This week the kindergarteners celebrated Veterans Day. We started out the week by describing and defining the special characteristics of a veteran including bravery and patriotic. We created a class book in which we each wrote a Thank You letter to a veteran. We explored the 5 different branches of the military comparing how they are alike and different. And we examined four different American symbols, the American Flag, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and the bald eagle. We also explored the Pledge of Allegiance. Did you know the Pledge of Allegiance was first published in a children’s magazine? The author encouraged all students to say it on Columbus Day to show unity. The teachers liked it so much that it became a tradition. Now we recite it at the beginning of every school day. We also examined the American flag. We enjoyed working together to properly fold the flag. We ended the week by creating a picture of a us in a camouflage uniform holding an American Flag.
In reading, we were introduced to a new letter and letter sounds, Ii. After singing our I song, we tried to create a list of words that started with the short I and a list that started with the long I. We only came up with a couple of words to write on our list. Our goal is to add a couple of words each day to our list. In small groups, we worked on identifying letter sounds, building words with medial short i, and substituting letters in words.
We were also introduced to Ball Words. Ball Words is our new self-paced sight word program based on the Dolch Word Mastery Lists. Students have the opportunity to learn up to 220 words this year. That’s 11 sets of 20 words. Each set of words is placed on a different type of ball or sports equipment. The first set of ball words are what we call Baseball Words. Students will work on this set until they can read them easily for me. When they have done this successfully, they receive a Baseball Word Champ Certificate and a new list of ball words to master. In order to start their ball words, they need to receive their top banana award. That means they need to be able to identify all of the capital and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
This week we are getting ready for Veterans since Veterans Day is next Monday. Today we started preparing for it. We started by defining a veteran-someone who was or is in the military. Then we talked about the 5 different branches of the military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard). Finally we listed all of the characteristics of a veteran including brave, courageous, and patriotic. We defined bravery and courage as doing something even if you are scared and patriotic as loving your country. During theme, we explored four different American symbols, the American Flag, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and the bald eagle. We learned a little bit of the history of each symbol by watching a video clip and reading books. Then together we each read through a short book of American symbols.
This week is National Vocations week. A special time to learn about the different vocations in the church and to pray for more vocations. Today we learned that vocations means God’s call. We talked about how we can hear God talking to or calling us. We heard a story about 2 kids lost in the woods. When they were scared, they heard someone calling their name and then they weren’t scared anymore.
In math, we were introduced to the tens frame. The tens frame is similar to the fives frame were are familiar. It has two rows of five instead of just one. Today we practiced creating numbers on the tens frame. We started by creating the number 5 on our board with 5 counters. Then we compared our board to that of our neighbor. Some people had the same boxes filled and others had different boxes filled, but everyone had just 5 counters on their board. Next we compared how many counters we had in each row. We could of had 5 counters in the one row and 0 in the other, 4 in the one row and 1 in the other, or 3 in the one row and 2 in the other. We used our boards to compare several different numbers.
In reading, we were reviewed the difference between letters, words, and sentences. We know that words are groups of letters and sentences are groups of words. Today we were introduced to the spaceman. He helps us leaves space in between our words as we create sentences.
We also continued our discussion about veterans and veterans day. First, we reviewed the definitions. Then we talked about the different branches. Today we talked about what soldiers/veterans do for us. We decided their main job is to protect our country, so we have freedom. We talked about some of the different freedoms we have like singing about God, picking what school we want to attend, traveling around our country. Then we created a class book. Each page was a letter we wrote to a veteran. We decided that a letter starts with Dear --- and ended with From ---. So we started our letter with Dear Veteran and ended with From and our name. We used our spaceman in between our words. We also drew a little picture on the bottom.
In religion, we continued talking about different Vocations within the church. Today we focused on the role of the priest. We started by talking about all of the different things a priest does. Then we listened to a story about a day in the life of a priest. Finally, we colored a picture of a priest celebrating Mass.
In math, we worked on counting. We started by teaching Ms. Torborg how to count. When she was counting a group of people, she counted some of them several times. We taught her how to move the people or objects she was counting to make sure she only counted them once. We also taught her to mark the spot you started counting when you couldn’t move the objects, like when we counted the connecting spots around the mat. We also worked on identifying things in a group. Ms. Torborg put 5 counters on the mat, we talked about the different things we noticed. They were in a group of 4 and 1 more, the group of 4 made a square, there were 5 counters total, etc.
