Friday, May 16, 2014

Week in Review--Zoo!

-We had ONE sight word this week-- “came”.
-The CAFÉ strategy we worked on this week was the strategy.
“Compare and Contrast W/in and B/w a Text and Two Texts”
I always enjoy teaching this strategy. Students enjoy searching for clues in the text that are similar and different. They engage in discussions comparing characters, settings, and problems in the text. These discussion and the "search to compare" connects readers to the text and deepens their understanding.

Once readers are introduced to this strategy, continued practice and support from home will encourage continued use of this strategy to increase comprehension.
How can you help your child with this strategy at home?
  1. When comparing two items discuss likenesses and differences of what is being compared.  Begin comparing two people or places and then move on to comparing the characters or settings in a story.
  2. When reading to your child, model this strategy by thinking out loud.  This may sound something like, “This story is a lot like _____ because _____.  I noticed _____ and ____ are very similar.  I also noticed a few differences.  Some things that were not the same are_____.”
  3. After reading two different stories, discuss the following:

·         How are these stories the same?  How are they different?
·         Compare the characters in each story.

·         How might you compare these stories?


-This week in writing we started off on Monday by getting a new check list that helps us monitor what we need in an opinion or persuasive writing. This writing checklist has three items you have to do in order to have it completed correctly. The first section you have to state your opinion the second is give three reasons to support your opinion and last you need to restate your opinion to finish your sentences or your paper you can also use a feeling in that restatement. On Tuesday we practiced what to do if you're trying to spell a big word and you’re stretching it out and it's just too big to hear all the sounds. We used a chart that told us to say it clap it and write it. We practiced writing lots of big words by first saying it together, clapping out the syllables, then writing each one down to write the big word all by ourselves. On Wednesday, we learned how to use our word wall from our seats in order to write words that we know. We practiced by looking at the word we wanted to write taking a mental picture by pretending to hold a camera and take a picture of the word and then write it down on our paper and look back at the word to check to see if it was correct. We finished our writing up this week by doing a themed writing all about our zoo field trip. We wrote an opinion on what our favorite part of the zoo field trip was and why.


-This week in writing we focused on a new skill that is not necessarily a standard for kindergarten this year but will be next year, GRAPHING! We practiced graphing as a whole group using a new app on the iPad called Haiku Deck. We graphed our favorite ice cream flavors and our favorite zoo animals. We then transitioned that practice into practicing graphing as a Math by Myself choice using a dice and colored counters. We call this choice “Race to the Top”. The object is to see which number gets the most rolls and reaches to the top before the other columns. After one reaches the top, the child is to ask themselves which one has the most, least and if there are any ties.

Zoo week was incredibly fun! We learned about a different animal each day. Monday we focused on elephants, Tuesday Lions and Wednesday giraffes! We then put all of our fresh zoo knowledge together on Friday after we went to the zoo and finished up a project on all three animals! We also enjoyed sharing our favorite stuffed animals from home and comparing them in several ways by where they live, what they eat, if they can fly or not, do they have fur or skin and so forth. Thank you to all of the chaperones for sticking through the chilly temperatures to give these kids a lasting memory of the zoo!

-We finally had nice enough weather outside to release our butterflies into the wild. They were a bit shy at first, but with a little help made it out of the only place they have called home and flew away for their next adventure. We completed our last two entries into our Butterfly Journal by illustrating our observations of the butterflies before we released them and then what they did, what they looked like or where they went once they left! We were sad to see them go, but we know how happy they are to be free to fly all around!
-We also took home our bean seeds at the end of the week. The seeds have grown rapidly since we began watching them grow. We were excited when we first started to see roots sprout from the seed and were even happier to see a stem and even a few with leaves!

Practice at home:
PRACTICE SIGHT WORDS! I will be retesting students who have not mastered all of the sight words form this school year next week. If you received a GREEN paper that has words circled that your child does not know. PLEASE practice at home.

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