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Writers Workshop June 11, 2012

Filed under: Learning Stories,Uncategorized — mrsmarshallkd @ 10:52 pm

Come into our class almost any day after 1:00 and you have entered a work zone. A writers work zone, that is.

 We begin our year drawing, focussing on our illustration techniques.

We then learn about proper letter formation and letter sounds. Soon, we begin to write down letters for the sounds we hear.  As the year progresses our pictures and our letters begin to evolve into “kindergarten writing” (writing down all of the sounds you hear in a word).  During our shared reading time, we learn about fiction and non-fiction, and soon, our writing reflects that.

One day, a friend wrote: “I am getin’ a nu hus” (I am getting a new house). I said, “Really?” and the friend said, “That’s a fiction story, Mrs. Marshall!”

After March Break we begin “Author’s Chair”. Each day we choose two friends to share there writing. This is probably one of the most powerful times of the day. Mrs. Marshall can talk all she wants, but when we see how our friends write, we truly understand what the lessons are about.

When it comes to literacy instruction, no lesson is as powerful as writing. Through writing we begin to understand words and what they mean. It is through writing we truly begin to understand the letter/sound relationship. It is through writing we are able to express ourselves in a way we never could in any other part of our day.

“Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.”
― Shel Silverstein


Mapping June 9, 2012

Filed under: Learning Stories,Uncategorized — mrsmarshallkd @ 4:37 pm

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
John Donne

While we might not be studying John Donne in Kindergarten, we do learn a bit about what he means in his poem.  Though we live on an island (The Island as many would say), we find out that we ourselves are not an island.

In that past few weeks, we have learned more about this concept. We have learned that even though we go to the store to buy our food, food doesn’t grow there, it comes from all over the world. We have learned that although we might live and go to school in Stratford, there are other Stratford’s in other parts of the world- and they are all coming to visit in September! On a world map in the classroom, we point out where all of this can be found:

We went on a treasure hunt, using clues that we could only get by solving math equations.

We brought in maps to illustrate that maps helps us in many ways.

We brainstormed ideas of what maps can teach us and show us.

We created maps that we could add our own street signs, cars, and buildings too.

Making maps has become much more than an activity, it has really given us the idea that we are a part of the community. We read a poem about making maps and that gave us the idea, how does everyone get to school? We sat down and everyone drew a map on how they got to school. One of the best parts of this activity was listening to the children as they explained their map and how other children would say, “I drive by that place too!” We began to realize that we all are a part of the community. We have so much in common!



“No man is an island, Entire of itself.” And nowhere is this more true than in Kindergarten. We are community.

Kindergarten Social Studies Outcomes for Community and Maps:

3.1: begin to develop an awareness of their community

3.2: begin to develop an awareness of the connection between their community and other communities

3.3: begin to develop an awareness of maps