Friday, February 24, 2017

February Citizen's of the Month

Congratulations to Zara and Ty for being chosen as February Citizen's of the Month!

Zara was chosen by her peers as our classroom winner.
Ty was chosen by Mrs. Starbuck as the Kindergarten specialists winner.

Way to go!  We are proud of you!


Good-bye February....weekly update

Seuss Madness 
Think basketball March Madness, but with Dr. Seuss books!
Hallways are decorated based on the book they chose (Kindergarten chose Green Eggs & Ham) and voting began this week!  We started with the "Elite 8" and are now down to the "Final 4" after 2 rounds of voting.  Our final round of voting will occur next week and on Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2nd, we will find out which Dr. Seuss book is the most popular at Beulah Ralph!  

We will also celebrate with a dress up day for Dr. Seuss' birthday on Thursday, March 2nd.  Kiddos can dress as their favorite Dr. Seuss character or in Dr. Seuss apparel.  
I included some pictures below if you need ideas. 

A look at our learning...

Miss Nemechek did most of the teaching this week while I observed, popped in and out of the classroom and only worked one-on-one or in small groups with the kiddos outside of the classroom.  She did a great job and the kiddos learned a lot!  Next week we will go back to sharing teaching duties.

Fundations- we continue to focus on words with a "silent e that tells the first vowel to say it's name."  Every morning we read a chart that has 3 letter short vowel words on it and use our "magic e" wand to add a silent e to the end to change the way we say the word.  

The kiddos do a great job with this in isolation, but it is still more difficult for them to apply this knowledge of the silent e when reading books.  When they are in their guided reading groups and come to a word with a silent e on the end most of them do not remember to make the "silent e tell the first vowel to say its name" without teacher support.  We will keep working on this and any practice at home is great as well!  Look for words with a silent e on the end when you are reading books and talk about the rule with the kids and have them read the word to you applying the rule.  

We will continue to work on this daily at school in little ways, but next week in fundations our focus will shift to blends and digraphs at the beginning/ends of words.  Check your child's Friday Folder for the fundations packet and more information on this and how you can help at home.

Shared Reading- we continue to learn about non-fiction books during Shared Reading and tie it into our learning of non-fiction writing later in the day at Writing Workshop time.  This week we read the non-fiction big book Push and Pull, which is about force and motion.  This book taught us real facts and also taught us how non-fiction books have a table of contents page and headings throughout the text.  We are learning how to include headings when we write our non-fiction penguin books at writing time.  

We also read a couple of books and a poem called Snow that incorporated our new word wall words.  

Next week's spelling word: 
(only one word this week because it is also doesn't follow the "silent e tells the first vowel to say it's name rule" but it is a word they are using more in their writing of non-fiction books and a good one to know how to spell correctly...please talk at home about how it doesn't follow this rule)

Daily 5 & Reading Groups- ask your child to tell you about their Daily 5 papers that are graded and in their Friday Folder.  Ask your child what new books they read in their guided reading groups this week.  Beginning on Tuesday, they will bring home their newest guided reading group books to read to you.  This will happen every Tuesday/Thursday.  Look for a detailed note to come home this Tuesday.  

Math- I hope you have enjoyed playing the math game Double Compare at home with your child!  This week we learned 2 more math games that help us to understand addition: Collect 15 and Counters in a Cup.  Ask your child to show you their Counters in a Cup game board that is in their Friday Folder and explain how to play.  It is an easy game to play at home and you can create your own form similar to the one they show you in their Friday Folder.  

Writing- we are well on our way to finishing our first informational book on penguins.  Every child has worked hard on their own 6 page book this week (cover page, opening page, 3 pages of facts and a closing/ending page). We have also learned how to add headings to each page, just like we learned about in Shared Reading.  Ask your child what facts they are including in their book!  Next week our focus will shift from penguins to butterflies.  This will tie in nicely with our Service Learning project.  

Thank you to Ellie's mom, Becky, for coming in today and presenting a dental health lesson to all 5 Kindergarten classes!  This ties in nicely with our Health Unit. She is a dental hygienist at Dentistry by Design and they provided all 100 Kindergartners with a goodie bag to bring home! We greatly appreciate it!
(click on photos to make larger)


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Another Golden Broom!

