Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Silent Reading Smiles

I decided to give "silent" reading a try.  If you teach kindergarten, you know that reading at the beginning of the second nine weeks of kindergarten is far from silent!  We've been talking about saying those sounds, spelling that word aloud, looking at sounds we know, etc.

I know it is the first week of the 2nd quarter of kindergarten, but some of my kiddos are beginning to read and excitement is building.  Our day is very tightly scheduled, so I thought "why not?!"

We started yesterday, and it was a bit rough, but we made it through.  Today I told students I was going to read while they read.  This was in hopes that they would not be wanting to talk to me during that time.

We were about 30 seconds into our reading when (from across the room) I heard "Miss Hennon, what's the word on page 6."  After a little laugh out loud, I reminded my friend that we are all reading SILENTLY (or in a quiet whisper) and that I am not sure what his word on page 6 is.

This silent reading time ended with a little reminder of things we might do if we don't know a word. :)  I asked students to share something they read about with a partner and many were able to do this, so I'm feeling pretty good about day 2.  Going to be working on building stamina for some time I believe.

How is your week going?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Self-Evaluation (Coloring)

I've noticed that my students' coloring is less than desirable sometimes.  I have also seen that many of my students have the ability to color well, but they are in a hurry to move onto the next thing (even if they don't know what the next thing is!).

While scouring Pinterest, I've seen some great self-evaluation rubrics, but decided to take some different ideas and combine them to make something my students could follow.  You can download a copy here.

I hung these (with the rubric attached) for students to refer to when they are coloring.  They should look at areas where they gave themselves 1 or 2 stars to see the areas they need to work on.  I'm hoping this helps their coloring and will also help with illustrating their pictures!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall Fun

October seems like it is becoming as crazy as May!  I can't believe we are more than halfway through October, and the end of the first nine weeks is this Friday.  Our current unit of study is "Cornucopia", which is our fall unit.  This year, it hit at the perfect time as the leaves are turning and falling, the weather is starting to get cooler, and pumpkins are out in full force.

At the writing center, students are writing shape books about pumpkins and apples.  There are 3 pages in each book and a list of words at the writing center.  Students then have the opportunity to read their books to the class at the end of centers, which is their favorite part!

At the science center, students are coloring a tree for all seasons.  Each line separates the tree into a different season.  Students then create buds and leaves to show the correct season.

At the dramatic play center, we've been raking leaves for our babies to jump in.  Love 50 leaves in a pack from the Dollar Tree!  There are also pumpkins and apples for students to play with.

We are the proud authors of a book available for free in the iTunes store!  We walked around the school and took pictures of numbers we spotted with our iPad.  After taking pictures, each student chose a picture and wrote a sentence about it.  My university student and I wrote the sentences out on a dry erase board, and students did the typing on the iPad.  Finally, we recorded students reading their sentence. You can get the book by clicking here.  We love to see people downloading our book from all over the place.  My kiddos are SO PROUD of being authors!

This week is Grandparents Day (Thursday) and our Halloween Party (Friday).  Any suggestions for a Grandparents Day activity for 50+ people (23 kids and their grandparents) in my classroom?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday WOW {October 16}

I'm linking up with Curious Firsties for their Wednesday WOW linky party.

My celebration this week is quick.  I had all my kids complete their homework last night!  This is the first time it has happened all year. :)  It's the little things that make me smile!

What are you celebrating today?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday WOW {October 9}

I'm excited to be linking up again with Curious Firsties to share my "Wednesday WOW".

I am going to share a little fall art project my kiddos and I worked on this week.

I was slacking on changing my display in the hallway.  We still had "All About Me" hanging, and I was ready for a change after seeing those every time I walked to my classroom!

I bought a fall paper pack at JoAnn's over the weekend.  I cut many pieces (I didn't count) into 1" strips and put them all in a basket.   Each student then chose paper patterns that they liked.  They glued these strips on a piece of white copy paper.  The directions were to have the strips touch one another, but as you will see, that didn't always happen.

After covering the white paper with colored strips, we worked on the pumpkin part.  I cut the hole in the middle of the pumpkin.  Students then continued the cutting.  They cut out the inside of the pumpkin shape.  We then glued the "scrap" over the strips of paper.

Below you will see some finished products.  I'm looking forward to enjoying these for the next few weeks!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Five For Friday (Saturday)

Last night got away from me, so thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for allowing us to still link up on Saturday to share a little about our week.

1.  We went on a field trip to the Nature Center this week.  As the name would suggest, we spent some time in nature walking through the woods.  This is an annual trip for our kindergarten kiddos.  Our local university runs the nature center and provides guides to help us explore all the changes of fall.

2.  Our current unit of study is our body.  Students are making people at the block lab.  They have been given a digital camera to document their creations.  Many are still struggling to hold the camera still for a decent picture, but here are a couple good ones.

3.  Rhyming has been a struggle this year.  I only had 8/23 kids who could rhyme at the beginning of the year, and only 2 of those were really strong.  We have been playing lots of games and apps to building our rhyming abilities.  This was a simple card matching game.  We are well on our way to having the whole class identify and produce rhyming words.

4.  I have a student in my room from our local university doing her "prestudent teaching".  She is with us a few afternoons a week and this week had to teach 3 lessons.  She decided to introduce addition. I was shocked to see that with no introduction, 7 students had a perfect score on the pretest.  Way to go my little mathematical class!  I'm looking forward to having her back with us in the spring to complete her student teaching.

5. This one is not school related, but could be since I got the recipe from a coworker!  I made some apple bars.  They were super tasty and a great fall treat.

What was the highlight of your week this week?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday WOW! {October 2}

I'm linking up with Curious Firsties for their "Wednesday WOW" linky party.  I'm excited to share something successful in my classroom today!

I was thinking of different ways to practice sight words on my way home last night.  I was trying to think of things students to do to practice while I was working with small groups; incorporating technology would be a bonus.  Here is what I came up with:

Students chose a sight word flashcard and propped it up on the laptop.  They then typed the word and pushed the space bar before typing the next word.  These laptops are old laptops that no longer work and were just sitting in the computer lab!  I snatched up 3 of them to use as a small group center.  They L-O-V-E-D it and were so engaged in their "typing".

It is my hope that this will not only help student learn their sight words, but that it will also help their typing skills begin to develop.  Having some knowledge of where letters are located on the keyboard would be very helpful when trying to use technology for project-based learning.  It is a win-win!

How were you and your students successful this week?