Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Who We Are: An Interest Led Day

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.
 Then we turned to our body maps.  Our body maps are a growing collage of images that represent the things that are most important to us.  Having a lot of experience now following "how-to-draw" pages we found pages that represent things that are interesting to the kids and drew them on our body maps.  We also talked about drawing people so we could draw our families and friends.
 Side note: I have a USA map with 4 clocks representing the time zones and I totally freaked out when I looked up and saw that it was 5 after 3 and we were over time already.  Thankfulness then took over as I realized that I had referenced the wrong clock.  Phew!
 As we continue our work on number sense we've started playing with the 100 chart.  Right now we're only working on the numbers 1-20.  The first game the kids found super easy.  I pulled out all but a couple cards in the 1-20 section and then handed one card at a time to a child to put back in its correct home.  Our second game started the same way with the majority of the cards 1-20 being "blown" out of their "homes".  This time, however, I lined up the cards (out of order) on the floor and asked kids to find a certain number.  Using phrases like, "Raise your hand if you can tell me what number comes before 3." and "Raise your hand if you can tell me what number comes after 15." the kids took turns finding the correct number and putting it back where it goes.  This turned out to be MUCH harder than the first game.  For both games I always asked something like, "How did you know the number 16 went there?" or "How did you figure out what card you needed to pick up?"  These questions encourage mathematical language and kids begin to build a vocabulary around number sense.  Try to play games like this at home if you can!

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