Another Golden Broom Award for our classroom!

The janitors think we do an awesome job keeping our classroom and bathroom clean each week!

Way to go!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Happy Valentine's Week!

Scholastic Book Fair
Every child made a wish list of 5 books they'd love to have from the Scholastic Book Fair!  We hope you will visit the book fair before or after your child's parent-teacher conference and ask to see their list!  Buying a book is not only supporting our school, but supporting your child in their reading!  Win Win! The book fair is open from 3:30-7:30 today!

Valentine's Day party
Thank you to our room mothers, Mara and Jackie, for organizing another fun class party!  Another big thank you to all of the families who came and helped out or sent supplies for the party!  The kids had a blast at their last classroom party of the year! 

A look at our learning...

Fundations: we continue to learn about 3 letter short vowel words and 4 letter long vowel words.  We are focusing on how "the silent e at the end of a word tells the first vowel to say it's name."  We are hoping to see the children apply this in their reading and writing as well.  When they are reading at home, point out words that have a silent e at the end and ask them to read the word to you and practice this skill with them.

Another good way to practice is to give them a 3 letter short vowel word and ask them to add on the silent e at the end and tell you what new word they made.

Example:  write the word hat on a piece of paper.  Ask them to "tap out the word" and read it to you.  Then ask them to "write a silent e on the end of hat."  They should then have hate on their paper.  Ask them to read the new word to you.  

Shared Reading: was and my were tricky spelling words this week, but ones we use so often in reading and writing!  We read the big books I was with and I had to look, that featured both words.  We added a small copy of each book to our "read to self' book boxes on Friday.  

We also read the big book Then and Now, to help us better understand non-fiction books and non-fiction text features.  This continues to tie in nicely with our non-fiction writing we are doing during writing workshop.

Next week's spelling words:

Daily 5: ask your child what books they read during their guided reading groups this week OR ask them what daily 5 center they went to this week and have them explain what they do at that particular center.  Pull out a piece of the kid work that was sent home in this week's Friday Folder (most are from Daily 5 centers) and have them tell you about it.

Writing: we have filled our brains with so many facts about penguins the last 2 weeks!  Today we finally decided it was time to starting writing our fact books!  They are learning how to include at least 3 facts about the topic (penguins) in their stories.  We are also learning how to add headings to our pages and labels to our pictures, just like real non-fiction books do!
Ask your child to tell you 3 facts they have learned about penguins and are going to include in their stories!

Math: check your child's Friday Folder for a fun game called Double Compare.  We play this at school and it is helping us to learn about addition!  I hope you will play it at home with them as well!  They love it!

Seuss Bracket: we have been listening to Dr. Seuss books any chance we the library with Mrs. Fitch, at snack time with Miss Nemechek, etc.  Beginning next week the whole school will vote which book (out of the 8 listed below) is their favorite!  By Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2nd, we will have ONE whole school winner! Check out the awesome bracket we will be using, located by the library. 

Every grade level (K-5, specialists and SPED) chose a book to "promote."  Kindergarten chose Green Eggs and Ham.  By February 24th all of the hallways will be decorated based on the book they are promoting.   We will celebrate this fun with a dress up day on Dr. Seuss birthday.  More information will be coming about this. 

Have a great weekend!
Remember, NO SCHOOL on 
Friday (2/17) or Monday 2/20)!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February Lunch with the principal

Congratulations to Emma!

She was chosen to have lunch with 
the principal for the month of February!

Dr. Majerus enjoyed lunch with a friend from each of the Kindergarten classrooms today! So fun!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Butterflies, Yogurt and Puzzles=Fun Week!

A look at our learning...

Fundations- we are really diving into our learning about short vowels and long vowels.  We are learning that vowels can have more than one sound.  The short vowel sound is the sound we have known all year long for a, e, i, o, u.  The long vowel "says its name."  We are also learning about the "silent e" at the end of words.  We are learning "the silent e tells the first vowel to say its name."  This is a poster we have been working on.

