What do I love to do?
I love to ride horses. Its SO fun.~ Hazel
I'm very interested in ultra agents. I don't have any horses. ~ Henry
I love to sing and do art and I go with momma after school to fun places
sometimes, like to Tacoma to the Glass Museum. ~ Mia
I skateboard! And I like to play games with my family. ~ Oliver
I love to be an artist and me and my family after dinner sometimes we go
for gelato. ~ Aleena
I love to color because its really fun because I get to color anything I want. My family really likes to hike and camp. ~ Jocelyn
I love playing MineCraft and I like playing MineCraft with my sister, too. ~
I love art! ~ Alex
I love art, too. ~ Rachel
I love playing with my Barbies. ~ Aoibhinn
I love to do the computers and play and do star fall on my computer at
home. ~ Sienna
I love to draw and I love that my dad goes to Microsoft and make all the
speakers work. ~ Remy
I love to play at a park and I'm glad my dad didn't break his head instead of
his ankle. He broke his ankle trying to get a dog out of a street and he
was running up concrete steps and there was a little oil on them. ~ Glory
I love to draw. This week I'm drawing a lot! ~ Elena
I love drawing. ~ Nora
I love Legos. ~ Xabi
I love making alien pictures. ~ Max
I love to get new toys. Anyway we have a bunch toys.~ Ami
I love building forts in my basement and playing in my basement and having fun in my basement and doing stuff that I like to do and doing fun
stuff. ~ Jude
I love playing tennis at my house in my back yard. ~ Reese
I love Legos! ~ Noah
I like Legos, too! ~ Olin
I love gardening and sewing. ~ Olivia
I love Legos ~ Miles
I love playing soccer. ~ Lewis
I love soccer. ~ Claudia
What do I want to learn how to do
The Museum of Us!
What an exciting week we had! Read all about it below. This week, we will launch our
1st Project Based Learning project, Who Am I?. The essential questions we will be exploring during this project are How are we the same? and How are we different? Next week's blog post will have lots of details about this project, including the learning standards it will be teaching. For now, we are asking you to help your child find an item that represents who they are and send it to school by Wednesday, September 24th. The item may be an object or photo from a country your family has roots in, or that represents a holiday or tradition or activity that is special to your family. On Thursday, they will use this object in a Gallery Walk to teach others about who they are. We can't wait to learn more about your child!
* I snuck in an extra blog post yesterday about Social and Emotional Learning at QAE. I will be using this post as a reference at Curriculum Night on Tuesday. If you have a chance, please read through it before then so I can address any questions you have. I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday night! ~ Katie
At Queen Anne Elementary, we talk a lot as teachers and as parents about social and emotional learning (SEL). We believe that we need to teach our students so that they thrive not only academically but also socially and emotionally. Here is a brief overview about how you will see me address your student's SEL in my classroom this year.
What is Positive Discipline?
At QAE, you will hear a lot about Positive Discipline as we use it in all of our classrooms. Positive Discipline is a program based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs and is designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best selling Positive Discipline books by Dr. Jane Nelsen and other co-authors, it teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults (including parents, teachers, childcare providers, youth workers, and others).
Recent research tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful, contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches. Jane Nelsen gives the following criteria for “effective discipline that teaches”:
5 Criteria for Positive Discipline
1. Helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance)
2. Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time.)
3. Is effective long-term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world –
and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.)
4. Teaches important social and life skills . (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as
the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)
5. Invites children to discover how capable they are. Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.
Here is a link to a positive discipline matrix we use to address misbehavior.
Encouragement vs. Praise
The long range effect of encouragement is that it invites self-confidence. The long-range effect of praise invites dependence on others.
The positive discipline approach encourages adults to encourage the children we are teaching as much as we can.
Wondering whether the statements you make to children are praise or encouragement?
~ Am I inspiring self-evaluation or dependence on the evaluation of others?
~ Am I being respectful or patronizing?
~ Am I seeing the child’s point of view or only my own?
~ Would I make this comment to a friend?
Here are a few examples of praise vs. encouragement:
~ “You got an A, I’m so proud of you,” vs. “You worked hard. You deserve it.”
~ "You did it right.” vs. "You gave it your best.” Or, “How do you feel about what you accomplished?”
~ “I like the way you did that.” vs. “I appreciate your cooperation.”
~ “You did it right.” vs. “What do you think/feel?” or "What did you learn?"
Collaborative Work and Play!
Of course, a whole lot of the SEL learning our students do come from the natural, informal interactions they have all day long as they work, play and learn together!
