Wednesday, September 20, 2017

This week we are all about the letter E!  We are working on the short /e/ sound as in ELEPHANTS AND EGGS!!

Monday we read a great story called ELMER.  Elmer is an elephant covered in patchwork squares.  He doesn't really like it and wants to be the same as the other elephants.  In the end, Elmer and his friends end up celebrating his differences with an elephant parade made up of the other elephants all decorated in different colors and patterns and Elmer as the normal gray colored elephant leading the parade.

One of the skills we will be working on quite a bit in math is subitizing.  Subitizing is seeing a small group of objects and being able to tell how many there are WITHOUT counting them.  We started working on this in a ten frame.  A ten frame is 2 rows of squares with 5 squares in each row.  If the frame is filled- there are 10.  What if just one row is filled? 5!  What if there is one row filled and then just one more in the second row? 6!  We had fun trying to beat our friends to the punch and shouting out the answers as we looked at 10 frames on the smart board.  Dice is also a way to subitize (which we will use often)

EGGS were on the to do list on Wednesday.  There is no better book to read than GREEN EGGS AND HAM! by Dr. Seuss.  Most of the kids have heard the story before but ALL of the kids were able to help rhyme all of the places that the character would not eat green eggs and ham!  ;)

We practiced cutting straight and curvy lines when we made a small nest that we put 3 eggs in.  Under each egg there is a surprise picture of something that starts with an E.  (HOPEFULLY, your child will remember what the envelope is called.  We had a lengthy discussion about it not being "mail"!!  :) )

We decided to make green eggs and ham with a twist for a fun little snack!  Since we have an egg allergy in our classroom, we punted on actual eggs and went with this awesome and way more enjoyable version!  We first made vanilla pudding and then added green food coloring.  We again, had a very long discussion about how food coloring doesn't have any taste.  If you like vanilla pudding that is yellow, you are going to like vanilla pudding that is green. To make it look like an egg, we added a Nilla wafer.  Most of the kids tried it.  Nearly all enjoyed it.  Several had seconds!




There is TK on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22!  Mrs. T will provide snack and there is NO LUNCH SERVED!  Your kiddos will be starving as we eat lunch on school days at 10:35... School is dismissed at 11:30... they will be ready to eat when they hit the door at home!

NEXT WEEK: WOW: Brayden
MONDAY: Library  Snack:Kacen  MUSIC
WEDNESDAY: Snack: Katie  PE
FRIDAY: NO TK

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We started our Monday morning off with two special visitors from the High School.  Mrs. Koedam sent two big kids down to read to us for and english assignment.  To our delight- Erin's sister, Molly, was one of the readers!  They did a great job!

We officially kicked off our LEARNING LETTERS gig with the letter F on Monday.  We read a funny story called THE POUT POUT FISH.  It has lots of rhymes and even has a verse that it always goes back to and by the 2nd time we read the story, everyone was chiming in on it!  Next up was to make a pout pout fish.  It had multiple steps and we had to be very careful as we were cutting the curvy lines trying not to hack anything off! :)  Everyone took a picture with their pout pout fish (some made a kiss kiss fish- since that's what he turns into at the end of the book) making their most pitiful pout pout face!



We got out our dotters today for the first time and stamped any "F's" we found on a fish.  Some of us got tricked...some of us just got carried away... but most did a great job on finding F's!  If they did get tricked (or carried away) they simply put an X on that spot so we knew they didn't want that one!

For math, everyone got a small cup of rainbow fish and we sorted them in our "lake".  I was impressed by how quickly the kids caught on to sorting!  Next, we put all the fish except 10 back into our cups and listened to a story about 10 friendly fish.  The fish leave the line one by one and we had fun counting backwards and rhyming with the story.  And of course, the grand finale was EATING the fish!!  :)

We went to the library for new books and also got to go to the computer lab on Monday!

Wednesday morning started off with two more HS readers!  They also did a great job AND they were both former students of mine! I told the kids that maybe when they get to be in HS they can come and read to my class... I won't be here by then... but it's still good to have a dream!!  :)

FROGS were the creature for the day!  We learned about the life cycle of frogs from egg to tadpole to froglet to frog.  We made a life cycle picture page to dazzle you with our knowledge! :)  The kids are also bringing home a few "eggs" in a baggie to show what they sorta feel like.  (You're welcome)

We then made a game to play at home using a fly and a frog's tongue.  Many of us are not real familiar with many/most letters, so this will be a great game to practice up the letters from A to K.  The little fly can jump from letter to letter as you say it.

