Friday, November 6, 2015

Math, Color Wheel, Jigsaw Sentences and so much more!

Hello Families,

This week field like a short one, with being off campus all day on Wednesday for our fun Field Trip!  Here are a few moments I wanted to share with you!  (Actually, more than a few because the internet was fast, and there was a lot of fun learning to share!)

Color Mixing!
Please see a page on this!  (Both pages this week-surveys and colour wheel- include science and math concepts!)  We mixed our own colours and the kids worked together to see which ones looked similar and to begin classifying all the colours that were made.  We had a great discussion after, which a part of is included on the reflection page!

Interesting Brainstorms:

As a continuation of our discussions about yard games, safety and our choices, I asked the students what is so intriguing about chasing games.  They really hit the heart of the matter when someone brought up the scary/fun element- that is the exciting part- that you could get caught bu the person, but you are trying to get away!  This is a common play theme at this age.  There is so much power and excitement involved in chasing, getting away, and the connection with a friend that goes along with this.  If someone wants chasing you, they must  be interested in you!  :)  (At least that may be part of this feeling!)

Here is their brainstorm:

A second conversation that we had was the first step leading up to our class name.  We go through this process to identify attributes and words that feel valuable for this group of students right now.  (As we go through this process, I will keep you posted!)

Hopefully the class will come up with a name that is meaningful to them, so that we can have a group identity, rather than having their identity only connected to "Kindergarten" or "Jennifer and Clara's class"!  I am excited to hear what this group of people feel is important to them and how they compromise and discuss this!

It is exciting to see how many things they identify with!  They are so capable!

Jigsaw Sentences:

There are so many elements involved in learning to read and write.  One key ingredient is having fun while we learn!  (Otherwise it is just overwhelming and we want to give up).  The students played a simple game in which they were looking at pieces of a sentence to determine what order it is supposed to be in.  Each group also began looking for important clues: A capital letter goes at the beginning of a sentence, and a period goes at the end.

This game is one of the many I have gotten from Peggy Kaye's book: Games for Reading.  She also has two other books: Games for Writing and Games for Math.  I recommend these books often because they are so easy to pull games from and most all of the games can be played with simple items from your home.  Of course if you want to get fancy, you can always get fun supplies from Michael's to make the games pretty or with colours/characters that your child likes!  Two other reasons I like this series: A) each game includes a short comment about the child she created it for- so that you can see if it sounds like something your child might need, too.  B)  She labels the game's approximate grade level (K-2), so that you can see which skills go where in their development.  I think they are older books that you can find used for under $3 (plus $3.99 shipping) on Amazon!

Sight Words: Another way we play!

We have been collecting sight words in our morning messages for the last two months.  Sight words are also sometimes called high frequency words, and are words that are small and used often that we encourage students to memorize so that they can say them at first sight, rather than spend time sounding them out. (Sounding out words takes a whole other group of skills!  We are working on this in tandem with the sight words!)

With all the words we collected, we can almost make whole sentences.  This has led us to begin playing various games with our sight word cards.  This week's game: To take a card, identify the word, then make up a sentence using it.  For some friends this is a harder challenge than others.  You can play this at home or in the car, too, with any word.   If you give your child a word, then they have to think up a sentence using it.  Then your child can give you a word.  The sillier the better, but just make sure it does make sense as a sentence.

This work has also been helping the students to utilize these words correctly: letter, word, sentence.  For instance our Friday morning share sounded like this: My word is are.  I am going to share a sentence with this word in it:  You are a kind friend.  This is leading us to identifying more parts involved in writing and reading.  And it has been fun, too.

Here is an image with the sight words we used on Friday:

Here are all of the words we have been practicing so far:

the      going   good      do     go     will
day     we     lot     love     are     to
in     it     it's     our     all     of     off
how     hi     open     this     read
for      and     hand   hello     some      make

Ten Friends:

We are doing different activities to support the students to connect to how 10 is made up.  Eventually, when the students begin to know the "Ten Friends" ( 7 &3, 4&6...)  by rote, they will be able to utilize this knowledge to solve harder problems.

Math Talks Notes:

I am excited that students are internalizing more of the academic language involved in our math discussions.  This week when I asked the students the two questions: How many dots do you see?  How did you see it?  I was able to ask a third question, after they explained what they saw first, or how their brain is already grouping and sorting and sifting the visual information.  When I asked, "What is the equation for that?"  Everyone was able to tell the equation I needed to write to depict how their brain put the dots together. 

 This is interesting stuff!  By looking at others' thought processes, the kids are noticing how many ways we can solve problems and also different strategies to get to a "Friendly Number" or a familiar pattern or number.  For instance with four, many of them used the image of a square to help them know that the dots are four, without having to count.  This is important cognitive processing so that later they can solve larger problems!
Notice the similarities and differences between the two group's thinking.

Where in the world did we go this week?

This week we "went" to the UK!  This was inspired by the poem, Try, Try Again, which was written by an 11 year old in Stevenage, UK.  I am making a page on this to send you next week, so stay tuned!  In the mean time, if you would like, look up images of the UK (both city and rural) and have a family moment talking about this country.  The kids were able to identify many things that are the same and different to living in San Diego!  I wonder what will come up in your family discussion!

Also, I started collecting one memorable image from all of the places we've "gone" together so far.  Come on in to check it out!

Thank you for taking the time to read, which honors all the hard work and inquisitive nature of these amazing kids!  
Have a beautiful weekend! Love, Jennifer

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