August, 2007

What’s Your Bag?  - Send home a lunch sack with each child and ask her to fill it with things that are special to her. For example, a family photo, wrapper from her favorite food, something her favorite color, title of her favorite book, etc. Put all the lunch sacks in a large grocery sack. Pull out one child’s sack each day. That child is the “special friend” for the day! Let her come up and talk about the objects in her bag. Encourage classmates to ask her questions about herself or the items in the bag. You might want to let each child draw a picture for her and make a book. Or you could write a story about her as a shared writing activity.

What's Your Bag? - Going back to school will be a lot more fun when you visit this website. Mrs. Diminnie has created some fabulous printables that you can download for your classroom. She’s also got some great ideas for centers, management, and nursery rhymes. This sign for your door is an example of what you will find when you visit this site.

Where we are

Click here for a page with links to Mrs. Diminnie's Kindergarten and other helpful web sites.

School Days Portfolio - There are two major categories of assessment - formative and summative. Formative is what you do as you go along during the year. Summative is what you do at the end of the year. The advantage of a formative assessment like a portfolio is that it reflects children’s individual progress and does not compare them with others.

You can use clasp envelopes, clear sheet protectors, or paper grocery sacks to make a portfolio. The important thing is to collect similar samples of children’s work at the beginning of each month. You can adapt samples to the age level and abilities of your students. Here are some things you might include:

  1. Self portrait. Each month you could give students a sheet of paper that says: “This is me in August.” Children draw their picture and write their name at the bottom.
    Sel Portrait
  2. Writing sample. Ask children to write their name, write all the letters they can, write a sentence, or write a story.
  3. Interest inventory. Have children complete (write or dictate) these sentences:
        My favorite thing at school is________.
        I am good at__________.
        I am working on ________.
        My friends are __________.
        My favorite book is ________. My friends
  4. Art project (cutting, pasting) that demonstrates small motor skills.
  5. Photographs or anecdotal notes. Anecdotal notes
  6. Encourage children to save other samples of their work that they are proud of.

Make sure you date all the samples and file them in a convenient box or tub so children can look back through their portfolio and compare their improvement. At the end of the year, let children decorate a front and back cover and bind monthly samples. You’ll have a wonderful scrapbook to present it to the parents at your end of year conference.

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