Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kindergarten Tours

 January is the time when parents are making the decision for where to place their children in kindergarten. Often, as they tour our school, parents bring their children to see the classrooms. Many times, young children are very shy when I greet them. However, I have found that when I bring them to my fish tank, they are instantly at ease and enthralled with the five fish I currently have. One of them likes to hang out in Sponge Bob's house, and that is always a hit! I like to have examples of student writing up on the wall for parents to see as they walk the room. This was an activity we did immediately upon returning from the Christmas vacation. Students were encouraged to share about what they did over the holiday. I simply copied a winter border onto a blank paper and wrote the prompt: "During vacation I...." and had them fill in the bottom part after they drew their picture. We then met at our circle time and each student took a turn sharing their "story" with a focus of speaking in a complete sentence, which in turn, helps to develop their oral language...one of my pet projects for kindergarten. I also took a picture of each of their drawings and put them together for a digital storybook. I shared it with them on the LCD projector at rest time. They were very proud to have their work shared with the entire class this way.
This student went to "Lost Vegas"!
This student enjoyed going to Winter Wonderland. I was excited about this student's writing because this student has just really begun to write and did such a wonderful job.

Here is an example of a student who has a strong phonemic sense and is doing a great job with phonetic spelling.

Some students felt they didn't have a very exciting Christmas because they stayed home. We used this opportunity to talk about all the truly wonderful aspects of getting to stay home for Christmas. In turn, many students were then stating that they had wished they had gotten to stay home and these students who had were pretty pleased in the end!  



 We are also writing in journals every day. I place those at the back of the room right next to my fish tank so that as the new child stands there looking at the fish, my new prospective parents can look through more examples of what student writing looks like at this point in the school year!

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