Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our first "full day" went very well. Reports from the lunch time supervisors were all positive. The longer schedule meant that we had time to actually play for a bit, something we haven't found time for in quite a while now. There was some great sharing and cooperation, and the clean up got done lickety split.

I sent home a note with permissions for the blog. Please read and return. It goes into effect starting tomorrow, December 1. Thanks.

Here, in the meantime, is a peek at the activities so far this week.

Monday morning began with some open-ended exploration of the math rods. I saw a variety of work.



A rocket ship

A-B patterns

Faces—reminds me of an old Apple Macintosh icon


Soundabet mastery....

Ian did it today.

Our longer schedule permitted time to get out the building blocks, playdough, etc. Here are a few things that were built with the wooden blocks.

November's weather record. Lots of sun in California!
 Tomorrow will be our first time with fifth grade buddies. I think it will be fun. It usually brings out the best in both the fifth graders and the kindergartners.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

News Item of Note:

(a note similar to this was sent home with your child today)

Wednesday Dismissal Times

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, November 30, the kindergarten schedule on Wednesdays only will be extended through lunch to dismissal at 1:15. Remember to order a lunch by phone from the school or pack a lunch for your child to enjoy. The procedure at lunch will be very similar to what they did on the Walk-a-Thon day.
Our 1:15 dismissal—15 minutes before the other grades—is intended to increase safety while also relieving parking lot congestion. If you have students to pick up in grades 1 through 6, you may come a little bit later and pick up your other children at their usual 1:30 dismissal time.
Please share this information with all people (relatives, family friends, etc.) who might pick up your child at dismissal on Wednesdays. Thank you.
All kindergartners not in daycare must be picked up here from inside the kindergarten classroom.  Come early, park your car, and get your child from inside the room. Remember to hold hands in the parking lot.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

It looks like we'll get some wetter and cooler weather for a while. It's been a wonderful run of clear and warm fall weather this year. This new weather makes me think of the holidays and indoor pleasures of hearth and family.

We're starting to work on writing and reading skills. In my reading center we're making little books of words. This week it'll be color words. Here's table 1 working on their books.

A closer view of the writing. Pretty good and will get better.

Anthony's day to bring snack—a healthy snack based on fruits and vegetables at that.
Carrots, pineapple, grapes, and crackers. Here's what one plate looked like as we tucked up to the table.

Conferences will occur next week. I'll be waaay too tired at the end of these long conference days to put up a blog post, not to mention I won't be in the classroom on Monday.

Look for the next post after November 28.

Until then, be well.

Have a good Thanksgiving holiday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our new shirt supplier gave us free shirts. Everyone in kindergarten should have taken home a green shirt today. Here's a class portrait in our new shirts:

Later on in the morning we put a little more practice in on the "Train Game." More than half of the kindergartners have got the idea of the game now, but more practice is still needed. They'll get more practice in centers this week.

Aidan brought a book about a dragon.

In KIDS club we worked on color sight words and handwriting. Tyler wrote these words today.

It was a good thing that we took time out to ride bikes this morning to celebrate Vanessa and Caleb's accomplishments with regard to the Soundabet. Had we not done so, we would not have gotten any bike riding time in today. That's because our last lesson of the day, a handwriting lesson, took seemingly forever.  I had hoped to spend about 5 minutes on what I thought would be a simple lesson.


After 25 minutes we were 1/8 of the way through the exercise. Hopefully tomorrow's exercise will go more according to expectation.

Be well. Stay dry!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's see if I can squeeze in a post here before the faculty meeting....

Today two kindergartners arrived at a very important milestone on the road to reading—demonstrating that they know all the Soundabet in uppercase. Like Nathan, they are now ready to move on to the lowercase Soundabet.

Congratulations to Caleb and Vanessa!! You're on your way!

And he wasn't even nervous about doing it in front of the class.

King's Card by his name

King's Card by her name

Vanessa with the Queens Cards to practice at home.

We introduced a new game that will be one of the math centers in the next round of centers called "The Train Game."

I think we need one more time with this game before we really get it....

Off to a staff meeting this afternoon.

Get outside if you can. It's sweet out there.

Be well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Here's a quick look inside kindergarten today:

 In math we made a graph to show which color was chosen the most as "favorite" color.

 Blue won, with pink a strong second. I'll bet you can guess whether I've got more boys or girls in kindergarten.

 Dominic knows everyone's names.

 Tyler's snack was delicious. Those carrots were home grown—sweet and crunchy. The pumpkin muffins are out of this world.

 We visited the library and heard a story about a dog who was Always in Trouble.

Olivia knows all the names, too!

Have an outdoor afternoon.

Be well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

What a great day! Some days are more full of happiness than others. Today was one of those days.

We began the day simply enough—sorting math blocks by color and seeing which color had the most blocks at each table.

 I showed some of the tables how a ruler can be used to quickly find out how many blocks were in a stack. (These blocks are actually rods with square cross sections exactly 1 centimeter wide and thick so using a centimeter ruler works great for quick counting.)

We will use these rods more later on in the year on Monday mornings.

 We found the missing piece for the fire engine floor puzzle. Tanner, Caleb, and Nathan put it together.

 Nathan became the first member of the class to be able to name all the Soundabet cards within 75 seconds. To honor this educational milestone, he gets a deck of Queen's cards so that he can repeat the feat in lowercase letters. He gets a King's card up by his name on the wall, and, to sweeten the deal, we got extra bike time today. Any and all kids who join Nathan in the King's club will receive similar treatment.

 Tanner brought a happy snack of string cheese, little tomatoes, and round crackers.

 He also brought a seasonal book to share with the class.

 Here we are enjoying the late morning sunshine outdoors and happy.

The morning ended with Ian getting all the names of all his classmates. This heart is up by his name to commemorate this milestone.

Later on in the afternoon I was pleased—very pleased—to find out that Vanessa has learned almost every Soundabet. She's going to be joining Nathan in the King's club before long.

Yeah everyone.

Be well.