We took a TEST today writing the letter F.  It wasn't actually a test, but the kids seemed to sense the urgency in doing their very best as we transferred what we have been practicing for 2 days on our mini magna doodles, to big kid paper.  They aren't perfect but they are a great start and an awesome first outing on formal writing paper.

For math we counted backwards with the poem/song FIVE GREEN AND SPECKLED FROGS. The kids are bringing this little gem home also and are excited to show you how they can count backwards from 5... hopefully... :)  Youtube: 5 Green and Speckled Frogs by Raffi

To finish off our very busy afternoon, everyone got to choose a reading buddy and read to it.  The fire marshall doesn't let the reading buddies sit out, so they are in a tub in the back closet except for special occasions when we bust them out!  Like today!  :)


Avery is our STUDENT OF THE WEEK this week.  She has 2 big brothers and loves recess.  Her favorite color is pink and she wants to be a princess when she grows up!  She brought in lots of fun pictures for us to look at and the one that got the most questions was the one where she caught a fish and was actually TOUCHING it!  Everyone thought that she was quite brave for not only catching a fish but touching it too!!  :)  Thank you, Avery for sharing your pictures with us!

Reminder: Boot season is quickly approaching... which means tying shoes is going to become a life skill that needs to be mastered IF your child has tie shoes.  Velcro, zip, slip ons are all acceptable if you do not have the time to teach them how to tie.  We do not have time at school to teach this skill.  There are some interesting new techniques that you can google on youtube to teach tying shoes.  We do not care HOW the kids tie their shoes if they need to for their shoe type, just that they know how to.  Thank you again for your understanding on this.  It is most appreciated.

NO TK ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15


NEXT WEEK:
MONDAY: PICTURES!  PE  LIBRARY  Snacks: Grady
WEDNESDAY: ART  Snacks: Jacob
FRIDAY: 11:40 DISMISSAL!  Snacks: Mrs. T

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday we hit rhyming words (and counting) once again with the help of Dr. Seuss.  The first book we read was 10 Apples On Top.  Everyone got a bag of apples with the letters of their name on each apple.  We first put the apples in order of our name and then we glued them onto a paper - stacking them like the animals in the story did.  The last thing we did was glue a picture of ourselves on the bottom of the apples!  They turned out great!!


We practiced identifying numbers and counting again in math with a smartboard activity that had us putting apples on top of heads with a different number under each person.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish provided us with some fun chances to practice rhyming and to actually try out some of the verses.  The first verse we tried out was wink and drink pink ink.



We also tried out Ish's wish dish for fish!  We had fun trying to balance a plate with fish gummies on it.  We tried the dish low and eventually got it above our heads!




We practiced fire and tornado procedures this morning.  Everything went great.  There were no tears and everyone seemed relatively calm about the whole thing.  I emphasize that it is just practice and that I am very old (one cherub reminded me that "YEA- you are!:) ) and that I have never been at school in a fire.  Ever.  They seemed okay with that answer.  And since it is a beautiful sunny day today, the storm/tornado procedure is an easy sell that it is clearly practice!

NEXT WEEK:SNACKS: Erin and Jacob
NO TK ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Be sure to read last Friday's update.  We had a great day learning about nocturnal animals!

The kids never missed a beat getting back to the school routine after the Labor Day weekend break!  They came to school ready and raring to go!  THANK YOU for making sure your kiddo had the sleep needed to face a day of learning after the last hoorah of summer!

We jumped right into the Dr. Seuss book HORTON HEARS A WHO.  We read the story and practiced listening for some of the rhyming words.  It's a longer book, so we made hay through it and then went back and found a few rhyming words.  We also found some words that we are pretty sure the author made up (which we also discussed you can often find in Dr. Seuss books- sometimes they're even hard to read!)

We sharpened our small motor skills with cutting out shapes to make a Horton to bring home.  Our cutting continues to get better every time the scissors come out.  Going too fast is usually the achilles heel that catches us up.  And also not turning the paper, but like I said, every time it seems to get better and better.  

