Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our Twelfth Post -- January 31, 2009

It was another fantastic week! It was Family Literacy Week, and the children were involved in many different Family Literacy activities. On Tuesday, the A Class students were divided into groups with other children in the school, and they rotated to three different literacy activities. More information about these activities are available on the Ancaster Meadow Website. On Wednesday and Thursday, parent volunteers, teacher volunteers (thanks Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Thorne), student volunteers, and administrators (thanks Mr. Clemens and Ms. Laporte) came into our class as guest readers for our special Story and Story Bit Activity. These wonderful volunteers also helped the class retell Mortimer: one of our favourite Robert Munsch books. Check out the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website for some photographs of the Kindergarten Literacy Events.

We also completed our eighth round of literacy and math centres this week, and photographs and guiding questions about these centres are available for you to see under the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website.

This week was also a sad week because it was Courtney Pirie`s last day on Friday. The children said a special goodbye to her on Friday. Thank you, Miss Pirie, for everything that you`ve done!

Have a great weekend, and we look forward to another exciting week next week!

Aviva and Dianne

Students working and learning together during the school Family Literacy Day

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Our Eleventh Post -- Family Literacy Day Update And Video Clip

Thank you so much to all of the wonderful parents and teachers that came out today to help us with our special Family Literacy Day event! We could not have done it without you. The children loved listening to all of the different stories, and they are sure to have a lot to tell you about their various "story bits." You helped the children to continue to develop their love of reading!

Click below to view a video clip of Mr. Clemens reading The Monster At The End of This Book to one of the groups of children. His Grover puppet and Grover voice definitely helped captivate his audience. Mr. Clemens, you are certainly very talented: thank you for sharing your special talent with us!

Check out the Kindergarten Website by February 1st for photographs of the special Family Literacy Day events. We look forward to another fun Family Literacy Day tomorrow!

Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our Tenth Post -- January 24, 2009

It was another busy week in our classroom! The children are working hard at completing our latest round of literacy and math centres. We will finish the centres by January 29th, and then we will post information and photographs of them on the Kindergarten Website.

We noticed that many more children are trying to use the letter-sounds that they know in their writing. If possible, try to really encourage them to do this at home. For children that are reluctant to spell phonetically, we have them try to listen for just the first sound in a word and write it down. They will then use random letters for the rest of the word. Over time, we get them to listen for the first and last sounds in a word and write them down, and then eventually, to listen for the first, medial, and last sounds in a word and write them down. Having your children make cards, write letters, send e-mails, or keep a journal at home are all great ways to get them writing daily and becoming more confident writers too.

We also spent some time in class reviewing a special story that the children will help us retell on our upcoming Kindergarten Family Literacy Days (January 28th and 29th). We are looking forward to these fun events!

In math, we continued to discuss and create patterns. Our students know that patterns need to repeat, and they are working at creating and extending patterns of various complexities. Our discussion about patterns also allowed us to talk to our students about the importance of being metacognitive: thinking about their thinking. They will be learning more about metacognition this year. All of our students were excited to find out that they have been metacognitive all year long ... and we know that they will continue to be metacognitive for the rest of the year too.

This week was an exciting week in our room, and we know that next week will be another exciting week, highlighted by our fun Family Literacy Day events. Have a great weekend!

Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne

Friday, January 16, 2009

Our Ninth Post -- January 16, 2009

It was another great week at school! We have definitely been busy since returning from our two-week break. This week we completed our seventh round of literacy and math centres and introduced new literacy and math centres. The children are enjoying the new centres and learning a lot too! Talk to them about some of the different activities that they are completing in class.

We also had a Learning Community Day on Tuesday. For the majority of the afternoon, we analyzed our mid-point assessment data on inferring. We were thrilled with the results! Approximately 98% of our students achieved a Level 3 or a Level 4 on our Inferring Rubric. This is more than a 20% improvement from our baseline data. Our results proved to us that our students understand what it means to infer. Thank you for all of your help in developing inferring skills at home too! Check out a copy of the Kindergarten Inferring Rubric, also known as The Snowman Rubric, that is posted under the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website. Discuss this rubric with your child. We spent a lot of time going through the rubric together, and the children pushed themselves to achieve the level that they desired. Our students will continue to work with this rubric in the coming weeks.

Have a great weekend! We look forward to another exciting week at school next week!
Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our Eighth Post -- January 10, 2009

Happy New Year Everyone! It is great to be back at school. The children were excited to see their friends again and talk about what they did over the holidays. They were also excited to get back into the regular school routine.

For the first week back, we continued with our Literacy and Math Centres that we started before the holidays. The A Class students finished these centres on Thursday, January 8th, and the B Class students will finish these centres on Monday, January 12th. Check out the Photographs link on the Kindergarten Website next weekend for information about and photographs of these new centres.

On January 8th (A Class) and January 9th (B Class), we also completed our second inferring assessment. We were thrilled with the results! After daily inferring practice through various literacy centres at school, including our guided reading centre and journal centre, the children now understand how to make an inference that makes sense and draws on information from the text as well as their own experiences. For our latest inferring activity, we introduced the children to our Snowman Rubric and had them evaluate their own inferences. We will also be using this rubric to evaluate the students' inferences on the upcoming Learning Community Day. Ask your children to tell you about the Snowman Rubric.

Throughout the first week back, we also spent a lot of time having the children segment the sounds in different words. We have been working on this difficult skill since September, and it takes a lot of practice. The children are making some remarkable improvements though. All of this practice is in preparation for us administering the Yopp Singer (a test of sound segmentation) at the end of January. More information about this test and about how you can work on developing this skill at home with your child is available under the Activities link and the B.E.A.R. Box link on the Kindergarten Website.

In math, we continued to review the concept of "perimeter" with the children. The children have been measuring the perimeter of various objects using candy canes. They know that when they measure the perimeter, they need to measure around the object. Since they are using a non-standard unit of measurement (i.e., candy canes), they need to make sure that the candy canes are close together and close to the object as they measure the perimeter. Try using different items at home to measure the perimeter of large and small objects in your house. This is a great way to have fun with math!

As you can see, it was a busy first week back, and we are sure that next week will be just as busy and just as fun!

Aviva, Courtney, and Dianne