Miss Sweeney's Class News

iPads Go Home Every Day!

Beginning today, I will send home iPads every day. There is no expectation of homework or any particular task to do on the iPads, but the students are welcome to practice any of the ones we have been learning in class. I support any decision in your household you might make about limiting screen time. Let me know if you need help from me reinforcing this with your child at school.

*Please be cognizant of the battery life so that when your child brings the iPad to school each day, they are able to participate in the activities we do here.

Math

We have learned many math games already about counting and number words. Each week, we will focus on the main concepts of number sense: forward counting, backward counting, counting objects, identifying numerals (in written form), and structuring numbers (knowing the parts of numbers and how they can be composed or decomposed). Right now we are focused on the number range 1-10 for all of these areas and we will increase the difficulty with higher number ranges as we move throughout the year.
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Alphafriends Book

We have finished our Alphafriends Book! Using the Book Creator app, we completed a page for each letter of the alphabet with pictures, videos, drawings and recordings of things that begin with that sound. Check it out and feel free to add more at home!

Read to Self

We launched "Read to Self" last week! It is an exciting time when we begin our Daily Five training because the kindergarteners learn many of the characteristics and skills of a great learner! We focus on independence, stamina, and accountability. First, we talked about choosing Good-Fit Books for our book bins. These books are ones that we are interested in as well as ones that we are able to read some or most of the words. The book bins are each child's selection of books that are "just right" for them.


We also talked about the ways to read a book. We can read the pictures, read the words, or retell a story we have heard before. This was a very important lesson for the students to understand that reading does not always mean words. It helps them to feel confident as a reader and relieves some of the anxiety they may feel when choosing a book that interests them, but has too many words for their reading level.


After going over the ways to read a book and how to select books, we finally began reading to ourselves. Students had to silently transition into getting their book bins, find a comfortable spot in the room and get started reading right away. The most difficult part is keeping stamina, or reading the whole time without getting tired or giving up. Because it is so difficult, we only add a couple of minutes each day to our practice. Our goal is to build 20 minutes of stamina for Read to Self. So far, we have reached 15. We are getting close!!


This week, we are launching "Work on Writing." Stay tuned as we compete the training of each Daily Five literacy activity. Once our training is complete, each student will be able to choose which ones they want to do every day!

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Writers Workshop

You may have heard about a little club we started.... "The Writing Ninja-Fairies." (Yes the students even named it themselves!) Last week, we launched our Writers Workshop and started a writing club! In this club, we are all writers and we support each other to become even better writers. Each day, we participate in this workshop by listening to a mini-lesson, which teaches us about strategies that writers use, independently writing and working with a writing partner for support, and sharing our work with peers! The sharing part is meant to be reflective for both the writer and the audience. The students support their fellow writers by offering both specific compliments of things the writer did well as well as specific suggestions for how to make their writing even better.


This first unit of the Writers Workshop focuses on narrative pieces, or "teaching books". We are drafting and publishing multiple pieces of writing, each with a topic that we know a lot about and can share with readers. Stay tuned for our author celebration at the end of October!