Kindergarten Friendship Clubs
In addition to the social and emotional learning we started last week, this week we dove into our academic learning.
Each day, we spend the morning learning in math and literacy stations. Students rotate through 5 activities that are planned to be engaging and relevant to the concepts we want our students to explore and ultimately master. I teach at one of the stations, Mindy Katz teaches at a second station, two stations are independent activities that allow students to practice something they have previously learned and one station is a computer station (this week exploring letter sounds on Starfall). Soon, an iPad station will be incorporated a few days a week as well.
At this time of year, we spend a lot of station time exploring letters ~ making them out of wikis, smelly dough, giant pipe cleaners, pattern blocks and our bodies! Last week, we started our letter of the day study, a daily time to really wrap our heads (and bodies) around how the featured letter looks and sounds and feels and starts words that we love! Ask your student to teach you how to play our bibbity-bobbity-boo game!
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:
In addition to Readers Workshop, we read at other times during our day.
Interactive Read Aloud with Accountable Talk
Our first Writers' Workshop unit is called We Are Writers! Writers' workshop follows the same format as Readers' Workshop. Sessions start with a short mini lesson during which I will teach and model a strategy that effective writers use. Right after the mini lesson, students have a chance to talk to their writing partner about how they plan to implement the strategy in their writing before going off to write independently. Students keep their writing at school in their writing folder.
Last week, we focused on the strategies:
~ Writers use pictures and words
to put their ideas on paper
~ Writers keep writing *
~ Writers solve their own problems
and carry on independently as writers.
* One key point that is established early on in Writers' Workshop is that writing is a process. We teach the kids to say, "When I am done, I have just begun" and make a choice from the done list on the chart to the right.
This week, we will focus on what
good writers do.
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!
Thank you for taking the time to read it all!