Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Animals in Winter, Reading and a Jewelry Shop

We had a very interesting day in school.  It seemed that I spent most of the time running around helping kids with their individual 3 year old type needs and didn't spend enough time teaching.  Nonetheless we had a great day talking about Animals in Winter.  We talked about how the weather is changing and now it's cold outside.  We talked about all the animals that live outside and not in our warm houses.  What do they do during the winter?  They either hibernate, migrate, or adapt!  We had lots of fun playing with the animal toys and our blanket den, reading "The Mitten" and acting out the explosion out of the mitten, and drawing winter animals in our notebooks.  We even added a little glitter snow!
 We also continued work on out "Guess My Secret Rule" game.  We played a very structured making our own sets game.  Each child was instructed to take 3 of the same and then take 1 that is different.  We seemed to get the hang of that with shapes and then switched to working with colors.  That was harder to get 3 shapes of the same color.  Not needing to be the same shape was a little confusing but a great first introduction to multiple characteristics to classify by.  We also enjoyed working with our rhythm sticks to a little Christmas music.  With all the snow it seems like Christmas time already!

This afternoon we had a lot of fun breaking into reading groups and working on our puzzles.  At this moment I'm able to work with all kids in 2 groups making management and engagement much easier.  The first group were rock stars right off the bat.  They were working on blending an initial consonant and vowel a or i.  We really focused on reading it the first time by blending the first sound into the second.  Another way to phrase that is to "not stop the first sound until your mouth is making the second sound."  It seemed to click.  I'm trying to get them to jump from sounding them out separately to sounding them out as a chunk, which will help them in their future reading. 
 Our second reading group worked on reading their Bob Books.  The way I have them read is called "whisper reading".  I'm not giving them any content or book walks at this time.  I simply give them the book and ask them to whisper read it to themselves.  They've picked it up and do quite well.  When they get stuck they most often tell me and I respond with, "What strategy are you going to use to solve that problem?"  They point to the picture card of a strategy and get right back to work on their own.  With whisper reading I can lean closer to any of the children in the circle and listen to them read a page or two and know exactly how well they are doing and what areas they are struggling with.  When they finish reading the book we do a 5 finger retell one-on-one.  They come stand next to me and we work through the characters, setting, beginning, middle and end of the story.  We use the book to reference all the details.  Then they repeat the 5 finger retell without opening the book and trying to recall it with minimal prompting.  They did really well and I'm quite proud of them.  They also worked on their phonics and sight word work from Ready2Read.
We combined art and math today since reading went so long.  Today we decided we were a jewelry shop designing necklaces.  Our customers wanted all different types of necklaces but they wanted them all to be in patterns.  We played around with adding a third color so we could do ABCABC patterns and all the variations that come with that.  They did as many patterned necklaces on their pages as they could before their parents arrived for them.  I thought they did quite well and it was tons of fun!

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