100 Days Smarter

Can you believe it’s been 100 days (now 107) of Kindergarten?! We spent the day celebrating and learning about ‘100’ in a variety of ways. We started by getting prepared the day before, during Maker Monday. We morphed ourselves into the future to be ‘100 years old’ and we talked about what we would be doing when we were 100 years old!

Then, on the actual 100th day, the real fun began! We started by making “100th Day” crowns and necklaces. We counted by 5’s and 10’s to arrive at 100. We also enjoyed a ‘100 Hershey’s Kisses Hunt’ where we had to find 100 hidden Hershey’s Kisses in the courtyard! We ended our day by making a gumball machine filled with 100 gumballs. Don’t worry, we read several ‘100th Day’ stories throughout the day too  🙂 We even did a backwards count to see how many days are left this school year! We get to cut off a paper chain every day for the countdown.

Jewish Studies: Thank you so much for coming to our Kindergarten Shabbat! Enjoy the videos below. We are proud of our munchkins 🙂

We have started learning about the story of Purim! We have made projects, learned the new vocabulary associated with the holiday, and even learned new Israeli songs. We got to make our own megillah, bake hamantaschen, and even act out the story of Purim in our classrooms with costumes. We continue to practice and review our usual curriculum as we expand our knowledge every day!

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Specialty Spotlight

We have a lot happening at Martin J Gottlieb Day School!! We have the 100th day of school next Tuesday (Don’t forget to make your shirt!), MakerCon Tuesday evening at 6:30pm and even our Kindergarten Shabbat on Friday evening starting at 5:15pm. See you there 🙂 Shabbat Shalom!

Language Development: Creating an Alphabet Sounds Class Book

I love publishing ebooks with my students. My Kindergarten class just finished collaborating on an Alphabet Sounds Book where each page is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet. This idea was inspired by a tweet from Beverley Babbage. Thank you! To get us started, we read The Icky Bug Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta and Ralph Masiello. We decided that the topic of our book should be food and began by brainstorming different foods for each letter of the alphabet. I helped by writing the foods on the board and by naming a food beginning with “U” and another with  “X”. The students easily named several food items for each of the other 24 letters.

This project was an opportunity to build on the work done in the classroom by promoting letter and sound identification. In the classroom, students learn that words consist of small units of sound, or phonemes. Those phonemic awareness skills are important as they allow students to decode words on their own.

We created our class book using the Book Creator app for iPad. The app makes it easy enough for students to work on separate devices. Once finished, all pages can then be combined into one book.

The requirements for each page included the name of the food, typed initial letters in both upper- and lowercase, writing the letter using the app’s pen tool, drawing a picture of the food and, finally, recording themselves saying the sound, the letter, and the word. The students enjoyed playing with the fonts and color options and are very proud of their work. They’d love to read your comments!

Now–can you name a food that starts with X??

 

Link to book: https://vimeo.com/255064002

Crossposted on liquidliteracy.com

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Wait until you see…

General Studies: Prepare to be blown away! We have come a long way from ‘inventive spelling.’ We now have so many tools that are at our disposal during “writing workshop.” We have learned several strategies that also help us be better writers!

Strategies:

  • Draw our stories to match our words.
  • We have to use the power of rereading and editing.
  • Use our snap words (the word wall).
  • Use our partnerships – authors never write alone.

Tools:

  • Writers’ checklist
  • Vowel chart (Every single word has at least one vowel!)
  • ABC chart
  • Blends and digraphs chart

 

You will notice we are now writing full sentences all on our own! Our sentences *usually* have a capital at the beginning and punctuation at the end. Remember when we were just labeling pictures and writing single words?! We are going to learn how to write amazing story beginnings and we will even learn how to end a story with feelings. I am so proud of our Kinders!!! Our next writing unit is all about informative writing or ‘how-to’ books. It’s going to be good 🙂

Jewish Studies: We continue working our way through the Hebrew aleph bet. We are all the way up to ‘mem!’ We continue to work on Hebrew reading and writing during center time. We have been reviewing numbers, shapes, colors, and parts of the body! It’s fun for us to learn the Torah story each week, too. We completed our study of  Tu B’Shevat and are excited to learn about the story and traditions of  Purim next.

