Friday, December 4, 2015

Getting Ready- Story Elements are everywhere!

Hello Families,

The three weeks of December will be busy with all of our preparations for Exhibition Night!  I will be putting less on the blog for two reasons- it takes a long time to upload and write and I will be using that time to help the students prepare, to type their words, to keep track of who needs what support in finishing, and into putting work up!  The second reason for shorter blog entries is that Exhibition feels a bit like an amazing secret that we are excited to unveil that night!  If I share too much, then it won't be as sweet of a surprise...  This is always a bit of a balance, so bear with us!

As always, please make it your family's plan to come in to class once a week with your child to have them show you the work we have been doing, to look at their journal and just to enjoy the moment when your child is shining!

This week we went on a beautiful field trip to the California Pizza Kitchen, so please see that blog entry! Also, it's the first of the month, so there is a blog entry about the new songs and poems, too! (Another reason this week's entry will be short- I am making three this week!  :)

You can always look to the left on the blog front page and see the index of the blog entries by month if you ever need to find an old entry, or you want to print out all of the songs and poems we have done so far to practice and enjoy as a family!

Here is some info from this week!

We are doing so much with surveys and graphs.  This week each student began their own Venn Diagram survey question to ask their classmates.

Please see the reflection page I made about graphic organizers that is attached to your weekly email!

Here are the notes from this week's math talks!  I always find it interesting to see how each small group (half of the class) shares different or similar ideas!  The way they can share their cognition is exciting to observe!

The Estimation Jar is going strong.  This time we have a big disparity of what friends think!  Again, this work is helping the students to practice counting, to organize and group quantities, to see what small numbers make up larger numbers and to understand quantities in general!

Science and Social Studies:
We are investigating habitats/ecosystems and setting!  This is part of the work that is going into our project, "How does setting influence your story?"  The class created their prior brainstorm of setting which also included the weather and the time.  This led us to decide to create setting backdrops for our story workshop area for Exhibition Night.  The class honed our list down and made a shorter list of habitats that would be fairly different from others.  Then the group volunteered to represent these in pairs- one person taking that setting during the day, and another person during the night!  I can't wait to see how they represent this with paint and line drawings!

Our next step was for me to create image banks for each setting so that the class could come in groups to look at these slide shows and discuss what those areas look like, what types of vegetation you find, what shapes and lines would be there, what colours you see, and what types of weather they deduce you would have (based on the landscape and vegetation).  We just began this descriptive work and already it has been really rich!  I love hearing how the students describe things, the vocab they are using and how much this leads to beautiful discussion about science and geography!

Language Arts:
Our sight word bank is growing so much that we had to organize them for ease of use!  The students plan to start using this while journaling, when they forget how to spell it, but know it is one of our sight words!

We have been discussing all the elements of story and have been creating lists for each story we read in class.  The students are becoming more able to identify and explain the story parts.  This week we also began asking what the "message" of the story is.  I am so excited for you to come to Exhibition Night to see all of their research and creativity on this topic!

Another brainstorm for the story elements workshop was today's morning share: Characters that you could include in a story...
I hope this gives you some ideas to make up your own stories at home this weekend!

Social Emotional:

This week my message for all times of the day (especially snack, recess and lunch) was to try to play with new friends, and make up new games to play.  We talk a lot about making choices that will help you learn new things (especially in their Open Choice time work) and this relates to yard time as well.  Many friends were excited to come up with fun new games to play, new characters to be in these pretend play games and also some friends felt proud that this challenge helped them to make new friends in the other Kindergarten class!  What new experiences did your child try this week?

Well, I will sign off for now and go make the other blog posts for the week!  Lots of love to you all, Jennifer

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