Friday, August 29, 2014

The Golden Rule

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This week we focused on the Golden Rule in kindergarten. This saying is part of the  Core Knowledge curriculum for kindergarten. All of the planets aligned this week because without much effort at all, my read-a-louds all fit into this theme! To introduced the saying I read The Berenstain Bears- I love this book! I found it for 10 cents at a junk sale.. it was once a chik-fil-a kids meal prize! Our author study this month is Audrey Penn. I read Sassafras, a story about a skunk who is embarrassed by his potential smell who encounters a grey fox and together they learn a lesson.  ---BONUS! Our reading curriculum theme was, "What makes me special" So, I read The Ugly Duckling and we talked about the Golden Rule and what made the "ugly duckling" special. I also read Rachel Parker Kindergarten Show- Off and had a great discussion about friendship and treating others with kindness. It was a great week!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Routines and Procedures again and again and again

Teacher appreciation quote LOVE Kindergarten teachers. :-)
My little kindys are amazing. They are full of wonder and questions and SO HAPPY! The first weeks of kindergarten are so important. We spend so long getting the procedures down.. the time I take to establish how to be in kindergarten pays off in the end.. but it can be exhausting! This afternoon at car duty another kindergarten teacher and I just looked at each other and sighed.. it's kind of like herding cats these first few weeks.
This morning during our phonics lesson I was teaching the class how to echo back to me... I say {letter} {picture} {sound} and the class echoes it back to me. To walk them through it I said {letter} {picture} {sound} an then I made the mistake and said "echo"
Well, you know how this goes... I heard 18 darlings echo back to me, "{letter} {picture} {sound} echo!" After reminding them NOT to say echo 5 more times.. I thought.. well, Tuesday we will try again!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Units of Study - Storytelling with Carl

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My kindergarten team and I are embarking on a new writing journey-- we are joyfully diving into Lucy Calkins Units of Study. I am so excited to be launching a real writing workshop! In the 11 years I have taught kindergarten, writing was always a bit of this and bit of that flavored with whatever the current reading curriculum thought about kindergarten writing. It never felt right and writing was stressful for me (and my students).  I was lucky enough to attend 4 days of training this summer on Units of Study and it was so soothing to my kindergarten soul!!! The last few days I have been teaching my students how to be storytellers (in the If/Then book if anyone out there finds this post and wonders). Good Dog Carl had been a HUGE help! I had never heard of Good Dog Carl books - turns out there are 14 of them!- but I am lucky to be teaching with another kindergarten teacher that met Carl many years ago and gifted these books to her now grown children. She added them to her classroom library and is sharing with me. They are PERFECT books for storytelling because only the first and last page have words. The rest of the pages are full of engaging illustrations. They make it easy to tell the story by reading the pages and encourage children to sketch out their stories without worrying about the words.  Carl was also a huge help this week during Reading Workshop since we are learning to read 3 ways! Of course I want all of the books now! I will have to keep my eye out for a deal.

I had a wonderful week with my class this week. I am so excited for the next 175 days!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Room 108 ---- Before!!

The floor is waxed... Now I have to put all of this away!! Good thing the AC is on!