Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh The Things They Will Say.....Gorgeous

Today during storytime a student from the classroom next door came by to return a book that his teacher had borrowed.  I had never met this little guy so I introduced myself.  As he left I commented to the class that he was a very handsome young man.  One of my students chimed in and said that he was pretty.  Giggles erupted and I gently explained that we usually refer to girls as pretty and to boys as handsome.

Never missing an opportunity to make a good point, C. announced most emphatically, "Girls are not pretty.  They are GORGEOUS!"

I have decided to rename C.  He will be referred to as P.C. from now on.  P.C. for Prince Charming.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Patterns Galore

I think one of the most important concepts we work on in Kindergarten is Patterning.  It is so essential for young children in both early math and reading.  Each year at this time we spend about three weeks on solid instruction and practice in Patterning.  I think it sets a successful pace for the rest of the school year. My little ones begin to see and hear patterns EVERYWHERE!  Even after our unit of study is complete, I continue to teach about patterns by infusing them into our daily learning environment.  It's like a never ending pattern hunt!

I am always searching for good storybooks on patterning.  Here are a few favorites from my classroom library that focus on patterns in sound, movement and the environment.

These next books are favorites for patterns in reading.


Joy Cowley wrote three of these books.  She is a fantastic children's author who frequently uses patterns to build fluency.  Her books are among my students' most requested read alouds!

Some of the fun Patterning activities we do include:

  • A Pattern Walk through the school campus.  It is amazing what patterns kids find in carpet, ceiling tiles, concrete block walls, windows.  You name it....they find it!

  • A Pattern Gallery in our classroom.  I dump about 500 manipulatives of different shapes, colors and sizes on the learning carpet.  Each child chooses 6-8 and builds a pattern at their table.  When everyone is finished, I play relaxing piano music and the kids visit the tables as though they are an art gallery.  Each child's pattern becomes a work of art!  When it is clean up time it becomes a great sorting activity as all 500 manipulatives go back into their correct boxes.

  • Partner Patterns in which kids take turns with a partner to create, then copy and extend each other's pattern. 
Have you heard of Carol Hurst? She has a wonderful website with a section devoted to Patterns in Children's Literature. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh The Things They Will Say....Baby Parts

T. is very excited because her Mommy is having a baby.  Yesterday T. went to the doctor with her Mommy to view the ultrasound that would reveal whether she is having a baby brother or sister.  Today she proudly brought in three fuzzy ultrasound pictures to share with the class.

I introduced her special share time by saying, "Class, T. has something very special to show us today. She has photos called ultrasound that are kind of like xrays.  They are pictures of the inside of her Mommy's tummy.  T, what is in each of these pictures?" 

Just before T. could respond up popped B. who announced to everyone, "I know, I know!  Them are baby parts!"

By the way.....T's Mommy is having a girl.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

T is for.......a Terrific Time with our Teddies!

Celebrating the letter T is a terrific tradition in KG at our school.  We read "The Terrible Tiger" by Joy Cowley.  We make tiger puppets.  We recite the classic rhyme "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear."  And we always end the week by bringing our teddy bears to school .  I like to refer to it as a "furry show and tell" that lasts all day long.  And if the kids don't have a teddy bear?  No worries....a stuffed racoon, bunny, dog, or even a turtle will do just fine!

We read with our teddy bears inside our new learning box

We included them in our block play
We enjoyed a teddy bear tea party...

where our furry friends were our special guests

and the simple joy of bonding with a new friend
over a favorite toy are realized

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who's Having Fun Learning?.......EveryBODY!

Our classroom was full of energy as we learned about the human body this week. One of our favorite activities was to work in cooperative groups to create body tracings. 

In one group E. was a tracer and K. was a model.

Another fun job was to label the body parts from head to toe.

Adding internal organs was a important task in the groups

We learned that sometimes its a good idea to check out a bigger model

or an available reference
or even to place a part on our own body to make sure
we were on the right track

 After the organs were placed, more details were added to the bodies.
Check out the veins in this circulatory system!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh The Things They Will Say.....We Are One

Today we were preparing to make the transition to the cafeteria for lunch. As I directed my students to line up at the door E. spontaneously announced, "I know my lunch number! I know my lunch number! I know my lunch number!" E. has done this every single day at this time for the last 3 weeks. I felt it was time to gently explain that although I was very proud of him for learning his lunch number, it was not necessary for him to loudly announce it to the class before lunch every day. 

Upon hearing this a very emphathetic K. consoled E. by saying "It's ok, we are one," and added the sign language gesture for the word "together."

As if on perfect cue, up popped C. who pointed his finger in the air like a proud politician and proclaimed, "And God Bless America!"

I do believe my recent lessons on classroom unity did not fall on deaf ears after all.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh The Things They Will Say.....Laminate It!

Today I was performing (and I use that term literally) reading diagnostics on my young students.  One part  involved reading aloud a short passage and then asking questions to assess oral comprehension.  It was E.'s turn and he sat eagerly in the chair and listened intently as I told him the story of a little boy who draws very well . So well that his teacher shows his drawings to his class at school.  The story goes on to reveal that he makes a special card and breakfast for his Mom and presents it to her on Mother's Day.

One of the comprehension questions asked what the little boy's teacher did with his drawings at school.  The correct response being that she showed his drawings to the class at school. 

E.'s response?...........she laminated them.  Gotta love this kid!

Monday, September 6, 2010

S is for Silly....Silly Learning Fun

What a silly week!  Did you know that it is impossible to be silly and sad at the same time?  We practiced and practiced being silly all week and here are some highlights.

S. practiced cutting skills and created a really silly snake.
J. thought it was pretty silly when he stood in a chair to count the cubes on his tower.
We read "Silly Sally" by Audrey Wood and then practiced walking backwards upside down.
We explored our sense of touch by feeling silly substances.
We explored our sense of taste by sampling sweet, salty and sour substances...
and discovered that the taste of sour limes creates the silliest faces!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oh The Things They Will Say.....Today I Met Water

Today one of my students came to me after we returned to the classroom from PE and said, "Mrs. Pearce, I just met water."  I was immediately fascinated and promptly replied, "You did!  What did you say to water when you met it?"  She thought for a brief moment and exclaimed, "Well...I said water I love you!"

I think PE in the hot Florida sun made her a little delirious.  I decided she needed more hydration and sent her back to the water fountain so that I could laugh hysterically without her watching!