Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Good times in Mrs. griffin's room

Self portraits are up on the door...swing by and check them out. The kids did a great job!

Fun Friday was super fun...cause Mrs. Griffin brought in matchbox cars for the building science center...let's just say the boys were in Heaven.

The girls love paint and draw this year.

And Play-place is popular for girls and boys. I love watching the play...and listening in on conversations here.

Kindergartners have been working in their new workbooks for math...and busy with partner work. 
It has been a work in progress...learning to work, get along with and listen someone you did not choose to work with.

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Griffin Gazette and ALMOST February!

Hi there from Kindergarten. We have been very busy in here re-learning routines and practicing procedures. WE ARE GETTING there! I am so excited that the bumps are smoothing right out. The only bummer is that kiddos are still sick. I am making every effort to wash hands a lot and send home sick kids. Please help me by keeping sick kids at home.

This week in Reading:
We are still focused on text features in Nonfiction. We will be learning about facts versus opinions too.
This week READERS began their DAILY 5 chart journals. Each day we will take inventory of what we are doing during READER's workshop to become better readers.
The chart includes-
1. Read to self!
2. Read to someone!
3. Work on writing!
4. Work with words!
5. Listen to reading!

Kids are beginning to understand that they lead their learning. This is a great independent practice that we can monitor together. During this time I work with groups of students or one on one.
BIG READING STRATEGY that we learned today-
Cross checking (Do the pictures and/or words Look right? Do they sound right? Do they make sense? See Yellow reference form that comes home today.

Letter of the week is F!!! Sharing Wednesday - Friday
Snap word review- with, for, look and see

Writing workshop includes:
Stretching out stories
Adding details
Reading good READ alouds
Perfect printing
Sentence practice (capitals and ending marks)

Math includes:
Tally marks
Coin exchange (known as the raft game) exchanging 5 pennies for a nickel
Standard versus nonStandard measurement

Other things to know!
MONDAY IS THE 100th day of school. Please bring a ziplock back full of 100 items for our  1ooth day trail mix snack. Some good ideas would be:
1. chocolate chips
2. Marshmallows
3. any kind of nut
4. raisins
5. pretzel sticks
6. m&m's
7. Dried fruits
8. yogurt rasins
9. sunflower seeds
10. pumpkin seeds

February 14th is VALENTINE's day. We will have a class party at 1:30. Please start prepping class valentines. Please make one for every child in our class. Feel free to make other student cards or teacher cards. 
Please bring in a tissue box, cereal box, shoe box or small box to school between now and February 11th. 
I will start volunteers February 12th. Please let me know if you are interested. 

Practice shoe tying at home!!! I have a great song if you want it. Let me know!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Short week.

This week in reading we are working on...
Why do readers ask questions?
How do readers generate questions?
What do readers wonder about as they read?

Text Features!
What are the text features of non fiction books?
How do text features help readers?

The letter D
Snap words: look and see

Remember books will come home Tuesday - Thursday. Please read with your child every night and send books back the FOLLOWING day for reading groups.

IN writing...
Kids will finish their brainstorming page for their "Small moment YOUNG AUTHOR" story. We will begin to write down the beginning, middle and ending into our books. These stories will be typed at the end so this is a very exciting time in Kindergarten.
Target lessons will include but are not limited to:
1. Word boundaries (keeping letters in a word close together)
2. Spaces in between words
3. Great beginnings (how to write a story that hooks the reader)

IN math...
Tally marks
How big is a foot?
Printing practice
Counting by 5's and assessments

Other things to know...
1. Ski race is on February 25th at 1pm. Mark your calendars!
2. Volunteers...Let me know if you are interested in volunteering. I have a few spots. I also have some creative ideas if you are dying to get in the classroom. Just let me know. I plan to begin mid February and going until Spring break and assessing our needs again.
3. National Handwriting day is on the 23rd. We will be talking a bit about this, but what a great opportunity to write a HANDWRITTEN letter to someone that you know.
4. Please know that you are welcome to come to LUNCH any day at our school, but please let me know that morning so I can sign you up!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Griffin Gazette and more!

Hello great parents! Kindergartners have been working hard on their rules, routines and classroom procedures. When we come back from a break we always review the rules of the school. Your child got re-trained on Friday on the rules all around the school. It is important that students follow the rules so that we are safe and we can learn. Please go over the rules with your child at home!
I am beginning to set up a few parent/teacher meetings this week. If I haven't contacted you and you want to meet about your little one please let me know.

on another note....

