Kinder Buzz 10-31-14

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Kinder Buzz 10-30-14

Exciting News! Every child in our Kindergarten class has now “published” a book and has read it to an audience in author’s chair! The children are beaming and so proud, as are we. To publish a book and read it to an audience is a multi-step endeavor beginning in Writer’s Workshop. First the children have to generate an idea for writing: something that happened to them, something they are interested in, or something that they know about, etc. Then they have to be able to tell the story “across their hand” as they use fingers to tell what happened first, second, and so on until the end.  Next they have to write a “draft” of their story, either with pictures, or words, or pictures and words combined. With children being in several different stages of writing,  it is sometimes only pictures and labels with a beginning sound, and sometimes it is complete sentences as they “sound spell” the words that come into their heads. On either end of the spectrum, it is all very important writing as they work to get their ideas and stories onto the page.

As the children are working in Writer’s Workshop, the teachers are walking around the room looking for opportunities to confer with the students about what they are working on, and nudging them to “stretch” their ability to add details either with their words or illustrations.

When the children let me know that they are ready to “publish” a book, I will sit with them and they read their story to me (even it is mostly pictures.)We talk about ways we can “edit” their work to use more colorful words, make a more interesting beginning or ending, making sure it makes sense, or deciding what a good title might be.

After typing up and binding their book, the task turns to making illustrations, with the reminder that this is a very important book , we want the pictures to match the text, and we want this to be their very best work by taking their time and being careful.

When the illustrations are complete, then, it becomes the task of learning to read the text. Suddenly the words look very different with correct spelling, instead of phonetic spelling. They now tackle hard words by sounding out, looking for illustration clues, seeing if what they say makes sense, and simply memorizing some of the text. Some people may say it is not really reading if they memorize their story, but I submit that it is an important part of learning to read.

Last comes the part that may be hardest for some children, reading their story to an audience with volume, fluency, and confidence!

We will not do an author’s chair with parents for every book they publish this year, but during the year they will have a chance to do it again and then at the end of the year we will have an Author’s Tea, where the children will sit with all their published books from the year and parents will walk around the room and listen to their stories.

Field trip

We had a fun trip to the fire station- thanks to all the parents who drove and made that possible. We were able to use many of our senses and the children, upon returning put what they saw into categories relating to their senses.

Thanks to Sigal Klein for this and many more pictures!

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Coming up:

  • No School- Monday, November 3– professional development for teachers
  • November 6, Senses Project Show and Super Senses Party from 2:15-3:15 in the classroom- here are some reminders about that event. Part of their work with you at home is to practice talking about what they did to create their project. This is what the project show portion of the activity will look like: the children will be sitting with their projects and the parents will be walking around asking the students questions. Some good questions to ask the students as you walk around might be: What did you like about this project? What was the hardest part? Would you change anything if you could do it again? What did you learn? Following the Project Show portion, the parents together with their child, will rotate through fun stations relating to our senses.
  • Field trip to HEB– November 18, 8:15– be looking for an email about drivers
  • Thanksgiving Feast – November 20, 12:00- all parents invited (no lunch needed that day) There will be a short program right at 12:00, then we will eat lunch together
  • Hanukkah playWednesday, December 17 at 9:00 a.m. in the MPR upstairs