Teen Numbers

We are working hard on teen numbers this week. We are working on naming teen numbers out of numerical order as well as building understanding of teen numbers as one group of 10 with some left over. Some children are exploring other ways to make teen numbers like 8 and 5 make 13. Here are the kids playing teen spin which helps the kids focus in these skills.

We have a dream…

This week we learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. The kids did a wonderful job tackling this complicated subject! In some ways, the topics equal rights and racism are simple for the kids, they simply believe in kindness and judging others by their behavior and actions. The kids find it so hard to believe that bigotry exists and it is so heart warming to see their naturally kind spirits. Kids notice physical appearance and skin color but love each other anyway. It is so important to talk to kids about race and equity just like we would talk to them about gender or people with disabilities. We can notice and celebrate our differences, be proud of our heritage, and still treat others with respect!

We were inspired by a variety of great read alouds. It was fun to talk about how Beulah Ralph, our school’s namesake was active in the civil rights movement here in Columbia. She help with the process of desegregation in Columbia Public School. The kids were thrilled to learn that our school was named for someone who was a leader like Martin Luther King!

We celebrated Martin’s dream of kids of all races joining hands together!

We wrote our own dreams for the world. The kids had some wonderful dreams. Some dreamed for everyone to be kind, everyone to be friends. Some dreamed for the rich to share with the poor and some dreamed for everyone to be treated fairly. Some dreamed for all children to have a school to go too and all people to have a home to live in.

Learning Lately

A short post for a short week 🙂

Reading- We read about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. We continued our work in small groups practicing sight words and using strategies to figure out words we don’t know.

Writing: We wrote our very best personal narratives this week. I will share those with you at parent teacher conferences. We enjoyed free writing time in which the kids got to write whatever kind of writing they would like.

Math: We learned about explaining our thinking and “proving” our answers when we solve number stories. We learned to tell “how we know” our answers with pictures and words.

Science and Social Studies: We focused on respect this week as well as learning about Martin Luther King Jr.

Learning Lately

Reading: We continued working on tapping to read words, capital letter formation as well as practicing alphabetical order. We worked on thinking as we read and remembering what we read. We continue to practice reading and spelling sight words regularly.

Writing: We are wrapping up our personal narrative unit next week so we are fine tuning many of the skills we have learned like drawing with details and telling first, next, and last. We are working hard to write sentences with word spaces and our best spelling.

Math: We played games to practice making combinations to 10. We continued practicing counting in various ways as well as recognizing teen numbers. We practiced writing numbers as high as we can. We went on a very fun shape walk around the school and found shapes everywhere.

Science and Social Studies: The weather this week has given us much to discuss in terms of science. For social studies we focused on  being positive.

How to Catch a Star

Today Mrs. Davidson came to teach us about mindset with a special book called How to Catch a Star. This fun story is all about a little boy trying to catch a star. He had to try lots of different things and did not give up. It was hard but finally in the end he made friends with a starfish and finally caught a star.

We talked about all the things that can be hard to learn and how to keep on trying.

Reading Sacks

Tomorrow your child will bring home their reading sack for the first time. Below is some information. This information will also be printed and in the reading sack itself.

Reading Sack

The reading sack includes all the books your child has read and practiced during our small group reading instruction. These are books your child can read independently with only a few challenging words or parts. Your child should be very comfortable reading these books by the time they bring them home. You will notice that most of the books will be the same with one or two books rotating in or out each week.

Rereading books is an important part of improving as a reader. Rereading helps children memorize sight words, practice reading fluently, build confidence, and focus on remembering and retelling the book.


What to Do with the Reading Sack

Your child will bring the reading sack home Tuesdays and Thursdays. The books and the sack MUST be returned the following day so we can use the books during our small group reading time. These books are school property and if they are lost at home I will not be able to send more books home with your child. Please use these books as part of your 15 minutes of daily reading and record on the reading log. You can just write “reading sack” as the book title.


You can have your child practice the books independently or read them aloud to you or both. If your child gets stuck on a word or makes a mistake, try the following questions/prompts to help them figure out the word independently:

  • Did that make sense?
  • Is that a sight word?
  • Can you tap it?
  • Look at the picture.
  • Say the beginning sound.
  • Go back to the beginning of the sentence and reread.

Try to prompt your child before telling them the word to build independence.


After reading, discuss the book with your child. Practice making connections by asking, “What did this book make you think of?”, or “Do you have any connections to the book?”. Then ask your child to retell the story events to you in order. If your child is unable to remember what they have read, please have them reread the story and try again to retell.


Happy Reading!

Learning Lately

Reading: We continued our work with blending sounds together and breaking words apart with tapping. We also continued to practice sight words. We read fun winter books this week and continued practicing making connections.

Writing: This week we used our writing time to finish sharing about our family traditions, clean and organize our seat sacks and finish up a special surprise project.

Math: We played a variety of math games and counted by 5’s and 10’s. We  explored capacity by scooping with different sized containers and comparing how much each container will hold.

Science/Social Studies: We continued learning about a variety of holidays celebrated in winter like Christmas, Kwanza, Divali, Hanukkah, and other holidays!  We learned that each holiday has something special and unique about it. We also learned that many holidays celebrate love, peace, light and hope!

Family Traditions Sharing

The kids have done a wonderful job sharing about their family traditions! It was really special for each child to have a chance to share, and for the rest of us to get to know each other on a deeper level. Thank you for your help preparing your child at home! I compiled all the family traditions forms into a class book and made a copy for each child to take home. Hope you enjoy reading it!

Gummy Bear Party

Today we celebrated our great behavior with a gummy bear party! You may be wondering…”why gummy bears?!” You may also be wondering, “what does one do at a gummy bear party?!!?” I got the idea for the party because the kids love dancing to the gummy bear song!

Here is what we did…

I left a little clue on the kids tables to help them figure out the theme of the party.

We started the day with a 5 lb bag of gummy bears! The kids enjoyed feeling how heavy it was.

Don’t worry- we still have 3 pounds left for another day. We did not eat 5 pounds of gummy bears in one day!

We started by setting up a gummy bear experiment. We hypothesized and checked our results later in the day to see what happened.

We transformed ourselves into gummy bears by making hats!

We danced the gummy bear dance multiple times!

We made bear origami…We went step by step.

We sorted and graphed gummy bears to round out the gummy bear experience with a little math.

What a fun and silly day!

Learning Lately

Reading: We practiced the name, sound, and formation of z and q this week. The kids are getting really good at lower case letter formation. I am encouraging them to use neat handwriting and form the letters “the kindergarten way” each time they write. We focused on making connections when we read books as a class this week. We also worked hard on to read and spell the, to, and went. In small reading groups the kids worked predicting, retelling, reading sight words and figuring out unknown words with picture clues and beginning sounds.

Writing: In writing we focused on doing our best spelling. We pretended words were like bubble gum and practiced stretching words out slowly and writing all the sounds we hear. We also talked about copying words correctly from the word wall, books, or around the room.

Math: We are working toward mastery of shape names and attributes. We also practiced naming teen numbers this week. We played a fun matching game where the kids matched numeral cards with 10 frame cards showing the number in a different way. We introduced counting by 5’s as well as practicing counting by 1’s, and 10’s.

Science/Social Studies: Our cool tool this week was “Just Say Ok”- we worked on responding respectfully when teachers or other kids try to talk to us about a problem by listening and saying ok. We also continued learning about wants and needs with a variety of read alouds and discussion.