Friday, September 26, 2014

Making Applesauce

It was a very busy Friday in our Kindergarten classroom.  We celebrated Johnny Appleseed's birthday by making applesauce.  The first thing we did was come up with a recipe...

This really helped us to know what to do.  We added all of our apples…boy, did we have a lot of apples!


We added some water and sugar.  Then we let the apples cook.  It took a long time and it smelled delicious.  We had a hard time concentrating on our apple project because the room smelled so good!



Finally it was time to try our applesauce.  Some of really liked it…and some of us, not so much!  That's OK, because at least we tried it!


 Even Mr. Ciemny stopped by to have some of our delicious applesauce!

We finished the story Mrs. Holtz started to read to us yesterday.  For our community writing project today, we wrote her a thank you note.  We also decided to let her know what happened in the story since she was not able to finish it with us.


It was so nice to see so many of our Northview Families attending the PTO sponsored Playground Night.  It was a beautiful evening and we all had lots of fun.  Thanks Northview PTO!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

interactive Read Aloud and Our First Library Visit!

We had a guest reader in our classroom today.  Her name is Mrs. Tori Holtz.  Mrs. Holtz teaches fourth grade in the afternoons at Northview and she is the Literacy Coach for our staff.  Mrs. Holtz works with students and teachers at Northview and she has a really cool job.  She teaches our teachers how to be even better teachers.  She also has lots of really cool books.  Today she visited us and read us the story "Ralph Tells a Story" written and illustrated by Abby Hanlon.


This story was about a little boy named Ralph who was having trouble thinking of an idea to write a story about in school.  This was pretty interesting to us, because sometimes we have trouble thinking of ideas for stories to share in our Drawing and Writing Journals, too!  Mrs. Holtz was teaching us how to take turns in our discussion, how to share our thinking and how to dig deep and think about the author's message of the story.  We actually did not finish the story today, so we are all very anxious for tomorrow so we can see if Ralph ever did write a story on his own.  Be sure to ask us what happens in the story!

Guess what else we got to do today?  We had our first visit to our school Library!!!  Mrs. Joanna helped us learn how to choose books and how to check our books out.  We even got to look at books to see if they were interesting before we checked them out!  We are only allowed to borrow one book at a time and we can't get a new one until we return the last one we borrowed.  Our class will always visit the library on Thursdays so please help us remember to return our library books before Thursdays if we can.



Visiting the library was awesome.  We can't wait to go back next Thursday!

Managed Independent Learning and Digital Citizenship

This past week, we have started learning about Managed Independent Learning.  We are just in the beginning stages of this and are starting out with some very basic activities.  The idea behind this is to have activities that students can complete independently.  Each child has a stick with their name on it and is assigned a color and activity to start with.  Eventually, the goal is for the students to be able to complete an activity and then move their stick down to the next activity when they have finished the previous one.  Here is a ample of the chart and activities we are currently using to learn this system.

The students love participating in these activities and are beginning to manage their learning independently.  They are learning how to set up and clean up each activity in a responsible manner as well.



On Tuesday, we had a visit from Mrs. Fleck, our Northview technology teacher.  She gave us a presentation on "Digital Citizenship".  She reminded us that we need to be sure and ask permission when we want to use the computer at school or at home.  She also taught us about using the computer in safe, responsible ways.  Later this year, we will have the opportunity to visit our two computer labs at Northview and to use the classroom computer and mobile lab, too.  We will have lots of chances to use our amazing technology tools at Northview!    

Thanks, Mrs. Fleck!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Busy Week!

Hello families!

We continue to work on building community and establishing procedures and routines in our kindergarten classroom.  It is pretty amazing to see the progress we have made in just thirteen days.  These students are working hard and learning to do their best in kindergarten!

One of our many community writing projects this week involved explaining our Zones of Regulation chart.  Using colors and numbers, this chart helps us to remember where and when to use our appropriate voices at school.  We even came up with examples of things we might be doing for each category.  This has been very helpful to us!

