Friday, September 11, 2015

What Kindergarten Should Look and Feel Like

Please forgive the very picture heavy post.  We had such a fantastic day today that I ended up with 200 photos and it was way too hard to pick just a few.
We read "The Way I Act" and created this poster to remind us all year long.
Today was the type of kindergarten day I hope we have each week, all year long.  It was full of laughing, excitement, reading, light bulb moments, friends, hugs, dancing, painting, math, writing, and sharing.  I love singing our welcome song with ASL, it is such a fantastic way to start the day.  Maybe soon I'll film it and share it with you so you can join in the fun.  After a little discussion about which hand is right and which is left we tucked our left hands behind our backs and practiced shaking hands and introducing ourselves and sharing about our favorite animals.  
 We had a most fantastic group reading lesson today.  I LOVE sharing with kids a few key strategies to help them learn to read.  Today we talked about the things good readers do.  I talk about this ALL THE TIME over on the preschool blog.  I encourage kids to LOOK at the letters, POINT to the letters, make the letter SOUND, and LISTEN to the sound they're making.  It is SO FUN to watch their eyes light up as you tell them that all they have to do is follow those instructions and it will immediately make them a reader.  Many kids came home with the Letter M book from the Amazing Action Alphabet.  We'll be working our way through her mini reading books throughout the year with the appropriate group of students.  Share in their joy by having them read their new book to you at home!

Play dough with loose parts and the toy center during our reading time.
Every day we spend time drawing and writing in our journals. Then we share our journals with the whole group.
 After writing comes science, and it was another AMAZING time of our day.  Today we talked about archaeologists, magnets, and color.  This month we're exploring our year long main topics in short spurts during our science time.  We'll get more into these concepts throughout the year.  Today we repeated magnets from last week and introduced color blending and archaeology.  We had a big table top sand box with dinosaurs, scoopers and paint brushes at the archaeologist center.  The color center was a HUGE hit.  There were color mixing jars to shake, color wheels to paint, and shaving cream color mixing.
 By the time we were done with science there were a few of us covered to our elbows in either shaving cream or sand.  In some cases: both.

A quick art lesson about glue.  Draw a speck, a dot, a puddle and a lake.  Talk about the size of each.  Then on one piece of paper demonstrate a speck of glue, a dot of glue, a puddle of glue, and a lake of glue.  Through a little discussion kids can come to the conclusion that a dot of glue is the appropriate size of liquid glue to use for a project.
We continued our conversation about how families and friends are important and help each other during our art time.  Many of the children were able to bring family photos and some even had a list of people in their family.  Thank you to the parents for supporting that!  We then were able to share about our families and make our own family trees.
 Our first lesson on identifying instruments and the sounds they make was amazing.  It was fantastic to hear from kids who could identify orchestra instruments and how to play them (in the air).  Many have siblings that play an instrument that we explored today.  As we listened to the instruments we also practiced air playing them.  Then we danced around to a variety of operatic scores.
 Subitization is a fancy word for being able to recognize a group of objects as a number without needing to count.  Think about how you look at the roll of a die.  If it lands with 5 dots on top I'm quite certain you don't count the dots every time.  You just know that that arrangement is 5.  That's what we're going for in kindergarten right now.  After we played some subitization games each child received a piece of paper to draw and write all the different forms of one number that they possibly could.  Then we shared our work with our class.  As we share our work and discussion of numbers and their representations we increase our mathematical vocabulary.  
 As this is my personal blog and I am a homeschooling mom I like to highlight the fun things that EMan did during his Options school day.  I don't get to see much of CJ during school (he's in the second grade group) but EMan I have direct access to for this school year :).

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  Happy learning!

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