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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Leap Year!

How will YOU celebrate Leap Day in Kindergarten? It only comes around one every four years, so let's make it fun. 
My class will be leaping into the future!  What will life be like in 29 years? What will cars look like? Can you imagine that anyone thought 29 years ago that cars could park themselves???
Will we all have robots? What will cell phones be able to do? 29 years ago no one could imagine we'd all be walking around with a phone in our purse. What will we have 29 years from now??? 
So exciting to think about. Let the kid's imagination go wild. 
Check out this quick and easy Leap Day Writing Prompt to get them started.  Please comment below and let us all know what you are planning.

                     

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Text Dependent Writing in Kindergarten.

Text dependent wrtiting in kindergarten, is that even a thing???
Yes, Your kids can become text dependent writers when you use non-fiction topics. I find even my youngest learners respond well to non-fiction text. In my district it's all about text dependent writing. We want to the kids to not only write about what they're learning, but integrated that knowledge. Seems daunting, I know, but it CAN happen.

If your district uses the  common core you'll have to figure this out for your kids.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
I've spent some time trying to figure out how this works with kids who are just learning to write.  I think the key here is the kids "use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts."
My kids really respond to visuals so I've created a tabletop writing rubric. 

They respond well to the "directions". I have kids who want to write about their ideas, which is great for "writers workshop" but this is different. They need to respond to specific information. Remember, this can be accomplished through drawing. With a little bit of practice, your kids can become more adapt writers.

I like to keep track of my kids writing, and I keep some work for a portfolio, but often they want to bring their work home-who can blame them!! So a quick trip to the copy machine and a copy of this rubric helps fill their portfolio.


If you want to download these rubrics for free, check my store. 
Here's our most recent non-fiction writing; All About  Owls. 


Best of luck, please comment  with your experience.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

OWLS


For the last couple of weeks we have been learning all about OWLS. I am always amazed at how well even my youngest learners respond to non-fiction. The kids have been obsessed with sharp talons catching mice!

First comes research!


Owls in the Block area. The kids are filling in an outline of an owl, then counting the types and number of blocks used. I love the ear tuffs on top!

Owl ten frames in the math center.
Creating a "wood" to go owling.


 
Everyone's favorite- Paper Mache!

What a great unit!
If you would like to see some of the products used, please visit my store 




Next, we're on to wolves!!!




Monday, February 8, 2016

Black History Month - A perfect time to learn about Ruby Bridges





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It's February and that means Black History.  It's time to focus on the incredible individuals that have helped change our world. This week we are learning about Ruby Bridges.  A perfect choice for kindergarten, because Ruby was just 6 years old when her bravery made national headlines. 

 


A little background on Ruby. In 1960 the schools in New Orleans were segregated.

 Ruby's mom had Ruby take a test to she if she could attend a white school. Six children were chosen to attend white schools. Ruby was the only one assigned to the William Frantz Elementary School.  On Novemebr 14, 1960 Ruby arrived.

             



Protestors lined the walkway and yelled at Ruby and threatened her. President Eisenhower assigned U.S. Marshalls to escort Ruby so she could be safe.  The white parents pulled their students out. 
Ruby was the only student in her class.





Barbara Henry was her teacher. Can you imagine going to school with no classmates? Slowly other parents started sending their children back to school, and Ruby was able to make friends. and have classmates.

My kids are always so somber and quiet when we learn about segregation. For most of them, this is the first time they've ever heard stories like this. Whe you hear this story for the first time, it literally takes your breath away.  I often wonder if the topic is too harsh for them, but then I think of little Ruby, just 6 years old. The feedback I get from parents is overwhelmingly positive. The kids have a lot to say at dinner after learning about Martin Luther King, Ruby Bridges, and Rosa Parks.

This is a link to a great video of a reading of her book The Story Of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles. 

If you are looking for a way to study Ruby, Martin or Rosa in your class, check out my new 
products
                                         


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Friday, February 5, 2016

Winter Skip Counting

Well, the groundhog didn't see his shadow so we might just have have an early spring, but with 9 inches of snow  in Boston today, it still feels like winter. 
This week we have been working on skip counting. The kids have been practicing counting by 5's and 10's. My kids love number puzzles so I make them for each unit. This week it's all about winter.

The kids have been counting by 10's pretty well, but they need a little extra help with counting by 5's. These puzzles are a life saver.
In order to differentiate for learners. I add a mat for those who need a little bit extra. 
I print the sheets, laminate, and then I punch a hole in each piece. Then just put them on a ring. This is an easy way to keep them organized.
Check out this product on my store
Bonus: No Prep Printable 

   














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