Friday, October 26, 2012

Math Activities and Home Ideas!

Hello Fabulous Families!

Here is a glimspe into our math activity time today.

One thing we are working on is for each student to connect to the numbers that work together to make ten.  When they know this by heart, then they can use this info for computing bigger number equations.  The students used different formats to identify these "ten friends".  This page will then always be in their portfolio to reference, until they don't need to reference it anymore (because it will be in their head!).

Another skill the students are practicing is noticing patterns in numbers and practicing how to count to these big numbers.  Here the students used the number chart to show us patterns they see.  One they identify something, their next step is to describe or share this with friends, or even write the pattern down, outside of the number chart.  This will lead them to understand the different ways we can skip count, to count faster!

 A game to practice adding larger numbers and also to become confident using the vertical equation type set-up is Train to 30.  (Later the students can try to get even higher!)  The students roll dice and use the Unifix cubes to depict the number they rolled.  Then they set up their equation to add the new number onto the running number.  This takes time to get into the pattern of the steps that you do so that you are documenting and calculating when needed.  These girls got on a roll today, and Lia was just starting her second choice when it was time to finish.  They all plan to keep going next week!

I hope this helps you think of things to do at home, if you wish.  I know there are a lot of games we play at school that I am sure your child would love to show you.  Below, you can see one activity we did in our morning meeting to practice isolating and identifying the sounds that make up a whole word.  This also allows the students to begin to see how many ways a sound is written in our language.  This takes time, because we have more rules broken than norms in English.  But it is fun for the students to notice when words do have a similar set up or letter pattern!

To get started with this game, I chose a word and asked the students to identify the beginning, middle or end sound.  Then once a student has raised their hand and shared the correct sound, the group raises their hand to share words that have that sound in them.  When I write them, the students can see how this can look!  There are so many ways we spell things in English!

I also wanted to share today's class journal entry because it mentions another way to help us with learning at home.  We need some more research about your neighborhood to see how ours are similar and different!

Thanks for all you are doing to support your child and myself.  I can't wait for the Halloween Party!  Love, Jennifer

PS Remember, if you click on the image, then you can make it bigger, and in a slide show format.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Planning for the Halloween Party!

Hello Kindergarten Families!

How is your week going?  Ours is going well.  We are in full swing for party planning!  The students have done lots of the initial steps involved in planning a party.  It is hard work!  But also so much fun.  

If you want to join us, please come Wednesday October 31st at 10:15, with or without a costume!  We do ask that if you wear a costume to chose one without a mask, and one that is appropriate for all the kids' feelings about what feels too scary!  If you cannot come to the party, you can scroll down to see other ways you can contribute, by bringing things for the big day.

Also, the students would like to make little plays up using their costume characters, so you can come for pick up time early that day, at 2pm to watch the shows!  ( We are still planning these, and friends are trying to decide if they each feel brave enough to do this in front of an audience!)

Here is a little about the process...

We began weeks ago by brainstorming what Halloween means to us.  Then we brainstormed what types of things we would like to do at a party.  The students had so many exciting ideas.  As it is our first party to plan, they are figuring out how much to try to do and how long each idea takes to plan and get done.  We chopped some of the ideas off the list to make it a realistic and fun day.  There were many brainstorms along the way: what food we could have, what decorations, what activities, etc.  Here is their final plan.  (I appologize that I cannot change the orientation of the image in blogger.  I hope you can still read it!)

Each student has volunteered to join a committee to get certain parts of the preparation done.  The sign up committee wrote the sign-ups for parent help and involvement.  

The haunted house group has brainstormed and will begin making things we need to turn our construction area into a haunted house building area.  

The poem committee are writing poems for us to do that day, instead of our usual Songs and Poems.  

The Dance Committee has been creating dance moves and making the signs that show and describe how to do that move. 

The Decoration committee is looking at illustrations to make realistic and creative decorations for the class.

Some students have offered their services to more than one committee.

The sign up committee has made sign-ups for you parents to ask you for help they would like- email me or sign up in class tomorrow morning. 

Things you can do before, that don't require you being at the party:

Jobs you can take on if you CAN come to the party:

Other news this week...

The student lead conferences are such a special time for friends to show their work, plan their goals for the year and to show their families their ability to talk about important things like this!  I feel lucky to be involved in each of these!  Thank you to all you families who are making time in the week for this important process.

Things you can help us with at home:

Trees: we have been investigating many types of trees and are looking for artifacts from them.  Today Natalie and Kai found many interesting leaves in transition.  This can be such a colorful time!  If you notice any bark, seed, pod, or leaf droppings in your neighborhood, bring it in!  We are collecting unique artifacts to study and add to our knowledge.

The Sky:  Have you noticed the sky lately?  What an amazing change from day to day.  We have been noticing many types of clouds and plan to investigate this further.  If you would like to email me photos of clouds that you have seen, do!  We will print out some of these and use them in our investigations.  Here are a few I found...

Your Neighborhood:  Please take some time this week or weekend to take your child's home and neighborhood photos.  We are spending time for each students, and so far I have photos for 7 out of the 17 kids.  I hope this is a lot of fun for you!

Family Reader:  Thank you, Shannon, for coming and sharing special books!

Have a nice night!  Love, Jennifer

Our Field Trip to the Library!

Hello Families!  So much is happening this week.  Now that I have the prep necessary for each  of your beautiful student's SLConference, I want  to take advantage of the breaks in my day to post some blog entries.

What a special first field trip we had!  Thank you so much to Leslie for finding the perfect way to start our out of school adventures.  The librarian at the Scripps branch was so thoughtful in creating a well rounded and interesting tour.  She also read a very funny book that was just the topic for us, because we love asking questions!  (Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-it-All)  She answered all of the questions we brainstormed and sent her, so we learned a lot.  I hope your child shared about this fun day!

Our next step is creating meaningful thank you cards for her...

Thank you to all the parents who helped out in driving and in making it a nice time!

Love, Jennifer