Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Update

Thanks to all those that helped with the Digger Dash. 
The kids were adorable and had a great time. 

Alphabet Chant  

Here is a video of our Alphabet Chant to use in class each day. We practice this frequently in class.
 Practice it at home as needed.  


Your kindergarten students were surprised to learn that our Alphabet Chart was not just for those who didn't know the alphabet. Now that they are beginning to know the chant inside and out, the main purpose of the alphabet chart is to help them become independent writers. They will each have one in their writing folder to use as a "spelling" tool. 

How to Spell a Word
Once you know what word you want to spell follow these steps:
  1. Say the word slowly.
  2. Tap it out. (they know how to do that)
  3. What is the first sound you hear?
  4. Find and point to that sound on the chart and the picture that begins with that sound.
  5. Copy the letter.
  6. Go back to the word...what other sounds do you hear? Find them and repeat.
What about Sight Words?
On the back of the Alphabet Chart is a small "word wall" of sight words they can copy. If they can read it, then they can copy it. If they can't, its better to sound it out. They need to be able to read whatever they write, and so if it is a word they can't read...well that defeats the purpose! Don't be tempted to spell words for them. The goal is to develop independent writers. You can't follow them around in life spelling words for them. (That is google and spell check's job!)

What CAN I do to help them?
Ask them what sounds they hear. Help them say it slowly and identify or "tap out" the sounds they hear. Go back to the beginning and start with the first sound. Let them find it on the chart and copy it. Continue with other sounds they hear. Don't worry about them getting all the sounds on paper. They will get more sounds as they develop an ear for it.  

Practice Game
Get the chart out. Say a word. Help them hear the sounds in the word. Have them find and point to each sound as they hear it. For sight words, say a word on the back and let them find it. Feel free to add sight words on the back as they learn them. You'll notice that not all sight words are there, so add the ones they use the most. 

We have been working hard to develop number sense by counting, writing numbers, learning and practicing math vocabulary, and using that vocabulary to share our thinking and observations. We made groups, sets, sorted, counted, drew, wrote numbers, categorized, graphed...and will continue to work on a variety of concepts around numbers going forward.  Here are a few games we have played:

Roll and Record
Students roll dice and record the number they rolled making a bar graph. They practiced using math vocabulary to compare numbers by describing which was greater, less than, equal, etc. Roll and Record can be differentiated to include two dice, writing numbers without tracing support, and using addition problems to represent numbers. They LOVE using dice to turn any math activity into a game!

Grab and count 
This is a game you can play at home to practice number sense. 

  1. Look for a collection of coins, buttons, legos, macaroni, or something similar around the house, and put it in an open container.  
  2. Have your child grab a handful (or pinch) of items out of the container and place it on the table.
  3. Let them count what they grabbed.
  4. Have them write that number on a piece of paper and draw a picture representing that number.
  5. Put the items back in the container and go again!

Online Games

These are links to games you can play at home provided by our Investigations Math program. These links contain an online version of many of the games we have learned (or will learn) in class. Check it out and add some math games into your homework routine!