Thank you for sending Tzedaka in with your child every Friday! You are welcome to send in non-perishable food, clothes, or whatever you can spare. We are working very hard to get prepared for Kindergarten Shabbat!! We can’t wait to see you on February 16th, at 5:15pm.

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It’s all about the ‘families’ (fact families and word families)!

General Studies: Wow! We are really getting the hang of number bonds! I hope you checked out the link in our previous post 🙂

We are slowly working our way through these numbers to create all the possible number bonds! Think of them like fact families. So far, we have done 5, 6, and 7. We cannot wait to keep exploring!

In our spelling, we have moved on from letter sorting and letter identification; we are making rhymes and word families! Why are word families important? Word families are key to helping us learn patterns as we read. They even help us with our writing! Spelling is a great tool that we use in most of our core subjects. As we continue learning about word families, I urge you to let your children play any game in “Games 1-5” using the following link: http://more2.starfall.com/n/level-a/learn-to-read/load.htm?f  Starfall is an amazing resource with lots of other educational games, but “Games 1-5” focus on our word families and “Books 1-5” focus on short vowels used in our word families 🙂

Jewish Studies:

We have had so much fun learning about Tu B’Shevat! We hope you enjoyed our program 🙂 Our little fruits were the cutest in the bunch!

We can’t wait to continue learning! We have lots of exciting things coming up in Jewish Studies. Hopefully everyone has their calendars marked for February 16, 2018 for our special Kindergarten Shabbat. More information coming soon!

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80 (8 tens and 0 ones) days in Kindergarten!

Everyone got taller over winter break 🙂 Welcome back! Firstly, help me in welcoming our new friend! We are so excited to have her join us for the rest of the year.

General Studies: Can you believe it’s been 80 (8 tens and 0 ones) days of kindergarten?! We celebrated by making the number ’80’ out of play-dough!

We are continuing through our math curriculum and have arrived at counting up to 20! We have been very busy learning about place value. We have counted with everything in sight – beans, checkers, magnets, bears, cars and more! The process of thinking of our numbers as tens and ones helps to organize our minds as we progress through the curriculum. For example, the number 13 is broken into 1 ten and 3 ones, yet the number 21 is broken into 2 tens and 1 one.

We will soon be starting number bonds! Number bonds are a different way to think of addition. We have 1 part and 1 part that make a whole. You will see this illustrated as a triangle-like figure with circles on the end!

Please visit the following link to learn more about number bonds so you can help your child learn: https://komodomath.com/blog/parents-guide-to-number-bonds

Jewish Studies: We finished up Hanukkah and have moved on to Tu B’Shevat! We learn new vocabulary related to the holiday along with the meaning of the holiday. We learn new songs, do projects, and more. We hope to see you at the Tu B’Shevat program on January 23rd, at 6:30pm!! We are going to surprise you with a song 🙂 We continue to work on reading and writing during Hebrew centers. Our vocabulary continues to grow! We are still learning the Torah stories each week, too.

Thank you for all the tzedakah! We continue to give tzedakah every Friday, if possible, towards our mitzvah trip at the end of the year. We will go to Winn Dixie with our tzedakah money and buy food for the poor to bring to the food pantry.

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Toasting to the New Year!

General Studies: We had a great week before Winter Break! We had some things to wrap up and continued our learning across all subjects while making it fun 🙂 During Maker Monday, we got to explore with Spheros, straw connectors, and even Legos to make Hanukkah related items! We started numbers up to 20 in math and boy were we good at it! We are learning to find a ‘ten’ first, then to count the ones. We love getting to visit the older kids and see what they are learning about. This week we got to see their science fair projects that they worked so hard on! The middle schoolers did a great job of explaining their projects to us. We even got to collaborate and celebrate with 1st grade during their reading celebration!

