Chrysanthemum Room: Kindergarten

Literacy

Each day there is a whole group discussion and individual practice followed by a reflection. The individual practice time is called The Daily 5.  The theory behind The Daily 5 is that everyday children should be practicing reading to themselves, reading to others, working with words, working on writing, and listening to reading. We will focus on four of these in Kindergarten. (It is unlikely that we will practice reading to a friend this year). This Daily 5 time will give time for guided reading groups and individual conferences.

 

CAFÉ Menu & The Daily 5

Research shows that good readers use a variety of strategies when successfully reading and comprehending a selection of text. The strategies are categorized into a menu called CAFE, which is an acronym that stands for Comprehension (I understand what I read), Accuracy (I can read the words), Fluency (I can read accurately with expression and understanding) and Expanding Vocabulary (I know, use, and find interesting words). The menu allows the students to find a strategy that fits the child's specific need while reading.

 

Mini Lessons & Read-Alouds

In addition to the reading strategies we learn during read-alouds, we cover theme, characters, setting, problem/solution, beginning, middle, and end, and main character, author, etc. We also use this whole group time to introduce letters, words, and poems. 

 

Each day during morning meeting we read a morning message and work on word identification. We also work on number sequence and identification during our calendar work each day.

 

Math Lab

Our Math Lab is a hands-on and problem-solving experience for the children. We teach math concepts using games, journaling, and creating concrete models. We encourage children to explain their thinking by asking “Why?”, “How did you know?”, and “What do you notice?”

 

Each Math Lab we have a mini-lesson where children problem solve about a current topic or review a prior concept.  They apply their learning in an abstract or representational manner rather concretely as we use in class. Next there is a whole group discussion and individual practice followed by a reflection. Some days, students have math choice time, similar to Literacy. Choices include games and activities, which are organized into math concepts in order to review concepts we may have learned previously, are learning now, or will learn in the future. This choice time will give time for guided math groups.  The groups will emphasize different skills we are studying or have studied. They will provide extra instruction and/or challenge as needed.

 

Tentative Topics we will cover:

  •  Exploring Patterns
  •  Developing Number Sense
  •  Exploring Data
  •  Exploring Geometry (2-d and 3-d Shape identification and attributes)
  •  Counting & the Number System
  •  Exploring Measurement

 

Writer’s Workshop

For Writer’s Workshop, we are using a program created specifically to follow the new Common Core Standards.  The program will work through the genres of narrative, expository, and persuasive writing.  In kindergarten it is appropriate for students to use their best guess spelling. It is common that they will miss the vowel sounds and digraphs are tricky.  As they learn writing and sentence patterns, they may begin to over-generalize. Let them experiment with spelling with little correction, however, help them when they get to sight words. We introduce 2 new sight words each week. Having a self-created word journal will be a helpful resource for them as the year progresses.

 

Handwriting

Our handwriting curriculum follows Handwriting Without Tears, which systematically introduces letter formation. First students learn how to write capital letters, beginning with Frog Jump Capitals , and then progress to lowercase.  As students advance through the curriculum, we only hold students accountable for the letters we have learned.  For example, we will not begin learning how to form lowercase letters until halfway through the year; therefore, we accept capitals throughout the sentence not just at the beginning.