in the classroom.

In math, we will be continuing our work with ordering. Children will be working on ordering various objects from smallest to largest, longest to shortest, numbers 1-5, etc. To work with your child on this skill at home, you can: 
1) have your child "order" 3 toys from smallest to largest or largest to smallest
2) have your child "order" groceries (a box of cereal, a can of soup, and a box of raisins) from shortest to longest
3) have your child "order" number flashcards 1-5

REMINDER FOR TUESDAY: Tuesday is picture day.  All students that attend on "B" day will have their pictures taken.  Please send in any picture money on Tuesday.  For the "A" group, students have the opportunity to come in on Tuesday, or they may have their pictures taken on our makeup day.  Please see the handouts sent home last week in your child's blue communicator folder!

Fun Times in Kindergarten...

On Friday we are able to experience art, music, or physical education.  We experience this type of learning for about an hour while children are assessed one-on-one.  This allows for everyone to be engaged in a learning environment while we gather great information to continue making instructional decisions.  The assessments the children are checked on are a review of skills taught over the past two weeks (this is because children are only at school on Friday every other Friday).  In the pictures above we worked on cooperating and working together as a team in the gym!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reading Groups Begin...

Our reading groups began today and they went smoothly.  The way we are running reading groups is each child will be in their assigned group for 20 minutes.  The other 20 minutes will be for independent work.  This work will be review from our story and our learning skills for the day.  Your child may bring home some papers unfinished.  This is okay.  I will mark on the paper if your child was not working on it correctly or not following directions.  If your child was following directions and working, then you will not see anything marked.  I encourage you to have your child finish these sheets at home as they will help provide extra practice at home on the skills.  These would be great to work on when your child is not at school.  This would allow for the learning to continue between days.

If you have any questions feel free to email or call!  I will post more about reading groups in the next few days!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Classroom Fun...

Welcome October...

This week we will be working on the final letters of the alphabet. At the conclusion of the week your child should be able to identify all letters of the alphabet (not their associated sounds). If your child is unable to identify all the letters please partner with me as we work on this skill. I will be working on this with them during reading groups; however, since we are only at school 2-3 times a week, I do need your help. If you are able to spend 5-10 minutes a night that would be fantastic. We will also be working on the sight words of the and little. Many children are doing well with the word little, but the is tricky. Currently the children have learned 4 sight words (I, am, the, little). As you may notice our adopted reading program moves quickly; therefore, please review the "Family Ties" throughout the week to work on the skills we are teaching in the classroom. In math, we are working on comparing and ordering. Children will be working on ordering various objects from smallest to largest, longest to shortest, numbers 1-5, etc. In addition, since we are beginning a new month, you will receive the October math homework calendar. I have also included on this calendar the sight words for reading and I also listed the story of the week. I thought this would be helpful to you all so you know in advance what we will be working on.
Oct. Calendar