This week, Kindergarten students were introduced to basic addition and subtraction through Pocket Problems! Children use concrete, verbal experiences to understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from. They made sense of their problems and persevered in solving them with a partner. We had a pocket full of problems, but we worked it out!
Through reading workshop we have learned that readers look, readers think, readers read, and readers learn. Readers can spend time with a book privately or they can partner with a friend and share "wow" pages. The kindergarten students have learned that when you read a book over and over again, you become an expert on the book and can read it on your own or act it out. We have been reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears in class while students have been reading their own individually chosen books at home. Reading books over and over allows students to strengthen their story telling language and their fluency. Story telling then transfers into their writing.
On Tuesday, October 9th, the Kindergarten children traveled down to Bordentown to visit Fernbrook Farms for our first field trip of the year! Fernbrook is a working farm where the children were able to learn about different farm animals, like sheep, goats, and T-Bone the cow. We had a great time going for a ride on their tractor and enjoyed walking through the fields to pick some vegetables and herbs. The children also had an educational lesson about the soil on the farm as well as the worms that call it home! It was a spectacular way to kickoff the Fall!
Many times parents wonder how they can best support their readers at home. In the classroom, we use visual charts to help children learn the skills and strategies we teach. By sharing them with you we hope to establish a strong school/home connection for the reading process. For children to develop the comprehension skills necessary for success in future grades, we build a strong foundation in kindergarten the begins with understanding and reading pictures. Children who can talk about pictures, make connections with their personal life, make predictions about what the story might be about, notice trends/ patterns in stories, and read expressions of characters in the stories build a better foundation for when they progress to picture-less books.
The charts above are used during our Reading Workshop to remind the children of the skills we learn. We are sharing them with you so that when you read with your child, you will know the language and strategies that they are accustomed to in our classroom.
Kindergartners are very invested in the writing process! The Writing Workshop focus is on telling a story through drawings and encouraging children to be risk takers. The students learned the importance of taking their time to add details and labels to their pictures so that they can convey what the pictures mean during our writer’s share. We launched this process by having the children draw things that they absolutely love in their heart, and labeling those passions. Once children are able to write beginning letters and hear the sounds that correspond with those letters in their writing, it helps them to blend those letters together to eventually form words. The writing process is off to a great start and is sure to be a fun one!