Sunday, November 25, 2012

Small Moments

Small Moments Writing
Some years I find Small Moment stories difficult to teach.




This year, I decided to start Small Moments now and I am glad I did!

When I told the class we would be learning how to write a Small Moment story, it gave a whole new energy to the workshop time. I started by reading Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee.
What I like about this mentor text is that Marla could have written about all of the things that she did at the amusement park but instead of writing an all about the park she zoomed in on just the roller coaster ride.

Kindergartner kids get that. I think the idea of sticking to one idea and spreading that moment across the pages can be difficult for k so this book is the perfect example.
We read lots of books that had the parts you could Zoom in on too.


 This story has many moments but we ZOOMED in on the ferris wheel part and talked about how that could be the small moment story.
 I loved this book! This lead to a great discussion about putting sounds in our writing and looking carefully at the illustrations.
We talked about the part in the story when Sophie gets very angry. This was a great example of showing rather than just telling.
Next step we wrote a class Small Moment Story


Some of Our Small Moments

The Bamboo Shoot
After reading Roller Coaster a lot of students wrote stories about being on rides.


This is a great example of stretching out your story in a small moment. The illustrations are very detailed for kindergarten. I love that she uses sound words in her writing.
 We go to the Bamboo Shoot ride many people were in line.
 Shhhhhhhhhhh
 up up up
 We tell my mom to close her eyes to sleep then we tell her to open them. (A little confusing but she explained how they were teasing their mom on the ride)
 We go back in line The End
Pinkie Pie
This child was writing a many moments story so during the conference I had her pick the most important part of her many moments and zoom in on that. I just love the illustrations!!!
Pinkie Pie
 I love Pinkie Pie
 Pinkie Pie has blue eyes
She is the best my little pony because she eats candy.
 Playing Soccer 
This child struggled with how to zoom in. So on the back of his book I made a little Circle map, we brainstormed things about playing soccer. 

 On the side I made a Tree map of the first part of his moment and what happened next.

Going To McDonald's
When this child first wrote this story he first put he looked in the bag.


When we talked I suggested that he think about changing it to, I looked in the Happy MealPutting Happy Meal in his story,  gives everyone a real clear picture in their minds.

 The class noticed that he did not tell what the animal was in his Happy Meal and they wanted to know. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce Spider legs to the class.
Going to Mc Donalds
 It was our turn.
 I looked in the bag. I saw my favorite animal.
 I pulled it out.
It was a good day

For these Small Moment stories I had students work on these little books below.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Celebrating Writing

In this simple mini-lesson I took pieces of student work that I wanted to put in the SPOTLIGHT!!
I photocopied a student sample on a 11X17 piece of paper and wrote on the paper.  Yes, these students are doing amazing things at writing time and I want to share that! As you read below you will see some of the things we have been working on.







My goal is to have every child be highlighted during the school year many times!!! I got this wonderful idea from the book What's Next for this Beginning Writer? by Janie Reid &Betty Schultze

Monday, November 12, 2012

Moose Sight Word Game

This is a simple sight word game. The cards get cut up and put on the table face down. You can play this game with Popsicle sticks too. Each child takes a card and reads it. If they get it right they get to keep it. If they get it wrong it gets put back in the pile. If a child pulls MOOSE, all of your cards get put back in the pile! At the end of the game, the child can record some of the card they pulled. I love to use this game during transition times. If you have some kids who finish early, they can easily play this game with a group of friends. The list of sight words comes from Linda Hoyt and Teresa Therriault Mastering the Mechanics K-1.
 Students can record the cards they pulled.
Some of the playing cards

click here for download

Sunday, November 11, 2012

ABC order Flow Map

 One of the stations the students worked on this week was ABC order. They had to put the first letter of their name in the box and put the letters in ABC order on a Flow map. The students have to go in the direction of the arrows. I had students work with a partner because I was also having them pop the letters out from a sheet which was tricky. You can get these letters at a scrapbook store. I found them at Marshall's. You could have students write the letters or stamp the letters. You can get the template below.
 The sheet of letters to pull out



 If a name started with a letter at the end of the alphabet, I had them start at A.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Writing, Math and Reading Goals

Goals are so important. I feel like I am always setting goals for myself. I think teachers do this all the time!! What am I working on ? What are my goals for school today? How can I teach better? How did that lesson go?  What should I do to reach the struggling student? How can I reach the student child who seems to know everything? Making goals help me be more organized and focused. I also feel great when I accomplish something! 


Goal Setting With Students

 I always want my students to think about creating goals for themselves and I know this is a difficult task especially in kindergarten. I will be talking about writing goals and someone will shout out something that has do with reading or even math! Each year I ask myself what can I do to bring kindergartners one step closer to making appropriate goals. To make goal setting easier for kindergarteners I decided to make sheets that they could just circle the goal they think they are working on. There is a spot at the bottom for me to write what I think they are working on too. I hope to change these goal sheets as the year goes on.

 Writing Goals
Last year I shared with you my Writing Goals board above. I created another sheet to use for the fall below.These are the writing goals we are working on right now.



Math Goals
  This summer I read this book How to Assess While You Teach Math by Dana Islas. I LOVED this book. Dana shared some great math lessons and shared how she gets her students involved in the assessment process. I loved how she had her students make math goal. Dana also sends home the goal sheet so parents can see what their child is working on. I know in kindergarten kids are learning what math is! 


This book encouraged me to have students set math goals! I strongly recommend this book. It also comes with a video of some of the lessons.
Dana suggested reading this book to help kids learn about what goals are! Love that!!!
Here are the math goals we are working on. If you look on the sheet above Solving Problems could also be word problems. 

I am taking a class on algebraic thinking and some of the work is posing problems like is 2+3=4+1
When first posing this kind of problem is 2 plus 3 the same as 4 plus 1 there was a lot of confusing looks but the kids are getting it! 

The focus is explaining your thinking and sharing why or why not you think this is true. 

From these group discussions I have learned a lot about what some kids know about math. 


Reading Goals 
I do use the CAFE board when doing Daily 5. 
Eventually, the kids put their name on a Post-it and stick it under the category they are working on. I decided to make a sheet that had specific goals for reading time. 

I think this is a good way of making explicit what readers are working on and it's something they can put in their portfolios for self- reflection.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thinking Maps Thursday

Today I am going to share with you some Thinking Maps we are working on. In math today I gave the students a Brace map with the number 5. They had to draw some red leaves and yellow leaves. They had to have 5 altogether.

This is really common to see above. The child made five but put them all on the top line. She also did not use red and yellow combinations. I did have a quick conversation and the child was able to fix it. Some kids will take out the cubes to help too. 
 At the end of the lesson we shared all the different ways we could come up with for combinations of red and yellow leaves .
The Brace Map to identify a whole number as a combination of two parts.

Bridge Map

We went back to a Bridge Map to show Phonemic relationships. This was a lesson that took many days. On the white board I wrote the letters of the alphabet. We came up with fall words (which we are still working on). I read the Dr. Seuss book 
We went back to our alphabet words and tried to add another word with the same beginning sound. This was very tricky but the kids had fun thinking of different words. We tried to make the words connect to fall and make sense.  We are still  working on some letters. I went to a first grade classroom to see if they could help us.
 The kids outlined with a sharpie and colored in with a crayon or colored pencil. They had to shade the background. I love this font too. It is called KG What the teacher wants 



Math Notebooks ~Circle Map for Ways to Make 5



 Our Favorite October Books
 The students worked together in small groups. They had to record the characters and events that happened in the story. Before sending students off, we took a picture walk of each story.