Tag Archive: Kdg


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We are cruising along in Kindergarten.  At the beginning of March we transitioned into READING BOOKS!  This is such a big deal.  Learning to read is such a monumental life experience when you think about just everything you need to do at once to be able to read.  For the last several months we’ve been “practicing” getting ready to read by labeling, word by word matching, learning letters and sounds, putting sounds together, learning word parts, building simple words, and finishing sentence starters.  We’re reading basic patterned books and still working on those word by word matching skills, but we’re getting there.

IMG_0413One thing we’ve had to work on is keeping our eyes on the text unless we need to check the picture for help with a word.  Many friends memorize the pattern and only look at the picture, but when a page changes the pattern of the text then students have difficulties.  We’ve had to really work on even if we think we know the pattern making sure we are correct by looking carefully at words.

IMG_0417We’ve even transitioned from finishing a sentence Ms. Acuff has written to students actively participating in the Interactive Writing and writing the stories themselves.  They practice words on their white boards while another student adds the word to our chart.  I help with more difficult words I know they don’t know.

We still do the cut up sentence portion of the lesson, but instead of students copying the cut up sentence, they then write their OWN sentence about the story we wrote together.  Most of the kids are doing a great job of using parts they know (ee, ou, ow, oa) and applying them into their writing.  Some IMG_0416students still need a little more support and structure with the writing as this is very new for us.

I’m starting to notice students writing in capital letters as they are more comfortable with those than lower case letters and we’ve had to work on when we use capital letters and also working on letter reversals.  These are common and we just keep practicing the correct way to write them.  We’re also working on different punctuation–periods, exclamation points, IMG_0415and question marks–when do we use them and how do we make them?

We are seeing lots of great things in Kindergarten and are overjoyed with how well students are applying their phonics knowledge every day.

Kdg Interactive Writing

IMG_8057My Kindergarten kiddos are rocking and rolling!  I’m loving the progress they have made from the beginning of the year.  We have been working on a 4 day process.

Day 1 we read a new story.  Lately I’ve been using book builder books where I get to put in a name.  I’ve been using their classroom teacher’s name, which they find funny.  Mrs. Byers has been swimming, running, jumping, eating treats, and doing all kinds of fun things in our silly stories.   We do word work with each of our stories.  We highlight these high frequency words in our book.  We’ve been working on building and writing words such as: the, in, on, see, up, can.  These are words we need to know to be ready for 1st grade.

Day 2 we re-read our silly story for practice.  This gives me a chance to see what reading strategies they are using.  Do they have word by word matching?  Do they use multiple strategies when stuck?  Do they follow the correct direction? (They do!!)  Then I have a picture that we label.  This gives them a chance to see how words look.  We work on what letter sounds they hear in the word, specifically the beginning.  They get to locate something in the picture, draw the line, and then I label it.  We have a lot of fun finding all the new things.

Day 3 we look at our picture we labeled.  We come up with a story from our picture we labeled.  Each student gets to come up with a sentence of their own.  We write our story as a group.  They each get a white board and they practice writing the words in the story.  If they know the word they get to write it on our group story.  If they don’t know the word then I get to write it.  I often have them help me with the initial sound in the word as that is something they are able to do.  They get to put in the punctuation in our story, too.  Everyone gets lots of opportunities to write on our group story.

Day 4 we re-read our group story.  We practice rereading and word by word matching.  Then they come up with their own story that they write in their personal journal.  They can pick the same sentence they said yesterday, but they have to do it independently.  I’m looking for spacing between words, punctuation at the end, and getting multiple sounds in an unknown word or the whole word for high frequency words.  They get to draw a picture at the end and I get to conference with kiddos.  I check mark each correct sound they got in the words and then show them “how it looks in a book’ and write it the correct way for them to see.

That’s our whole week!  Then we start all over with a new book and picture the next week!  We definitely work hard!

IMG_5840IMG_5841My K, 1, and 2 groups are continuing to work on Interactive Writing.  We’ve been so busy!  Learning about concepts about print to help with foundational building is super important.  We’ve been doing a lot of labeling, word building, letter finding, letter sorting, letter forming, poetry reading, and group and individual writing.  Wow!  What a mouthful, right?

After several weeks of poetry interactive writing and foundational skill building, we are ready to get our hands on some books and transition away from poetry.

We will keep working on letter sounds, formation, concepts about print, and word building.  Check back in with us 🙂

Superhero Strategies

IMG_4473Every year I try to have a “theme” in my room and as you saw in my earlier post this year is Super Hero: Super Reader!

I decided to re-vamp my strategy bookmarks and anchors in my room.  I’m big into super heroes and I’m hoping the change will be something my students enjoy.

IMG_4477My students will get the book mark (on the left) to take back with them to the classroom or to put in their book bags/book boxes and then the photo on the right are the larger ones hanging on my wall as a reference.

As always, if you ever want copies of any of what I use please let me know.  I’m always willing to share.  Cheers to all of you kicking off your new school year.  Here’s to a SUPER 2014-2015 school year.

IMG_0271Today was my last day working with my Kindergarten group and I am so sad!  Just look at these adorable faces.  I will truly miss working with them.  I have really enjoyed watching them grow from not even being able  to point word by IMG_1624word to being able to produce several sounds in writing words.

Within the classrooms my kiddos have been working on a farm unit so we’ve been reading and writing about farm animals.  This last couple of weeks we’ve been working on sheep.

