River and Oscar have been in preschool for 52 days. Granted, this is much fewer than an actual kindergarten classroom and so, I don't see as much progress as their former classmate who is in kindergarten this year. The good news is, they aren't supposed to be kindergartners yet. As far as kindergarten prep, I feel that they are way ahead of where they need to be for their first day this fall.
River began this year not recognizing any number above 5. He can now tell you up to 10 with great confidence. He can also figure out numbers he does not know (for example: 83) by looking at the 10's place and counting up to 80 by 10's and then adding to it with the one's place. He can take any two digit number and show it to me with 10 blocks. He can look at a die and instantly recognize the number present and can identify a bigger or smaller number when comparing dice. He can id all the coins, count by 10's to 100 and by 5's to 60 (prep for being able to tell time). He can id the math signs (+,-, = and 1/2) and understand basic division (how to divide a whole number between groups of people so everyone gets an equal share). He still needs physical objects to add and subtract single digit numbers. He can reproduce and create his own patterns, recognizes all his shapes and understands halves, equal, and has a basic understanding of odd and even numbers.
Oscar can do everything River can, though he struggles more with representing numbers with the 10 blocks. Oscar though can do simple math in his head. He recognizes the patterns in math problems such as zero taken away from any number will leave a solution of the number. I tend to challenge him with slightly more difficult math work.
Both children are learning strategies for recognizing words in guided reading. For example, they might read (really more like guess or, after later readings, memorize) "The penguins jump" and then I question "They jump? Look at this word? Is that jump?" The word is actually leap. They look at the word and correct their sentence based on the beginning letter sound, the context, and my guidance. Both children can now take a suffix, change the prefix and tell me the new word. They know almost all the letter sounds and recognize all the lower case letters most of the time. Sometimes they miss a few. It's random. We have begun learning about vowels and the role they play. They know that sentences begin with capitals and when to use the proper punctuation. They understand that sentences are composed of words and words of letters and that all words have spaces between them. You can see the improvements in there inventing spelling and their handwriting within their journals.
River's first invented spelling assessment (September) compared to his newest (January)
River's first journal (Robot)
His newest journal entry.
River does not enjoy writing. It is hard slow work, but this entry he really wanted to write what he wanted to write. He wrote "parachute transform". Thought it was one worth sharing!
Oscar's assessment from October. He was always mixing up F when he meant T.
Oscar's assessment from January. He stopped mixing up F and T. Note he often gets his orientation off. He's a lefty and I think that has something to do with it. Although reversing the positioning of letters is okay through to first grade.
I rarely have any problems these days. They are mostly independent with their work. They know what to expect, raise their hands, participate River is still so wiggly and has a very hard time sitting still. He can listen and roll about at the same time. He still has excellent retention and comprehension, but he needs to learn to listen well with his body.
Overall, vast improvements. They are still such fun to teach. This winter we are traveling around the world. I wish I had the time to share exactly what we are doing!