As the year progresses, you may notice that our classroom doesn’t run like other classrooms. We will be learning through Whole Brain Teaching, a research based system that utilizes all areas of the brain, keeps children engaged throughout their lessons, and helps them retain much more information than the standard lecture-discussion model.

Whole Brain Teaching is a highly interactive form of instruction that delivers information to students in short “chunks.” Kids then teach what they have just learned to their partners, using hand-gestures to help remember specific vocabulary.  While students teach each other, the teacher walks around the room to discover who understands the lesson and who needs more instruction.

Research shows that children retain more information when they have an opportunity to put it into their own words and use gestures to emphasize key instructional units …plus, it’s amazingly fun! For more information about Whole Brain Teaching please contact me, come by for a classroom visit and/or go to www.WholeBrainTeaching.com.

This week in reading we have been focused on Nonfiction. Students have been exploring, reading, sorting and asking questions around nonfiction text. 
What is NONfiction?
BEST ANSWER of the week said by Chloe..."It's where your brain gets to have a REAL experience!"...wow!!!!

Letter of the week: R
*Remember to bring in sharing Wednesday - Friday...and it MUST begin with letter R!
Snap words: little, she, with, me

Phonics- blends in words such as (flip, flower, fly, shake, sham, ship)
final sounds

This week in math we are working on patterns, printing numbers in our brand new MATH WORKBOOKS, and the birthday board!
Games students learned this week is called GUESS my NUMBER!
What is 1 more than 9?
What is 2 less than 5?
What is five more than 0?
What is 1 less than 20?
Play this at home in the car...in the tub...or in the bed!

Writer's workshop-
This week we began brainstorming our idea for our small moment story. This story will be our YOUNG AUTHOR's story. Stay tuned on more information on that topic!

Things to know....NO SCHOOL next MONDAY!
ENJOY the pictures below and stayed tuned for MORE TO COME!!!

Just some good 'ole bell-work on the morning

And sometimes you just need a break, so you CRAB crawl  in the hallway

During centers, kids have been loving to choose OPERATION

And in Math centers they love pattern blocks

Reading center

Building science

Free drawing

or playdoh if you wish

Reading workshop anchor chart
This has been a BIG lesson....RAISE YOUR HAND to talk....:)
Discovering what they know
Can your child get dressed in under 2 minutes? If not...help at home...time them! Practice! Zip! Get outside!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Griffin Gazette

Looks like we are back in the swing of things. Hopefully the transition is going smoothly for your little one. Please don't hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns. With that being said, it was already planned that I be out on Wednesday for professional development in Jackson. I apologize as I would rather be standing in front of your children, but duty calls. The substitute will be Amy Endris.

This week in reading we will focus on plot.  The plot of a story is made up of the problem, important events and the resolution.
Essential questions this week will be:
1. What is plot?
2. What is a problem?
3. Extension: What is a solution?
Ways to help at home...READ! READ! READ! and talk about the plot...first, next and last.
I will be sending home homework books Tuesday - Thursday. Please always read with your child and send back to school the following day. Sometimes your book will have a note with special instructions. Please help your child be responsible by taking care of the books.

Letter of the week: N
N sharing begins on Wednesday and ends Friday. Students can bring something that begins with the letter N Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and leave it in their backpack. I will do sharing during snack time.

Snap words to know:
we, my, like, he, for, me, with, she, and, can

This week in Math:
Attribute blocks and printing numbers
What is my rule? Learning more about attributes
# stories, addition and subtraction

This week in handwriting and writing:
We are focusing on lower case letters now. You can practice at home too. Let me know if you would like some printing paper for extra practice.
During writer's workshop we will begin our YOUNG author's unit. This is a very exciting tradition at the Alta school and I am excited to teach your little one all about it.

Other things to know:

I am excited to be back in front of a classroom. Let me know if there is something I can do to make the transition smoother for your child.

Skiing begins MONDAY. Remember your GEAR!!!

We had a LOCKDOWN drill today. A lockdown drill is when we lock the school, the doors, shut the windows and black out my door. This is a routine procedure in safety and keeping our school safe. There were lots of questions for me after the drill was over. I answered matter of fact and also directed them to talk more to their parents if they had more questions.

Remember I am out on Wednesday.

The rink is now open at school. Feel free to bring skates to school. Kindergarten kids can skate during Lunch - recess because they will have more time to get out there.