We were able to sneak to the library to get new books.  Please return books by Monday of every week so they can check out new books.  

iPads were on next on the list.  We borrowed a few from the Kindergarten room so everyone had their own iPad and we did a little with QR Codes.  Then everyone was given a little free time to explore the games and activities that are loaded onto our iPads.  (They all have headphones too and it was eerily quiet in our room for a good 15 minutes... eerily quiet.... )

Mrs. Twedt, the guidance counselor, came in today.  She will come to our room every Wednesday.  She talks to us about being good friends, good citizens, and always has a fun way for us to learn with her! 

TK ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8!


NEXT WEEK:
MONDAY: ART  LIBRARY  Snack: ERIN
WEDNESDAY: MUSIC  Snack: Gabriel
FRIDAY: NO TK

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday we learned all about NOCTURNAL animals.  We read the story THE KISSING HAND which has a little raccoon named Chester who doesn't really want to go to school.  Have your child tell you how his mom convinces him to go to school and what she does to his hand... (big guess, right?) Chester goes to school at night because he is nocturnal.  We had fun jumping off from the book and learning about other nocturnal animals.  We also learned that animals that sleep at night but are active during the day are called DIURNAL animals and some animals (deer, frogs, rabbits) are both!  :)


We practiced reading on a chart an easy sentence that only changed the last word according to the picture.  We got to SEE how all of the sentences had exactly the same words in them.
Then we got the book that had these same sentences in them and read them with our reader fingers.  There is a dot under each word to help us remember to move our fingers to each word.  Most of our TK books from here on out have those dots (most) so hopefully that will help the flow.  Practicing reading with a partner was great fun!  The kids worked so hard!






One of the things we learned about nocturnal animals is that they can't really see well at night so they rely on their sense of hearing.  Everyone got a turn to be blindfolded and one of our friends would say "come here" over and over and we would follow the sound of their voice until they got to their friend.  We also had the lights off when we did this, so I never got a good picture of anyone doing it.  Oh well.

We also listened (in the dark) to nocturnal animal sounds that came across our smartboard.  It was fun to guess what animal we thought it was and surprisingly, we were right several times!  ;)

It was a fun day learning about nocturnal animals in TK!
NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY, SO I WILL SEE YOUR TKer ON WEDNESDAY!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

THERE IS TK ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1! 

(Your year long calendar is in your child's folder Wednesday afternoon)


This week started out with yet another PETE THE CAT story! This one is called PETE THE CAT AND HIS FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS.  And just like the original, this story has a catchy little hook to it when we listened to the CD.  We then touched on rhyming for the first time.  ALL of the skills we work on in TK are meant as an introduction and NOT for mastery.  We will work on rhyming throughout the year so don't panic if your child doesn't seem to get it yet.  They will.  Eventually.  It's also an easy skill for you to work on when you have some windshield time as you don't need anything except your ears to work on it!  :)

We also got to go to the library and pick out two books to check out.  Remember that we always have library on MONDAYS, so the books should be returned before then.  Since the next Monday is Labor Day, we will probably go on Wednesday to check out new books, so be sure the old ones are returned by Wednesday of next week.

Computer Lab was a new adventure we got to try out on Monday!  We all get to work on computers at the same time.  We have 10 iPads in our room that we can work on but when we go to the computer lab, we ALL get to work at the same time!  Mrs. Lems helps us with that and it is great fun!  We will go to the Computer Lab every Monday.

Wednesday brought the last of our Pete books called, PETE THE CAT ROCKING IN MY SCHOOL SHOES.  We read the story and then, just like the other books, we listened to the CD that goes with it and its fun, catchy song. We then practiced positional words like above, below, on, in, next to, between, behind, etc.
ON

IN FRONT OF

BEHIND

ABOVE
Everyone got to put Pete somewhere (a couple of times) positionally on the hospital.  Everyone then got their own Pete to practice placing around and then we got a book that has all of these words in it that we are ready to dazzle you with our impressive "reading".
Again, watch for the finger sweep of left to right, turning the pages in the correct direction and using the illustrations to help with the text.

