Tuesday, January 30, 2018

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Classroom color day is this Friday, February 2nd.  Our classroom color is BLUE.  We will be wearing BLUE with Miss Reinkemeyer and Mrs. Freese’s Classes.  Wear as much BLUE as you can find!

Mrs. Croom

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday, January 22

Here's what is happening in room 301:

Fundations:   We are working on letter formation for capital letters A, B, C, D, E, F  with constant reminders to sit tall when we write and use a "pinch, pinch, table" pencil grip.  In addition, we are also decoding consanant, vowel, consanant words by "tapping out" the words.   

Below is a link that better explains the "tapping" process: 

Sight Words that we are practicing for our spelling test on Friday:

a          and          at          be          can          dad          for
go        had          he         I        

*as soon as students are able to correctly spell these words two weeks in a row, they will be able to move to the next list of words*  

*I'll also be checking to see that they are transferring this knowledge to their own writing*

Reading:   We continue to work on reading familiar text with predictable patterns.   I've also been spending a majority of Daily 5 time meeting with individual students to check in on academic progress, which I'm excited to share with you at conferences in february :)

Math:   We are finding, recording and analyzing the sums of dice rolls.   
Today we learned a new game called "10 Bears on a Bus" to help us practice our numbers that can equal 10.   Below is the game if you would like to play at home!  


Here are a few other things you can work on at home:
-counting out loud to 60 or higher
-skip-count to 100
-write numbers to 20
-count out a set of objects with 20 items
-identifying numbers 1-31

Writing:   Students are writing Narrative Stories and can't wait to share them this Friday at our "Brown Bag Breakfast" writing celebration.  The boys and girls have been working really hard at sounding out their words, drawing illustrations to match text, adding 2-3 details about one topic, using word spaces, adding punctuation and rereading their writing for understanding.   I think you will be quite pleased with the growth they have shown since the Fall!


*you will need to bring breakfast OR get one from school OR eat breakfast at home and just enjoy the writing share
*if you are unable to make it, I will be a "parent" that morning as well as Mrs. Croom :)


-WE ARE HAVING A SHORTAGE ON HEADPHONES-- If your child is missing their headphones or they broke, I would appreciate it if you could replace so they have a set for the rest of the year.
*I was at Target last night and they had a nice pair of $5.00 headphones in that front $1 section.   You can also find them pretty inexpensive at Walmart. 

Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this... it's a lot of information!



Friday, January 26th, Kindergarten will be hosting a brown bag breakfast in their classrooms from 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.  This is a chance for you to share breakfast with your child and see the growth your child has made in writing.  We invite you to bring a breakfast from home to share with your child, or you may purchase a breakfast from our cafeteria.  If a parent is unable to attend, another special adult is welcome to come.  Feel free to bring a blanket or a towel to picnic around the room as chairs are limited.  

Monday, January 8, 2018

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Welcome back and Happy New Year!

We have had a wonderful start to the New Year.   I missed these kiddos so much the last couple weeks and we have had so much fun talking about our break and getting back into the routine of things.   I spent some of our time last week practicing our rules and expectations, but this group has been awesome and were able to jump right into academics.   

Although we are back to our "normal" schedule, this is a very busy time of the year for assessment check-ins with each student.  Today I met with students to assess number recognition to 20, rote-counting to 80, making and counting sets to at least 20 writing numbers to 20 and skip-counting by 10's and on Wednesday, students will have our spelling bee.   This is VERY low-key and a bit different than the older grades.   I will meet with each reading group, as I usually do, and I will ask them to spell each of our Kindergarten Sight Words.   Please keep in mind that it isn't until the end of the year when ALL sight words should be spelled, read and written correctly.   Our "Super Speller" will be recognized at our next Citizen of the Month Assembly.   

We will have another "Super Speller" bee at the end of the year as well!!!!!   Good luck spellers!  

I've noticed that students have either broken or misplaced their headphones.  Please ask your child if they have headphones and if they don't, please replace soon.   If you are unable to replace your child's headphones, please let me know.  

I will be out of town this Thursday and Friday chaperoning a field trip with my daughter's high school acting class.   

I don't remember if I sent home Reading Minutes for Jan.  Can someone please let me know???   :)

I also want to thank for the thoughtful holiday gifts and cards.  I felt very appreciated!   

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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December 7, 2017

This is such an exciting and magical time of year!    Here's what is happening in room 301...

Fundations (letter sound/identification) Work:
We will be wrapping up Unit 1 in the next couple of weeks.  This means that we are almost finished working on LOWER-CASE letter ID and sounds.  In the first unit we focused on letter ID/sounds and beginning phoneme awareness (ex. the beginning and/or ending sounds in words) but now students will be concentrating on the middle sounds as well.   In addition, we will also be spending time looking at words that have a CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) pattern (ex. man, cat, dog, mug).  We will also be learning how to properly form capital letters, which will be taught in alphabetical order, since the sounds have already been linked to the letters during the first unit.

