Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sunflower Seeds

You may have noticed some sunflower seeds coming home in your child's pockets yesterday!  We've been exploring the life cycle of sunflowers and the kids were thrilled to discover the hidden treasures underneath the florets of the sunflowers.  

Our classroom was a mess, but it was learning at its best!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Nature Collections

We read a great book today in Kindergarten that introduced many different items, found in nature, that we see during the Fall.

The book talked about collections of items and I'd like to invite kids to start contributing to our class Nature Collection.  At home, please have your child start collecting things like leaves (please press and dry them between paper towels, with a heavy book on top for a few days), pinecones, twigs, or anything else they find outside and want to collect.  They are welcome to bring these items to class and set them on our nature table.  I can't wait to see how our collection grows!

Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Kindergarten Video

It's only the 12th day of Kindergarten and we have already done so much!

We have been getting to know one another, learning routines, learning the letters of our names and our friends' names, working in our Math Workspaces, and observing apples and sunflowers.  Here's a video (click the underlined words to take you there) that shows a little bit about what is happening in our classroom!

You can also copy and paste this into your browser:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Apple Pie

This week we have been collecting apples.  Thank you very much for sending those to school!  One of the books we read was Amelia Bedilia's First Apple Pie.

When the kids saw that there was a recipe at the end of the book, some of them got very excited!  This might be a great book to find at the local library or bookstore.  

Baking at home is one of my favorite experiences, especially for young children!  It's great for them to experience direction following, reading, math, and hands-on learning.

Here is the link to a kid-sized apple pie activity that I wrote from LeapFrog, if you are interested!

Happy baking!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dot Day

It's International Dot Day!  Kids around the country, and actually all over the world, are celebrating their creativity with this book!

The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds is one of my favorites!  It celebrates creativity, encourages kids to keep trying, and works with imagination.

We made our own dot art in Kindergarten today!

Here is a video of the story, if you are interested!

Happy Dot Day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Learning Nursery Rhymes in Kindergarten

We have started using Nursery Rhymes during our calendar time.  The first rhyme we are using is Hey Diddle Diddle.  We spend the first several weeks of school using our felt board to tell the rhymes and singing songs that go along with them.  

In addition to being a teacher, I also work part time for LeapFrog (educational toy company) as a writer and photographer.  I write articles, provide activities, and take photos for their Learning Path website.  Last year I wrote an article on the importance of Nursery Rhymes.  Here is the link to the article if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of Nursery Rhymes.

We also read a great book called Cindy Moo, which connects to our Hey Diddle Diddle nursery rhyme.  The kids loved the story and made connections to the nursery rhyme right away.

I hope  you'll share some of your favorite nursery rhymes with your child!

Writing Time!

Writing time is probably my favorite part of the day in a kindergarten classroom.  Right now, I'm modeling how to tell a story about something that has happened to me.  I might tell the kids about watching my daughter's soccer game and how she scored a goal.  I may tell them about seeing a movie with my family, or anything else that has happened in every day life.  

In the picture, below, one of our kindergarten friends is telling me about how excited she was to hold her neighbor's dog.  She is pointing to the person in the picture and telling me that this is a picture of her (the student) sitting down and how the dog that she is holding is so cute.  

The next student is writing about staying home because it was raining outside.

This student was writing about her family.

At the beginning of the school year, we focus on telling a story with a character (usually the person who is writing the story), a setting, and a significant event.  We practice telling the story and carefully drawing a picture to represent the story.  One of the areas I focus on in our mini lessons is using simple shapes to draw pictures.  We really focus on our fine motor skills at this time of the year.  Today, we also started labeling our pictures.  Some kids wrote their name by the character in the story and other kids wrote ME by themselves.  We learned a song to remember how to spell the word me.

You will notice that the pages in our journals have a line on the page.  Very soon, we will begin writing our sentences below the line.  Our illustrations and labels will go above the line and writing will go below.

We are off to a good start and can't wait to see the great work our authors do this year!

Back To School

We're off to a good start!  The kids are learning the routines of school and seem to really enjoy being in Kindergarten at Cascade View.  I'm excited to share things that are going on in our classroom through this blog. Please explore the tabs at the top of the website to learn more about our classroom and early childhood education.