Friday, September 16, 2011

Down by the Station

This week's poem was called Down by the Station. We completed many activities with the poem this week. One of our favorite activities was using a CAFE strategy that we have been practicing with while reading the poem, Tune in to Interesing Words. While reading the poem, the class "tuned in" to any interesting words.

The poem goes like this:
Down by the station,
Early in the morning.
See the little puffer-bellies
All in a row.
See the engine driver,
Pull the little throttle.
Puff, puff! Toot, Toot!
Off I go.

The intersting words we wrote down were puffer-bellies, throttle and toot, toot! When I asked the students what made these words interesting here is what they had to say.

"The author could have chosen to use the plain word 'train', but instead he used puffer-bellies to make it interesting for us!"

"Toot, toot is an interesting word because it's a sound and it was a word in the poem."

WOW! What great reasons as to why the words they found were indeed interesting words. This is the power of Daily 5 and CAFE in our Kindergarten classroom. We use this type of vocabulary on a daily basis and the students are learning what it means and how to apply them in conversation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Check In Page

Curious to see what the page I use during Daily 5 check in looks like? Click the link below for the Google Doc to see! Each round of Daily 5, students make a choice as to which choice they want to go. Once all five choices are an option, I will make sure they go to Read to Self at least one of the three rotations. I can also use this page to see what choices they are choosing more than others and will encourage them to choose one they haven't in several days. I love having my check in page all on one week. That way, both my students and I can start fresh every Monday!

I use pretty much the same format for my Daily 5 Math check in. If it works, why change it?

Substitute Award Winners!

I had a meeting yesterday afternoon and had a substitute teacher in my room. Whenever I have a sub, I ask him/her to write down 2-3 names of students who made good choices, were wonderful helpers and overall stood out in the sub's mind. Below are the three students who she chose yesterday! Way to go!

Listen to Reading

I introduced Listen to Reading yesterday by modeling the procedures and jobs for our fourth Daily 5 choice. Today, we created an I-chart from what we learned yesterday and the choice was open for students to pick. Below are pictures of the job cards and our I-chart, as well as the tape player and students at the choice today. I have four chairs at the listening station and created four jobs, one for each student. Last year, I was able to have one person press play and another in charge of pressing stop/rewind. This year, the cd/tape player is close to only one chair so I had to be creative and think of another job besides pass out books and clean up for the fourth student. I decided to go with the "Card Collector". This person collects the job cards when it is time to clean up and returns them next to my chair to keep for the next rotation.

Tune in to Interesting Words!

I introduced a new CAFÉ reading strategy last week, Tune Into Interesting Words. This strategy teaches students to “tune in” when listening or reading a story for any interesting words they might come across. We read the story Where the Wild Things Are and found 8 interesting words when reading the story! A few of the words we found were gnashed, wild, frightened, rumpus and mischief! When we are reading a story and they hear a word that they might find interesting, they are to put their hand up by their ear as a signal to me that they heard an interesting word. Before I continue reading to the next page, those students will share what interesting word they heard!

CAFE Strategy

This week I introduced the CAFE strategy "Use Prior Knowledge to Connect with Text". Before reading the story Peanut Butter and Jelly we used our prior knowledge of our own experiences with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We talked about how we already know a lot about the topic in the story we were about to read. After reading the story we discussed what parts of the story we knew ahead of time and how there were a few parts that we did not know before reading.

Monday, September 12, 2011

CAFE Mini-Lessons

During CAFE today we reviewed beginning sounds and started learning about ending sounds. We wrote the beginning and ending sound for each picture. Students are currently working on beginning sounds in their writing journals. We will continue to practice both beginning and ending sounds whole group during mini-lessons this week and I will model writing with both sounds in our journals next week.

Our new sight word this week is the word "see". We created our own sentences using this word. One student came up with his own sentence using four of our sight words "I can see a _____." I gave a challenge to the whole class this morning to use their sight word cards from their home folder and create sentences using more than one sight word. Included in the challeng was to see if their parents can do the same thing!

First Class Birthday!