Fun week

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IMG_5128We have had a great time learning about penguins this week. Here are a couple of examples of our work.

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Cumulative Blending

Well, this last weekend I spent a little time trying to teach my 5 year-old how to begin to read words, so I showed him what we’ve been doing in class; and that was cumulative blending. He had picked out a Dr. Seuss book and wanted to “read” it. Of course, being a kindergarten teacher, I want him to READ it if he’s that interested in it, so I began to teach him how. Then it suddenly occured to me that if he can do it, you can be doing it with your sweet child at home as well. But I haven’t told you about that yet, nor have I taught you how so here’s how it goes.
We’ll use the word “plop” just to practice on.
I first review that they know each sound individually. I ask for the sound of each letter, but not necessarily in the order that they appear in the word. “What does o say? What does p say? What does l say? Okay here we go. You make the letter sound as I point to the letter and hold that sound out until I move to the next letter.” (Hard sounds are more difficult to hold.) In the beginning I make the sounds with them to make sure they’re hearing the correct sound being made and will copy me. “/p/” At this point I pick my finger up off of the paper, board, etc, to drive the point home that they are to only make the sound that I’m pointing to. Then I point to it again, but this time I will move to the second letter. “/p/, /lllllll/” And I pick my finger up. Every time we add a letter sound in the word, we ALWAYS go back to the beginning and start over. That is why it is call CUMULATIVE blending. This really helps to keep children from leaving off that beginning sound when they blend the sounds back together. So I point to the beginning p again, “/p/, /llllll/, /ooooooo/” and I pick my finger up. “/p/, /lllllll/, /oooooooo/, /p/” Then this time when I get back to the beginning of the word I slide my finger all the way to the end of the word and if they’ve listened to themselves all the way through, they should blend the sounds like a trooper!
Try this at home and see how your sweet child does. It is SO much fun to watch the look on their faces when they realize that they really are beginning to get a grasp on this reading thing.  Let me caution you to try to stick to words with short vowel sounds and the words that we’ve become “experts” with.  Your kiddo might just amaze you!

Happy Blending!

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“Litery” Centers

If your sweet child is continually saying something uncompromisable like “litery centers” or “liverty centers” or even “liberty centers”, he could be trying to tell you something really exciting about Literacy Centers. This is a time between assignments when they have time to play literacy based games and activities, with a partner, to practice their reading skills as well as other important kindergarten skills, like problem solving, social skills, time management, and self help.
So the next time you ask your precious child what he did today and he says, “nothing”, ask him what he did in “Literacy Centers.” You should get some very specific answers then. ;-D
Thanks for being involved if your child’s education and caring enough to ask about their day!

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Blue Folders

Moms and Dads, Blue Folders are coming home today. When you read my comments, they may seem very repetitive from conversations we may have already had. Please understand that the Blue Progress Folders are one piece of documentation that we have to keep. They will go in your child’s cumulative folder for future teachers to see, if there’s a need.  I didn’t want you to think that I had forgotten that we already talked about a certain topic and wrote about it again… just making documentation.

You will see that I have commented on foundational skills.  These are the basics.  If your child has an area of weakness within these skills, lets get on top of them now so we can move forward successfully.

Please remember to sign beside my comment and return it to school on Monday. :-)

As always, thanks for your support!

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13

WOW! I never knew the number 13 was such a difficult number to include in counting. I have several Treasures this year that are struggling with it this year though. Let’s play a game. Have your child count to you. You can have your child stop at 25 if he/she is successful to that point. If your child skips 13, write the number 13 on several sticky notes and stick them around the house (without telling him that you’re going to do this). When he asks you why you’ve done such a crazy thing, you can have a conversation about how important every number is and that it can’t be left out. Have your child practice counting specifically to 13 and stop. Have your child practice writing the number 13 as well. Dry erase markers on windows and mirrors work great too!!! Put 13 pennies, beans, pencils, grains of rice, forks, etc. on a table to count. We’ve got to tear down this wall.
Thanks for your constant support!

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That’s How Good We Are

When our class has been recognized to have above average behavior when they are out of our classroom, a faculty or staff member can give them a “Bluebird.” The Bluebirds they earn hang outside our classroom on a branch for the entire quarter. Look how great my kiddos have been already this year! The 2013 – 2014 school year is off to a GREAT start!September Bluebirds

Way to go Thomas’ Treasures!!!

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“Numberness”

Parents, I want you to become familiar with the term, “Numberness.”  This is the act of really knowing numbers.  Over the course of the year I will be assessing each child on his/her numberness.  When I assess I will know that they know that they know their numbers.   Let that sink in awhile.  What that means is that there will be no doubt on either side, that my students completely understand everything about a number.  Assessing them will include: the name – “five”, the symbol – 5, the representation – *****, the equivalent –  2+3=5, count forward to five, and backwards from 5.  If I show a representation of any number less than 5 and ask, “how many more do I need to make 5?”, your child should be able to answer.  That’s a very big task, but I think we’re up for it.  You can begin to help your child by counting constantly – forwards and backwards to and from 25 right now.  Our goal will increase as the year moves on.  Lay out small items like pennies, erasers, paper clips, etc and have your child count them one at a time.  This will show you if your child has one-to-one correspondence and strengthen their skills to prepare them for “Numberness.”  I’m very excited about what this will prepare them for.  We’re going to have such a fun year full of math!

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