Thursday, May 16, 2013

End of the Year Sing

Our End of the Year Sing was today, and both classes did such an amazing job.  Miss Erin was very proud of everyone, and was maybe even a little teary-eyed.  Here are the videos of today's performances:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Week of 4/1/13

Welcome back from Spring Break!  I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing time over break!  We were so excited to be able to get outside this week.  We also had fun making rainbows with dot painters, playing in the sand, and glazing ceramic bowls and hearts.  This slideshow also includes some photos from the week before break when we made eggs with watercolors and spray bottles!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dance Party!

Miss Stephanie and I discovered that we could hook a Wii up to our smartboards, and we thought playing Just Dance and having a dance party would be the perfect way to celebrate the day before Spring Break.  As often happens in preschool, things didn't go quite as planned -- we had some technical difficulties with the Wii.  Luckily, good teachers always have a back up plan, and we found Just Dance videos on YouTube!

The kids (and teachers) had a blast!  This will definitely become a regular gross motor activity for us, especially on days we can't get outside.

Check out the AM video:

And the PM video:

Now that you've watched me be ridiculous on video, try it yourself at home!  These were a couple of our favorite Just Dance songs...

Have a great Spring Break!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We Give Books

We Give Books is one of our favorite websites!  We Give Books allows you to read children's books online for free!  It's a great place to find something new to read, and a wonderful first experience with eBooks.  Plus, whenever you read a book on We Give Books, the site donates a book to a child in need.

Now through April 5th, though, We Give Books and LeapPad are sponsoring a Read for My School campaign.  For every book we read, We Give Books and LeapPad will donate a book to our school.  We can earn up to 250 books!  So far, just by reading books in class, our class and Miss Stephanie's class have helped our school earn 40 free books.

You can help by reading at home too!

Step 1:  Login or create a free account
Step 2:  Select our school as the school you want to donate to!
Step 3:  Enjoy reading with your child!
Step 4:  Share with others and encourage them to read for our school!

Visiting the We Give Books site once a day would be a great way to get some quality reading practice in over Spring Break.

Monday, March 18, 2013

10,000 Hours to Reading Success

Last week, my friend Jen came to read with us for World Read Aloud Day.  In addition to her work in the district, Jen writes at a wonderful blog called Teach Mentor Texts.  Yesterday, she had a post up that really got me thinking about how much time parents and teachers need to spend reading with our kids.  You can read her post here:

The gist of her post is:
  • It takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill
  • If we want kids to master reading, they will need 10,000 hours of practice
  • If a child reads for 20 minutes a day, it would take 82.2 years to master reading.  You read that right, 82.2 years!
  • In order to master reading in 10 years, kids need 164.4 minutes (2.75 hours) of reading practice each day
How much reading practice is your child getting each day?  Remember that at this age, reading practice doesn't just mean sitting down and listening to you read books for 2.75 hours.  Yes, reading stories aloud is important, but it can also be:
  • pointing out letters in the environment
  • talking about pictures you see
  • following a recipe
  • looking at books independently or with a sibling/friend
  • talking about words that rhyme
  • making up a story about pictures in a book
At school, we practice reading every day as well.  When students are arriving, we spend about 10 minutes looking at books while we wait for everyone to get here.  We read at least one story aloud every day, and we always have the book area open during work time. Additionally, we talk about letters and sounds, practice retelling stories, and read a variety of print materials such as books, magazines, and even ebooks!

Take some time to think about what you are doing at home to help your child practice reading.  How much time are you spending each day?  What are some new things you can try to practice reading at home?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pete the Cat Puppet Pals

In case you hadn't noticed, we are huge fans of Pete the Cat!  Both classes ask to read a Pete the Cat story every week.  This week, we decided to practice retelling Pete the Cat.  If you don't remember the story, you can watch it here:

To retell Pete the Cat, we used the Puppet Pals app on the iPad.  It was so much fun, and both classes did an amazing job retelling the story.

Here is the Puppet Pals video from the AM class:

Here is the Puppet Pals video from the PM Class:

You may have to listen carefully to hear the kids.  They didn't always want to speak into the microphone!  Hope you enjoy our retellings!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

World Read Aloud Day

This past Wednesday was World Read Aloud Day, and to celebrate each class got to read a special story.  In the morning, our friend Miss Jen came to read us a story.  Jen is a National Board Certified Teacher who working in the Teacher Effectiveness Initiatives in our district.  She also writes a wonder blog called Teach Mentor Texts that has wonderful book recommendations for kids of all ages.  Here is the video from the morning:

In the afternoon, our good friend Miss Stephanie came to sign along with us while Miss Erin read the story.  Here is the video from the afternoon: