Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hot Chocolate Smiles


 Students were treated to Starbucks hot chocolate as a holiday treat. Matt asked each child how he/she preferred their drink...with peppermint or with whip cream?  Lots of smiles with some yummy hot chocolate!!
 Thanks from all of us for the special holiday drink for our class!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Celebrating Reading With First Grade


First grade celebrated one of their reading milestones with our class this week. Each first grader paired up with one of our kindergarten students and read a book to them.  It was great for all of these young readers to share books with each other and make new friends in the process.

Better Not Pout -- Keeping Behavior in Check

 It's that time of year when the kids are so excited that "you know who" is coming to town! A way we keep them in check is our "Better Not Pout" bags.  Each day that they have good behavior, they get small treat in their bag:  a pencil, eraser, candy, book, or small toy.  This works like a charm and they check every day to make sure their bags are getting fatter and fatter.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book of the Month: "Gingerbread for Liberty"

Today we read a great book based on a true story called "Gingerbread for Liberty" by Mara Rockliff. This story is based on the life of Christopher Ludwick a German baker who just loved his new country "America." You might think it was a lot for Kindergarten students to understand but they followed the story intently. They loved the part of how he saved all the broken pieces for the hungry children around his shop and how he fed the hungry soldiers. It was a wonderful piece of forgotten history that we all enjoyed reading. To celebrate the book, students enjoyed mini gingerbread men and it all of a sudden turned into their favorite book!!

Thanksgiving Day: What are we thankful for?

As is the tradition, the last day before Thanksgiving break we love to ask the children what they are thankful for. It gives them time to reflect on their young lives and say what is the most important to them: mom, dad, grandparents, brothers, sisters and school. The children drew and water colored their turkeys, cut them out and glued them on their Thanksgiving placements. They will be laminated as a keepsake for future Thanksgivings. Happy Thanksgiving -- Love - the Mall-ard class!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pow Wow: Beginning, Middle and End

 Family Make and Take Night - Making our igloos and Inuit village.
 Homework  - Create your own Inuit representative.
 Getting dressed for the big day.
 Final touches for Pow Wow.
We are ready to go and join in the 18th Annual Chets Creek Pow Wow - what a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Inuit Representatives - Making our Own

 After learning about the Inuits clothing, students were invited to make their own representative person. They know the weather is very cold in the winter and they need to dress it accordingly. They had time in class to talk about how they made it and what materials they used. They are learning a lot about our neighbors to the north.




 These are now on display outside our classroom.

Pow Wow Preparation - Kindergarten 2015

 The biggest event of the Kindergarten year is happening this week.  We are preparing for Chets Creeks 18th annual Pow Wow. It is a time when kindergarten students learn about the original people, also known as Native Americans. This year we are the Inuit tribe. Our class has the igloo representation hanging outside our class. On Friday, students and their families will be celebrating all of their learning in a culminating Pow Wow. Also joining in the celebration will be representatives from the Lenape, Iroquois, Sioux, Nez Perce and Seminole tribes. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to share what we have learned about the first Americans.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pattern Books: Reading and Writing

During the past few weeks, we have been learning about pattern books which includes different types of formats, for instance,  question/answer, counting and opposite books. These are the books that most of the children are reading at this time. This week, the students were invited to pick a few books from their book bins and sort them.  They read the first few pages and the class would give their opinion on what kind of pattern book it was. Afterwards, students were encouraged to write a new type of pattern book that interested or inspired them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pattern Books - Planning, Writing, Editing

For the past few weeks, we have been learning and writing about pattern books. Pattern books are books that focuses on a topic and it can tell different things about that topic. It can be fiction or nonfiction. They range from just labeling a picture to writing stories with a common refrain. Today's lesson was about revision. Students were invited to get one of their favorite books from their folder and see what they can add to it and/or fix it up.  The big surprise was that they were allowed to use a red pen to do the additions or deletions. The results were amazing - just see what a little red pen can do to add more to a piece.
This pattern book is about butterflies.  Before the red pen the sentence was "Butterflies have colorful wings."  After the red pen, a sentence was added, "They have two wings."
"Butterflies have babies." "They have two babies." "Butterflies have eyes." "They have two eyes."
"I love butterflies."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Literary Character Parade 2015

 Every year our Kindergarten and First Grade students have a wonderful time getting dressed as one of their favorite literary characters. They parade the halls of the school and show off their book and costume. After the parade, the children enjoy arts and crafts centers. At night, the students come back to school in their outfits and trick-or-treat through the same halls. Finally, they enjoy the Fall Carnival to cap off a great day of memories.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Crazy Pumpkins in October

Fall is upon us and it is crazy pumpkin time. Students loved making these "out of the ordinary" pumpkins and they are now growing in our classroom pumpkin patch.

Five Senses - The Sense of Smell

 
In Science, we are discovering how keen our sense of smell is. Students were given cups numbered from 1to 4. Inside each cup was vinegar, vanilla, coffee, and lemons. Children used their sense of smell in order to predict what was in each cup and then drew their predictions in their journals.
In this pictures, K was trying to determine if it was a sweet smell or sour smell.
 Student predictions were sketched into their Science journals.


Children discovered that the sweet things were generally things that they liked.
 It wasn't as easy as it looked. Students had conversations and rethought some of their responses. Some were convinced that they knew what was in the cup, until the foil was removed and they saw what they were smelling.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Math Bingo - Number Recognition

We have another great way to make Friday - Fun Day and that is to change it up with Math Bingo. In this game the children get to practice number recognition from zero to twenty. We have noticed that they had some difficulty with the teen numbers and thought this would be a way to make reinforce understanding of those numbers.  It works every time!  BINGO anyone?



















Friday, September 25, 2015

More Nursery Rhymes and Phonemic Awareness

 Nursery rhymes continue to bring smiles to our kindergarten students. We have been taking familiar rhymes to the next level with songs, dances, and art projects. What can be more fun that one "Jack Be Nimble?..."
...How about a wall full of Jack Be Nimble.  This is a great way to reinforce rhyming words and build phonemic awareness.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Decomposing the Duval Math Way

 Kindergarten students spent Math time decomposing the number 3 today with materials, drawings and expressions. One activity was for students to draw three flowers using two colors. Then they had to show the number card that represented how many red or yellow flowers they drew. In this picture, this student is showing the number card of the total number of flowers she drew.
Then students were invited to add the expression/equation that matched their drawing.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Reading in Reader's Workshop

Today students practiced reading privately (with their partners) back to back. Each partner set has time to "read" his/her own books before meeting and reading them together. Children may look closely at pictures, discuss favorite parts, or retell their "star" books. These are books they have heard many times and have no trouble picture reading the stories. They may include "Three Billy Goats Gruff, Caps for Sale, and Where the Wild Things Are. When private reading is over, they just turn, sit side by side, and share a book for partner reading time. This is fast turning into a favorite part of the day.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Humpty Dumpty - Phonemic Awareness with Nursery Rhymes


Rhyming words (phonemic awareness) is an essential ingredient in learning to read. One way we practice rhyming is working on one nursery rhyme a week. Humpty Dumpty is a class favorite. We read the rhyme daily (shared reading), dance to the song (movement), and then draw a picture for a nursery rhyme book. This a a great way for the children to have their own special copy of their books and read them to each other.

Writer's Workshop - The Beginning Lessons

Writer's Workshop is picking up speed in our Kindergarten room. Students are writing teaching books. This paper is teaching how to have a birthday party. Children are learning how to add details to their pictures and labeling beginning sounds to their pictures. It's all the little lessons behind these lessons that make our writers independent learners. They now know where to get their markers, paper, sharpened pencils and how to file their work in their folders when they are finished. All of these little "tuck in" lessons are what makes Writer's Workshop a time when students know what to do, what is expected and how to carry on confidently.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Environmental Print

 All last week the children thought we were crazy collecting their empty snack packs. Today was the big reveal. While lining the items on the ledge, they were asked, "Who can read these?"  Much to their amazement, they all could read them: "Oreo Mini," "Capri Sun,"  "Lunchables" and "Pirate's Booty."  Children come to school knowing much more than they realize. The reading lesson focused on approximations of what they think certain signs say around them, for instance  (Main Office, Dining Room, and Bathroom." Students were also shown the logos w/words for Burger King, McDonnel's, and Target. The children were very excited to discover that they can "read"!
Using sentence strips to teach some common sight words along with environmental print.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Kindergarten Class - SMILE

We took a few minutes on the second day of school for a group photo. The tee shirts were given to us compliments of our fabulous PTA. Children are encouraged to wear them on Fridays and field trip days. The Kindergarten Class of 2015-2016 welcomes you to follow our adventures on this blog and join in on the fun under the Big Top!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Class Promise - Classroom Rules

In Kindergarten, it is very important to establish rituals and routines that help the class run smoothly. Our class promise is something that the children helped us come up with and gives us rules to follow during school time. After the rules were decided, they each drew a picture of themselves and we glued them around the promise. It is a daily reminder of our classroom expectations.

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day Excitement - a Dog Circus Act

 Every year Principal Phillips loves to WOW the students upon their return to school. We never know what it will be, so we are as excited as the children to see what the surprise is. This year, we were entertained by a Circus Dog act. These dogs were amazing. They climbed stairs, did dances, and jumped through hoops. The children were mesmerized by their performances.
Doing a high wire act is nothing for this puppy. What a great way to have the first day of school. I guess Kindergarten isn't so scary after all!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Welcoming our Youngest Learners

The door to the classroom will be welcoming our newest learners on Monday. We are very excited to meet and greet each child to "The Mall-ard's Magical Kindergarten" experience as we are all Under the Big Top at the Greatest School on Earth!!
Of course we will be having more fun "than a barrel of monkeys" while learning all we can!! Can't wait to see all of you this Monday!!