Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bingo Book Bonanza - 25 Book Challenge


This week students were rewarded for reading their 25 books for this quarter by attending the principal's Bingo party. Every student in the school who attained the 25 Book Challenge had the opportunity to play bingo with the principal. There were all kinds of prizes: stuffed animals, books, and games. Every student in our class was a winner and went home with a special prize. It was a great way to reward the children for something they love doing anyway...reading!!

Double checking to make sure they didn't miss one!

Lots of prizes to choose.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saehae Bok Mani Badseiyo.- Korean New Year - Year of the Dragon

Korean New Year on PhotoPeach

Saehae Bok Mani Badseiyo which is Happy New Year in Korean. On Tuesday, we celebrated the Korean New Year. Ms. Hanna came in to teach the students about the biggest holiday for the Korean people. It is a time to celebrate the family - past and present. The first thing they do on this special holiday is to wish each family member a Happy New Year. After first having bowed before each other, the parents will sit down on the ground and will receive their children's greetings for the New Year. While doing this, the children kneel down in front of their parents, performing a deep bow by touching the ground with their forehead (Sebae). Ms. Hanna taught the children these bows and "B" was gifted a hand-made headband for her most gracious bow. The students learned where Korea is on the map and were shown a slide show of the special holiday foods. The children were also given special Korean cookies. Thank you for sharing your wonderful traditions with the class!
Celebrating the Year of the Dragon on PhotoPeach

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Martina Una Cucarachita Muy Linda; Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: Un Cuento Cubano / A Cuban Folktale (Spanish Edition)

Martina the Cockroach Retelling on PhotoPeach
Every month Principal Phillips chooses a book that the whole school receives for their classroom library. This is called our "Book of the Month." This month we received the book "Martina the Beautiful Cockroach" by Carmen Agra Deedy. However, the book was in Spanish. The lesson was to experience how children who speak other languages must feel to be handed a book and asked to read without understanding. This opened our eyes to feeling what others must feel in this situation. Luckily, a few days later, we were also given the English version of the book and were grateful so that we could share this wonderful book with the students. Then we thought that we didn't want the Spanish version to just "go away." Again luck was on our side when our room mom (who is Cuban-American) not only read the book to our class in Spanish, but brought props and food to accompany the experience. Thanks Lourdes for the excellent performance of "Martina Una Cucarachita Muy Linda"...and such a lovely cockroach you were!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Morning Message


One of the student's favorite activities each day is reading the morning message. This is when they find out some of the news of the day. In the beginning of the year, the morning message had all the letters and punctuation. As time has gone on, the message changes...a capital letter may be needed, some letters in words may disappear, and punctuation is added. During this ten minute time frame, students learn everything from sight words to quotation marks. Vocabulary words, compound words, antonyms, and synonyms are also sprinkled in from time to time. Children are called on via name cards to go up and correct the message. If they get stuck, we help them remember some basic rules: the first letter of people's names are capitalized, days of the week are too, and if it is asking a question, then of course it gets a question mark. As you can see from the before and after photo, they are learning a lot about sentence structure in kindergarten.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Learning about Dr. Martin Luther King


Students were very interested in the books displayed and wondered who the man was on the covers of these books. We read the book "Martin Luther King - A Picture Story" to the children. It told the story of Dr. King as a young boy. Interesting facts included his love of baseball and other sports, he loved to use "big words" like his father the preacher, and how he started college at age 15. After two years in school, he decided to become a minister. The book also told how he felt when he didn't go to the same school as his friends. It was hard for many of the children to understand the reasoning behind some of the things that happened, but they did understand his message of being kind to one another. We celebrate his birthday on Monday...he would have been 83 years old.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blend Ladders - Using Short Vowels


Recently we have added "Blend Ladders" to our Skills Block each day. By using the short vowels and consonants each ladder is created. For instance, ba, be, bi, bo, and bu would be the first ladder. This CV (consonant, vowel) will help students recognize most short vowel words - especially when adding the next consonant letter. After we brainstorm words on the ladder, students write and draw the ladder in their Skills notebook for extra practice. They are now noticing these words when they read and write.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Author Visit: Carmen Agra Deedy


What a treat it was to come back to school after the winter break and have an author visit our school. This was not just any author...it was Carmen Agra Deedy! Carmen is a New York Times bestselling author and has been writing and traveling around the world telling stories for more than twenty years. Her books, including 14 Cows for America, The Library Dragon, The Yellow Star, and Martina the Beautiful Cockroach , have received numerous awards and honors. Born in Havana, Cuba, she came to the United States as a refugee in the 1960s. She told the story of her journey when she was just three years old. She didn't want to leave the land she knew but it was not safe to stay there. Carmen loved to listen to baseball games on the radio and told of her first trip to see a baseball game. The students were enthralled with her storytelling and so were the adults. Afterward, some students went to have their books autographed and they just loved meeting her.
Carmen Agra Deedy Visits Chets Creek on PhotoPeach

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We Are Back in 2012


Everyone was back in school today excited to share how they spent their holidays and what they got for Christmas. It was great seeing all the children and we noticed a slight growth spurt in some of them. Today was "Resource Day" which means the students have the opportunity to go to Music, Art, P.E., or the Library and have a teacher who specializes in that subject teach them. Today they had Art. They learned about Origami (折り紙?. This is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The children created their own origami dogs. They had a great time and were very proud of their puppies!