Our last letters before Winter Break are:  "l", "v", "w", "y", "z", "q"

Sight Words:  yes, no, can

Reading/ "Daily 5":
We continue to work through our "Daily 5" reading rotations.  During this time, students move through the room to different letter/word work and writing stations while I meet with small groups.  My goal is to meet with ALL students each day during this time, therefore it is very important that students stay on task and allow others to work as well.  This is something we are really working on right now as a class.

Instruction during small groups depends on the needs of the children.  Most of our small group revolves around book handling skills, taking book walks,  matching picture to text, one-to-one pointing, and retelling important information.  It's amazing to see such growth after such a short amount of time! 

Students continue to practice number recognition and have begun to explore number relationships (greater than, less than).   We played a math game, "Monster Squeeze,"  that they really seemed to enjoy.   Today we played the game with a number line 0-10, but there are other modifications to simplify or extend thinking. 

*please note that the math sent home in last week's Friday Folder is an option for at home additional practice!

I am so happy with the progress students are making in writing.  They get SO excited when I can read what they have written and become motivated to write even more :)   This time of the year is wonderful... things just begin to "click!"
We are really good at coming up with topics to write about... Now, we just need to write more about that one topic.  One thing we have been working on is making a picture book about one topic and then share our stories with partners.   This is such a great way to "rehearse" for the real writing.  I can't wait to showcase these wonderful writers at our Writing Celebration on January 26th (see newsletter for specifics).

On Wednesdays, we have ipads for the afternoon.   We work on JiJi math and then have some time with them during writing as well.   I came across this really fun app called "Scratch" and we've used some of our writing time this week to explore.  This app has allowed the students to think creatively and produce a digital story.    Students are expected to include these four things when working with Scratch:

1) background
2) main character
3) title
4) movement through programming

Students have also been experimenting with "See Saw" in the last week.  We hope to use this more with academic work but for right now, kiddos are still exploring during their free-choice time.  Information was sent home in last week's Friday Folder.  If you have any questions about "See Saw" or are having difficulties, please let me know how I can help!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday, October 23

Hope you enjoyed the more Fall-like weather today!  We were so happy to get outside at recess :)

I quickly want to share with you what we are doing in all of our subject areas and then I have a bunch or important reminders and dates. 

Fundations/Letter ID/ sound work- Although we practice all letters, the following are the letters students should be familiar with in knowing sound, ID, and writing the letters with no exception: 
t, b, f, n, m, i, u, c, o, a, g, d, s

This week we are focused on the letters: e, r, p, j

After conferences, we should be ready to move on to the capital letters!!!

Reading-  We continue to work through our Daily 5 rotations where I am now one of the rotations.   I'm trying to get the students to work more independently so I can focus on my reading groups at the same time.   Same days are better than others:)  When we are doing reading groups, we are focusing on book handling skills as well as rhyming words, pointing one-to-one and beginning and ending sounds in words.   I look forward to add more to our ABC/Word Work Station by next week.

Look for SIGHT WORD PRACTICE in Friday Folders!

Math-  This week we are working with "Ten Frames" that helps with composing and decomposing numbers to 10.   The students are getting super quick at representing numbers!   We will also be working on making collections of objects using different arrangements.  The activities we do in the classroom will really encourage the kiddos to be flexible mathematicians :)
On Wednesday we are going to explore the shape, rectangle and will create a rectangle collage.   Finally, we will end the week by inventing and solving "Number Stories" using a variety of math thinking.  Our focus will mostly be on the concept of addition.

Writing-  We are really becoming writers in room 301!  I am amazed at the sounds the kids are hearing in the words they want to use in their writing.  Their faces light up when I can read their stories BEFORE they tell me :)   They say, "You can read it?" or "I did it?"  I'm so proud of their efforts.   We continue to work on Narrative Stories... stories about things that have really happened to them.   This week we are working on coming up with a simple 3-6 word sentence, sounding out/ stretching the word out to hear beginning and ending sounds (some kids are already doing middle too).  We are also talking about how word spaces help others read your story easily!   I look forward to sharing some of these stories at conferences. 

Science-  Mrs. Fitch, our Media Specialist, will be team teaching with me about the "Human Body!"
We will do fun activities that revolve around our body systems, parts and functions.   I will be tweeting some fun pics!!!


Wednesday, October 25thour class will be videotaped saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE for KOMU news to be aired at a later date. 
*if you would NOT like your child to participate, please let me know by tomorrow night. 

