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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sight Word Home Support

Our Kindergartener has homework every night. It's short, only about 5 minutes, but I think it is a great idea because it establishes a homework routine.  Here is an example of her homework for tonight:
  • Look for the word 'the' in a book or on a book page. Count how many times you find it.
  •  Practice saying your phone number.
She also has three sight words that the class is concentrating on in class for the week: I, the, he.

Our family decided to concentrate on those sight words too, with some activities that we will do at home.

  • Using a post it note, the three sight words were placed on the risers of the stairs. As she goes up the stairs, she reads the words aloud.
  • We play, "Where is the eraser?" She makes her choice like this: "I think the eraser is under 'he.'  We then check to see if it is under that cup. If she is correct on the first guess, she places the eraser under the cup, and I make a guess.  If she is incorrect, she keeps guessing with me in control of the cups.
                  • Another fun activity is to make the words using playdough.

So these are some of the ways our family is supporting the work that is happening at school.  We can do that because her teacher took the time to keep us informed about the sight words they are studying that week in school through a weekly homework sheet.
 If you would like me to scan one of the weekly homework sheets, and post it here on my blog, leave a comment and I will post it.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

October Calendar, Multigrade K/1 or 1st

The October calendar, that I am suggesting, continues with "attributes."  It builds on the work done in September, and emphasizes not shape but

The thick shapes are cut out of sponge sheets or foam sheets.

The thin shapes are cut out of tagboard (heavier paper).

The secondary pattern is light blue and dark blue.  This can lead to a discussion about the fact that they are both blue, but different shades of blue.  We could categorize them all as blue, or we could divide them into another attribute-- shades of blue. Could they also be categorized as large and small, smooth surface and bumpy surface, or straight sides and curved?  

If you used this calendar in a K/1st Multi-grade or 1st Grade classroom you could have the 1st Graders come up with a  list of the different ways you could categorize the shapes' attributes. Next, have them create a series of drawings that illustrates the different attributes on the list. These drawings could then be posted near the calendar center.

(This calendar also features words in Spanish-- for all my bilingual and dual language teacher friends!)


Building "Community" with a Venn Diagram in a Multi-Grade Classroom

At school, we use Venn Diagrams to think about ideas and compare and contrast those ideas.  Here is an example of a Venn Diagram (if you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can read it easier) used to compare 3 sisters:
I wanted to share it with you because I think it is a perfect example of an activity you could do with 2 or 3 students in your class to help build "Community" in a Multi-grade Classroom.

Picture a 4th Grader and a 5th Grader working together to build a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts their lives. Perhaps they will find out that they both love reading a certain author... or writing in a personal journal... or playing sports... or have a big brother that teases them both.

If you and I were creating that Venn Diagram, some of the descriptors that would be in my circle are:
  • loves sharing ideas and hearing ideas from others
  • creative sewer who enjoys sewing for her granddaughters and has a sewing blog too
  • married for over 40 years
  • still taking classes and reading books to learn new ideas
  • thinks out-of-the-box 
What would be in your circle? Share one thing about yourself in the comment section of this post.  I'd enjoy reading about you too!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Why Behind September Calendar and Attributes

During the month of September, 
I suggested using attributes blocks during calendar time. 

I have always admired John Van de Walle, and after reading the above quote it made sense to spend time on thinking deeper about classification.

Current Common Core Standards also stress the importance of classification too.
Deborah Devine
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