Funny Bones

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We have been gradually working through our “Amazing Me” health unit.
We explored our five sense through apple tasting. We further refined our senses with a variety of individual work activities such as Braille, matching objects by touch, and matching sound shakers.

Last week we learned about our skeletons. At “play time” some children chose to rebuild our skeleton puzzle and pose sassy ways for a photo op. I did not prompt these sassy poses; it was all the kids. They sure made me giggle.
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To write on the lines, or not write on the lines? That is the question.

imageIf you have ever observed kindergarteners writing, it is interesting to note the many ways the students use or don’t use the lines. You will see children using the lines conventionally and others ignoring the lines completely. You will see students squeezing tiny letters in between the lines.
Parents may wonder what’s ok.
At this point in the school year, it’s all ok. At certain times of the day I explicitly model and teach letter formation with lines. We call it writing “the kindergarten way”. The children are still exploring and making sense of the lines in a variety of contexts. By the end of he school year I will expect all students to be able to write their names and letters “on the lines”. Many children will also be able to create compositions “one the lines”.
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What is Literacy work time?

Literacy work time is an industrious time in our class. The children are busy choosing literacy work all around the classroom. I meet with small groups to provide reading instruction targeted to the groups unique needs.
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The special thing about literacy work time is choice. Each child picks their own work and the amount of time they spend on that work before they move on to the next activity of their choice. On a good day, the child stays busy. More often than not, a child has an amazing day. The child has an epiphany about a literacy concept they previously did not understand. Or maybe the child applies their knowledge and invents their own work, adding more meaning to their learning than any work I could dream up.
Case in point. Here my friend B. has figured out that she can type the sight words on her iPad using a white board app. It was B. who figured out how to type in the app, and B. who decided to use this discovery for such a productive means.
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Hey?!!?! I didn’t teach you that!

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These kindergarteners have been exploring a white board app. I taught them to use the pens to write their name. They learned to take a picture and edit it with pens. Then they taught their friends.

Turns out editing pictures is a handy skill to have…how else could you draw a mustache on your teacher!

I don’t know if I should be proud or annoyed. Just kidding. I am proud. Yup. Proud.