Saturday, October 22, 2016

Building Our Reading Stamina

Every day, after snack, we have "Reader's Workshop." This time has evolved a lot since the beginning of the year. At the start, it was simply a time for the children to go find a book and read on the rug. They could read alone, with partners, or with an adult. I really wanted this to be a time where the children felt cozy and relaxed with a book. It was a time to dive into a cool dinosaur book or retell a familiar Dr. Seuss story. Adults were reading to children as well, getting them engrossed in new books they've never seen before. This time also led to conversations around how we take care of books and how we put them away.

After a few weeks of this, our classroom transitioned to a Reader's Workshop that took place at our tables. Adults and students picked out any three books in the room that really interested them and we would sit and read to ourselves quietly. During this time we discussed how there are three ways to read as a kindergartner: We can read the pictures, we can retell a familiar story, and lastly, we can read the words. We practiced using our "linger finger." This is a strategy of moving your finger over every detail of a picture, telling yourself a story about everything you see. The children really took off with this strategy.

Each day, during Reader's Workshop, we would time ourselves to see how long we could stay engaged in a book. Any time children started to become unfocused or started talking to friends at their tables instead of looking at their books, we simply stopped the timer and celebrated our time. The first day we got an entire minute of engaged quiet reading! Over time, this reading stamina grew to 3 minutes, then 5 minutes. Each day we would record our time on a graph, even if it wasn't the record. We are now up to 12 whole minutes of engaged reading. Our goal is to eventually do 15 minutes each day. Here is our graph:

Last week, we introduced book bins in our classroom. The children pick out two "look books," where they can continue to practice reading the pictures. They also choose three "just right books" to put in their bins. These are emergent reader texts that are allowing the children to start reading the words. As we learn more sight words and letters, these books will gradually become the focus during Reader's Workshop. I am so proud of the kids and their commitment to reading. They are definitely lovers of books!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Here is the alphabet we use in the classroom

So far we have studied, Aa, Bb, Cc, Ff, Ii, Mm, Nn, Rr, and Tt. Practice the sounds at home!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Signs of Fall

This week, we talked about Fall and how the outdoors that show us the season is changing. After reading some books about Fall and brainstorming some signs of Fall we know about, we went out on Thursday to collect signs of Fall. We got milkweed, colorful leaves, dying plants, grasshoppers, and even another caterpillar!

An apple picnic!

They found two grasshoppers

In search of more signs of Fall

L.F. found another caterpillar

Thursday, September 29, 2016

We are working on recognizing and extending patterns in math

Thursday = Woods Day

This Thursday, we got to go outside at 9:00 and stay out until 10:40! We did our read aloud, ate a picnic snack, built/checked on our fairy houses, and wrote...all outside! It was a lovely morning.

Listening to "Fairy Boat," by Tracy Kane and eating apples

Wild Things in the woods.

JW got some fairy dust on his nose!

Writing about the adventures

It got nice and sunny