I read some mentor texts about sheep and our group poem was Mary Had a Little Lamb.  We had lots of practice with 1:1 matching to make sure it’s solid before the end of the school year.

After we read our mentor texts and our group poem we created our own group story.  Each student gets to contribute a sentence to the story and then they really enjoy when they get to put a word they know how to write on the group story.

IMG_1625Once our group story is finished they each get to pick a sentence from the story they want to cut apart and put back together.  Typically they choose their own sentence.  I’ve noticed they are MUCH faster and need significantly less support putting the sentence back together than when we first did it.

Lastly they were given sheep by me to color/decorate.  After they had finished creating their sheep then they had to write a descriptive sentence about it.  We’ve really been working on saying words slowly and writing the sounds we hear.  I am seeing A LOT more sounds being written down on the paper and the kiddos know most of their ABC’s which is really helping.

After they finished their own sheep story then they meet with me and I check all the sounds they got correct in their story and then I write how “it looks in a book” so they can see how the words look in comparison to just sounds.

These last 3 months have been A LOT of hard work and I’m really proud of the growth each of my kiddos have made!

Kindergarten Group

Check out the excellent work from Kindergarten!  We’ve been doing A LOT of work on directionality, word by word matching, and letter formation.  I’ve been reading poetry and mentor texts to go along with our picture we label, then write about, and then use a cut up sentence from.

IMG_9621IMG_9622 This has been a fun experience as I’ve really seen the kids grow in their letter formation and they are getting stronger in knowing where to start reading, which way to go, and where to return when they get to the end of a line of text.  We’ve been having fun writing silly stories and then putting them back together when they are cut up.

IMG_9568I am now the proud “mama bear” to 4 fabulous Kindergarten friends as we are working on an intervention from Linda Dorn’s Interventions that Work called Interactive Writing.

We have a lot of foundational skills we’ve been working on such as letter identification, 1-to-1 word matching, writing our names correctly, writing and reading in the correct direction, and correct path of movement letter formation.

IMG_9291We’ve been listening to Ms. Acuff read poetry and have watched her point to each word to make sure what she says matches what the author wrote.  We’ve also been making group stories.  Students help Ms. Acuff make a story and they help add words they know how to write.

We’ve been having a lot of fun locating known letters in our reading and writing to help us know all of our letters as quickly as possible so we are reading to become strong readers!

In the photo at the top you can see we chose a sentence from a story we wrote as a group.  Ms. Acuff wrote the chosen sentence on a sentence strip for each student and we read the sentence as she cut up the sentence.  From there, Ms. Acuff lined the words up vertically and students had to scan the words left to right to put the sentence back together.  Then they had to read the sentence  while pointing, making sure we were correctly matching what we said to what was written.  This was a little tricky, but the more practice we had with it the better we got.  We then glued our sentence to our paper.  This was good practice for spacing and that when we get to the end of the paper we can’t glue down the side of the paper, but have to return sweep back to the left and start there.

Keep watching as we grow, grow, grow in our knowledge.  We are working VERY hard and Ms. Acuff couldn’t be more proud of us!

 

Today was my last day with my Kindergarten kiddos!  A couple of days ago we red The Little Red Hen and in the back of the book is a reader’s theater.  The boys wanted to perform it for their class and their teacher graciously allowed us to come and show off our hard work practicing tracking with our eyes and using a loud, expressive voice.  They were SO cute!!

Kdg Comparison Writing

IMG_6826My Kindergarten boys are blowing me away!!  They are working so hard and taking on so much learning every session we meet.  (Our Chicka Chicka tree is almost full–and boy do they let me know if we aren’t working on a new letter and adding letters to our tree!!  We might even need a new tree pretty soon!)

Lately we’ve been working on, yep, you guessed it–All About books!!  This time my boys read All About Snakes and All About Penguins.  I don’t know what it is, but EVERY time I read these books with my kiddos they get super excited about both snakes and penguins.  The All About Series is actually really incredible reading for our students.  They are high interest and have a lot of really great vocabulary choices.

My boys read about snakes and then wrote about snakes.  Then we read about penguins and they wrote about penguins.  After that we re-read both of the stories and made a chart of how they are similar and different.  It was like their minds were blown when they realized all the similarities between the two animals.  There was lots of clapping and high fiving and giggling while we were doing this.  It’s inspiring to see kids so excited about reading, writing, and discussing what we’ve read in books.

After we made our Venn Diagram, the boys had to write one fact about each of the animals to go with our diagram.  What a fun couple of weeks of learning!

 

We are excited to be welcoming in a whole new group of kiddos next year!  We’ll be having Kindergarten Round Up at Lowell on Friday, April 26th.  Bring your child, immunization documents,proof of age, and proof of residency!  Additional information can be found on our district webpage (www.waterloo.k12.ia.us)

Here are some things we would love for you to do with your child from now until the start of school to prepare him/her for Kindergarten!

  • Write name with first letter capital and the rest lowercase. (Bonus if child can do last name as well!)
  • Name shapes
  • Count from 1 to 10
  • Know at least 15 letters (but we’d love if your child knew them all!)
  • Tie shoes
  • Zip zippers
  • Button buttons
  • Name colors
  • Read daily!!!  You can even visit Lowell’s library in the summer

We can’t wait to meet your child and for you to meet our wonderful Kindergarten team and the staff here at Lowell!