We started to get ready for the new year and made our very own ‘toasts for 2018’! We talked about the month and year changing and we also talked about how we are growing and changing, too!! We noticed some of us even have wiggly teeth, so we are going to graph it when they come out 🙂

Jewish Studies: We wrapped up Hanukkah this week! What a fun time we had. We got to make edible dreidels, and we even got presents galore…we are so loved!! We continued to learn about the story of Joseph and we even acted it out. We are excited to start learning about more holidays, like Tu B’Shevat, when we get back from break! We are always reviewing our vocabulary including colors, numbers, seasons, alef-bet, and shapes.

Specialty Spotlight: Library – Coding: Creating Animated Hanukkah Greeting Cards

For the last few weeks, Kindergarten students participated in coding activities. At this age, it’s all about building a relationship with algorithms — a list of instructions that can be followed to finish a task. Think about the steps involved in making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or tying your shoes or, as we did in class, drawing a smiley face. All instructions have to be completed in a certain sequence in order to finish the task. We started with two “unplugged” lessons. Next, we applied those concepts by integrating coding skills with literacy skills. We read I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz (David Slonim, illus.), a story that lends itself perfectly for a sequencing activity as the Old Lady devours ever greater Hanukkah foods and symbols to be at last reconnected with her family. Students completed a coding sheet, placing arrows in the correct order of events. This allowed students to code and connect to Hanukkah all in one lesson. Finally, we went digital with the Scratch Jr. app where students created an animated Hanukkah greeting card. Please look for your child’s coding project on his/her blog.

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Did you know we have SUPER POWERS?

General Studies: Did you know that we have SUPER POWERS? Reading powers, that is. In our Lucy Calkins Reading Workshop we have learned (and designed) several powers to help us become better readers! I thought I would take this opportunity to describe our powers so you can encourage your children to use them at home while reading every night 😉

Pointer Power: You put your finger under one word, then the next, and the next, and you can actually read what the words say.

Reread Power: You can pick a story to reread the words and do it in a special way! For example, will you whisper reread? Reread with a beat or to a song? Reread in a special accent? Rereading helps us learn more words.

Partner Power: Partners can help make your reading even stronger. Partners also help remind you to use your powers (e.g. echo reading, hunting for snap words)! Partners are a way for you to double your reading power.

Picture Power: When you are reading and encounter trouble, that’s the time when you especially need to activate your super powers! We could activate picture power to help us figure out hard words by looking at the picture. We use the pictures as clues to find out what the words are.

Snap Word Power: We can make our own snap words (these are words we can read in a ‘snap’)! If you want to turn a word into a snap word you do this: look, read, spell, write, look, read.

Sound Power: Sometimes picture power isn’t powerful enough to tackle the really tough words, so we have to activate sound power! We use our alphabet chart to remind us of letter sounds as we read them. We put the sounds together to read an entire word.

Persistence Power: If one power doesn’t work, super readers use another one!! Readers try one thing and then another to tackle the trouble. We don’t give up, we persist 🙂

Book Talk Power: Super readers don’t just read books, we TALK about books, too! Try introducing a book or retelling a book.

Pattern Power: Even when there are more words on a page or the sentences are longer, there is often a pattern in the sentences! We can use pattern power to help us read almost every page and help us know what our book is about.

Jewish Studies:

We are into Hanukkah! We have enjoyed making projects related to the holiday. We continue to learn the stories from the Torah and we are going to learn about Joseph and the “technicolor dream coat.” During centers we work on writing and reading Hebrew. We are always reviewing vocabulary related to the seasons, numbers, colors, shapes, and letters.

Hanukkah Celebration:

We had so much fun with the whole school at our Hanukkah party! We were broken up into teams and played a really fun game of dreidel. We even got to have sufganiyot, yummy! Please watch our performance below. We sang to the whole school 🙂

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S P E L L …ing

General Studies: We are so very thrilled to introduce our new spelling program. The authors of Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction determined that “the purpose of word study is twofold. First, students develop a general knowledge of English spelling. They learn how to examine words through active exploration using a hands-on, manipulative approach. Students also discover generalizations about spelling, instead of just spelling rules. They learn the regularities, patterns, and conventions of English orthography needed to read and spell. Second, word study increases students’ specific knowledge of words. Specific knowledge relates to the spelling and meaning of individual words.”

