Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Made It Through!

I made it through my week of teaching kindergarten and got some great family time this weekend as a reward. Now I'm back to the daily grind with some pics on how our first couple of days have gone.

Daily 5: Read to Self
We have started Read to Self as a part of the Daily 5 and so far, so good. The kiddos look like reading experts focusing on their books. When I read stories now, the kids ask if I am going to read the pictures or the words.
Look at all of these readers. I love those little green chairs in my library. Just too cute! The cubbie in the background is what I am using for my book boxes this year. The kiddos just have to put them back by color when they put them away. I also love that they are tucked away and out of sight.
Writing Unit: my Pictures Tell a Story
I have been using Deanna Jump's and Deedee Wills's Writing Unit 1: My Pictures Tell a Story this week and let me tell you that I love it! You should most definitely check it out.

Here is what my first demo writing looked like.
I'm sure Miley would be appalled that I didn't spell her name correctly but we need to go with phonetic spelling to get these kiddos started. I really thought that I might lose some of my kids when I went into the details of the picture but they loved it. They wanted to know more about Miley and even had suggestions for what I should add to the picture. Ha!

Before I sent them to do their own writing, I had them do a check in with me to tell me what they were going to write about. I showed the card on the left to spring some ideas. Most kids choose to write about pets or the first day of school. I used the picture on the right to show what good listeners do when someone is sharing. Both these charts are in the first Writing Unit. I can't recommend it enough. I've really enjoyed using it so far.
 After they had writing time, I picked 3 to share out their writing! They were very sweet and detailed when describing their pictures and writing. 
I used just blank paper to start but starting this week we are using an actual writing page with a box for the picture and space for writing.
Exploring Math
I put out assorted math manipluatives and told the kiddos to explore. I do this every year because the kids are going to play with them the first time you give them to them regardless. It makes more sense to just give them the time at the beginning of the year and then talk about what a mathematician does with these tools later. I also think it is amazing to talk with the kids during this time. It helps you discover what they already know in math.
Pattern Blocks: Lots of kiddos were sorting, making patterns, and stacking the shapes as high as they could.
Unifix Cubes: Kids love seeing how long they can make a unifix cube tower. These cubes are also unique because kiddos can connect and build on all sides.

Dominoes: I had a bunch of kiddos make fences and stairs.

3D Shapes: I left out the spheres on purpose! Ha! The kids had a blast building towers.

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