I am very excited to be back in the kindergarten classroom! I have been having a great time getting to know the children and playing some new games. The children really enjoy seeing Miss Clare in the classroom next door. Our new classroom job is “mail carrier” and that person delivers notes to Miss Clare.

We have continued our unit on penguins this week. In art, we created a penguin mural. We started by finger painting with blue to make an icy ground. Then we made snowmen by tracing and cutting out different sized circles. The children used craft snow, googly eyes, and other art materials to decorate their snowmen. Then the children made penguins with paper plates. This was great cutting practice as the children drew and cut out their own flippers, beaks, and feet. Finally, we painted giant snowflakes by spraying liquid watercolor paint. The children especially enjoyed cutting designs in the snowflakes.

During shared reading, we read a fiction story titled My Penguin Osbert. It is a very sweet story about a little boy who gets a pet penguin for Christmas. The story highlights the pros and cons of owning a pet penguin. After the story, we created a web of things that might happen if you owned a penguin. This activity led us into starting our chapter book titled Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

In science, we mixed liquid starch and clear glue together to make goop. We passed around the ingredients and the children made observations. Then we poured and mixed the ingredients to witness the change. Children enjoyed playing with the goop for the next few days.

We wrapped up our writing unit with a Writer’s Celebration on Tuesday. Prior to this, each child selected one piece of writing to publish. Then we typed up the work together and the children added the illustrations. Some stories were one page long, while others were up to four pages. During the celebration, we combined with the kindergarten/first mixed age class to read them. Miss Sue and Miss Christy’s preschool class came to be our audience. After we shared our hard work, we all had juice, crackers and donut holes. On Wednesday, we began a new writing unit called “Writing for Readers.” The children are learning that we write for other people to read our stories. “The real message will be that writers plan out great stories…. And then use letter sound knowledge to write in ways others can read.” (Lucy Caulkins)

This week in literacy work stations, we focused on guided reading groups and work with our sight words. Children are working on sight words on their own personal reading ring. They wrote them in different ways on the dry erase board and built the words with various letter tiles and blocks. Starting next week, the sight words your child is personally working on will be a part of their homework folder. Each child will have 6 new words to practice each week. In guided reading groups, we worked on cause and effect relationships and story webs.

Throughout the rest of this month, we will continue to learn about penguins. We will also be having Polar Express day. More information will be coming soon. Don’t forget to sign up to share a holiday tradition and story in the class. (By the way… you can sign up more than once)