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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Starting Out Our New School Year

I want to start out by welcoming all of my new parents to our class blog! This blog was created to share all of the wonderful things that your kids do in our class!

This week was our first week with all of our 29 new friends together! We are very crowded but doing what we can to make the best of it! The kids have let us know that they want to feel happy, safe, and successful in our school.  Our days have been filled with learning how we behave to have a happy, safe place for us here at school that will help us be successful!  Next week, the kids will help create a poster showing these three things.


We are also meeting new friends!  Each day we have a special friend that we focus on! We create a web map about them and then the kids write a story about our friend.  We gather the stories and staple them into a book for our special friend to take home.  The kids are in the process of learning that we can tell stories through pictures.  They are very simplistic drawings at the moment. They will get more detailed as we study authors and how they use pictures to tell stories.  

Right away we started hearing, "But I don't know how to draw..."  We read this story called "Ish" by Peter Reynolds:
It's about a child who doesn't think he can draw anything right.  His sister tells him to make them "ish!" As in tree-ish or horse-ish, or dragon-ish.  After she tells him this, he feels free to draw anything and everything without worrying that it looks "perfect" or is done "right." This story really helped give the kids confidence to do their personal best and be happy with the results!

We have also been reviewing letters and the sounds they make! A project they are working on as a class is to create a big book about the alphabet to help them out if they forget! Here is an example of one of the pages.

The "Hh" page for our Big Book of ABC's
They are also learning to read some alphabet books that are being sent home. These are for them to keep in a box or bag beside their bed to practice their reading skills throughout the year. They will build up a large collection of these books so they will need a special place for them to keep them!

We have also been exploring math materials.  The kids are playing with them and us teachers are pointing out some of the math concepts they are exploring naturally without our direction! Here are some examples of things they started doing naturally when the materials were provided to them!

Sorting

Comparing weight

Patterns

We also found kids practicing counting! They loved exploring these materials!

We have an hour of our day dedicated to exploration and sharing.  Right now the focus is on taking care of the materials, cleaning and organizing, and playing kindly with our friends.  Here are just a few thing they explored:

Developing strong finger muscles by creating sculptures with clay

Mixing colors.  I see a future inquiry on shades beginning here!

Engineering

Clay, home living, our sense of sight, and painting

It has been a great start to our new year! I look forward to exploring with this group!

2 comments:

  1. I have been scanning your site/blog because my county is venturing toward inquiry learning in Kindergarten. The administration is very supportive, but we teachers are struggling to create lesson plans. We understand that the learning will happen through inquiry, but we are not sure how that will look in lesson plans. Can you offer any help with a format or what you do for your plans? Love your room and the things you have done with your students.

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  2. I have an inquiry planner that I created and a web map to organize ideas that I got from Joanne Babalis' blog. I also have a printout of all of the math/literacy standards on one page to highlight what I will be able to cover through the inquiry and/or project. I start out by putting out some provocations to see if they grab on to something they want to dig deeper about. Then I ask them what they know and what they wonder. I take that information and plan experiences (stories, videos, hands on, individual projects). Then I plan how they are going to organize the data they learned (web maps, circle maps, tree maps, big books, posters, videos, etc.). Then we use this data to create a project(s). At some point this year I may try to create a tab that has some of the resources that I have created. Good luck on your journey! I look forward to hearing all about it!!
    Sincerely,
    Darla Myers

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