Friday, October 27th-   "FALL PARTY" -  our party will begin at 2:30 and end at 3:00.   Jennifer Self (Charlotte's mom) is our room parent and she,along with other classroom parent volunteers has come up with a fun party that the kids will really enjoy. 

During the morning, we will be partnering up with a first grade class to decorate our pumpkins from our field trip.   I will be sending out a "Sign-up Genius" if you are interested in donating some fun "stuff" for decorating on that day. 

NOTE:  Halloween costume are NOT to be worn to school on Fall Party day OR on Halloween.  


Friday, November 3rd- GRADE CARDS ARE SENT HOME

Other Stuff:

-turn in CONFERENCE FORMS if you did not today

-If you have any extra magazines at home that you are finished with, we would love to use them in our classroom for a variety of activities (any kind as long as appropriate)

-From here on out, I will be leaving the "Completes Homework" section of the Weekly Update blank until the end of the week when the reading calendars are due. 

-Please, please, please talk to your child about tattling and name calling.   This has been happening a TON the last couple of weeks.   Thanks in advance :)  We have talked a lot about the "Golden Rule."

Don't forget to sign up for "Mystery Reader."  The kids love this! 


*be looking for sign-up genius on your email sometime soon AND sight word practice on Friday! 

I think that's it!  Have a great night! 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October 1, 2017
I hope you all had a chance to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather.   This post is going to include a lot of information about what's happening in room 301 as well as reminders and upcoming events!

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Fundations letter names and sounds: 
 "i", "u" (this is the first intro. lesson on vowels)
Students are really applying their fundations sounds to their reading and writing. 
*the Fundations ABC chart was sent home earlier in the year.  This is a great resource and practice.  Let me know if you need another one.  Students can also use the ABC chart towards their reading minutes.  Below is a video that shows the "letter, picture, sound" structure that we also use in the classroom.   In the next few weeks, your child should be able to do the entire ABC chart independently.



Sight words:  Me, I, like

Our "Daily 5" reading station are up and running in full force!  Working on our reading stamina has paid off.   Students are able to be engaged in a single station for 12 minutes, which means that they are able to move through 5 stations each day.   I am very pleased with how smooth their transitions are from one station to the next.   This allows for so much more learning to happen.  Eventually, I will be pulling small groups to work with , but in the meantime, I move from station to station to support students. 

Here are the 5 stations:
1) Osmo (ipad game where students physically manipulate letter tiles to form beginning sounds)
2) Read to Self-  students read books and ABC charts from their book tubs and can check out a new book from our classroom library at this time
3) PebbleGo/Epic- students use ipad to listen to stories
*this week students will begin to set up their own EPIC library of books (this is something your should be able to have access to at home as well)
4)  ABC Work- we have only done puzzles so far but we will be adding more to reinforce letter ID and Sight Words. 
5) Independent Practice Station- worksheets or other practice to reinforce what we are learning

This week we will:
-examine, describe and compare a variety of triangles
-make number boards to reinforce our counting skills, focusing on the "one more" counting pattern
-use concrete, nonverbal experiences to develop understanding or addition and subtraction
-determine the number of objects in a set when one object is added. 

Students continue to build their writing folders.   It's really awesome to see their stories come to life on their paper.   We started with drawing a picture to tell a story and now we are beginning to add letter sounds and words to our stories.   Last week we spent time sharing our stories and being a good listener while our partner shares.   We will continue to work on good partnerships as this was a bit tough for us last week. 

This week we are going to add words and labels to our writing, emphasizing the "stretching" of out our of words to hear the sounds of letters to write down.   We are also going to continue working on adding detail to our drawings and sharing with partners. 

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LIBRARY CHECK-OUT IS EVERY WEDNESDAY- PLEASE REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR BOOK TO SCHOOL WITH YOUR CHILD THAT DAY  (if you forget... it's o.k... return the book the next day and your child can check out then)

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PICTURE DAY IS TUESDAY!!!!!! If you do not have an order form, please let me know ASAP so I can send one home.   You can also order online.   Every child will get their picture taken. 

*you will notice that I included your child's number of absences on the weekly update checklist.  This is just FYI and also a simple reminder that unless your child is sick or has a scheduled appointment, we really want them to be a school.

This Week's Calendar:

Monday, October 2-  Dental Clinic (only for those that filled out permission form at beginning of school year)

Tuesday, October 3-  School Picture Day

Friday, October 6-  PTA Movie Night (Food trucks at 5:30 and Movie at 7:00)
                                  Newsletter in Friday Folders

Weekly Updates will be filled out weekly with comments bi-weekly (unless needed otherwise)
On the weeks without comments, a newsletter will be sent home. 

Click on the link below to sign up to be a "Mystery Reader":