Shared Reading-this week our big book DID NOT center around our word wall words like usual, but rather on non-fiction books. The book we read and discussed was called Baby Animals by Joy Cowley (one of my favorite children's authors)  This will tie in nicely to our new unit of writing we began this week (more info below).  From now until spring break we will focus on non-fiction during Shared Reading and Writing Workshop time.  We will still practice our word wall words at Daily 5 time and occasionally use books at Shared Reading that incorporate them, but not daily like usual.  This makes it extra important to practice their new words at home nightly.  
Next week's new word wall words:

Daily 5-end of trimester assessments are finished and we are back to daily reading groups. Our groups changed a bit based on the progress the students have made in their reading skills!  Ask your child who is in their new reading group!  Daily 5 centers are also a time we focus on learning/practicing our new word wall words.  Several of the center activities focus on practicing their words in fun ways.  These are the papers you see come home in their Friday Folders. 

Math-we began a unit on addition.  At this point in time we do not focus on actual math facts, but instead on understanding what addition is.  It is important that the children understand that addition is combining 2 groups of things to make something bigger.  When you add, your outcome is always bigger than you began with.  We have practiced this by doing verbal story problems and playing a game called Double Compare.  Ask your child to tell you more about this!

Writing-all students, K-5, focus on 3 types of writing throughout the year.  We just finished our narrative unit of writing.  We have worked on this since the beginning of the school year.  
Narrative writing is stories about our lives.  We are now beginning our second unit of writing: nonfiction/informational.  We will be learning about different topics that interest us and writing informational books on these topics.  Our goal is to include 3 facts about the topic in our writing.  We will work on this up until spring break.  We are currently learning about penguins and will be writing informational books on penguins.  Ask your child what they have learned this week about penguins.

Kindergarten Service Learning
Check your child's Friday Folder for more information about each grade levels service learning project.  Kindergarten is helping Monarch Butterflies.  Mr. Nopp came to speak to us on Thursday to help us learn more about helping Monarch Butterflies. 

Healthy Plates Nutrition Class
On Thursday, Mrs. Dana from CPS Nutrition Services game to teach us about the 5 food groups and how to make a healthy snack.  We made yummy yogurt parfaits!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Quick recap of the week and upcoming events

I hope you've enjoyed the many blog posts this week.  Since I have blogged more than normal the last few days, today's will be a quick overview and some important dates for you to mark on your calendar.

Dates/Things to remember:

*Turn in January Reading Logs ASAP
*February 6th- NO SCHOOL (teachers will be working on report cards)
*February 10th:
        Report cards will be sent home in Friday Folders. 
        Six Flags Reading Logs MUST be turned in by today in order to earn their free ticket
        Yearbook order forms due
        Send in a SOLID colored bag by today (8x10 in size) to decorate for Valentines
*February 13th & 16th-Parent-Teacher Conferences
*February 17th-NO SCHOOL
*February 20th-NO SCHOOL/President's Day

A look at our learning this week...

Fundations: We are learning how vowels have two sounds, long and short.  We are also learning about the silent e on the end of words.  Our new word wall word, like, has a silent e.

Shared Reading-We read the books The New Forest Path and I Like.  They featured our word wall words like and by.  We learned that some words "don't follow the rules" and can't always be sounded out.  We discussed the silent e on the word like and how by sounds like it should be spelled bi, but really it is by. 

Next week's new spelling words: be, up

Math-The STEAM bus was a fun way to end our measurement unit.  We spent the rest of the week doing end of trimester math assessments that we will share with you at conferences. Next week we will begin a unit on addition!

Writing-On Wednesday we took our first narrative writing assessment.  I look forward to sharing these with you at parent-teacher conferences. It's always amazing to see how much they have grown as writers since the beginning of the school year!  We have worked on writing narratives (real life stories about things we do in our lives) since the beginning of Kindergarten.  
Beginning next week we will shift our focus to informational/non-fiction writing. We will focus on this type of writing from now until spring break.  We will begin by learning about penguins.  We will write non-fiction "books" sharing the facts we have learned about penguins.

Have a great weekend!