You just can't plan for these things in the classroom... Today we spent almost the whole time talking about growing our muscles, including our brains. It started out with a child saying his hand was too tired to practice writing any more. My gut reaction was filled with enthusiasm, "GREAT! That means you're growing your muscles!" Promptly EVERYONE in the class had tired hands, legs and heads. Thus, the conversation of growing muscles continued throughout the day. "Shh!! Watch! He's growing his brain!" was said more than once as a child was demonstrating or sharing with the group. It was so much fun!
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Today in preschool we talked about being persistent A LOT. We jumped right in to work on sorting sight words with do-a-dot markers and then moved to cutting and gluing to make a 15 chart.
These kiddos certainly worked hard as persistent learners today. Great work everyone!
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Who We Are: An inquiry into the passions and interests of each child and developing an understanding of being bucket fillers through developing friendships.
We began our day reviewing the letters we've learned (or reviewed) for the year already. We've talked about the sight words we've introduced (the, a, I, my) and practiced using our reading strategies. We are taking a mini break from adding letters this week and dove into interest led reading. I utilize a site called ReadingA-Z.com where I can print books for kids. Each child shared an interest and I did my best to find a book that supported that interest. Then everyone was handed a yellow marker to highlight all the words that they could read in the story. Some books were the "just right" reading level for the child and they could read all or almost all of the words. Some books were too difficult and the child could mark only a portion of the words. Find the book in your child's binder and help them read it if necessary. If it's a too hard book, use it as a companion reading book. That's where the adult reads all the words not highlighted and the kids read the words that are highlighted. It gives the kids access to text that is interesting to them through your support. Those books do not need to be returned to school.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Today in preschool B we introduced the reading of two new letters: I and L. We also learned the sight word "my" and "I". We seemed to hit our level of understanding at this point with most the kids in the class and will spend some time working on blending and reading with the letters that we've reviewed up to now (MTASBHCIL) before moving on. Please have your child read their reading book 3x each day and practice sounding out the words on the inside front cover if it's an Amazing Action Alphabet book.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Can you believe it? We actually accomplished everything I was hoping to accomplish today in preschool B. Yay! It always feels better when we figure out our schedule and I figure out the right amount of material to prepare for a class. Of course, throughout the year we'll be mixing it up a bit and sorting it out again, but for now it's the beginning of a smooth learning time!
Our morning group reading lesson continued with discussion about sounding words out (blending them) like people and not robots.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
What an awesome day of preschool we had! It was absolutely amazing! We started our day off reading "How Full is Your Bucket? for Kids". I LOVED reading this with our class. We had great discussions about how we can't see our bucket or other's buckets but we can feel them with our emotions. It's similar to not being able to see air, but when you blow on your hand you can feel it. We added the words "Bucket Fillers" and "Friends" to our "Who We Are" chart hanging on the wall. As we continue to broaden the language we can use to describe ourselves we keep adding to the chart.
We really focused on blending the first sound into the second one. Another way to phrase that is to "not stop the first sound until your mouth is making the second sound." We spent many a moment laughing hysterically at Miss Amanda's impression of a robot reading. Just in case you were wondering, teaching a robot to read is REALLY HARD! However, teaching a PERSON to read when they can blend one sound into the next is super easy! Note to parents: YES, it will still take A LOT of time for your new reader to be fluently reading chapter books. However, celebrate the blending today and continue working on it!
I put together a little video of how I want the kids to read their Amazing Action Alphabet books from the Baggy Book. Please be kind - it's not a professional movie. (See this type of lesson in action from last year here.) It's amazing how using the strategy of blending each word slowly, then saying it quickly, then rereading the whole sentence fluently sets kids up for successful reading strategies in the future.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
After our first week of school we are all ready to dive in working on blending letters again. We started the day off playing with the word factory on Starfall.com on the SMARTboard. We then read, "The Way I Act" again as a class to talk about all the words that we want to use to describe ourselves. As we talked about the words that describe ourselves we started talking about things we love, things we like to do, and what we like to think and talk about. This led right into our body maps. We worked cooperatively to trace each other's outlines on huge sheets of paper. Then we worked diligently to add symbols that represented who we are. We're going to keep working on our body maps in school for another day or two to keep adding things that represent us.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
We had a great second day of preschool B today. We started off the same and kept the activities very similar to day one to focus on the routine and expectations in the classroom. After playing on the SmartBoard we reviewed our class expectations and then read a book called "The Way I Act". I LOVE this book because it highlights good qualities in a high quality poem like format. It helped us talk about the type of people we want to be. Then we reviewed what centers was supposed to look like and got to work.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
What a fantastic first day of preschool B 2015! We hit the ground running talking about who we are from our inquiry block. We shared our favorite colors and started a list of words to describe ourselves. So far we have "Learners" and "Readers" on the list. A great start! We spent some time talking about expectations after we had our "Who We Are" list started. We talked about how expectations are rules and we shared ideas about why they are important. We came up with the following reasons for having expectations: *So we can learn *So we can stay safe *So we can all be happy. What a great list. Next came our class expectations or rules. We decided on the following: *Treat things nicely *Treat people nicely. Using this language we were able to go throughout our day discussing how to treat things and people nicely within the task we were set out to do.
The first task at hand was learning about centers. We've never really done "Centers" before in preschool. I've always had activities for kids to do as I work with small reading groups. This year I'm making them into more formal centers where we set a timer and rotate from activity to activity. They did great at picking up the routine. We went fishing for letters and sang the song about their name and sound when we caught a letter. We played puzzles and we worked in small reading groups.
With all these great activities the kids went home already reading and playing math games. Try to read and play at home so we can keep the momentum going and build upon these concepts on Thursday. Happy learning!