This week Mrs. Hausman brought stories with a holiday theme...
Before I tell you about Mrs. Hausman's visit today, I want to briefly share some information about special books called, "Kindergarten Star Books". Star books are books that are chosen because of their strong narrative story elements (characters, setting, problem, events, and solution), simply put, they are GREAT stories to listen to and to "read". The books are introduced to the children one at a time. Beginning the first day of school, star books are shared with the children during read aloud time. The same story is shared at least 4 times over a 2 week period, introducing about 4 new books in a month. This process allows the children to become very familiar with each story. Careful attention is given to reading each story intonation and lots of enthusiasm and, before very long, the students are reading along with the teacher for much of the book!
Once the children have heard a star book several times and are very familiar with the stories, they get to choose to "read" the stories during our beginning sessions of Reading Workshop... a real treat for children who are not yet reading conventionally.
So, that brings me back to Mrs. Hausman. Today she shared several stories about "Gingerbread Cookies". Well, "The Gingerbread Man" happens to be one of our kindergarten "Star" books, so, as you can imagine, they were very familiar with how the story "typically" goes and REALLY enjoyed the variety (and similarities) in the stories that were shared today!
When she was finished she gave each student a gingerbread decorated pencil... THANK YOU Mrs. Hausman!
As you may have heard, our class is participating in a physical Education and Nutrition program called PE-Nut. Miss Kate, a trained educator from the National Kidney Foundation, will visit our classroom 6 times throughout the school year. She will help us to learn how to make healthy choices and that making healthy choices can be lots of fun!
The program incorporates a planned curriculum, food sampling, structured physical activity, books, take home bags, daily health messages, and even school-wide events. More information can be found here:
Wow! You just cannot beat the beautiful weather we have had this past week! You also cannot beat fun with friends on the playground!
Today, Mrs. Hausman brought along story books that all had sleepy bears as the main character.
This first story kicked off a discussion about hibernation as there is (accurate) information about the hibernation behavior of lots of different animals. In addition to having beautiful illustrations, using autumn-ish colors throughout, the story also conveys a wonderful message of looking out for one another... when Bear sees that it's time to go to sleep for the winter, the message is passed from snails to skunks in the forest so that all are prepared for the impending season.
In the next story, it is getting cold and time for hibernation, so Old Man Winter says, "Sleep, Big Bear, sleep." But Big Bear doesn't hear very well and instead, in an attempt to follow his directions, drives a jeep, sweeps a house, climbs a steep mountain, etc. Ultimately, Old Man Winter yells loudly enough for Big Bear to understand him, and the bear heads off to his den for a much-deserved rest. Lots of chuckles from the kindergarteners during this one!
The kindergarten kids enjoyed "helping" Mrs. Hausman read our next book by whispering "-don't wake up the bear!" In this one on a winter's eve, as a bear sleeps in his cozy cave, a cold-eared hare creeps in to snuggle in his soft fur. Several animals join her to warm up various extremities. Each time she warns, "-don't wake up the bear!" A mouse is the last to arrive, curling up in his ear. However she develops the sniffles and lets loose a loud sneeze. The lumbering creature wakes up and growls and the animals scatter. The bear merely trudges off and snacks on some berries.
The final story was ...
One by one, a whole host of different animals and birds find their way out of the cold and into Bear's cave to warm up. But even after the tea has been brewed and the corn has been popped, Bear just snores on!
As usual, Mrs. Hausman left us wanting for more stories! We can't wait to see her in December!
Has your child talked to you about our STAR Friend activity? If so… you have probably heard all about it! It is, by far, the favorite time of day for most kindergartners in room #166! Each day before going to lunch, I reach in to our STAR basket, with my eyes closed and lots of drama (of course), and pull out the name of one lucky friend. That child becomes our STAR Friend for the day (and the envy of his/her classmates...ahem... we are working at being happy for our friend and waiting, patiently, for our own turn in the spotlight... it is not an easy wait!). We just started our "second round" of this activity this week. During the first round, we took the opportunity to get to know a little more about each of our new classmates and worked on our questioning skills by interviewing each STAR Friend. The children were very curious about each other and, with some practice, asked some great questions. Through questioning, we learned our classmates' favorites: color, food, storybook, friend, activity, shoes, and more! They seem to enjoy all of it, but… the thing they seem to LOVE the most about being the STAR Friend is being the Line Leader! The STAR Friend has the awesome responsibility of leading our line to specials, recess, lunch, and dismissal. For our second round, we have added a song that we sing while the STAR Friend makes his/her way to the front of the group, an extremely fashionable crown, and a book - compiled of pages created by their friends. I also take their picture to add to this post... I'll continue to add STAR Friend photos as each child enjoys their turn. For this second round, we also kept that most-sought after "Line Leader" position as a STAR Friend perk. Ask your child to tell you about our STAR Friend routine; feel free, and be prepared, to assure them that if they haven't had their turn, their name is still in the star-shaped basket and... just maybe it will be their turn next!
Check back daily for more STAR Friends!
She read us the following stories...
Every other Thursday Mrs. Hausman, our guest storyteller, comes to visit our class. On her first visit she brought stories about squirrels. First she shared an informational book titled "Squirrels"...
The children heard lots of interesting facts about squirrels. Did you know that a squirrel's nest is called a "drey" and has two rooms? One of the rooms is used as a nursery!
Next, she shared a funny story called "Those Darn Squirrels!"...
And lastly, she read "Aw, Nuts!" She asked for their help in reading this one and they were more than happy to oblige! They were laughing out loud as they listened to this story about a squirrel who keeps running into bad luck on his quest to get his paws on the perfect acorn.
The acorn keeps bouncing off... he jumps in to a taxi to catch up to it, but the taxi runs out of gas "Aw, Nuts!" he shouts (along with our classroom of kindergartners, followed by a burst of laughter!), and the squirrel tries again!
Mrs. Hausman always leaves us wanting for more! Lucky for us, she'll be back soon ready to share more wonderful books!
My name is Charlene Sipe and I'm the teacher in room #166 at Einstein Elementary School.