Monday, August 27, 2012

Letter of the Week: Aa

Parent conferences started last Friday and I tried to get as much testing done as possible so that I could have goals ready to discuss with parents during conferences. The kindergarten team at my school uses RESULTS. We test for the following:

Colors - red, blue, green, yellow, purple, black, brown, and orange.

Numbers: rote counting, counting objects (1-1 correspondence), and number recognition for 1-30

Shapes - circle, square, triangle, rectangle 

Patterns* - recognition (AB, ABC, ABB), and building


Letter Names - both upper and lowercase

Phonemic Awareness - blending/segmenting

Concepts of Print

Letter Sounds/Word Decoding - consonant sounds, short/long vowel sounds, and blending words with short vowels (cvc)

Reading - sight words: a, for, here, me, see, and, go, I, my, she, are, have, is, play, the, by, he, like, said, and to

*optional - I did not test for these as it is the beginning of the year (BOY)

Based on this assessment I found a majority of my students could not identify their letters yet so I am using the Letter of the Week as part of my curriculum. I am hoping to get literacy and math centers running in the next month or so. This first week was really about making sure that my students start increasing their stamina and working on their ability to complete activities independently, ensuring that centers run smoothly later down the line. Needless to say, this involved a lot of modeling and after a week and a half of teaching I'm slightly embarrassed to say I've lost my voice. I suspect the main cause of it is all the singing I've been doing with the kids. (At least I've built up my teacher bladder!) 

First year teacher tip #107 - Rest your voice!

I stumbled upon a while ago and thought the crafts were so cute! I have been using it for letter craft ideas and am adapting them for the art center activity each week. My students do both the capital and lowercase and when they finish early they practice writing their Aa's on paper. Penmanship is big with me.

A is for alligator.

I also introduced "My Aa Book" last week. Students went on an 'Aa hunt' and found the letter of the week on each page after tracing the words and before coloring the pictures. I modeled how students should read to the teacher, putting their finger right under the word and moving it along as they read. The goal of this is to help students who are struggling with their concepts of print.

Lastly for literacy activities this week, I introduced Letter Cut and Paste. Students get a sheet of various pictures and they have to "stretch" the words and listen for the right sound. Since we studied Aa last week, students had to identify the short 'a' sound. If the picture had it then they colored it and if the picture did not start with the short 'a' sound then they crossed it out with a pencil. Once they completed that, they cut out the colored pictures and pasted them onto a half sheet with the corresponding letter. Of course, when they were finished they were asked to place it on my desk and I called them over to read to me.

For math, I introduced number strips. In going with the theme of the letter of the week, my students traced 1-5 on apples and learned what a pattern was. Students practiced their number writing and created a pattern by coloring the apples.

I also introduced graphing. I read Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Suess and surprised my students with foam yellow, green, and red apples that I threw into the air after hiding them in my lap during the read aloud. Students each grabbed one and we talked about how we could sort them. They figured out that we could sort them by color and then we graphed it as a whole group. I had little zip lock baggies filled with different amounts of yellow, green, and red apples that students had to sort and graph at their tables. They worked in partners to complete this activity. I strategically grouped a more proficient math student with a less proficient math student based on my observations of my students' abilities thus far.

One thing that I did not have enough time to focus on last week was writing. My students haven't written in their journals since I got their first writing samples on the second day of school. I'm hoping I can at least do some more interactive writing this week and get back on schedule with having my students write. Ideally, I would like for them to write everyday!

This week we are studying the letter Rr! Happy teaching!

No comments:

Post a Comment