Here it the video that Ms. Stone and our QAE community created to send the Seahawks off to the Superbowl! Go Hawks!!
I left school yesterday feeling a bit tired, but really appreciative of the celebrations we engage in as a QAE learning community. After missing
a big chunk of last week, and experiencing a good deal of heart ache for Jeffrey Riley and his family (not to mention a bit of anxiety about my husband's heart surgery ~ which he is still recovering from amazingly well), it felt really good to be back with my kindergarteners this week!
They are so full of life and love and curiosity and creativity ~ and they love to celebrate! In addition to our literacy, math and science learning, we did a lot of celebrating. On Thursday, we celebrated the civil rights leadership work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at our all school assembly. Thursday evening, many of us celebrated our QAE family community by sharing a meal together at the annual Spaghetti Feed. On Friday, we celebrated our strong listening skills with a Marble Jar Celebration and we celebrated that the Seahawks are heading back to the Superbowl at our all school sendoff party! We also continued to celebrate the daily examples of perseverance we find all around us ~ in our books, our friends, our families and our selves!
At the beginning of kindergarten, we use a learning station model for our morning learning. As the year progresses, and the learning maturity and stamina of our students increases, we extend the time of these stations. Most recently, students have been traveling through four station rotations, each lasting for 15 minutes. In the spring, we transition from the station model into a workshop model. The workshop model spreads the activities students engage in out over several days, providing students with longer periods of engagement at each activity (20 - 25 minutes) and providing teachers with more opportunities for targeted, differentiated instruction.
We have decided to transition to our workshop model early this year, as our learners are ready for it! Knowing that this is a significant change of routine for the kids, we will take things slowly this week, walking the kids through the new routine. They love the Readers' and Writers' Workshop routines we have been doing in the afternoon, so I am confident that they will quickly adjust. This is how it will look...
In the afternoons, we will continue to do Writers' Workshop, Science, our Project Based Learning activities, Class Meetings and - of course - Choice Time!
Mark you calendars!
On Friday, we will have an all school MLK assembly (time still to be announced - I will post when I have it). Please join us if you are able.
The Kindergarten Common Core Student Standards expect K readers to be able to understand Key Ideas and Details in the stories we read. Specifically, with prompting and support we want them to be able to:
Our Readers' Workshop will focus on retelling later in the year, so this will be an early attempt at this challenging skill. By the end of the year, I want all of my students to be able to retell what happened in the beginning, middle and end of a book, and be able to include details about the setting and characters (how they felt, why they did what they did). For these early attempts, however, the students may not meet all of these standards, but we didn't want that to hold us back from sharing our ideas for this authentic and motivating purpose.
Enjoy and feel free to leave us comments!
We Are Scientists Exploring Fabric!
Last week, we launched our first science unit ~ Exploring Fabric! We used our senses to explore the properties of 10 different kinds of fabric: organza, corduroy, seersucker, fleece, nylon, burlap, satin, terrycloth, knit & denim. The students noticed how the fabrics looked (shiny, sparkly, see through) and felt (soft, smooth, slippery, scratchy, rough) and sounded (like bats wings) and smelled (hmm - fabric "explored by lots of other kindergarteners prior to us did not smell so great!) and recorded their observations during our Science writing workshop time using pictures and words. We used feely boxes to compare how our fabrics are the same and different and went on a fabric hunt to help us match different fabrics. We also put different fabrics together to make fabric collages.
In Kindergarten, I have already learned to ...
Mia: How to jump rope at recess.
Jude: How to write.
Xabi: To be a really good player at soccer at recess.
Max: How to read.
Alex: How to be kind, safe, and fair.
Hazel: How to be kind, safe, and fair.
Jocelyn: How to write.
Lewis: How to play soccer.
Noah: How to read a book.
Eli: How to read.
Glory: How to write and be kind to people I don't know.
Remy: How to do math.
Nora: That friendship can be magic.
Siena: How to write.
Claudia: How to do Raz-Kids.
Connor: That you have to have voices off.
Rachel: To be kind, safe, and fair.
Elena: How to do writer's workshop.
Aleena: To be kind, safe, and fair.
Ami: How to be kind.
Olin: To help people when they have a problem.
Next, I want to learn ...
How to solve problems.
Drawing better at home and at school.
To read better.
How to spell.
To be really nice.
How to write stories!
How to listen and be in control.
How to read a chapter book.
How to write better.
How to write.
To read a chapter book.
How to read big chapter books.
How to play new games that I don't know yet.
How to get at math.
About fabric and how to use it.
How to spell tricky words.
How to do reader's workshop.
How to not distract my sister when she's doing her homework.
How to learn how to read all the books in my book bag.
To ride my bike without training wheels.
How to unicycle and read.
Mr. Jeffrey will be asking us to vote in March for our favorite three books from all of the fabulous books below that have been nominated for the 2015 Childrens' Choice Award. We know some of the books and plan to read the rest together to make sure we make our best voting choices. Stay tuned as we use our speaking and writing to review these books as we read them, retelling our blog readers what each book is about and sharing our opinions about each book. Feel free to leave comments to share your opinions with us, too!