We ended the day with a little art project. We created camouflage paper using brown, green, and yellow paint and some pointed rings. We are going to use our paper to create a different picture.
We had a short day today. We got out of school after lunch, so the teachers could go to a workshop. Even with a shorten day, we got a lot of work done. Besides completing our calendar binder and reading stations, we continued our exploration of Veterans’ Day and American symbols.
We started by talking about American symbols specifically the American flag. After reading We Love the Flag, we examined it. We talked about what it looks like and what the colors and design elements stand for. We even practiced folding the flag. We worked in groups to fold a big flag. We had to make sure that it ended like a triangle with the stars on the outside. Ms. Torborg showed us a special US flag. It flew over the Minnesota Capital building. It was humongous.
We also “studied” the Pledge of Allegiance. We say the Pledge everyday so we know the words. Today we talked about what the words mean and why we say them. Started by reading two books about the Pledge of Allegiance. Next, we completed a Pledge of Allegiance worksheet. As we read through the pledge of allegiance, we saw a box with a definition where there is usually a “big” word. We had a separate small sheet with the “big” words on them. Our job was to glue the right “big” word on top of definition.
We continued our bible story today about Samuel. Today we listened to the story about when Samuel was hearing his name called. He thought it was Eli, but really it was God.
In reading, we were introduced to syllables. A syllable is a way to break up a word into parts. Working together we tried to break up several different words into syllables. For each syllable we clapped our hands. We started to notice some of our words had 1 syllable and others had 2. We even found some words that had 3 syllables. Then from a picture, we each identified a word that we tried to break into syllables. In small groups, we worked on identifying letter and letter sounds along with creating short i words. Ms. Torborg also taught us how to play a new ball word game, Go Fish.
We continued our conversation about vocations by talking about religious life. We talked about what they do and why it is important. Then we colored a picture of a “Sister” and ‘Brother”.
In math, we were introduced to number stories. We found out that there are different kinds of number stories. Today we focused on some, some more (addition). After Ms. Torborg told us a story, we had to determine what kind of story it is. All of our stories today were some, some more. Then we had to draw a picture to tell the stories. When we were done, we were able to answer the question asked at the end of the story. After we completed several different stories, Ms. Torborg added another step. After we determined what kind of story it is, we had to decide what the story was all about (what we had to draw for our picture).
We ended the day by creating an American flag picture. We started by reviewing what the US flag looks like taking a close look at the strips on the flag. Ms. Torborg gave us each a flag outline and 3 squares of paper (red, white, and blue). Our job was to create the flag. The only rule was we could only use the paper and glue. We couldn’t use anything else not even our scissors. We had to tear the paper into little pieces and then glue it on the outline. The trick was to get the paper little enough to fit in between the lines. We needed to make sure we had thirteen stripes, starting and ending red. Then we added a blue to the square in the corner.
In reading, we reviewed syllables. Working together, we identified the number of syllables in our first names and then in our last names. Then we listened to a another i song. We identified words that began with the short i sound. We also sang Herman the Worm. Today he could only eat things that started with the short i sound. We ended by playing a new Ball word game, Bang! We had to pull a card out of the box. If we could read the word, we got to keep the card. If we couldn’t read it, we had to put it back. If we pulled a Bang! card we had to put all of our cards back. The person with the most cards at the end wins.
In religion, we worked on coloring a Thank You picture for a Veteran. We know it is important to say thank you to someone who does something for you. On Monday, we have some special speakers coming to talk with us about Veterans day. We are making them pictures to say Thank You.
In math, we worked on identifying rectangles. First, we determined the different characteristics of a rectangle. We found out that all rectangles have 4 sides and 4 vertices (or corners). rectangles can look many different ways. Then we went on a hunt. We looked through magazines to find examples of rectangles. When we found out, we cut it out and glued it on a big rectangle poster.
In the afternoon, we created a soldier/veteran. We used the camouflage paper we made on . Ms. Torborg traced a several different patterns on it for us. We had to cut them out. There was a hat and shirt. We also cut out a head, some hands, and hair. Then we glued it all together. We attached the flag we made on Wednesday to the bottom. It looks like a solider holding an American flag.
We ended the day by playing with the shaving cream. We could write our names, numbers or words, draw pictures, or just have fun with it. Plus it help clean the glue from our spots!