Thursday, September 29, 2011

Field trip and center sneak peek!

Wednesday we rode the bus over Teton pass to the Wildlife Art museum. We got there and had lunch first at the new amphitheater. The kids soaked up the sunshine and got probably a dozen compliments from tourists walking by. I was so proud and impressed by them. Someone would stop to talk to me and say how how polite they were. Way to go Kindergarten!

We made our way indoors to meet Ms. Amy for our museum tour and Native American design and decoration class. We enjoyed spotting patterns, shapes and colors in the artwork. Then we got to make a parfleche out of paper.
 The kids did a nice job of incorporating patterns onto their parfleche. They wanted to put treasures inside. We talked a lot about what the Native Americans might've put inside.

 ....the big roomers...who had just gotten picked up from Teton Science school in Kelly. I worked it so that we came back on the bus and it was a BIG surprise. The kindergartners were so happy and excited. Some even fell right to sleep when they got on the bus!
I can...
1. play a reading game
2. play a math game
3. work with a friend
4. build my hand strength
5. work as a team
6. practice taking turns
7. pretend to be the teacher
8. use technology 

Below Carson and Cecilia are playing Monkey business. They are trying to put the numbers back in order. It takes a lot of fine motor strength to use the pen, drag the object and write on the board. We are learning how to operate this very cool piece of technology.

Monday, September 26, 2011


gideon and madeline chose play-place last friday.
At Play-Place
I can...
1. Clean the kitchen
2. Dress up
3. Care for the babies 
4. Pretend with friends
5. Sing songs
6. Make a menu
7. Cook meals
And more...
I usually keep an ear out on play-place because the conversations can be Madeline was holding the baby...and I asked her if she wanted me to sling her baby up for her. She agreed and now it's the new way to hold your baby in playplace. So cute!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week 5{Griffin Gazette}

This week in Kindergarten...
Well, First and foremost it's Johnny Appleseed's birthday on Monday. We will work this into our curriculum throughout the week. Some things you might hear about are:
apple patterns, applesauce, graphing apple colors, graphing our favorite apple, apple crafts and let's not forget caramel apples.

During Reading workshop:We begin week 2 of Unit 1. 
Our story this week: Fix it Duck 
Letter recognition: F-N
Comprehension skill: Setting and character review
Your child is part of a workshop structure during reading, writing, math and themework (science and social studies). This is what that looks like:
Teacher teaches (mini lesson)
Students practice (independent time)
Students come back to share (Share time)
Other skills we are working on include:
Beginning to read habits, routines and procedures
Reviewing and practice read to self (we are up to 10 minutes)
Daily 5 skills-
Writing about reading and word work
Stay tuned for more on this.
PLEASE READ and COMPLETE the family times (coming home tonight) with your little one for review. 
Handwriting-Students begin working in their printing books this week. We start will all capital letters. We call them Frog jump capitals. The first letter is F. We will begin tomorrow. Remember when you see your child writing, remind them to ALWAYS start at the top.
More "list" practice
Focus on "CLEAN OUT" of their writing folder
Practicing "share out" at the end of writer's workshop
How to organize our materials
Watch what I do when I write (lots of teaching modeling)
Heart mapping (brainstorming a place to keep all our great ideas)
Sound and motion patterns (apple patterns too)
Patterns with color 
Getting to know our numbers 0-9 
Coin comparisons
Give the next number game
Learning how to navigate on the computer (math games)
Graphing apple colors and favorite apples
THEMEwork (science and social studies)
Our focus is FALL: apples, Johnny Appleseed, seasons
Wednesday we will be traveling to Jackson, Wyoming to the National museum of wildlife art. Kindergartners will be studying NATIVE AMERICAN decoration and design. Of course I wanted to do this closer to Thanksgiving, but didn't want to risk riding the bus over the pass then. We are so excited to be invited by Amy Goicoechea (Associate curator of Education). 
This is a two part program that provides support for our math curriculum too. During the first 60 minute session at the museum students will view artifacts and paintings depicting Native Americans. The focus is on shapes, colors and patterns found in Native American art. The 2nd session which will be held in our classroom on Friday is focused on making a medicine shield that emphasizes the simple mathematical shapes used by Native Americans in their design. 
I am so excited to be a part of this with your children. Please let me know if you are interested in coming with us. 
FUN FACT:We are coming back from Jackson at 12:45 and guess who will be on our same bus....the ALTA big room (heading home from the science school)....FUN..huh?

Monday - Wednesday (5th grade heads to science school)
Wednesday, September 28th is our field trip to the Art Museum.
Friday, September 30th is the ALTA camp out. See the handout for details or email me.
VOLUNTEERS start next week: October 3rd! (Please know that the volunteer schedule will change after November. You won't be locked into that day and time. As our needs change, so does our volunteer schedule. 


Monday, September 19, 2011

Griffin Gazette {Week 4}

This week during Reading:
We are reading The little school bus by Carol Roth.
Letter recognition-ABCDE
Snap words (words students should learn and know in a snap) - I, am
Comprehension skills- Character
Every Monday Carol Ogle (PEAK teacher) will be in our classroom to help me differentiate for all learners. 
Please see the FAMILY TIMES that will come home today in your child's folder for more information on our story and skills this week. 
DAILY FIVE- We are reviewing and practicing 
"READ to self" 
Students are to do the following things:
1. Stay in one spot
2. Read the whole time
3. Read quietly
4. Work on Stamina
5. Get started right away.
1. Works with students
Kindergartners are learning about the 3 ways to read a book:
1. Read the pictures.
2. Read the words.
3. Retell a story you know.
This week we will learn how to CHOOSE JUST RIGHT BOOKS. For more information on the DAILY FIVE...go here!