The spelling program is very individualized! We get to explore our ‘sorts’ through cutting/gluing, games on our interactive smart board, and we even write on the wall!

For more information about Words Their Way and how you can help,  please visit this PDF link (it will download to your computer and then you can open it and read): wordstheirway(1)

Jewish Studies: This week we continue to learn about Hanukkah! We are  learning the vocabulary and songs for the holiday. Our projects are also all about Hanukkah! We continue doing centers twice a week. During centers we get to practice reading in Hebrew, writing the alef-bet, and exploring the Hebrew language through games and puzzles. We are constantly reviewing our everyday vocabulary along with out numbers, shapes, and colors.

Spotlight: In ‘Maker Monday’ this week, we designed our own tin foil boat and then we each counted how many pennies it would hold before it sank! This was a perfect connection to math as we have been learning about weight – heavier and lighter.

 

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Centers, Hooray!!!

General Studies: “Aw man, I missed it!” exclaims a kindergartner as she walks into the classroom at 8:30am. We’ve started centers!!! Can you believe it? We get to start our morning with some independent, hands on learning activities and playing. What are centers and why are they such a big deal? “Learning centers are areas within the classroom where students learn about specific subjects by playing and engaging in activities. Play is an active form of learning that involves the whole self. Even cognitive development, the primary focus in today’s kindergarten, is achieved through child-initiated exploration and discovery. However, children need certain strategies and skills, such as making decisions, carrying out plans, cooperating and sharing with others, and problem-solving, in order to play and learn independently” (www.scholastic.com). We are lucky that we have the chance to grow and expand on these skills!

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/allie-magnuson/learning-centers-part-1-why-theyre-important/

Jewish Studies: We continue to work on the letters and numbers all the way to 100! We are working on our vocabulary with each letter of the aleph bet. We are working during centers with handwriting and we are even starting to read Hebrew! We work on the Torah portion, too. We split our time between the Torah portions and between our usual study including shapes, numbers, colors and parts of the body. We continue to learn about the seasons and more! We are so excited to learn about Hanukkah. We are learning the holiday vocabulary, songs, and meaning of the holiday. We are making fun projects to take home related to Hanukkah and we are learning the Hanukkah vocabulary, too!

Specialty Spotlight: Science Lab

We have gotten to go to the science lab TWICE recently!! We got to expand on our learning about night and day by learning about the phases of the moon with oreos 😉 we also got to expand on our learning about the plant life cycle! We are germinating!!!

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Thankful Turkeys and VIP Day

We’ve got so much to be thankful for! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and friends. We can’t wait to see you when everyone comes back!

Thank you for coming to celebrate VIP day with us! We enjoyed building and crafting with all of our special guests 🙂 Please enjoy these pictures showing all the fun we had with our favorite people!

PSSST . . . The Book Fair is Coming!!!

I’m inviting you to be part of our school Book Fair. It’s taking place December 4 – 8th in the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School Library. You can shop for books for your entire family! If for some reason you can’t make it, or you want to shop from an expanded selection, you can now visit the Fair online at www.scholastic.com/bf/mjgdslibrary November 29-December 8 at your convenience.

The Online Fair:

  • to view my “Classroom Wish List,” select the “Classroom Wish Lists” tab on the online Book Fair site, and then look for my name or class under the grade listing on the left.
  • is available November 29 – December 8 and all orders ship FREE to school the following week
  • provides a chance for you and your child to create and send “Wish List” to friends and family so they can participate in the Book Fair
  • offers an expanded book selection for all ages—from preschoolers to adults. All in-school and online Book Fair purchases benefit our school.

Thank you for helping us foster a love of reading for our children!

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