Saturday, September 24, 2016

Week in Review--Mo Willems


In reading this week, we practiced two new strategies during our mini-lessons. We practiced listening for the beginning sounds in words and using the picture when reading. 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. We will focus on ending sounds in a few weeks.

We started our reading vocabulary this week. Every week we will learn 6 new vocabulary words and will practice them throughout the week. We love learning new words from books that we can use in our daily lives!

We played a new game this week called “Awww SNAP!”. To play this game, we pass around a basket that has letters in it and sight words. We will add more words as the year goes on. When it’s your turn you close your eyes and pull a card out. You say the letter name/sound and/or read the word. If you get it right, you get to keep the card and if you get it wrong you try again and if you get it wrong again you put the card back in the basket. If you pull out a card that has an alligator on it and it says SNAP all of the cards from the game go back into the basket and we start over again! So much fun :).

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

  • 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.
  • 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?”

Our new sight words: me, to
**Be sure to keep the white sight word cards from week to week and continue to practice all of them as new ones are sent home every week.

Our Poem of the Week:

iPad Fun:
  • We continued with Reading Eggs, Sight Word Ninja this week and learned new apps using QR codes, an app called EPIC and another called Writing Wizard!
  • QR Codes (Quick Response Code) is a group of black dots that are formed into a square. This pattern of lines/shapes can be linked to any website, video, picture and more that has a specific URL. Students use an app called i-Nigma where a camera within the app is used to scan the code (similar to a scanner in the checkout line of a store). Once the code is scanned it takes you to the designated URL link. This week our QR codes scanned to videos of books the author Mo Willems has written and people are either reading the stories, the books were created into a short animation or a video of Mo Willems himself talking about being an author and an illustrator! The class learned very quickly how to scan the code and it takes them right where I want them to go and they press play!

  • EPIC is an app that has over 15,000 free books for the students to read, listen to reading and explore learning from. With so many books, the students can scroll to find a book that is of interest to them. I saw students listening to books about sharks, princesses, dinosaurs, bike riding and more this week! After each book, they can rate it by giving it 1-5 stars and they earn trophies for listening to the books.  

  • Writing Wizard is an app where students practice tracing and writing letters, numbers, words and shapes. The app uses stickers to follow the students finger as they trace, which helps to keep them engaged. They also are not able to trace the letter incorrectly or write the words backwards. The app makes sure they are forming the letters/words correctly.
  • ChatterPix Kids is an app where you take a picture of anything, draw a line over the mouth, add your voice and you can make the image talk! We will use this app many, many times this school. The students get a kick out of it and I love that they are learning while having fun! This week, we practiced making the Pigeon who is a character from one of Mo Willems books talk! In his books, he tries to get the reader to let him do something that he’s really not supposed to do. They are quite funny! We took a line where the Pigeon says “Let me drive the bus!” and changed it to some other type of vehicle or something he could drive. Be sure to check out our video of each students completed project!


This week we continued to focus on writing specific letters in the alphabet. The letters this week were Hh, Vv, Yy, Ww. Everyday we go through an alphabet chart, sing a song all about that specific letter, trace a letter page with the uppercase and lowercase letter and complete another activity or craft that goes along with the letter. We love learning what each new letter will be everyday!


Our math vocabulary word this week was the words this week were all of our 2D, square, rectangle, triangle and hexagon. We practiced recognizing the shapes, counting the number of sides and drawing them! The hexagon was our trickiest one, but we will use our growing minds and keep trying to get it! Throughout the week we went on a shape hunt around the room to find shapes right in our classroom and boy were there a LOT of shapes! We went on the shape hunt using the video below. We would pause the video after each shape was announced and took turns finding these shapes around the room!


This week was all about the author Mo Willems and his books!
  • Monday--We watched a video of the author telling us why he became an author and what he loves most about it. He encourages all children to write and draw everyday and he hopes to read some of their books one day!
  • Tuesday--We read one of our favorite Mo Willems books and laughed and laughed at how crazy and silly that pigeon is!
  • Wednesday--We completed a class predictable chart where we all finished the sentence “Let me drive the _____.” in preparation for our ChatterPix Kids assignment.
  • Thursday--We went on a field trip!
  • Friday--We completed our ChatterPix Kids assignment where we made the Pigeon say our version of his line from his book!

Social Emotional Learning (SEL):
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

This week’s focus was all about mistakes. We learned that mistakes are something that everyone does and it's OKAY to make them! In fact, we learned that they help us learn and we EXPECT to make mistakes every single day. We watched a video from Class Dojo where our favorite monster Mojo was having a hard time building a robot. He gave up and threw the robot away. His friend Katie came and helped him realize that it’s okay to not be perfect right away and that he needs to learn from his mistakes and try again. In the end, he made the robot! We also completed a chart that taught us that mistakes are EXPECTED, RESPECTED, INSPECTED and CORRECTED. We learned what each of these words mean and how we can remember them throughout our day when a mistake occurs. We finished the week by listening to the story “The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes”. This book was was about a little girl who never made mistakes, until one day she did! We had a great student led conversation after the book and I just loved hearing their interpretations of the book and how it can apply to all of us.

Something New!

With our Class Dojo points system, we have a new board to track all of our points in class. Each student is on the board with their picture under their total number of points. The point totals go from 100 all the way up to 1,000! We are excited to see students continue to be good citizens inside and outside of the classroom and in turn see their pictures move from each point bracket on the board. Keep it up!

Have your child find shapes around your home! You can use the video above and play it for your child and go on a shape hunt! You can even have your child practice drawing the shapes too and counting the different sides of each shape!

Next Week:
  • In reading we will practice rhyming and reality vs fantasy.
  • In writing we will continue learning a letter every day!
  • In math we practice more with our 2D shapes!
  • Our theme next week is all about APPLES! Be sure to send in one apple, in a baggie, labeled with your child’s name on it by MONDAY. We will be using this apple all week for various lessons and will enjoy eating it at the end of the week!

Important Dates/Information:
**Go to our classroom webpage if you want to see important dates on a calendar! I will update this classroom calendar as dates and events come about.

  • 9/29 Author Visit
  • 10/14 End of 1st Nine Weeks
  • Week of 10/17-10/21 Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 10/26--Grandparent Fair 10-11 AM (more info to come)

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