This week in Writing...
We are working on filling the page, growing as artist, oral story telling, making lists, and making charts. Some kids are working on adding labels, writing the first letter in a word, touching the paper where the words will go, and/or if they hear a sound then they WRITE it DOWN!

DURING handwriting...
We are mastering the PERFECT grip and working on starting our letters at the top. See folder tonight for information on the perfect grip and letter formation.

This week in Math...
Review the concept of zero (counting down)
Introducing numbers 1-9 in a variety of activities
Introducing sorting
Sand and water play
Introducing bar graphs

 Other news:
HAVE you checked out our school website lately? 

Monday, September 19th - Jason from Teton Raptor Center is coming out to the Alta School to introduce us to GUS the eagle (who appeared on our vision banner from last year). He will be flying some birds outside in our big field. This is a kick-off for the ALTA EAGLES and for our new PBS (positive behavior support) program.

Wednesday and Thursday - I am at the school, but will be out of the classroom due to professional development called CEL. My sub will either be Lacy Arnold or Joe Lindsay. 

Thursday, September 22nd - OPEN HOUSE at 6pm (Gym)

Friday - Last day for Molly. Please join me in saying goodbye to this GREAT family. We are going to miss them so much!
Alta t-shirts arrive. When your child comes home with their t-shirt on, please know that order forms will come home for additional shirts. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Playdoh, swimming and centers...oh my!

Friday we wrapped up our WEEK long swim unit and I must admit, it was a huge success. I didn't know how it would look being that for the past 100 years Alta has been traveling up to Green Canyon and the Targhee pool was brand new. But I have to say, it worked out beautifully. The kids seem to love it and so did the TEACHERS. Below is a picture of us FRIDAY hot-tubbing it during the rain! It was SO.MUCH.FUN!
My guppies and goldfish warmed up in the BIG pool on FRIDAY with their ABC chest jumps. Then we played the bobber game where 1's go under the water and when they pop up, the 2's go under! We had 9 out of 11 go under! We had 6 floating backwards with kicks.
We had 3 using BIG arms. We sent 2 up into the TROUT group. So, I would say there were many successes!
Getting dressed and waiting!
Dang. They are so cute huh?
Other than swimming Kindergartners have been becoming quite familiar with the routines of our classroom. They do love their center time. This year I have a crew that loves building science. Here are a few of them...
And then there is the MATH crew...
And the READING/ABC center...
And some kids love love love going to PLAYPLACE...where you can dress up, work in the kitchen and care for the babies.
Friday morning when my students go to school, they had a ball of green homemade doh on there table. They had to roll it into as many worms as they could. They had been working on this skill all week, so I was hoping for quickness and quality. Then they take the worms and form them into letters of their names. They did beautifully. They also had a little fun making some creatures too.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 3 {Griffin Gazette}

We ended our week last Friday by celebrating all the SUMMER birthdays...there were 4! Wow!
We had enough snacks for an army. It was delicious. Thanks for supporting this fun afternoon!
THIS week in Kindergarten:
We are learning about the DAILY FIVE during Literacy. It consists of the following:
{Read to Self}
{Read to Someone}
{Listen to reading}
{Word Work}
Kindergarteners will master READING to SELF this week. We are choosing our READING spots in our room. We are getting our own book box and we are learning about the 3 ways to read a book...
1. Read the pictures
2. Read the words
3. Retell a story you know
You can work on these skills at home too. Let your child choose a cozy nook somewhere in the house. 
We will also learn that READING is THINKING while reading BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR. 

This week in Writing...
We are heart mapping (writing and drawing things we know and love for our tool belt in writer's workshop)
We are practicing our structure (MINI-lesson, WRITE, SHARE)
We are learning about RED and GREEN light pieces of writing. 
We are writing everyday! 
WRITER's Workshop steps: THINK, DRAW, WRITE, READ...

Other news:
Our swim unit is this whole week. We leave for Targhee at 11:30. Please remember your child's suit, towel, goggles and snack all week. 
My volunteers are:
Monday and Tuesday-Crista
Wednesday - Liz
Thursday - Patricia
Friday - Crista

I will be assessing your child's reading, math and spelling skills this week. Help them eat a good breakfast and get plenty of rest. Thanks for your help! 

Below are OUR summer B-days!!! Happy Birthday!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 2 {Griffin Gazette}

Mrs. Poduska came for a visit last Friday! She got to see us eating our s'mores!

This week in Kindergarten:
We are working on rules, routines and procedures. Today kids worked on a class mission. 
We are starting our pre-launch unit this week for reading. We read Chrysanthemum today and filled out our name BINGO sheets. We will play BINGO on Wednesday using our classmate's names. We will also read CHICK, CHICKA boom, boom tomorrow and begin letter recognition. The rest of the week will be focused around Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and letters. 

During Handwriting and Writer's workshop we are working on our routines, songs, letter pieces and workshop structure. 
This week we are decorating writing folders, learning how to use them and practicing our story telling skills. 

During math we are working on:
1. Introducing measurement comparisons through a partner activity. (TODAY)
2. Introducing pattern blocks
3. Introducing counting and one to one correspondence through multisensory activities.
4. Introducing the concept of zero, the word and the number "0". 

During Themework (Science/Social studies)
We are focused on getting along in a group (social skills)-Miss Nial our school counselor came today to read us a book about BUCKET FILLING.

We are also learning about temperature. 

Upcoming dates:
ALL ABOUT ME TEE's are DUE this week!
PARENT night, Thursday 8th, 6pm (Plan for half an hour)
SWIMMING UNIT, September 12-16th (every afternoon for 5 days at TARGHEE) More information to come!
OPEN house, Thursday 22nd, 6pm (Plan for an hour)
 Kindergartners are quickly figuring out that CENTER time is an AWESOME time!
 Introducing the 2011-12 Happy Campers!