Thursday, November 19, 2015

Turkey and Thankfulness

With a mini break on Tuesday due to the quantity of snow we had lots of work to catch up on today.  The kids were AMAZING and worked so hard the whole time they were here.  We did our standard reading review and lesson before heading upstairs to paint turkeys and write about them.  Each child could choose if they wanted to write about the turkey or about things they are thankful for.  I was impressed with the quality and quantity of writing today.  They were all diligently sounding out words!  It was so exciting!
 We worked more on our reading lessons while our turkeys were drying.  We're making great strides with the Ready2Read program from the Moffatt girls and our digraphs study.  Keep up the good work at home and enjoy next week off!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Creative Explorations

We are working on our inquiry block titled "Where we are in place and time".  We spend much of our day singing the days of the week and trying to figure out what day would come next after a given day.  Today we started days of the week books.  We wrote the names of each day by stretching the sounds and writing the sounds down one by one.  
 We also spent a little time talking about if anyone has special plans for Thanksgiving.  We wrote about our special plans if we knew what they were.  Please talk with your children about what you plan to do for Thanksgiving.  This will help us compare the first Thanksgiving a long time ago and Thanksgiving now.
We reviewed faced of 3d shapes today and I was happy to hear most kids remembered exactly what we were talking about and even remembered how many faces were on a cube, cylinder, etc.  They were then turned loose to play with the blocks and quite creative play broke out.  Apparently all the spheres were "cows" that were getting loose and needed rectangular prisms to build fences around them.  It was so fun to watch.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Digraphs and Faces of 3d Shapes

I was so excited that the Moffatt Girls just came out with a new digraphs bundle of workpages.  What I had been using were ok but not great.  Today we were able to really focus on the /sh/ digraph with the whole class.  We also worked through the rest of the digraphs and some of the Ready2Read program.  We had fun writing and illustrating in our journals and the kids were super sad that we didn't have enough time to let everyone share.  I'll need to set the timing better on Thursday so we can for sure share with each other.
 Since learning the names of 3d shapes came so quickly to this group of preschoolers I was able to start a new section on faces of shapes.  I had this idea that we could use little stickers with faces on them to mark where all the faces are.  It worked fantastically!  We first started with regular wood blocks as they are bigger and easier to handle.  Then each child got a full set of the plastic small 3d shapes.  They were able to put stickers on each of the faces and work on counting how many faces are on each shape.  It was amazing how long they were really focused on this activity.  They loved the interaction between stickers and blocks.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Where We Are In Place and Time

We had so much fun today talking about where we are in place and time.  With preschoolers it's a continual conversation to help them understand how each day is different and how they are represented on the calendar.  He acted out a whole week of waking up on a day, eating, playing, eating, playing, eating, brushing teeth, going to sleep, and waking up the next day.  While they were "sleeping" they were asked to figure out what day would be next when they "woke" up by singing our days of the week song.  They picked it up really quickly.  Encourage this conversation at home by telling them what day it is and asking them what day will be tomorrow.  The words "yesterday, today, tomorrow" are still not a concrete idea but the pattern of the weekdays should be well learned by now (at least in my classroom as we sing the days of the week all the time).  The kids were even singing it without prompting as they were working on their Very Hungry Caterpillar book today.
We spent a good deal of time talking about how things don't stay the same.  As we grow and learn time is passing and things are changing.  We talked about if we remembered when a sibling was a tiny baby and are they still the same tiny baby or have they grown?  We worked through a very real broken arm scenario with one of our gals by discussing how in the summer her arm wasn't broken and she could do whatever she liked, now her arm is broken and she has some limitations, but in a couple of months her arm won't be broken any more and she can go back to ice skating and other things she loves doing. 
 We've continued our lessons on digraphs (sh, ch, th, wh) and blends (bl, cr, etc).  We're seeing harder words (CCVC* rather than CVC**) in our reading books that indicate a blend at the beginning of the word.  We're also seeing more digraphs as we're ready to dive into more complex reading.  Our practice in 2D vs. 3D shapes is proving that these kids have quite nearly mastered this concept already.  I scheduled the whole month of November to work on them. Maybe we'll start counting faces and vertices, something I've never done with preschoolers before, but they're ready for more than just names. 
*CCVC = consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant
**CVC = consonant, vowel, consonant 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I Like to Move It, Move It!

I still am not sure why the song "I Like to Move It, Move It" broke out among all 8 kids today but it became the theme music to our day.  We got right down to business this afternoon as kids walked in and immediately started working on their reading books.  They are doing so fantastic.  I'm using the series "Now I'm Reading" with them.  It's working great to have a whole set for each child.  They can practice and work on the books at their own pace.  They are a fantastic next step to reading BEFORE tackling any harder phonics.  The simple CVC words are tricky and this series is great practice.  We then wrote about our weekends, most about what they did for Halloween, and then shared with the whole class.
 Today we started learning about the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.  I was quite impressed with the kids who remembered many of the 3D shape names from our lessons last year.  We had fun playing with all the blocks and there was a ton of calling out the correct shape name.  There was also a lot of "I like to move it!" singing, which proved very helpful when it was time to clean the blocks up :).
I utilized the Moffatt Girls November Kindergarten pack for our study about Where We Are In Place and Time.  We worked on filling out the November calendar today.  We sang the days of the week and talked about which day was today and which day would be Thanksgiving.  We also talked about how each day we wake up, eat breakfast, play, eat lunch, play, eat dinner, go to bed and then when we wake up it's a new day and number on the calendar. That was fun to act out :).