Sunday, September 23, 2012

Literacy Stations #6-10 & Grant Proposal

Happy Sunday, friends! I am pleased to inform you that we now have TEN literacy stations up and running! DT Also, last week in Library, the students made a giant book and labeled all the parts of a book (spine, front cover, back cover, author, pages, etc). Mrs. Williams asked us to make an "About the Authors" page to include in it. Look at how CUTE it turned out! Apparently some of us have purple hair and red skin! I've yet to notice this in person... haha, we'll work on coloring more realistically.

Anyway, it is nice that we got to do this Author page while we still had our entire class! This past Thursday, our new teacher, Mrs. Smith started. The decision was finally made to hire a new teacher the week before last, but with interviews and fingerprinting/background checks, she couldn't start immediately.

It was convenient that she got to come in our rooms for two days and get to know all of the children before she got her class list. It was sad to see children go, but they'll still have to walk through my door in the morning, use my classroom for the bathroom and join our class for Encore! So it's only "goodbye" in the sense that they won't get my instruction. Each of the kindergarten teachers are now able to give more one-on-one time with each student. My class went from 25 students down to 20 -- that's a whole group of desks, or an entire reading group. Either way you look at it, it's substantial! Also, I'm pretty excited that I get to be a mentor this year! I'll be guiding Mrs. Smith as she goes through her first year in the K classroom. I remember how overwhelming it can be and hope to make it as easy and fun as possible.

Let's move on to the past week's academics! We introduced five more stations! I love that the kids are so good at their "I Can" lists these days. They brainstorm a ton of ideas and I've only had TWO questions about something not understood at stations. After introducing TEN, that's pretty phenomenal. Also, I think one of those students was pulled when we were going over the list! So that's understandable.

Station #6: Let's Talk About It

Yes, this station is all about fostering oral communication! The students get wordless books or photographs and tell what's happening, or a made-up story relating to the pictures. AYIH

Station #7: Writing

Students came up with words/phrases they wanted to write about and I posted them on sentence strips at the writing station.


Station #8: Write the Room

Students get to wear oversized glasses and walk around the room writing their friends' names. They have to be careful which column they write in -- the columns are labeled by gender!


Station #9: SMARTboard

Currently, students are doing Starfall ABC on the SMARTboard. Reading and math games and sorts will come later!


Station #10: Computers

Students are also doing Starfall ABC on the computers. This will transition to Reading A-Z later.


popcorn!We had a surprise snack on Friday to remind students how we use each of our five senses to be aware of the world around us. Students came in, sat on the carpet, and closed their eyes. First, they had to use their ears to listen to the popcorn popping. They figured it out using only one sense! But they still got to use their eyes to see the popcorn, their nose to smell the popcorn, their hands to touch the popcorn and their MOUTH to TASTE the popcorn! Some students said they didn't like it because "it's not cheese," or they asked "um, where's the butter?" Haha, sorry kids, I tried.

sortingWe also got to do a massive sorting project when I dumped out my two huge buckets of lids! The students told me all the different ways they could sort: type of lid, color, size, shape (even though shape was one oval and all the rest circles), ridges/no ridges. We only had time to sort by color, but this isn't the last time we'll use the lids. They will go into a math station soon!

The last piece of information I want to share with you tonight is that I finished my grant application! It's not due until Friday, so I'd say that's a decent accomplishment. Anyway -- this year I am trying to get funding for

take-home literacy bags

. I will find out mid-November if my project is approved, so *cross your fingers* for me! I made one prototype of the literacy bags and will begin circulating it this upcoming weekend.

If approved, here's how it will work: Literacy bags will come home each Thursday and be returned to me every Tuesday. This gives you the entire weekend to read all of the books (between 3-5), do the activities/games, and discuss how you and your child felt about what you did. Each literacy bag will have a theme - it will focus on a favorite character, a math/social studies/science theme, a language arts skill, or a specific topic of interest to five-year-olds (i.e., "dinosaurs"). The goal is to improve reading skills and enhance student motivation to read.

Obviously these will only happen if I am awarded the grant money, so *if* it happens, it will start in mid-November. To get you and your child used to the idea, the one trial Literacy Bag I made ("Mouse Cookies") will come home to you for one weekend sometime between now and November. Keep a lookout for it :0)

As always, enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Owl be teaching you more tomorrow!

p.s. Show & Share time starts this Friday. If it is your child's day, I will send a note home on Thursday to let you know!


  1. Dougie made an I Can list at home over the weekend :) He was trying to teach Carmen how to do it. I hope you get your grant, because these literacy bags sound great!!!

    1. Aw, I love hearing that! It is so nice to hear about students showing what or how they've learned. Hopefully Carmen was enjoying the role of student! Thanks for your support with the grant proposal!

  2. LOVING this literacy bag! Both of the kiddos are really into it. Now that I've seen one in person I'm hoping even more that you get this grant!!!