Mrs. Brooks'
Reading Round-Up News

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Why reading to your child is important!
Check out the photos Mrs. Brooks
took of our Reading Round-Up Groups in September!
The AM Class   The PM Class

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We are learning about punctuation in Round-Up!
Check out the pictures of us acting out the punctuation marks.

Mrs. Whitehead wrote a song to help us learn the punctuation marks.
Photos by Mrs. Brooks. Sing Along: The Punctuation Song
Thanks to Cody, Courtney, Maddy and Sara for modeling for us!

April 12
For the past couple of weeks we have been playing with the words in the "ig" family: big, dig, fig, gig, jig, pig, rig, wig, zig, sprig and twig.

We read I Can Dig, a book with a predictable pattern. First we used the letters and the pictures to figure out the words. Later, we each had our own sentence to cut up and put back together on our own paper. After that, we found the individual words on cards and put them where they belonged on the pocket chart.

I Can Dig
by Jenny Taylor and Terry Ingleby
"I can dig," said the man.
"I can dig," said the dog.
"I can dig," said the badger.
"I can dig," said the woman.
"I can dig," said the steam shovel.
"I can dig," said the rabbit.
"Yes," said the girl, "I can dig, too."

February 2
We've been working on noticing those little punctuation marks that make our reading easier. Some marks, including the period, tell the reader that it's the end of a sentence. Exclamation marks tell the reader to put excitement in his or her voice. Question marks tell the reader that the sentence is a question. One mark, the comma, tells the reader to pause a little, then keep on reading.

Mrs. Whitehead made up some hand motions for each kind of punctuation. Ask your kindergartner what they are! Check out the pictures of us acting out the punctuation marks!

Kindergartners are encouraged to know the names of the period, comma, question mark, and exclamation mark, but more importantly, they should know what the marks mean when they (or you) are reading.

It might be fun for parents to ask their kindergartners to act out the punctuation when the parent is reading a familiar book. The kindergartners could then "reread" the sentence, exaggerating the way it is read (with excitement for an exclamation mark, raising the shoulder and hands as a question, pausing for a comma, holding out hands to stop at the period).

December 17
We did some holiday activities during our reading groups this week. Mrs. Brooks took pictures at our holiday party on Friday. Click on any picture in the photo album to see a larger version.   The AM Class   The PM Class

December 10
We are starting to recognize the "at" patterns in words. We played around with the "at" words. We listened to sound at the beginning of a word and matched other words with that same sound.

December 3
We took apart "at" words and sounded them out. We learned a Dd poem and searched for letters and words we knew. We learned the song Dd is For and substituted sounds at the beginning of words to make new words.

November 26
We sang "The Teddy Bear Song" then searched for letters and words in the song we knew. We played an alphabet game. We learned some concepts about print singing and reading "The Bb Song." We played a game using beginning sounds of words.

November 21
On Grandparent's Day, Mrs. Brooks read the story Just Grandpa and Me by Mercer Mayer. After the story, the children shared stories of fun things they do with their grandparents. The grandparents and grandchild then wrote a sentence and drew a picture of what they like to do together. The pages will be made into a book that each child can take home for one night to share with his/her family.

Mrs. Brooks took photos while everyone was writing their sentence!
Grandparent's Day Photo Album
Please sign the guestbook in the Photo Album.
The children love finding out who has visited our class websites!

November 5-9
Last week Mrs. Brooks checked to see what each of the kindergartners already know about "concepts about print." This week we are making sure each child learns as much about "printed words" as they can.

Using the following "Gg" song about Gert's Grandpa Gregory, the children circle all the "Gs" they can find in the story (since last week the letter "G" was letter of the week).

They learn about "first" "next" and "last," "before" and "after," by standing in a line and figuring who is first, next, and last. They also learn who is "before" them and who is "after" them in the line. Then they go back to the story and find the first "G," and the last "G," for example. They look for the "G" before and after a certain word. Later, they mark the spaces and count words, and find periods, capital (upper case) letters and lower case letters. Some children can even read some of the words!

Tune: Ra Ra Boom De Ay

Gert's Grandpa Gregory
Grew whiskers past his knee.
They grew around and 'round.
They grew down to the ground.
"Good golly," Gert declared,
"Gramp's got a goofy beard."
So Grandma Gwendolyn
Shaved Grandpa's chin.

Later in the week, they do the same with this "Nn" song about Nathaniel and his naughty little nanny goat.

Tune: The Old Gray Mare

Nathaniel had a naughty little nanny goat,
Who never ate a single oat,
Just nibbled on his overcoat.
Nathaniel had a naughty little nanny goat.
Her name was Nannabelle.


Next week, the kindergartners will identify the initial sounds of picture cards -- then sing this song to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It" to the group:

"If your card begins with /m/, please stand up..."

If the singer can identify the letter that goes with the sound, all the better. The kindergartners with a picture that starts with that same sound will stand up!

Click here to find out what else we've done in our reading group!!

Ridley's Early Childhood Education Program is a Winner!

Phonemic Awareness Activities For Kindergartners

How to play with words and sounds during everyday life the car, in the bath, waiting for appointments, in line, etc.

Tips for parents from Mrs. Brooks

Mrs. Whitehead made "word family" lists.
See how many words your child can read.

50 Fun Ways to Improve Reading

Here are some guidelines to help your child learn to write
from the United States Department of Education.

Guys Read is a literacy program
to connect boys with books they will want to read.

Reading Round-Up News

October 22
Mrs. Brooks brought in pictures of things such as a CAT, DUCK, and SOAP. She put one picture face down on the table, so the kindergartners couldn't see the picture. Next, Mrs. Brooks s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out the word with her voice so she said the first sound (such as the /K/ sound in "cat"), then the middle sound (such as the short /A/ sound in "cat"), and finally the ending sound (such as the /T/ sound in "cat").

The kindergartners' task was to figure out which word she was stretching out. Every word in this activity had three sounds, even though the words might be spelled with more letters.

Some other words to stretch this way are as follows (remember -- these all have three sounds):

Parents: Why not make this a game with other words to see if your child can blend those sounds again to make a word? You might have to squash the sounds together a little bit before they "get" it. This is an important skill for children to learn because they will use blending to put letter sounds together to read words.

Later, after they get good at blending sounds, they might try to take words apart themselves: this is called "segmenting" and will help your child learn to spell. Please don't expect your kindergartner to know how those vowel sounds are spelled because English has several spellings for each sound.


October 19
These past two weeks, the AM class worked on noticing the initial sounds in words. They used beginning sounds to decide whether or not something belongs in Mrs. Brooks "Zoo." We called the activity "No Zoo For You!"

In this activity, Mrs. Brooks put a picture of a WELL and a WHALE in her "zoo" (just a place on the table or in a pocket chart). The kindergartners' job was to decide whether or not a WING belongs there, too. Yes, it does, because all three words begin with the same "w" sound. Would a COAT belong there? NO, because it starts with a different sound.

Here are some other examples:







Can your kindergartner tell which word belongs in the zoo and which doesn't? Can you think up other examples? (Remember, C & K sometimes sound the same; so do S & C; and G has two sounds.)


Later, the AM kindergartners watched and listened to Mrs. Brooks read a poem that was full of the letter "H." They found and circled every "H" or "h" they saw. They learned where to find the title of the poem, where to start reading, and where to look for the next word when they finish with the first line. These are important concepts to learn in preparation for reading. The children will bring home the "H" poem next week, but here's a peek at it:

Tune: Miss Lucie Had a Baby

Hannah had the hiccups,
hic, hic, hic, hic, hic, hic.
All that hic, hic, hiccupping,
made Hannah feel quite sick.
Her daddy didn't worry.
He knew just what to do.
To scare away her hiccups,
he simply hollered, "BOO!"

October 1
The Morning Class made a book this week! Each kindergartner thought of three things that he or she liked and started with the same sound as his or her name -- and made a sentence. Mrs. Brooks typed up the sentences from the chart, and the kindergartners drew pictures of the things they liked. Now our Home and School Association's Publishing Center is making our pages into a book! Each child will get a chance to bring the class book home for a night.

September 24th
Each AM kindergartner made a list of things that he or she liked, and that began with the same letters that his or her name starts with.

