It's a Kindergarten Thing 9/16/16

Ms. Victor 2016-2017

Upcoming Events

Sight Words



Remember to practice reading from the purple reading folder. This week there is a white sheet in the folder. Please keep it in the folder. After I test your child on his/her words he/she will color the words to show that those words have been mastered. Some children are coming home with 2 books this week. That is because they knew all of the words from the next book (so essentially skipping over it), but I still wanted them to "show off " their great reading to you!

The goal of these folders is to give your child practice with the sight words in the context of reading. Right now the goal is for them to read the stories pointing (not sliding) to each word as they read. If they get to the rebus (picture) and they say monkey bars instead of jungle gym, for now that is fine. If your child is more advanced in letters and sounds you could say something like, "Oh, look at the word under that does it start like /m/ /m/ monkey? Hmmm this word starts like /j//j/... can you think of what this might be called? Do you know another name for monkey bars?" If your child is not there yet, let it be called monkey bars as long as they are pointing. We are looking for things like left right progression, turning the pages, holding the book in the right direction and of course reading the sight words! Don't feel like you have to read all the stories every night, pick 1. :) Continue finding words in context as described below! It's so exciting to find words in print!

This week we will focus on learning the sight words list above. You can help by having your child go on a word hunt in the book you are reading and in your environment. Can they find the word? Many will find the word within another word. For example, they may think "at" or "am" is the word "a" because they see an "a" in it. They might also see "the" in the words "they" and "then". Explain to them that the same letters are there but when other letters are added it makes a new word.

Word Work

Review and blending of letters. We have learned eight letters and their sounds so far. My mixing them together we are able to read and write the following words:

a, am, at, do, go, hi, it, to act, cat, cod, cog, cot, dig, dim, dog, dot, got, mad.

Developmentally speaking, children hear beginning sounds, then ending sounds, and finally medial sounds. We will stretch out these words (segment) and write each sound we hear together. When your kids are writing independently they may only be putting a string of beginning sounds together or beginning and ending sounds, or beginning, middle and ending sounds. Some have figured out spacing, some are not ready yet because they haven't latched on the the concept of a word in writing yet. It will come. :) We are there to continue scaffolding these concepts until the brain takes hold of it and it becomes part of them. :)

For those who want extra practice on the letters, check out the other videos on my website:

Reading Workshop

This week we will be reading and learning about the season of Fall. We will be focusing on t he job of the author and what really happens to leaves as they change color.

We will be making connections comparing two fall books.

Writing Workshop

Writer's workshop we have been doing some of our own writing. I'm including a variety of pics so that you see the continuum of writing I discussed above in letter sounds. NO MATTER WHERE YOUR CHILD IS ON THE CONTINUUM it is a celebration! We all develop differently and at different rates. If your child is getting letters on paper or writing words or sentences it is writing!


This week we will start our formal teaching of handwriting. It will follow the same sequence as our letter introduction. We will review the letters we have already introduced.


We will be continuing to expand our knowledge of numbers to 10 this week. Can your child show fingers quickly when given a number or do they need to count each finger? When rolling a di can they "see" the number or do they need to count the dots? This is all part of having a great number sense. We want them to be able to "see" these numbers so that when addition comes around they are not counting each group together. We want to get them to a place to see patterns in numbers. So if adding 7+8 (this will be in 1st grade) they might see a ten frame of 8 and 7 and visually move two spots from the 7 up to the 8 to fill it to make ten, they then see 5 remaining and know that 10 and 5 is 15.

Snippets of our week

A couple of videos this week. One is a greeting that we do each morning and the other is a clip of our actions that we do with each letter sound.
Letter Factory

Science and Social Studies

So I forgot my small popcorn popper that lets them see the kernals popping so we will do that on Monday. The marshmallow experiment was a hit. I'm sure you've heard about our marshmallow in the microwave - whoa! It was huge and then it caved in, and then it stuck to the plate like cement. In all the excitement I forgot to get pictures! I need a full time video team! LOL!

I did get a few pics when we were using our sense of smell to guess the smells in the cups.

This week we will be focusing on all things fall. How does our world change around us? Not only nature with trees, but what happens to plant? Which ones are coming into harvest? How does our clothing and our activities change? What is happening to the temperature and our sun? What are the fall holidays we celebrate? We will also be doing some leaf rubbings - maybe a few from real leafs, but also from some plastic templates. I am going to hold off on leaf collections until the leaves start to turn a little more.

Routines and Rules in our Classroom

Ok. So those of you who have been with me for awhile, have probably noticed a change in "classroom management" I use to be a color chart person, with kids moving their names up and down the chart when their behavior warranted such movement. Last year, I gave up the chart and really focused on discipline instead of punishment/reward. Our behaviors all through life are full of natural consequences when rules aren't followed. As you know we have learned all about why we have rules (to keep us safe) and who makes rules (everyone) so we can live in our community peacefully together. We learned that we all make mistakes and it's ok, we just need to take responsibility for those mistakes (have a humble attitude). With the color chart there was a lot of stress and anxiety in the day of whether their clip would move up/down and a lot of great intentions (if you are on purple today you can have an ice cream cone/if you are on red today you won't have tv this weekend) turn south when that would happen. Although it was hard at first, I love not having a chart, I think all of us are a lot happier with out it. That doesn't mean we don't get corrected if we are acting up it just means there is not a "punishment" to go with it. Of course, if someone ever had a pattern of behavior that needed your attention I would contact you and we may decided to work on a target/goal sheet for awhile.

I say all that to say this: On the progress report there are areas I have to mark for "Characteristics of a good learner" They get a "grade" of 4, being consistent behavior, 3 most of the time, 2 some of the time to a 1 being needing a lot of support for the behavior. I will send home a chart or figure out a way to link it either this week or next. At this point I would say no one would be getting less than a 3 in any of the areas with the exception of following directions :) then maybe some two's. My plan is this starting Monday I will have a sheet for each child and during the day or at the end of they day I will place a tally mark if it was an issue. If any week I see several tally marks in an area that may warrant a 2 or 1 for the week I will email you and let you know. It may be an off week. If we notice this becomes a pattern then we can come up with a plan together. I just don't want any surprises at progress report time but I don't want to send home a sheet every night or even once a week with kids unless needed. If a 3 will be a surprise to you or not sit well and you want to be notified, please let me know. When you see the guide I think you will see that many will be a 3 or 4 and both in my opinion would be great as a 5/6 year old.

I've included a funny video about the color chart and I will send home a copy of the scoring guide via email or in their folders.

Noah Ritter behavior chart

Information Regarding Progress Reports

    1. Another comment question being asked is “Will percentages be utilized to reflect student grades?” Elementary teachers will not report proficiency via percentages at any grade level. Pure mathematical averages do not accurately report a child’s true level of proficiency of a standard. In fact, percentages can actually penalize a child for what he/she didn’t already know at the start of a unit of study. A variety of learning evidences over time, in conjunction with teacher professional judgment, and a child’s performance on a Final Demonstration of Learning (FDOL) is more strongly correlated to an accurate depiction of student learning. Teachers at our intermediate levels, particularly sixth grade will work with students to help them understand the ranges of Academic Indicators and how those will relate to the percentage grading system found in our middle schools. It should be noted, throughout middle schools many teachers are also practicing standards based grading. The transition to Standards Based Grading and Reporting is often most appropriate at the elementary level first where a foundation of learning is being built which requires measurement of self to learning target without the need to translate that data to grade point averages, class ranks, etc.