For math, we played a ROLL and COVER game.  We were partnered up and rolled a numbered (not dotted) dice to see what number to cover/color.
The kids did great matching the rolled numbers to the numbers on their sheets.  It was a fun game that we will do again!

We helped Tysan celebrate his 5th birthday today!  Tysan chose CHA CHA CHA for his birthday song add on.  (if you aren't exactly sure what a birthday song add on is- just ask your child!  I'm sure they'd love to sing it for you!)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TYSAN!

TYING SHOES: If your child has "tie" shoes, it is appreciated if they know how to actually tie their own shoes.  Kids can wear slip ons, velcro, whatever they can do independently, but tie shoes do NOT work unless they can tie on their own.  Boot season is quickly approaching and there is no way for us to get in and out of boots and shoes 5 times a day and still have time for school stuff.  This is also true for double knotting in the mornings... once boots start playing into the day, it really becomes a nightmare.  Thank you for your understanding and help with this.

NEXT WEEK: 
MONDAY: NO SCHOOL
WEDNESDAY: MUSIC  (Library)  Snack: Burkelle
FRIDAY: PE  Snack: Eden

And finally, many of you responded on the "breakfast sheet" that your child may choose if they want to eat breakfast or not.  So, here's the rub on that one when you are 5 and in a classroom of 14 other 5 year olds.  When one thinks they need breakfast, several others will also think they need breakfast.  Even when I ask, "did you have breakfast this morning?" There really is no way for me to know if they NEED breakfast, and I prefer to err on the side of a full belly, so I am going to send them.  (Nearly half our class went to breakfast on Wednesday morning)  If you would rather your child be on the NEVER list (unless you send me an email that morning), we can certainly do that.  Just let me know to change them on my list, otherwise, if they say they need breakfast, I'm going to send them.  If you already responded NEVER to the question, trust me when I say, they tried to go to breakfast but because they were on my NEVER list, I did not send them.  IF YOUR CHILD EVER NEEDS TO GO TO BREAKFAST just email me that morning and let me know.  It is never a problem for them to go but I also need/want to respect your request, so unless I hear from you, they aren't going to breakfast.  :)

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's a new year with a new batch of TKers ready to have fun learning together!

Please email me from the email address (if you haven't done so already) you would like me to use for correspondence.  I will send you the link to our updated newsletter every Wednesday.  There are times that it comes on a Friday but generally it will be Wednesdays!  :)

Email me at stegrootenhuis@wlwildcats.org

I will get you in our newsletter group!

Wednesday I sent home a pink paper that told you all that we accomplished on just our first day of TK!

So, to catch you up with FRIDAY, here's what happened:
We re-read Pete the Cat practicing colors and we also did some READING!  Now, the text is predictable but we are working on tracking the words from left to right and we use our "SPECIAL reader fingers" to practice that when we are at school.

The great news is that even when we don't have our special reader fingers, we always have our pointer finger that we can use!  :)  We also learned that good readers use the pictures to help them tell the story.  ie: What color are the shoes colored- to help us with the text :)
We are excited to DAZZLE YOU WITH OUR READING.  Please watch for the left to right tracking, turning pages in the right direction and using the pictures as clues to what the text might be.

We also made a PETE THE CAT out of shapes.  Rectangle is always a tricky one but they turned out great even though they are a tad labor intensive.... on a Friday... (what was I thinking? :))

NEXT WEEK:
MONDAY: LIBRARY (the kids will check out TWO books that will need to be returned before the following Monday when we will go to the library again.  If they do not return their books, they are not allowed to check out new ones until the old ones are returned)
                   MUSIC
                   SNACK: Mrs. T
WEDNESDAY: PE
                   SNACK: AVERY
FRIDAY: ART
                SNACK: BRAYDEN

We do have a peanut allergy in our class so please be careful not to send something with peanuts especially if it is homemade.  We also have a student that is Gluten- free, however BOTH parents of these kiddos have sent extra snacks that are okay for them to eat, so they do not want you to worry about snacks sent but please be mindful especially of the peanut allergy as it is a severe reaction.

And also as a reminder that the calendar I sent home earlier for snacks and specials is really not messed up completely except that we DO have TK on Friday, September 22.  It is an early dismissal day at 11:40 which means there will be no lunch served that day and I will provide the snack that day.  Specials will still be correct (I think)