We will be using our sentences for finding the letters in our names, and finding some words that are the same in all the sentences. We will notice that every sentence ends with a period, and that our names all start with upper case letters (capital letters), though the rest of the letters are lower case. We will always start reading from the left side of the page; we will start at the top of the page. Some sentences are too long for one line, so we continue them on the next line, again starting at the left.

We are learning a lot!

Kindergarten Likes Letters

Lawrence likes lizards, Legos, and lemons.

Shannon likes ships, shells, and shrimp.

Chris likes Creamsicles, Coke, and camping.

Maddy likes marshmallows, monkeys, and mirrors.

Kyleigh likes kangaroos, kites, and Kaitlyn.

Kaitlyn G. likes Kyleigh, ketchup, and kindergarten.

Courtney likes candy, corn on the cob, and carrots.

Kayla likes kittens, kangaroos, and kites.

Cody likes candy, cookies, and cupcakes.

Chase likes chips, chocolate, and chewing gum.

Sara likes Sprite, spaghetti, and snakes.

Ronnie likes running, rabbits, and riddles.

Gabrielle L. likes gum, green, and goo.

Brian likes baseball, bugs, and Bionicles.

Timmy likes trains, treehouses, and treats.

Joey likes Jell-o, Juicyfruits, and jogging.

Kacey likes kittens, kites, and kindergarten.

Rosemarie likes roses, running, and rabbits.

Gabrielle F. likes goats, goodies, and giggling.

September 17
This week the kindergartners learned how to stretch out words so they could hear all their sounds. They practiced by stretching out f....a....t, b...a...t, and m...a...t so they could hear the sounds of the first letters, the sound of the "a" and the "t" sound. Mrs. Brooks put the words on the blackboard. Then they looked carefully at the three words, looking to see how the words are the same. They discovered that words that look the same at the end also rhyme!

Also, Mrs. Brooks read aloud a short poem and asked the kindergartners to think what would make sense as the final word -- and what would also rhyme. [Our English spelling system depends on words that rhyme -- words that rhyme are often spelled the same at the end. This is a basic skill necessary for learning to identify words.]

The man looked sadly
Where his bike sat.
Anyone could tell
That its tire was __________.

Once upon a little green mat
Sat the sweetest little brown __________.

It's got a yellow ribbon
And it looks a little flat,
Still, it goes on someone's head.
That pretty blue ___________.

The cat ate this,
The cat ate that.
Even wearing a tie,
He still looked __________.

In the night sky
With his wings so flat,
I saw a flying animal
Called a ___________.

If you want some friends to visit,
To come by for a chat,
Put this outside your door.
It's a lovely welcome __________.

A girl was eating ice cream
As she watched
Both this and that
Upon a gray and green bench
Was where she _____________.

September 10
This first week of Reading Round-Up, morning groups practiced identifying letters of the alphabet, upper case and lower case. Most kids knew almost every one of them! If your child has trouble with a few letters, you can help him or her tell them apart. Try using flashcards only two at a time. First let your kindergartner trace the shape with a finger, make the shape with arms and legs, and try to make an association: for example, the "b" looks like a bear with a belly; the "h" looks like a horse you could sit on and ride. You can buy flashcards at Becker's teacher store in Lawrence Park Shopping Center, or at many other stores. Or you can simply make them on slips of paper or index cards. Be sure to use both capital (upper case) letters and small (lower case) letters.

The morning kindergartners also learned to listen to nursery rhymes and other poems, noticing the words that rhyme. After they practiced listening to themselves saying rhyming words on special "telephones," they matched pictures of rhyming things: such as "shell" and "bell," "drop" and "mop."

The kindergartners also learned how to line up nicely and help everyone to find a seat at the beautiful new Round-Up tables. They practiced taking turns and passing things to their classmates.

August 27
Dear Kindergartners of 2001-2002, I can't wait to meet you! Mrs. Whitehead and I love to come to Reading Roundup three times every week. I hear we will have a brand new table so we can all see and reach each other when we play with letters, words, sentences, and stories this year. I know I will need help with remembering to set my Round-Up Timer and learning all your names. So please come ready to help me.
Mrs. Brooks, Reading Teacher

Click below to find out what we did in 2000 - 2001 in
Mrs. Brooks' Reading Round-Up Group.