Sunday, January 22, 2017

One last post this weekend.
You buy cheap, you get cheap, I suppose. I bought a new one this weekend, again a cheap one. 
What's wrong with it? It no longer lets me select a track. Has a mind of its own.
I tried cleaning the sensor with a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. No luck.
If anyone wants to take a look and see if they can figure it out, you're more than welcome. Send me an e-mail or note by your student. Then (maybe) we'll have a back-up.

Winter Decorations
Above you see one of the many paper chains our students made before Christmas vacation in collaboration with their 7th and 8th grade buddies. I came in during the break and put up every chain that was made on the last day of school.
 The "littles" and the "olders" all had great fun. I taught many of the 7th and 8th graders when they were in kindergarten. It's so nice to see them back in my classroom. Being a mentor is a fantastic confidence booster and an all round good experience. It's amazing to see the nurturing these "tough" junior high kids can give. Just think, one day, your child will be the nurturers!

Blue Book Envelopes
Students should be bringing home books to read with you at least once a week. They may take them more often if they want. Please encourage your student to return his or her envelope to the classroom when he or she is done with the book. I generally don't allow readers to take books home unless their book envelope is available. that way books are protected.
If a reader is stuck on a word we use these beginning strategies:
*Get your mouth ready with the first sound.
*Cross check information from picture and does the word make sense?
When a reader seems frustrated after trying the above, just give him the word.
Have fun and relax together!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Latest bulletin: The rink at the Knowlton Park in Ellsworth is due to open Tuesday, January 10th in the morning.
Unfortunately, the ice rink in Ellsworth is not open yet! I'm hoping for next weekend. Will keep you posted when I find out for sure. 😊

Friday, January 6, 2017

Kindergarten Parents! 
Do you know about the ice skating rink at the Knowlton Park on State Street in Ellsworth? It's open to the public for free. There are hours on weekend mornings when certain hockey teams play but I believe after 11:00, it's open to all. I plan to go this weekend both on Saturday and Sunday around 1:00pm.
The nice thing about this rink is volunteers clear it after a big storm.
I hope to see you and your families there, if not this weekend, then maybe another time.
It's also fun to go out for hot chocolate afterwards, or bring your own in a thermos!

Monday, January 2, 2017

High Frequency Word Practice
I promised you some activities to foster word reading with your kindergartener. 
First, here's the list of words we've covered so far in case you've misplaced it:

Here's a game called Bang! that you could play with the entire family. Make a box with cards in it. Some will say Bang! and others will have multiples of the above words. You can add some other words that your child is learning if these words are already known. Sit in a circle. Each player takes a card out when it's his turn and reads it. If they can read it, they get to put it down in front of them. If they cannot read it, it goes back in the box. If they pull the word, "Bang!" out, all the words they've collected this far go back in the box. Keep playing until the group gets tired or set a timer and the winner is the one with the most cards when the timer goes off. Players may keep a written record of the # of cards accumulated and try to beat their record next time.
Bean Bag Toss: Divide a shower curtain liner into a grid of 20 squares. Make cards with high frequency words on them and print  a  # of points on it in the corner of the card. The student tosses a bean bag onto a square and if she can read the word, gets the number of points on the card. At the end of the game she adds up all her points.
Don't forget those old favorites: Concentration (Memory), Bingo and Tic Tac Toe.

Math Games

Math Games are fun and so much learning goes on when we're playing. This one is called Santa's Hat Bump and it's so much fun, we may keep playing it even though the holidays are over. It involves rolling two dice and adding the numbers together. We think about what strategy to use when adding. Do we "just know" that 6 and 6 equals 12? Do we choose the highest number when we roll a 4 and 5, stick it in our head and count on? Five...six, seven, eight, nine. Do we use the number line? Start on 5 and jump 4 spots forward.
This game is fun because you place your color cube on the answer you get. If your partner gets the same answer and you only have one cube on the hat, he can bump your cube off. Once there are two cubes of one color on the hat, you may not bump a cube off.

Here are some photos of our friends during the last week before vacation. This was "hat day". We wore our hats in class during Choice Time, as it would have been too exciting to wear them all day!