A Peek Inside Our Classroom: Literacy Stations

The kids have been really enjoying literacy stations! We have iPads (listening to books and ABC games), art, storytelling, letters and words, finger play, puzzles, writing, class library and stay curious (science and social studies). The kids get to pick the station they start on and we rotate through 1-2 stations each day. The kids work with a partner at their station. These stations are designed to give the kids a chance to practice literacy skills, fine motor skills and build their background knowledge. Now that the kids are able to work independently, I am beginning to pull small groups or individual students to work with me.

Here are the cuties at work!

Learning Lately

Reading- We focused on the name, sound, and formation of a and o this week. We practiced writing sentences as a group and counting syllables in 2 syllable words. We continued to play sound games to help us break apart and put sounds together which are essential skills for reading. We read and discussed non fiction books about fall.

Writing- We added, “write about something we care about” to our writing checklist this week. We read the book In My Heart by Molly Bang and thought about all the people and things in our own hearts. We made a class heart map listing topics we care about that we could write about. Each Monday we have a “sharing circle” in which the children have a turn to share about their weekend. Telling stories aloud helps the kids develop skills they will use to tell stories on paper.

Math: We played Dot Top It to practice comparing numbers to see which number is biggest or smallest and which numbers are equal. We continued describing shapes and learning about triangles. We played games to develop concepts we will need for addition and subtraction later on like the number board and pocket problems.

Science/ Social Studies- We enjoyed a Mystery Science video about if dolphins and sharks can have babies. We pretended to be quail, raccoons, and woodpeckers and learned that animals do different behaviors to find food! We also had a cool tool (school wide behavior lesson) about how to behave at an assembly.

A Peek Inside our Classroom: Math

Everyday Math:

You may have noticed that we seem to cover a lot of different topics each week, and revisit topics from previous weeks instead of sticking to one top at a time. This is because our math curriculum, Everyday Math, is designed to be a spiraling curriculum. The idea is to teach, reteach, and expand on topics over time rather than teach one topic until the students master it and then never talk about that topic again. We still practice topics until the children have mastered the topic, we just practice and revisit topics over time. This helps the children remember what they have learned more and see connections between different topics and concepts.

Everyday Math has a big variety of games, partner activities, whole class activities, and individual work. Our activities are very hands on and we do very few “worksheets”. We do have a math workbook we will use later on in the school year. A lot of our written math work will involve writing or drawing to make sense of a concept like a word problem, or a game recording sheet. Everyday Math also strongly emphasizes math concepts in the real world.

 

ST Math

ST Math stands for Spacial Temporal Math. This is an online game that kids play independently. ST Math is unique because the games are completely visual and don’t involve literacy skills like listening to explanations or reading directions. The kids help Jiji the penguin move across the screen in different ways while learning various math concepts.

September Citizen of the Month

We are so proud of our September Citizen of the Month! Yay!

The kids did an amazing job of choosing and celebrating our friend! We sang a fun song today to remind us how important it is to be proud of others for their success. We also talked about how it is ok to feel sad or disappointed if you do not get something but it is important to focus on being happy for others!

Learning Lately

Reading- We focused on the name, sound, and formation of c and o this week. We practiced writing sentences as a group and counting syllables in 2 syllable words. We continued to play sound games to help us break apart and put sounds together which are essential skills for reading. We read and discussed The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We also began literacy stations this week. The kids are enjoying a variety of activities that help them learn about reading and writing. As the children are able to participate in their stations independently, I will be able to work with small groups of children on reading skills each child needs.

Writing- We worked on following our checklist of steps to write which includes: put my name at the top, think and plan, draw with pencil first and show who, what, and where. We also read the book Ish by Peter H Reynolds which showed us we don’t have to be perfect but we can “think ishly”. “Thinking ishly” is a silly way of saying we try our best even if it is hard and that is how we learn and grow.

