Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A shift in writing

Students have transitioned from writing information books where they were teaching their audience about something to writing stories about their lives.  We follow the same writing process as writers but the content of writing is very different.  When exciting things happen in your life at home or funny situations arise, you could remind your child that those things might be great stories to write about during Writing Workshop.  What should you be looking for in your child's writing?  Speech bubbles, dialogue, actions and true stories.  We will be working on these skills over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

Students touch and plan their stories as part of the writing process
Planning across 5 pages

Writers LOVE sharing their stories

I was going to Sylvie's house

We were sleeping Mokey saw a hawk

Here is a visual we use to help us focus on stories that we are part of and that actually happened!

For all of you visual people

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What is your child doing during reading time in the classroom?

As we grow as readers and develop additional reading skills, the opportunities to put those skills to use also grows.  For the past 6 weeks we have practiced independent reading and partner reading daily and worked to build stamina during those times.  We will continue to do that, but now we are in a place where we are ready to an an element of choice into our reading block a few days a week.  Students will be also to choose from listening stations, iPad phonics/phonemic awareness games, word work, or additional independent reading. We will be slowly introducing these option during our reading block over the next few weeks. Yesterday students explored new apps on the iPads with a partner.  Here are a few new ones that we added that the students love:  Hairy Letters, Aplhabetics, Endless ABC, and Starfall ABCs.  I know many of you are always looking for additional educational supports at home, these are great and also work on iPods and iPhones.  

Stay tuned for new activities to choose from during choice time.

Exploring sounds on the Ipad

Practicing letter formation

Working with Mrs. Ankerson on a sticker book for 1:1 practice 

Reading groups

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Writers celebrate their work

Writers write for a purpose.  Today we celebrated be brave writers, being writers that stretch their sounds, write down sounds they hear, use the word wall to help and tap the words into parts they know.  It has been awesome learning about trees, shoes, beds, weather, Halloween, cars, vegetables, rainbows, and many other topics.  We are moving into a Narrative unit where students will be writing stories about their lives.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blending sound fun

In Phonics the students practiced their blending skills to help them in both reading and writing by listening to 3 to 4 segmented sounds and then repeated the sounds to themselves by tapping down their arm and then putting the sounds together with a sweep down the arm. Ask them to show you how this works.  Give them /c/ /a/ /t/, they will tap and repeat and then sweep down their arm with the blend of cat.  This is a great game to play in the car on the way to town or home from school.  Keep the words easy and have a little blending fun. Maybe after a few tries, they can give you sounds and you can blend them together.  

Students used pictures to find the segmented word and checked with their peers.

What to do when you think your child has memorized a book

Reading should be fun and not stressful with your child. Read to them, allow them to read to you, model reading in front of them, books, magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, to recipes and grocery lists, point out this is all reading.   

There are many stages to reading and yes, memorization is one of them.  Here are some stages you may see your child go through.

  • Point and label item in picture
  • Look at the picture and create a story about that picture
  • Look at the picture and create a story about that picture and connect the pages in the book (with the same story)
  • Look at the picture and use actual words from the story (read like a teacher)
  • Read the words in easy readers or memorize the stories
  • Read the words and use the picture to solve unknown words
  • Retelling stories

Celebrate any stage your child may be at and praise them for their hard work.  It is important to let them know all of these stages are reading.  A great way to end any book is to tell your child your favorite part and why or to make a connection to the book (This reminded me of when we took a family trip and we got a flat tire.  Invite them to share their connection with you).

Here is a video to give you a few ideas of how to interact with your child when they know a book so well it almost sounds memorized.   Once they finish you can have go back and solve a few words here and there for you or you can ask them to point under the words as they read.  

Applesauce fun

Today we used the apples from our trip Rennie Orchards to make homemade applesauce!  

It was a hit!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Rennie Orchards

Enjoying fresh pressed apple cider

Learning about a wooden apple press

The cider is made with 5 different apples and a few pears

Team work

Apple picking

Twist and push up and they release like magic

Finding the perfect apple for consumption

The perfect apple

Grandpa Rennie teaching everyone how to pick apples

Hay maze fun

Class Picture

Lunch with friends

Riding out to the coyote den

Parents volunteers to keep students safe and protect the dens

Finding a pumpkin the size of our heads

Checking out the 250 year old tree that was lost in a storm a few years back

And that's a wrap!  Tired kids!