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.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week in Review--Mother's Day AND Operation American Pride


-This week in writing we had a great time learning about how you can right words to make a point. When you write a word sometimes you can make it bold you can make it underline you can make it wiggly, lopsided or even different colors. We practiced writing our opinion in bolding certain words that were important. The class also helped me fix my own writing by helping me figure out what I was missing. I forgot to have three reasons why my opinion was important to me and they helped me realize I only had one. We finished our writing this week by working on how to make an ending. We have always wrote and ending by using a feeling and now they need to use that feeling but also restate their opinion. For example, I could say I really like ice cream or I could say I'm excited when I eat strawberry ice cream for an opinion paper about strawberry ice cream.


-In math this week we added a new choice to math with someone, where we work with our partner on ways to make 10 by playing a game called “bears in a cave”. The idea of the game is to hide some bears under the cup or in the cave and the other partner is to guess how many bears are in the cave after they've counted the bears. Outside the cave there are 10 total bears, so if they know how many are outside by knowing the various ways to make ten, they should be able to figure out how many are inside.


-We had TWO sight words this week-- “when, where”.

-The CAFÉ strategy we worked on this week was the strategy.

“Retell a Story”

Retelling the story is a comprehension strategy used to help readers recall what is happening in the story. It involves telling what is important in the story without telling too much. The most effective way to teach retelling is through modeling and practice. Model this strategy for your students and then allow them to practice.

How can you help your child with this strategy at home?

1. Introduce the Retell Rope described on the ready reference guide in the back of the CAFE book. This strategy provides a visual and kinesthetic reminder for children to help them focus on the strategy being learned.

2. After a brief reminder on what it means to be a good listener, allow students to practice this strategy by sharing a retelling of a story with a partner. Partners should listen to the retelling carefully, prompting with questions about the characters, setting, problem, events, or solution if needed.

3. Make this strategy fun by allowing children to use small props or puppets when retelling their story.

4. Fold a piece of paper into thirds. Have the children use these columns to write beginning, middle, and end. Then, have the children draw a picture that retells what happened in the beginning of the story, in the middle of the story, and at the end of the story. The space is small so children must weed out the minor details of the story and only draw the most important details for their retelling. Then, using the pictures, have the children explain what they drew as they retell the story.

     We had a great week learning all about our mothers and how much we love them. We started off the week of working on a special surprise. We continued working on the special surprise throughout the week I can't talk too much about them here in the newsletter you will see what they are on Sunday. We did have a wonderful time celebrating our moms at our mother’s day muffins for mom’s celebration on Wednesday morning. The kids were so excited and I saw so many smiling families it was wonderful. Thank you all for coming to our muffins for mom’s celebration. We hope you enjoy the muffins refreshments and the adorable craft you made together!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Message

This week was all about Mother's Day. We made crafts, had a Muffins for Mom celebration at school and talked about why our mom is so special. After making one of our gifts for mom, we recorded ourselves wishing her a very special and Happy Mother's Day using one of favorite apps on the iPad "Educreations". We hope all of the mom's enjoy hearing those sweet voices that love you so dearly!