Friday, September 26, 2014

Week in Review--PUMPKINS!

This week's poem was called "Down By the Station". We enjoyed reading, doing the motions and finding the missing words!


-Our sight word this week was the word “see”!

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

“Listen with Understanding & Ending Sounds”

Often when learning new words, children apply the strategy of using the beginning sound to help them identify the word. When they do this, they often guess a word that may not fit in the sentence, it starts with the same letter so they guess and move on without looking at the rest of the word. They may not even know there is an end to the word. To gain accuracy it is important that children also learn to look at the end of the word when reading. Applying the accuracy strategy of using beginning and ending sounds helps with both accuracy and comprehension since reading the correct words will enhance the meaning of what is being read.

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

1. When listening to your child read, encourage him/her to slow down enough to pay attention to the end of the word. Have your child point to the end of the word and tell you the sound it makes. This reinforces that there is an end to the word.

2. Have your child cross check the word he/she just read. Remind your child to ask, “Does it look right, does it sound right, does it make sense?” to help them identify the word.

3. If necessary, revisit letter sounds and the concept words of beginning and end. Then, when stumbling on a word, have your child stretch out the word, saying the beginning, middle, and end sounds. After having him/her focus on the beginning and ending sounds, help your child read the word correctly and ask, “Did that make sense?”

-During a comprehension lesson on our new strategy we reviewed a previously learned strategy that is also one of our 3 Ways to Read a Book--"Retell a Familiar Story". We practiced this strategy by retelling the story we read on Monday by using retelling picture cards!

-We used our Print Concepts CAFE strategies and went through a book focusing on each strategy. Each student had a book in his/her hand and we focused on every part!

-We began a new review game today! This game is called WHAMMY! The class is broken up into two groups and given a cup with Popsicle sticks in it. Written on the sticks are the letters of the alphabet and our sight words. The students take turns picking a stick out of the cup and say the sound of the letter or the sight word, depending on what they took. If they get it correct, they get to keep the stick in front of them and if they get it incorrectly they put the stick back in the cup. If you pull the stick that says WHAMMY on it, you have to put all of your sticks back into the cup. The object of the game is to have the most sticks at the end of the game!


-We continued with writing workshop this week and it is becoming a classroom favorite! We introduced our new journals for writing and talked about writing an “I like ___.” sentence. We discussed how it’s important to continue to add detail to pictures without scribble scrabbling. We also learned what the time of writing workshop should look like and sound like!

-This week we focused on recognizing numbers 0-20. We played several games, watched videos and talked about each number individually and how and why it is named what it is.

-We also introduced two new choices at Daily 3 math. We put play-doh numbers and play-doh shapes into Math by Myself and Number Work! Now the students have two choices at both options.

We had a fantastic week learning all about pumpkins! We started the week off by focusing on various items that represent fall and read a story about a square pumpkin named Spookley and how he saved the round pumpkins! We then made our own pumpkins that were different shapes and colors. We finished the week by exploring the outside and inside of a pumpkin, describing the way it looks and feels and learned how a pumpkin grows from a seed to a full grown orange pumpkin!

We went on our first field trip this week to Exploration Acres. We enjoyed playing outside on the tube slide, the pile of hay, sand box, the grain bin of corn and so much more. We rode a hayride to the pumpkin patch where we picked our very own pumpkins to take home and found our way through a corn maze! What a fun day!

-We started our first Surfer of the Week this week! He did an excellent job sharing every day about the class! We are excited to learn more about each of the students in our class every week!

Be sure to be reading the sight words on the yellow cards every night! Reviewing all of them every day, will help your child master these words in both reading and writing. Have your child quiz you, write the sight words in shaving cream, find the words in books at home, menus at a restaurant or even spell them out with a chant or a cheer!

Next week:
--In writing, we will continue to practice writing sentences to go with detailed pictures!
--In math, we will continue with numbers 1-20, positional terms and sorting objects by color.
--In reading, we will focus on beginning and ending sounds, learn new vocabulary words and a new CAFÉ strategy!
--Our theme this next week is all about APPLES!  Don’t forget to send in an apple with your child by Monday! Place it in a Ziploc baggie with his/her name on it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week in Review--Mo Willems

**I was not at school on Friday, so I did not get video of the class doing their poem. I am sure they did an excellent job though! :)


-We began our “normal” routine during our writing block of time called “Writer’s Workshop”. This is a time where the teacher starts off with a mini-lesson teaching a specific focus strategy to the class and then the students go write and practice this strategy while the teacher works with students and then we finish the time with a share of 1-3 kids’ writing. This week our focus was on labeling a picture using beginning sounds!


-Our sight word this week was the word “and”!

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


An important accuracy strategy that good readers use to help gain meaning from text is to use the pictures and ask “Do the words and picture match?” Pictures help to confirm that the words being read make sense. Illustrations can provide hints to help students decode a word. Using the pictures is a necessary strategy to help children prepare for other strategies they use as they become more developed readers. Many times beginning readers feel they are “cheating” when they look at the pictures. It is important to model the effectiveness of using pictures to help decode words and to gain meaning so children feel comfortable using this strategy and know it is “okay” to use the pictures when reading.

How can you help your child with this strategy at home?
1. Start with beginning reading books that only have a few words on the page. The pictures give clear support for figuring out the meaning and the words.

2. Cover up the words on a page and have your child “read” the story to you by “reading” the pictures. After your child tells you what happened on the page, uncover the words and read the page. This supports the idea that pictures can help tell the story.

3. When reading a picture book with your child, spend time modeling how you look at pictures, maps, and graphs. Talk about your thinking so your child can hear your thought process. Be sure to model how you stop while you are reading to look at the pictures to help you gain information about what is going on.


-This week in math we began our “normal’ routine of using Daily 3 Math. This type of program is similar to our reading format where the teacher begins the math block with a mini-lesson focusing on one or more of the standards and then the students move to working independently at a choice “Math by Myself, Number Work or Math with Someone”. We have not introduced the third choice yet. During the independent work time, the teacher is able to pull small groups or work one on one with students focusing on math skills!

This week we focused on a specific author named Mo Willems. We found after reading just one of his many books that he is very funny and his characters made us laugh. We then continued to read his books throughout the entire week. We watched a video where he talked about why he wanted to become an author/illustrator and what we need to do every day in order to help ourselves become better writers. We finished the week off by making one of our favorite characters from his pigeon books…the pigeon out of a toilet paper roll and construction paper!

Next week:
--In writing, we will move from labeling to writing an “I like” sentence using beginning sounds. 
--In math, we will focus on recognizing numbers 0-20.
--In reading, we will focus on ending sounds, learn new vocabulary words and a new CAFÉ strategy!
--Our theme this next week is all about PUMPKINS!  We will be going on our first field trip to a pumpkin patch on Wednesday, September 24th!

COUNTING, COUNTING, AND COUNTING! I began testing and working with students on counting this week and the goal by the end of the first nine weeks is to make it to 25 or higher!