Math: We continued our work with counting.  Sharky the shark puppet helped us learn about numbers 8-9. We worked on describing shapes using words like straight, pointy, round, curves, sides, and corners. We also learned about repeating patterns and growing patterns. We played a fun game called Dot Match Up which is like memory using cards that show numbers with different patterns of dots.

Science/ Social Studies- We enjoyed a Mystery Science video about the biggest apple in the world. We learned 6 rules of living things to help us refine our understanding of living and nonliving. We applied the 6 rules we learned to a plant and figured out it was living!

Our Classroom

The classroom is well on its way to becoming OUR classroom! I purposely leave the room a bit bare at the beginning of the year so the kids can be involved in making the room a place for them.

The kids made name tags, name art and paintings. We displayed the kids pictures as well as pictures of each child’s family. I love to see the classroom transform each year into a unique space that is special to all of us!

Learning about our Schools Namesake: Beulah Ralph

Today a special guest visited our class, Monica Naylor. Mrs. Naylor is Beulah Ralph’s daughter. We learned a little bit about Mrs. Ralph and why she is such an important part of Columbia history. Beulah Ralph was an educator in Columbia Public Schools for decades. She began as a secretary and eventually founded the Home School Communicator Program. Mrs. Ralph was instrumental in CPS’s desegregation process. The Home School Communicator program was initially started as a way to assist black families whose children moved schools as part of the desegregation process. The Home School Communicator program now continues the legacy of equal opportunity education by assisting all families as needed. Mrs. Ralph’s work has been, and continues to be an inspiration to educators.

We want our students to know all about Beulah Ralph, feel proud that are school is named for her, and share her legacy with others. Even though Mrs. Ralph has passed away, we can keep her memory alive and continue her work.

Mrs. Naylor’s visit is a great way for kindergarteners to get to know Beulah Ralph. When Mrs. Naylor visits she tells the students a funny story about her mom when she was a little girl. Each child gets a copy of the story to color and enjoy reading.

The kids really enjoyed Mrs. Naylor’s visit today! We are so thankful she comes to visit each year!

Dot Day!

Today was Dot Day! This day is inspired by the book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. This book is all about learning to try even when things seem hard. When you try, you can learn. The Dot is also about being creative. We had fun giving some art projects a try!

First we figured out how to take a straight pipe cleaner and turn it into a “Dot”. The kids then made their own dot decorated with beads.

We drew dot doodles.

We did a little science inspired art by decorating coffee filters with markers and spraying them with water.

We rounded out our Dot day with admiring an artistic style that is all about the dot. We took a look at some aboriginal art to see how to use dots to make amazing paintings!

Learning Lately

Reading- We focused on the name, sound, and formation of u and i this week. We learned that some letters are vowels and some letters are consonants. We continued to play sound games to help us break apart and put sounds together which are essential skills for reading. We read and discussed F is for Flag and The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh.

Writing- We continued to work on our drawing skills. We learned to draw with pencil first, then color in with crayons. We also practiced writing our names neatly on the line. We continued to practice using writing materials independently like getting a pencil and paper, and putting our papers in our folders at the end of writing time.

Math: We continued our work with counting.  Sharky the shark puppet helped us learn about numbers 4-7. We explored the number 5 in depth using different materials to make the number in different ways. We played a game called quick looks where I show the kids different combinations of dots quickly and they try to see the number without counting one by one.

Science/ Social Studies- We enjoyed a Mystery Science video about the Northern lights-also known as auroras. We learned about the American Flag. We also learned about the Beulah Ralph words kind, respectful, responsible, positive, problem solver. We focused on what being kind means as well as noticing kind actions throughout the week.

Counselor Time with Mrs. Davison

Mrs. Davison, one of our school counselors, visits our class every other week to teach our class. She teaches a variety on concepts. Our last two lessons have focused on safety. The kids are learning about unsafe situations, how to recognize them and what to do if they happen. The kids are learning to recognize unsafe situations, refuse (say no or ask an adult), and report (tell the adult in charge).

Today we learned about bullying. We learned it is not just being mean! Bullying is hurtful and that keeps happening over and over.

Thank you Mrs. Davison!