As we continue our readers' workshop, I am more and more impressed with the kindergartners growing stamina. During independent reading and partner reading, we spend time reinforcing the skills that we learned in our lessons each week. This week, we began by learning the difference between fiction and nonfiction books. Students did a fantastic job identifying whether the book they were reading was fiction or nonfiction and why. Students also had the opportunity to share the book they were reading with the class and explain how they knew it was fiction or nonfiction. On Tuesday, we learned that there are words that we call memory words (sight words). These words cannot be sounded out phonetically, therefore we must memorize them. We learned the word "the" and tried to find it in our books during independent reading. In our next lesson, we read How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills while we discussed how stories have a beginning, middle, and end. This is a concept we will continue to reinforce throughout the year. We ended our week with a lesson called, What's That Mark? It taught us about four different types of punctuation marks (comma, period, exclamation point, and question mark). Our favorite was using our strong, loud voices to read sentences with exclamation points.
We wrapped up our position words unit by reviewing the main six words, above, below, beside, between, behind, and in front. We also discussed some other positional words such as next to, over, under, on, first, last, top, middle, and bottom. A fun game we learned is called Match Mine. We each got a "Pet Store" with 9 windows and 9 pets. I set put my pets in the windows and gave clues describing the location of each pet. The students had to try to match mine without peaking. Then, I revealed my pet store to see if the students successfully used the clues to match my pet store. We then played this game with a partner to continue reviewing the position language and being able to use it to describe our pets' location in the pet store. The next unit is Counting 0-10. We started learning how to count and write numbers 1-4 so far!
During writers' workshop, we continued our launch unit by focusing on how to be independent when writing. One lesson taught us to close our eyes and visualize the location to add detail to our pictures. Another lesson encouraged students to push through the struggle. Many times if we think we cannot draw something we just exclude it from our picture or story. It is important that students work hard to draw the best they can so that they can add all of their wonderful ideas to their writing. We also learned how to stretch out the words or say them slowly to label our pictures. A strategy we used was to add a _ if there was a sound we heard, but did not know what letter it was. This way students are empowered to be independent and confident writers without the constant support of an adult. They can always come back and edit their writing to add the sounds they did not know initially. We have made lots of progress in writing already!
We spent some time this week learning how to properly hold and use the computers. There is a cart of Chromebooks that we have in our classroom. Students learned how to unplug and get their Chromebook out of the cart and bring it to their table as well as put it away. Then, we practiced logging in with our own password. This took some time, but I am excited with how well the students did. They were very responsible!
There was a Cub Scout flyer that went home in the Friday Folder today for the boys. The meeting is actually tonight from 6:30-8:00 at the Goodrich gymnasium if your son is interested in Cub Scouts.