I am really enjoying getting to know this bright and curious group of children. I am impressed with how well they are already able to work together as a class to listen to and follow directions and to follow the routines of kindergarten that support our learning. Last week, we continued to talk about what kind, safe and fair students look like, and continued to practice how we can move quickly, quietly and safely from one learning activity to the other. We also talked a lot about what it means to be a good friend, and how to solve problems that come up between friends. Here are two specific examples of how this looks:
In addition to the social and emotional learning we started last week, this week we dove into our academic learning.
Our first Readers' Workshop unit is called We Are Readers! Readers’ Workshop always starts with a mini-lesson. During the short (5 to 7 minute) mini-lesson, it is my turn as the teacher to teach and show a strategy that readers use. (We practiced this last week.) While I do this, the students sit on the carpet and listen. After I have modeled using the strategy as a reader, I give the students a turn to practice the using the strategy with their reading partner while they are still on the carpet.
After the students have had this guided practice, they are ready to go off and try using the strategy on their own. We call this independent reading "back to back" reading. This week, students learned how to sit back to back and engage in independent reading. Right now, they are only expected to "read" for 5 - 7 minutes, but this time will increase by the end of the year to 20 minutes. After "back to back" reading, students sit "hip to hip" for partner reading with their reading partner. Partner reading is a time to read together and talk about what they are learning as readers.
In December, I will assess student reading levels and give each student a book bag filled with books at their "just right levels" to read during this time. While they read, I conference with readers and assess their reading progress/understanding. In January, students will be assigned a reading partner who is reading at the same reading level.
Last week, we focused on the teaching points:
We read the pictures and retold the familiar stories in our star books and read our shared reading goodbyes together. Star books are books that we have already read together in class and will continue to read together. Our five star books are:
To end our Readers' Workshop, we gather on the carpet for a quick (less than 5 minute) share. During this time, I will restate the learning target and ask students to share specific learnings that I noticed during my conferences.
In addition to Readers Workshop, we read at other times during our day.
Interactive Read Aloud with Accountable Talk
I also do at least one (if not two or three!) "interactive read aloud with accountable talk" every day. In addition to teaching the reading strategies during the mini-lessons, I will model using our reading strategies as I read books to the students and ask them to "turn and talk" to their reading partners when we run across opportunities to practice our strategies.
We then used our writing tools (paper, pencils, writing folders and a date stamp) to complete our first writing pieces. Students drew pictures to tell their readers things that they had done or that had happened to them, or things that they knew a lot about and wanted to tell others. Soon, I will start scanning these writing masterpieces and post them on the students' E-folios. More info about E-folios will be distributed on Curriculum Night!
If you are still reading, pat yourself on the back! This was a LONG post ~ but packed with some important foundational information that will help you understand what is happening in class and thus more effectively support your student.
Thank you for taking the time to read it all!
Congratulations to all of our room 203 kindergarteners and their family members for completing such a successful first
week of school! What an exciting week we had! Your children are amazing and I am so excited to learn with them this year.
I hope your student told you about at least one or two of the fun activities we did, and that they were not too exhausted by Friday afternoon. If they were, don’t worry! It is completely normal for them to need time to adjust to the new routine of school! It is also normal for your child not to want to talk about their kindergarten day. To some, it can be overwhelming to think about what they did since we do so much.
A few tips for talking to your Kindergartener about their day at school:
1. Start first with recess. Ask what they did, who they played with.
2. Ask specific questions such as “What was your favorite station activity?”,
“Did your teacher read you any books?”, or “What did you choose to play for choice time”.
3. Look at the classroom blog together and talk together about what is happening in the pictures.
In case there were holes in your student’s report, here is a recap of what we were up to in class last week…
Social and Emotional Learning ~ Class Meetings & Calm Body Spots
We decided we will create a safe, calm space at in our classroom just like Jared created in his room. Kids will be able to use this place to calm their bodies and brains down when they need to, getting themselves back to a state that allows them to learn. We will talk more about our ideas for this space at our class meetings next week.
Class meetings are one of the positive discipline tools I will use this year to create a safe, trusting learning environment that empowers the kids to feel like they are connected and significant members of our learning community. We had our first one on Friday, and we practiced taking turns talking and listening using our talking (rain) stick. We also talked about what a compliment was (telling someone something you appreciate or admire about them) and learned the difference between outside compliments (about something external ~ clothes or looks) and inside compliments (about internal qualities ~ personality traits, practiced skills… ) . Each day, our class meeting will begin with students giving and receiving inside compliments.