Saturday, September 8, 2012

Our First Few Weeks

We now have 2 1/2 weeks under our belt! The kids are doing awesome and we're starting to settle into a routine! Here's what we've been up to....

Daily 5
Love, Love, love, how this has been going! We've worked our way up to six minutes during read to self and on Monday I will introduce Work on Writing. We learned all about Independence during Read to Self and also how to choose good fit books, with the Two Sister's lesson on shoes. In the beginning my kids were just choosing books out of our community book buckets and then finding a seat around the room. My one rule is that they must choose a new seat each time so that their muscle memory isn't tied to any one spot. They have been practicing the three ways to read a book - read the words, read the pictures, and retell the story. Then our Donors Choose project came in and each kid got their own book box! We filled them with little books we've worked on in class ( from my pack and from Deanna Jump). After our lesson on good fit books the kids went through the book shelf and picked out a book or two that interest them to add to their box. 

Writer's Workshop
Our school uses Lucy Caulkins and we started by talking about writer's and all the things writer's write. Then we made it into an anchor chart to hang up. We read the book "The Best Story" which is an AWESOME book about writing from your heart. That lead to us making our heart maps. The kids drew all the things, people, places they love. This stays in their folder and they can always look back at it if they need inspiration for writing topics. We introduced the writing process and taught that brainstorming ideas like we did on our Heart maps is called Pre-Writing. We gave each child a clip with their name on it and let them stick it on the top of our writing clip chart on "Pre-Writing" as we move through the different stages, the kids will move their clips to stay accountable. I forgot to take pictures of the kids heart maps, but you can see my modeled example here. 

We did several activities to practice our names, including Rainbow names, and graphing the letters in our names. We also made our A my name is Alice portraits. These are all from Deanna Jump's Fun with Names pack

We've been using Kathleen Pedersen's Calendar pack and I am so in love with it! My projector was stolen over the summer so I am forced to use an old dinosaur overhead projector, but I will still rave about it!! Love how it covers so many math & Social Studies concepts all at once in an efficient way!

Science & Social Studies:
We've been learning about families, and also our five senses. Next week we'll be doing a fun five senses project with popcorn! :)

We've started numbers 0-5 which fall under Counting and Cardinality on the Common core. I don't have pictures since I don't teach math. (I teach two classes writing and my next door neighbor teaches two classes math)

Common Core:
Our district has officially switched over both Kindergarten and 1st Grade to the new common core standards, as well as a new report card. We were told we now need to have every single standard listed in our grade book with room to document four attempts at mastery. We knew there was no way that was all going to fit into our rinky-dink blue covered grade books they gave us, so my co-team leader and I set about making a grade book that would have space for the whole class, all the standards, and four attempts each. You can check out our Kindergarten pack here:

And our 1st Grade pack here

We'll soon be uploading 2nd - 5th grade as well since they'll be switching over in the coming years too. 

We also made a Kindergarten (1st grade on the way!) version that is about twice as long. This one has only one standard per page, and room for five attempts. (4 regular attempts, and an exceeds expectations assignment) You can check that one out HERE.

If your district does common core I would love to hear how you go about recording what is taught when, who master's what, and how it is reflected on your report card!!

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