Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reading and Literacy Update


As the week draws to a close I wanted do update you on some of the hard work we have been up to! We have made some really great strides in reading this week, students are really beginning to master the concept of one-to-one correspondence and we have begun reading Charlotte's Web in the afternoons, which has generated some very rich readers workshop discussion.

Students have been working very hard to master their sight words both on the list I sent home and on our word wall. Students are beginning to incorporate these words in writing workshop entries, which has been fabulous! I will be sending home a new list next week to help expand this new learning.

We had our weekly book vote this week. Each week we couple five to seven titles we have read and vote on our favorites. This weeks winner was a short chapter book by Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson to the Rescue. We keep the tallied results hung in the classroom and sometimes refer to them in our number corner time.

Handwriting is another component students have been working really hard on this week. We have now accomplished seven capital letters in our Handwriting Without Tears workbooks. You may have noticed that I have been making copies of these sheets and sending them home a few times a week, these are strictly for practice if you so choose. I would love to see them once they are completed so that I can give positive feedback, but they are not mandatory.

Thank you for all of your support at home. It is so wonderful to hear about all of the stories, games and activities you all are doing. Students so enjoy sharing these experiences in morning meeting or in writing. It is wonderful for them to draw from so many different perspectives to share with one another.

Happy (almost) Friday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Foliage Appreciation

Hello everyone,

I hope you all got out to enjoy the beautiful weekend we had! In honor of the first day of fall passing this past Saturday we have embarked on a new writing project this week. Students will be compiling their own non-fiction story throughout the coming weeks as they track the changing of the season.

Yesterday we went outside to collect our first specimen, students gathered leaves and petals on dated papers. Tomorrow we will be using labels and illustration to detail the conditions of the weather and observations students make about being outside. This is such an exciting time of year in Vermont, and I hope to celebrate this seasonal shift throughout the month with students by collecting surrounding examples of the changes and tracking what we see.

This is going to be a great opportunity for students to gain experience with the difference between fiction and non-fiction text, data collection, and telling stories about the natural world around them. Yesterday we read Lois Ehlert's Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, we will be looking at a lot of her books this month as well as Gail Gibbons because they are both authors who exemplify so well what we are learning!

Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 20, 2012



This week has been another fabulous week. We have been focusing a great deal on leadership in the classroom. Students have been taking on small leadership roles from the very beginning of school, but it is a pleasure to see this trait grow more prominent in each student as the weeks progress on.

Throughout the day I often ask students to assist me with handing out papers, leading a chant or energizer, and getting snack milk. I have been noticing great examples of teamwork when these tasks are given. Going into next week I will begin inviting students to lead portions of morning meeting. Students are now fluent in the four main components, which are morning message, greeting, share and activity. Each morning I write a predictable and familiar message for the students and read it to them using a pointer. This is the first component that I am going to be turning over to students in the coming weeks. Students will begin modeling the reading of the morning message, with my assistance, to their peers.

Another aspect of leadership we are working to recognize is the connection it bears to being part of a learning community. Students are learning to recognize that leadership does not always mean doing the "main" job. A leader is also someone whom assists and supports peers quietly. In our classroom this has looked like offering to help tie someone's shoe, open a peer's milk container, or organize a number line.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week Four!

Hello everyone,

This week has been another great one! In math we have been examining patterns using shapes, colors, size, and numbers. Students have been working very hard to draw connections between the concepts we have already been studying in math workshop to this idea. Students also continue to work hard studying number lines, counting by 2's, 10's, 5's, and decomposing and composing their numbers.

Writing and reading will continue to evolve this week.We have begun spending time each day focusing on handwriting, today we focused on the capital letter F. We will be learning capital letters first and then we will focus on lower case. Students have been modeling and working more independently in small groups during literacy time. In reading students are being reminded to focus their conversations on how the story made them feel and what connections they have. Students have been doing a great job making text-to-text and text-to-self connections.

Students have also been doing a phenomenal job of sharing, I am guessing that a lot of great prep at home is  supporting that.Thank you!

We look forward to having our very first Four Winds time this week!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dot Day Celebrations

Greetings everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Our celebration on Friday was a huge success, thank you to all of you who showed your spirit! We were fortunate to have the help of Mr. Grace again on Friday, he came and led us in a virtual dot creation in the technology lab. We also read and re-read some of Peter Reynold's stories and had a discovery conversation about how we can make a positive mark on the world.

Ms. Davison


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Week So Far...


Hello everybody, this week has been very busy as we have started diving more fully into our curriculum. Students have been hard at work in math, writing the numbers 1-10, composing and decomposing numbers 1-20, and doing exploratory workshops in odd and even numbers.

In writing we have been reflecting and discovering the stories we have within ourselves to share. Today  we read Ish by Peter Reynolds and explored in our journals what our own "ish" talents and passions were. We we're very lucky today to be invited to Mr. Grace's 5/6 classroom to watch a live presentation of Peter Reynolds reading The Dot and sharing where his inspiration comes from.

In reading, students have begun filling and rotating their book bins from our classroom library. Students have also been given a couple of beginning sight word books. I have been rotating throughout the room to read these with students both individually and in small groups. We are still focusing on the use of illustration to tell a story, however since sight word work has begun we are practicing recognizing those words when we see them in our books.

I have sent home a sight word list tonight, this is identical to a list I am introducing tomorrow. Feel free to hang this on the fridge or begin going through these words in down time to help prime and build our reading!

I apologize in advance for the lack of photos this week, my camera has been having some import issues. Next week I will have this figured out, in the mean time I have included two images from our number writing work earlier in the week.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dot Day

Hello everyone,

I am so excited to be celebrating Dot Day with your children next week. This is a project inspired and created by child author and illustrator Peter Reynolds. Reynolds has written and illustrated eight books independently and illustrated other author's works throughout his career. Reynold's goal in writing these stories is to encourage and support the creativity and talent that he, as do I, believes exists in each student.

On Friday we will be celebrating this ideal by reading and re-reading some of Reynolds work and partaking in some dot related activities. Students will create their very own dot math manipulatives and use them in math workshop, we will create our own dot stories in writing, and have both small and whole group discussions about the books Ish and The Dot.

We will be documenting and sharing this celebration via the blog so that you can all share in the experience. I have also included a link to his website so that you can explore as well if you wish. This celebration will mark the end to our first author study in kindergarten, we will be following with Gail Gibbons and David Shannon. I will ask students to wear dots on Thursday night, but this is not mandatory, we will have plenty of our own dots to decorate!
Ms. Davison

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Writing Workshop

Hello again,

You may have noticed at school that there are some great stories hanging in the hallway! We have been working on retelling stories we read and sharing stories of our own.  Authors we are currently studying in writing are Mo Willems, Lois Ehlert, David Shannon and Chris Raschka. We are focusing on these authors because they, like us, use illustrations and few words to share their stories. Students have also been taking an active role in our echo alphabet time. This is a time where we work on letter recognition and letter sound.

Ms. Davison

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Math Workshop

Hello everyone,

Every day we have three main workshops for reading, writing, and math. The students have been transitioning into these stations wonderfully every day! Here are some snaps of our recent work in math workshop. We have been focusing on writing numbers, counting by ones, counting by twos, sorting, and classifying shapes! Many of these activities can be easily re-created at home if you are looking to squeeze in some extra practice. Enjoy, your children are working very hard and doing a fabulous job!

Ms. Davison