Monday, January 30, 2012

Groundhog Day

(No, not a real one!  Nothing gets hurt.)

Teddy Bear Picnic

This is a reminder about Wednesday's Teddy Bear Picnic.  It will be held at our regular lunch time from 11:45-12:15.  We will be picnicking outside in the bus loop in the grassy area.  Please bring a blanket or towel for you, your child, and the teddy bear to sit on!  Hopefully we will continue to have the wonderful weather we've been having!  In the event of rain, the picnic will be in the main hallway of the school.

See you on Wednesday!  Just wait until you hear what the bears were up to on Tuesday night!

Original Teddy Bear Picnic song:
If you go out in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

Picnic time for teddy bears,
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today.
Watch them, catch them unawares,
And see them picnic on their holiday.
See them gaily dance about.
They love to play and shout.
And never have any cares.
At six o'clock their mommies and daddies
Will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears.

If you go out in the woods today,
You'd better not go alone.
It's lovely out in the woods today,
But safer to stay at home.

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


Every teddy bear, that's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of wonderful things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the trees, where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Today's the day the teddy bears have their picnic


Teddy Bear Sleepover is Tomorrow!

Come one, come all teddy bears!
Sleepover on Tuesday night
Place: Room 701 - Mrs. BEARY's Room (oh, okay...Mrs. BERRY's Room)
We are going to have FUN, but shhhhh, don't tell Mrs. BEARy!  She thinks we are just going to sit in chairs all night!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

100th Day Celebration Hats
These are the only photos I have of our 100th day of school because I had a district training all day that day.  These are the hats the children made.  Each strip has 100 stamps or stickers on it, and there are 10 strips.  10 groups of 10 makes 100!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Calendar-Challenged....but Math-Informed

Well, there's a first for everything, and today was a first for me.  I pulled into the parking lot at Lewis Carroll, saw Daisy Walter, the guest teacher who has taught for me several times, and I asked her who she was today.  She said, "You."  I can't tell you what thoughts and feelings I had at that moment!  I quickly went inside and checked online, and sure enough, I had the third of three Math Institute trainings.  I couldn't believe it, and I couldn't miss it.  I scheduled my guest teacher back in November, so that's why it wasn't at the top of my head.  The 100th Day celebration was first and foremost!

I have not spoken with anyone to find out how the day went, but no news is usually good news.  I want to give a BIG thanks to  Mrs. Walter for taking my class on such a big day, and to three moms who were scheduled to help with the Stations: Amy Brandes, Nicole Morgan, and Cat Stanley.  Thanks also to those of you who donated, once again, for both the 100 Day activities AND our canned food drive.

I did learn a lot during today's training, and will share some of the ideas and games with the students and with you in the coming weeks.  Please continue to work with your child at home on composing and decomposing the numbers 1-10 so that they can recognize the quantities (dots/counters/objects) by seeing patterns of the addends for each number without counting:
1: 1, 0
2: 2, 0; 1, 1
3: 3, 0; 2, 1; 
4: 4, 0; 3, 1; 2, 2
5: 5, 0; 4, 1, 3, 2; 2, 2, 1
6: 6, 0; 5, 1, 4, 2, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2
7: 7, 0;  6, 1; 5, 2; 4, 3, 3,3,1
8: 8, 0;  7,1; 6, 2; 5,3; 4, 4; 2 ,2 ,2, 2
9: 9, 0; 8, 1; 7, 2; 6, 3; 5, 4; 3, 3, 3; 4, 4, 1
10: 10, 0; 9, 1; 8, 2; 7, 3; 6, 4; 5, 5; 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 

We are focusing on how the brain sees these patterns, not ALL the numbers that add up to make one of these numbers.  For example, I could technically say  6: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1.  But when I do that, I am counting.  Equally as important as being able to recognize the quantity quickly, is to be able to EXPLAIN what is going on in the brain to have come up with the answer. In fact, students cannot receive points/full points on the district math for counting ("eye" counting, counting fingers, counting toes, ANY kind of counting) or for answers without being able to explain how they got their answer.

IMPORTANT:  It is important that the children have lots of experience with these patterns using actual objects and in a multitude of situations so they are forming pictures in the brain, not just memorizing.  That's how today's math is different than in the past.  Just memorizing isn't creating brain pictures of how the numbers are composed.  

Picture this:  A second grade teacher writes a problem on the board: 25 + 36.  The children are asked to solve it....without paper and pencil.  Then they must explain how they solved it.  One of the ways the students could solve this is to picture 25 as two and a half ten frames.  Thirty six is 3 ten frames with six in a fourth frame.  They then combine the full ten frames: two and three.  That makes 5 ten frame which the children will know is 50.  Then they combine the 5 and the six and they picture moving the six "counters" being moved into the ten frame with the unfilled frame that has 5.  After "filling" up the five empty slots, there's one left over.  The child then puts the new filled frame together with the other 5, and now has 6.  Then there's 1 left over, making the total 61.  All of this is done in the student's head.  (This is one scenario.  There could be other ways - pictures - that a child could solve this in his/her head.  That's also part of the way we teach math now.)  Without having experience physically moving counters from one ten frame to another, your child won't be able to do it easily in his/her house.  Also, if the child has to "count" 5 plus 6, as in the sample question, "5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11", it will make it difficult for the child to hold onto and manipulate the numbers in his/her head.  
I hope this explains what it is we are trying to do in kindergarten with the numbers 1-10.  Please know that we will be introducing 11-20 this grading period and your child is going to need to know that with numbers in the teens, they are composed of a full ten frame and then part of another.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email or call me.

100th Day of School

Today is the 100th Day of School.  While we have only collected 26 cans of far...the parents have risen to the occasion AGAIN and have donated all the goodies we need for our activities today.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, from me and the children!  So many activities, and so little time!  It's going to be a fun day!

Friday, January 20, 2012

100 Cans for a Hundred Days

Day 97 is under our belt!  The 100th day of school will be on Wednesday.  The Kindergarten Team is collecting cans of food for the hundredth day, to benefit a local charity.  So far, we have........ZERO cans!  Please, won't you go through your pantry this weekend and pull out those cans that are just sitting there, not being eaten, and donate them to this cause?  We will be putting the cans on giant 10 frames and doing some math with the cans next week.  Your donations will be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Testing Update

Well, the testing is almost over except for the couple students who were absent!  Thanks, Amy Brandes, for watching the class today during recess so I could complete the listening comprehension portion!

Please remember that Monday is a holiday, so no school! 

Also, I sent home two different Home Learning packets.  On one of them, I had corrected the dates on it, but on the other, I forgot.  The reading unit 5 will not begin until Tuesday.  It was decided that with New Year's and Martin Luther King activities, to hold off until next week.  So please work on the other activities, but the ones that require either the reader, please wait until next week.  Better yet, use any other book your child has at home.  In fact, I only have six copies of the on-grade-level reader, so I won't be able to send it home to everyone at the same time.  I will be sending home other readers to the students whose parents indicated they wanted to participate in that take-home program.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Book...after the fact

In doing some searches tonight for ways to use my new present from my class - the MimeoPad - I came across this website with a trailer for a Christmas book.  It's not really too late to watch if you celebrate the Christmas season until January 6th - Three Kings Day - like our family does.