In Writer's Workshop, we have been focusing on storytelling, which is the foundation for writing!  Everyone has a story (or more!) to tell.  We have learned how important it is for the storyteller to speak clearly, make eye contact with the audience, and add details to the story so the audience can visualize, or see it.  We have also discovered that it is important for the audience to look at the storyteller, listen and try to "see" the story, and to ask questions.  It has been a great experience and we will work more on this next week.


We completed a pretty cool community project this week.  We read the story "The Crayon Box That Talked" by Shane DeRolf.  In this story, the crayons did not get along very well.  After a little girl bought the crayons, she brought them home and taught them how to get along.  At the end of the story, the author writes:

"We are a box of crayons.  Each one of us unique.  But when we get together, the picture is complete!"

We talked about what we thought the author's message was to this story and we decided that the author is teaching us to be kind and good to each other.  Next we did a project that would show that we are each unique students, but we are also a community.

Mrs. Kurt gave each student a puzzle piece.  Students had to print their name on the puzzle piece.  Then they had to decorate the piece with pictures that showed things they like to do or things that are important to them.  When they finished decorating their puzzle piece, they had to cut it out.


We gathered on our rug and went to work, putting the pieces of our puzzle together.  Mrs. Radermacher helped us, too.


And here is the finished product:

In Math, we have been learning how to use our math work places properly.  We are learning how to get the work places out, how to use them, how to clean up and put them away when we are finished using them.  We have also been exploring some pretty cool math tools in these work places, including unifix cubes, polydrons, geoboards and geobands, pattern blocks and the bucket of bugs.  We are really learning how to work together with our friends when we explore the work places.




We had our first fire drill today.  We practiced before the real drill so when the drill took place, we were ready.  The fire alarm is pretty loud, but we did an awesome job.  It has been a fun week in Mrs. Kurt's kindergarten class!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Week In Kindergarten

We have had a great week in Kindergarten!  We are so busy learning how to be a community of learners at Northview.  It is amazing how quickly we are getting used to our new routines.  We were just talking today about how the Kindergartners are the youngest, smallest kids in the school.  Yet we have the most to learn…how to go to lunch, the playground, how to put things in our lockers, how to line up, how to walk in lines…the list goes on and on.  After 8 days, Mrs. Kurt is very excited and impressed at what we have already accomplished!

On Tuesday, we had a special guest reader.  Mrs. Town, our principal, came to our classroom and read us a story called Flight School by Lita Judge.  It is a story about a penguin who wants to learn to fly.  With the help of his friends, the penguin keeps trying, never gives up and accomplishes his dream.  It reminded us of being kindergartners…sometimes things are really hard for us, but if we keep trying and don't give up, we will succeed, too!


We love hearing great stories!  After Mrs. Town was finished, we did a community writing project which was a thank you note thanking her for reading to us.  

We have also been busy learning how to properly use all of our school tools.  We've done some exploring with crayons, flair markers, crayola markers, scissors, glue sticks, connecting cubes and pattern blocks.  We learn how to take care of them, how to use them and how to clean up and put them away when we finish using them.


In Reading Workshop, we are learning how to talk about stories and share our ideas.  Sometimes when Mrs. Kurt reads a story, she stops and asks us to "Turn and Talk" to the person sitting next to us.  We talk about what we think might happen next in the story, or why we think a character did something, or even what the message is that the author wants us to learn from the story.

One of our favorite times of the day is going to lunch.  We are doing great learning our lunch numbers, choosing healthy foods and drinking all of our milk at lunch!


Something we use in our classroom that you may have heard about is our All Star Student behavior chart.  Each student has a clothespin with their name on it.  When they arrive at school, they place it on the green "Ready to Learn" section.  The clothespins, or clips as we call them, can be moved up or down throughout the school day based on our behavior and choices in school.  The thought behind this is that everyone makes mistakes and sometimes we may have to move our clip down.  However, there is always the opportunity to move it back up.  As you can see, each section is pretty self explanatory and our hope is to have students be responsible and accountable for their actions.  Let me know if you have specific questions on this chart.

Remember to keep making sure your kindergartner is getting plenty of rest…they are needing it!  Our sharing schedule will start on Monday September 15.  I can't wait to show you our new learning next week.