Monday, October 29, 2012


Hello everyone,

Each day in Kindergarten we use different tools to illustrate our ideas and create new ones. To me, helping students learn to express their creativity and encourage their imagination is one of the important skills we work on. In our class we have many great artists with mediums ranging from painting to construction. Watching these skills grow and develop is such a wonder to observe each day, I hope you all are getting to enjoy the progression as much as I am. Have a great week!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Forming Opinions

Hello everyone,

This week we have been delving into some new writing concepts such as narrative and opinion based writing. This week and next we will be spending time examining what an opinion is, and how we can understand the difference between an opinion and a fact. Students were told a story this week that gave pros and cons as to whether a dog or a cat made a better pet. Students were asked to take "think time" to reflect on this and form an opinion. After taking time to pair share students were instructed to illustrate and narrate their opinions. We came together to discuss our opinions and we modeled how to share our opinions in a way that is respectful, even if we disagree with another.

Students have been continuing survey work this week as well to strengthen their understanding of opinions. Each morning students read a question and use a tally mark to cast their vote. This week's opinion topics have ranged from best cake, best color, best place and best pet. As you all know your children have many great opinions to share, feel free to spark up opinion based conversations at home! Students will be welcome to share this home practice at snack, morning meeting or writing workshop, to strengthen understanding and brainstorming in the classroom. Heres to having independent thought!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Four Winds !


This past week we were so lucky to have our second Four Winds session. The Four Winds volunteers led the lesson with a humorous play about the food chains and eco-systems that exists in our nearby forests.  The weather was perfect for exploring the nearby woods and its inhabitants. Students were taken to the woods to notice, observe and make inferences about their surroundings.

There were many fabulous activities, but one of my favorites was when our parents had students lie on a tarp on the ground and experience what it was like to be a part of the forest floor. Students were given a chance to share how that felt and what they observed. We then examined some insect cards that introduced us to some of the many species of insects that were living right below our feet! 

Students worked independently and in small groups to collect specimens. Some of these included millipedes, centipedes, worms and spiders! Students were then given the choice to continue collecting and making verbal observations or to record in their Four Winds journals. Thank you so much to our parents Karen and Jessica for making this such a wonderful experience, I LOVE integrating nature trips in our day whenever possible! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wrapping Up


Today we had our last round of guidance workshops. For the past six weeks our guidance counselor Ann Fisher has been coming each Wednesday to work on many skills including solving conflicts as friends and working on recognizing and extending empathy. We have learned many great tools that I will continue to display and model in our classroom. Ms. Fisher will be coming in to see how we are from time to time and give us some tips, we look forward to seeing her!

Today we also finished reading E.B. White's Charlottes Web. We had some great discussion about the stories themes which include friendship, farming and growing up. Students gave a unanimous vote of "double thumbs up," which in our room means we "loved" it. I would encourage you all to ask your child about this story at home and discuss it with them. They have many great and insightful things to say about the story. We made our own webs this afternoon to celebrate the end of the book. E.B. White's story will continue to be analyzed and discussed in the coming weeks. We will also be calling upon passages to help inspire and guide us in our narrative and opinion writing units. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tally Work


I have been so impressed this year with the way in which students have taken an assertive role in integrating math and other subjects areas into their daily routines. For example, at snack each day students will take a verbal survey in which they compare how many people have cheese sticks, applesauce, or any of the other healthy goodies you provide each day! It is so nice to hear students engage in conversations about  their snacks as well as track the amount.

To celebrate and expand upon this learning we have begun to record results using tally marks. Some students have begun using our counting on strategy to track snacks. Other Students who finish snack early have chosen to illustrate their findings or represent it using math manipulatives.

For me, this seamless connection students have discovered is very exciting. It is so thrilling to see such curiosity and creativity in your children. Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Working on Working Together


This week we have welcomed someone new into our class. We have taken this wonderful opportunity to refocus on working together and being a good friend. Students have been working hard with our fabulous guidance counselor Ann Fisher to develop strategies geared towards self-regulation and kindness. Ms. Fisher and the students have been working on giving "Warm Fuzzies" and not "Cold Pricklies" to our friends, even when we are feeling nervous or excited. Ask your child to share with you about "Sparkle Mind," "Clear Mind," and "Mud Mind!" They are applying these new skills in the classroom beautifully.

Station work has been something that I have been working to implement more often in our literacy time. Students have been learning many activities and games focused on sight words, upper and lower case letters, elements of a story, and concepts of print. These familiar games and sorts are being set up as stations. We have been working to rotate through three stations per literacy block and students are learning to work more closely with classmates during this time.

Have a great week!