Learning and Growing Together
This week four more of our kindergarten high-frequency words were introduced. The new words are look, am, me & at. We have used these words in activities, learned songs with these words in them and have practiced reading and writing these words.
The following are the words that your child is hopefully able to (or will soon be able to) read because of the work we have been doing at school:
I am at be me we to see look
We also worked on an activity based upon the language standard of sorting common objects into categories to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent. The children sorted pictures of animals based upon whether you would find that animal on a farm or in a zoo. Once the pictures were sorted, the children used their letter-sound knowledge to write the name of each animal.
We began a new unit in Language Workshop. The theme of Unit 2 is relationships. Through the stories we will be reading, the children will come to understand that they have relationships with family members, friends, neighbors, and school members. Each relationship is unique to the individuals involved. Throughout this unit we will be exploring feelings and discovering how and why feelings might change in different circumstances. The first story we read, With My Brother, involved two brothers. The little brother feels sad and lonely while the big brother goes off to school, delivers newspapers and has baseball practice. But he is overjoyed to see his big brother return. Once he is home the big brother gives the young boy lots of attention. They love to play together at the park. They read stories and make puzzles together at night. Then we read a story about two young girls, When Sophie Gets Angry,... Really, Really Angry. These girls are close in age and like to play with the same toys. The main character didn’t want to share the beloved stuffed animal one day and became very angry when told to do so. She ran outside to take a break while she cooled down. Once she felt calm again, she came back inside and was happy to see her family. She worked on a big puzzle with her sister and parents and then painted a picture of her happy family. We compared the experiences of the siblings in these two stories to see how they were the same yet different.
The big news of the week is that the kindergartners began using our math enrichment app called “Dreambox.” Many children have been wondering if they will be able to do it at home. There will come a time when I will share information with you about accessing the program at home. At this time, we are trying to increase independence with this program and are giving the children time to learn the ins/outs of this app. This app adjusts to how the children answer each and every question so it’s imperative that the children are the only ones answering the questions. The data that can be obtained from Dreambox is used to help plan instruction so we want to make sure that children understand that they are the only ones who should be answering questions. Please allow us a few weeks of classroom time to make sure that we are comfortable with using the app.
This week, we spent time finishing up our MAP testing. The children completed the math portion of the test this week. With the exception of some make-ups for children who were absent, we have completed our first round of MAP testing. Great work, kindergartners! The children were also involved in some small group work during math time this week. With the teacher, the children practiced 1:1 correspondence or conservation of number activities. With 1:1 correspondence, we are looking for the students to touch one object at a time while they count to see how many. We found that some of the errors the children are making may be a rote counting error or needing to be taught some counting strategies. It was exciting to see the growth in this area. For the groups that worked on conservation of number, we wanted them to be able to see that moving objects into different configurations does not change the number. While many of our students saw the objects as being the same amount, many had a difficult time explaining why the number didn’t change. That will be a skill we will be looking at closer in the weeks ahead.