Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Fourth Post -- November 28, 2008

It was another busy, but exciting, week in our classroom. The children enjoyed learning about our new literacy and math centres. During our literacy block, we taught them a special chant to help them remember the sequence of events in The Three Little Pigs. See if your child can teach this chant to you.

As an exciting event in math, the children are not only continuing to work on their number recognition and counting skills, but the SK children are learning about combining sets, which is a precursor to addition. While many of the students will tell you that 5+5=10 or 2+2=4, they have just learned these addition facts by rote, and they are still learning what this actually means. We are discussing this meaning with them through our shared math activities.

This week, we also completed some of our inferencing activities, which are now displayed in the classroom for you to look at during your parent observation interviews. Some of the children even wrote the expectations to accompany these activities. We are excited to show you how much the students' writing has developed since September.

Have a great weekend! We look forward to meeting with you next week during our Parent Observation Interviews.

Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Third Post -- November 22, 2008

It has been another busy week in our room! We just finished our latest round of literacy and math centres, and the children are excited to learn about the new centres that we will begin next week. Check out the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website for specific information and photographs of the different centres.

We are continuing to complete our shared reading, interactive writing, and calendar routine. The children love discussing their acts of kindness, and they are working hard at performing 102 acts of kindness before the 102nd day of school. Please e-mail us about your child's acts of kindness, and then we can add this information to the Kindergarten Website.

As a group math activity, we are working on developing the concepts of "more" and "less." Children are sequencing sets of objects that have varying numbers of items from the smallest set to the largest set. Through exploration, the students are learning that counting the items in the set and then writing down the number of items in each set help them when they are completing these sequencing activities. Some of our math centres also allow the children to independently explore the concepts of "more" and "less."

We look forward to another exciting week of fun and learning!
Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Second Post -- November 15, 2008

It was another busy week in our classroom! The children were excited when we introduced our new literacy and math centres. Talk to your children about the different activities that we complete in class. In the coming weeks, you will be able to read and view photographs of these new literacy and math centres under the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website.

Last week, we continued with our morning message routine, our shared reading routine, our modelled reading activities, our independent reading activities by way of our reading buddy time, and our calendar routine. Our first post has more specific information about these different activities.

We look forward to another exciting week!
Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our First Post -- November 8th

Many of our Kindergarten colleagues that have websites have added a blog to their website, and we thought that this would be a great addition to our website too. We will update our blog once a week with some highlights of the week. You can then use this blog as a starting point for discussions with your children about what happened in their school day.

Here is some information about what we did in class last week:

Literacy Block -- We continued with our daily morning message (an interactive writing activity). The children are excited to fill in some of the missing sight words from our message (e.g., is, the, and). They enjoy singing the sight word songs, which help them remember how to spell the various sight words. Ask your child to teach you these songs too. We also have a "mystery word" as part of our morning message. First we review the Jolly Phonics' sounds that we have already learned (s, t, p, i, n, a, d), and then the children have to blend some of these sounds to spell a mystery word (e.g., sit). They quite enjoy this challenge and love coming up to the SMART Board to write this mystery word.

We also continued with our Literacy Centres that were introduced the previous week. A description of these centres along with photographs of the different activities are available for you to view under the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website. Guided reading is an important part of these centres.

As a shared reading activity, the children reviewed the Months of the Year song. We searched in the song for different months, and the children used the reading strategy of "using initial sounds" to help them read the different words in the song. A copy of this song along with some follow-up activities are available for you to download from the B.E.A.R. Box link on the Kindergarten Website.

As a modelled reading activity, we continued to work on the school-wide focus of inferencing with the help of the book, No David. Children shared some of their inferencing ideas in partners and then in a big group before completing an independent writing follow-up. We only completed this activity with the B Class, but we will be completing this same activity with the A Class in the coming weeks. We will be displaying the written follow-ups for you to view when you come in for an interview in December.

As an independent reading activity, the children read and discussed their Snuggle Up books to our wonderful parent volunteers. Thank you for all of your help with this program! Please remember to return your child's Snuggle Up book every Wednesday (B Class) and Thursday (A Class), so that your child can get a new one.

Reading buddies is also a very important part of our independent reading program. The children love to read from their B.E.A.R. books to their reading buddies. Their reading buddies also read to them, and they ask them inferencing questions at the end of each of their books. This is really helping our students develop their inferencing skills. Thank you so much to Mr. Little and all of his wonderful Grade 8 students for making our Reading Buddies Program a tremendous success!

Math Block -- We completed our various calendar activities. We use the Starfall calendar on the SMART Board to help get all of the children active and participating in our calendar routine. We then use a calendar that we created in the SMART Board Notebook Software to help the children develop their patterning, number-printing, and counting skills. We are counting along to the 101st and 102nd day of school, so that the children can celebrate this milestone with the 101 and 102 dalmations. Each day, we read from Blue's First 100 Days of School to find out what Blue does on each special day. The children use the picture clues to make predictions about what Blue will do, and then we read to find out if the predictions are correct or incorrect. The children enjoy reflecting on their predictions. Every 10th day of school, we also read Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler to find out about what kind acts Mrs. Ruler's class has completed. We have challenged the students to complete 102 acts of kindness before our 102nd day of school. This is an important part of our character education program. The children are thrilled with this challenge and working hard to figure out new ways to be kind at home and at school. Check out the acts of kindness that the children have already completed under the Activities link on the Kindergarten Website.

We also continued with our Math Centres that we introduced the previous week. A description of these centres along with photographs of the different activities are available for you to view under the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website.

For our modelled math activity, we are working on sorting. As a class, we created an anchor chart of different sorting rules, and we use this anchor chart to complete different sorting activities. The SMART Board is often used for these sorting activities.

Important Note: We integrate Art and Science into our Math and Literacy blocks. When reading about our different Literacy Centres and Math Centres, you will see the Art and Science expectations that we use listed there.

We look forward to another very successful week!
Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne