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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Loving Kindergarten!

If you had told me about 3 years ago that I would totally be loving kindergarten I would have laughed in your face.  My ideal grade at that point was second or third.  I had always felt scared of kindergarten.  It was so....basic.  They don't know anything.  How do you even do that?  Where do you start?  I couldn't be bothered.

Last year, I was a Building Sub in an inner city.  I had been in that school for a few years but never really inside the classrooms.  It also happened to be the toughest kindergarten group they had in a long time.  I don't want to go into details but it was TOUGH.  Many props to my amazing colleagues who were involved in that grade last year!  Despite what was going on, I loved it.  I mean, I really, REALLY loved it.  I was definitely right about most of them coming in as a blank slate.  What I was wrong about was how AMAZING that was!  Okay, some background knowledge (letters, numbers, etc) would be nice but still!  I was enthralled with the workings of a kindergarten classroom.  To watch them grow and see how MUCH they learned by the end of the year was incredible.  

I'm in a different district this year but I have found myself loving every second of my 40 minute time with my kindergarteners.  I get so excited to think about what we're going to work on next.  I spend hours scouring the internet for ideas to enhance their learning.  I feel this huge sense of pride when I see their growth and their eagerness to soak in everything we do.  In all of my years of working in education, I have never felt this way before.  I will of course teach anything I am offered and see the positive in all grades, but kindergarten is starting to dig a special place in my heart.

Anywho, this is what we did today!  We read "The Park" from the LLI kit.

After we read the book (I was so proud because they can read it to me!  Yay!), we retold the story using pictures.  For every LLI story, I go onto Microsoft Word, find clip art that matches each page, and print!  They have to put the events in the right order and use the correct language when retelling.

Normally, this is done in their journals.  We've been doubling up groups during this testing window, so this example came from a student from another group who doesn't have a journal with me.  Not the best but you get the idea!  After we retell and glue the pictures down, we do the "write about reading" part of the lesson.  For this part, I try to pick the one that they could possibly spell on their own.  I chose "slide" because I had just briefly introduced "magic e" the last time we met.  They were able to spell "slid" AND when I asked if they noticed something, one student said that it didn't say "slide" it said "slid."  Don't you love when it falls into place? Haha.  I told him he was right and went on to talk about "magic e" again.

I tried to use examples that I could physically explain (okay so "hope" was a bit hard lol).  They loved it.  Their personal favorite was then I changed "cap" into "cape."  They told me I was a superhero.  They're right ;)  This particular group had some long vowel/short vowel trouble.  I will have to see what my group remembers!

After that, we started our CVC Short "a" book I made!  They loved it!  It was great to talk about how we would know which word comes first (capital letter), what would come last (punctuation mark), and point out our sight words!  You can pick up your copy at my TPT store here.

I hope everyone had a happy hump day haha!  Two more days until Friday!  Wahoo!  Keep checking back because I'm hoping to post on my Groundhog Day plans tomorrow!

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