If you don't know about testing in the schools, I can assure you, we do plenty of it... So over the course of the last month, we have administered the final math test, administered the final phonics and sight words tests for this year, and administered the DRA2 test that I told you all about at conferences. The DRA2, for those of you who have not experienced it for other students, takes quite some time to administer... so let me tell you, it has been a long month and a half of testing! I will say this: My students did very well with their DRA tests, and I could not be prouder of their accomplishments!
That said, I am so psyched to finish the year out with these awesome Kindergarten Kids... and then begin my journey in FIRST GRADE next fall! I have been waiting for the official word to announce it, and I just got confirmation this week :-) I am so excited to begin this new chapter, and I think it was the perfect year to go to first, because I get to follow your kiddos up. I LOVE this class, and wish I could take them all with me into my first grade class too! That said, if you come into the classroom and notice it's looking a little bare, it's because we're packing everything up for the move up to my first grade room, and it's going to take quite some time to finish it out! Thanks to the generosity of donors from Donors Choose, we have been prepping for first grade standards, and we have PLENTY of materials to follow us to 1st.
So, what have we been up to the last month or so?...
Math: We are learning how to represent numbers with tens and ones. This means I show the kids some number cards - 19, 16, 29, etc... and the kids have to show me how to make the number with tens and ones. We have also been working on learning our coins. We introduced this informally throughout the year, but it's a more formal instruction now. I am not expecting mastery, and don't want you to think that we expect it! By the end of the year all the kiddos really need to master is coin names for penny, dime, quarter and nickel.
Reading: We are working on comprehension skills... serious comprehension skills! We are still working on opinion, retelling, favorite part - and those things are still very important. At this point in the year, we're working on developing comprehension while reading. We want the kids to be able to make connections while reading, get involved in the character's feelings, and make predictions throughout a story. We also want kids to be able to infer, so we are beginning the process of guiding them toward author's purpose ( a hard concept for a K kid!).
Phonics: Well, my kids are awesome. We know all of our letters and sounds, though we still practice them regularly! We are still working on ending sounds, word families, and now, beginning blends (cl, br, bl, etc). We are learning the "ow" and "aw" and "ee" sounds in words - our kids have mastered the basics, so we're beginning to teach them more complex patterns now.
Writing: Well, this is my pride and joy. I don't know what it is about this class, but they are just fantastic writers! If you remember at the beginning of the year, I posted lots of kinder-kid writing. This is an example of what we are now doing in writing... and this is ONE STORY!:
"One day I went to the water park in my car. I brung stuff with me."
"Next when I got there I put on my bathing suit and my life jacket so I don't drown."
"Then I went to the side and I played with my brother. He was too scared."
I missed the first page of this in my picture taking, but what it says is: "Then I went to the pool but I couldn't swim in there because someone catapulted so I went back to the other side of the water park. There was a big bucket and my brother was scared of it."
"Then it was bed time so I went to bed. I was SO sleepy."
"Then it was morning. I put on my bathing suit and life jacket and went to the pool."
"I had an exciting day."
Do you all KNOW how exciting this is? Because... MOST of the stories are this good. I would love to have posted more, but that's a LOT of photos. :-) I have never seen K kids hold a story for this long or write quite so many details. And they honestly LOVE it. I know for some people it might seem like they're not spelling correctly, not developed enough, etc... but trust me when I tell you, this is FANTASTIC! Most of these kiddos can't WAIT until writing time and they could easily go for hours if we let them. I'm really most proud of their accomplishments in this area!
Thurs 6/5: Field Trip to Stamford Nature Center
Thurs 6/12: Kindergarten Show
Fri 6/20: Last Day of School
I am going to have a little party with the kids during the last week of school. I was going to have it on the last day but may change that to the day before. If anyone is interested in coming in and doing some little activities with the kids.... please let me know what day works best for you! Thank you! I'm open to any day that week.