Fonday to give you a quick glimpse of how it all went down.
We had just 4 half days and one full day this week so it was busy, busy, busy. I don't know how those of you who teach half day kindergarten do it. I felt so rushed all week trying to fit everything in that I wanted to get done. So here's a recap of our week.
Here was our focus wall for the week. We didn't have a new shape, but reviewed all of our 2D shapes since we will be moving on to 3D shapes right after Thanksgiving break.
We also finished up our colors last week so we will be focusing on one word family each week. We have already learned the -at word family as an intro to word families over the last two weeks and now we are really ready to rock-n-roll.
We made our last circle map of the alphabet this week. I always save Qq for last. I teach that the Q and U are stuck like glue and are married. Which means from here on out they are always together, ALWAYS. No comments about the sshh! I realize I didn't do too good on that illustration...lol That is the pointer finger...that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks goodness my kinders didn't question it.
The reason we had a different schedule this week was, due to our parent teacher conferences. I am happy to say I had 100% attendance. However, I am glad it is over. I have to say it wears me out more than just being with my kiddos all day.
Thank goodness for my teaching BFF who brought me this goodie on day two of conferences to help me make it through!
One way I introduce word families is by having my students stand up holding different letters to form the words. Then we all sound them out together. This helps to reinforce the individual sounds for my kiddos who are still working on sounds and gives practice blending and reading for my kiddos that are ready to move on.
We talk about the patterns of the letters and how they rhyme. They have a great time and it really helps to cement the learning with them up moving and interacting. If you like the letter cards I use you can get your own set for FREE from Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten.
I also use picture writing strips as a warm up in my guided reading groups. This allows me to differentiate for where ever my kiddos are at. I have some practicing beginning sounds, some are making CVC words and I even have a few working on CVCE words.
This is a quick 3-4 minute activity that the kiddos do while I conduct a running record with one of the students in the group. I just love using these and the kiddos love them too! These are from Tara West at Little Minds at Work.
This week we studied all about owls. We started off by creating our schema on our anchor chart.
Then we read several books during the week and each day added more to our list of things that were new learning.
Then on Friday we did a comparison between bats, which we studied last week, and owls. We did a life size Venn diagram with 2 giant hula hoops on the floor. We then took our sticky notes off of our bat and owl anchor charts and put them in the correct categories...bats, owls, or both.
After they fully understood where each statement belonged the students returned to their seats to complete a Venn diagram of their own. They all did a fantastic job.
After we had read all of our owl books we watched a few owl videos as well. It is one thing to see pictures in a book, but it really brings it to life to be able to see a video. The kiddos really loved the one with different owl sounds and the hatching baby owl.
After our books and videos we completed a diagram of the owl by labeling all of the parts.
Then we used our schema and new learning to complete our owl books. This time I passed out sentences that were scrambled. They had to unscramble the sentence and glue it into their book in the correct order. Then they had to draw an illustration to match the sentence. They did a fantastic job!
Both of these great activities can be found in the Owl Math and Literacy pack from Deanna at Mrs. Jump's Class.
We saved the best for last. On Friday we got to dissect owl pellets. We had been talking about it all week, building up the anticipation. My littles were having a hard time wrapping their brain around what an owl pellet really was. Despite the fact we had explained it and gone over it several times. However, I found this awesome little video that shows an owl producing a pellet, yes he throws up on the video. Plus there is a really cute song.
Well wallah! They finally really got it. There were a few who were unsure of this whole activity as we were about to get started. They weren't sure they wanted to look at something that had been thrown up.
Our fifth grade reading buddies came to help us out with this activity and it was a total success. Both sets of students loved it. Even my shy ones really got into it once we got started and they started seeing all of the bones.
We are on a tight budget at our school so thank goodness we had a staff member that has a ranch and lots of owl pellets that they brought to us. We didn't have tweezers to use so we improvised with forks. I am going to keep my eye out at the dollar store for tweezers for next year. If you have the opportunity to do this activity I highly recommend it.
How was your week? Are you off for break? Do you have big plans? I would love to hear all about it. We have 2 1/2 days then our break begins. Woo hoo! Have a wonderful week friends and be sure to check out all the other Five for Friday posts.