According to Maurice Spectoroff of the American Kazoo Company, “The kazoo may be the only truly
American instrument. The earliest kazoo known of is a 1904 wood example. The standard metal kazoo has been
made since 1915.” Though often considered a child's toy today, the kazoo has an illustrious history. It is of
African American origin and is probably derived from a similar African instrument called the mirliton that was
also imitated in Europe. These instruments used by medicine men in Western Africa go back thousands of years.
Monday – I read the students the story of The Ugly Duckling. The class was asked to pay attention to what happens in
the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the story. Students had to cut out three scenes from the story and glue them
to another sheet of paper in the correct sequence. We reviewed the letter /Rr/ and the sound it makes. Students practiced
being able to discriminate the initial /Rr/ sound in words. Students were responsible for drawing four different things that
began with /Rr/ and then they had to label their pictures. I assessed the students’ ability to decode and read a variety of
words. I tested the students’ ability to read sentences using our new high-frequency words. We practiced identifying
verbs. The class worked on generating a variety of different action words and acting them out.
Tuesday – We started our letter Dd and Kk week. Students practice letter sounds and letter writing first thing in the
morning. The class worked on two new books for Book Buddies. Our new Decodable Reader Dad Did helped reinforce
our new letter sounds and the book Look Up and See helped reinforce our new high-frequency words. I introduced the
students to the new food pyramid. We sorted our snacks according to food groups. The food group of fats and sweets has
been removed from the food pyramid because it is not necessary for healthy development. The class was excited to
discover that we have a lot of very healthy snacks. We had an interesting discussion about the difference between two
dimensional and three dimensional shapes. We set up our own Shape Museum in the classroom to display objects that we
collected that were cylinders, spheres, cubes and cones.
Wednesday –Today we looked into the world of dolphins using non-fiction resource books and fiction storybooks.
Students created their diving dolphin action picture. We practiced turning ourselves into dolphins and swimming and
breathing like a dolphin. We started reading a chapter book called Deputy Dan. Our math activity focused on completing
dinosaur patterns. Our Reading Street book, See How We Grow, documented the growth and development of female
twins from birth to approximately five or six years of age. We used our practice books to work on identifying words that
begin with /Dd/ and using the high frequency words see and look in sentences. S.M.I.L.E. games went home with four
new students. Remember, the S.M.I.L.E. packets need to be returned to school on Monday or Tuesday, so they can be
cleaned and repaired to send home with new students on Wednesday.
Thursday – We played Name That Tune with the kazoo. Everyone could identify the songs and sang along as I played.
Everyone got their own kazoos so we could all play together. We practiced our book for Book Buddies. The study of
kangaroos took us all the way to Australia on the other side of the globe. Students created his or her very own kangaroo
and joey to take home. Born a mere half inch long, weighing less than a gram, kangaroos can grow taller than a man. As
with most other marsupials, one of the three orders of mammals, they raise their young in body pouches. We watched
some amazing videos of a joey going in and out of its mother’s pouch on the Smart Board. The only marsupial in Maine
is the opossum. Step-by-step directions were given to demonstrate how to draw a kangaroo in their journals. I introduced
how to write a letter. Students had the opportunity to write letters to students in Mrs. Allen's class.
Friday –We focused on cause and effect this week. Understanding why things happen in the story helps us understand
the book better. Our practice books provided us with multiple opportunities to connect cause-and-effect. Elijah was
chosen as Artist of the Week for his attention to detail in creating his picture of kites. We all practiced drawing a large
rhombus to create a kite to fly above our tables. Everyone did an amazing job creating his or her two-sided kites. The
students were excited to see all of the kites flying above our worktables. Students used the data from our morning
graphing exercise to create their own graphs. Everyone did a great job reading both of their books to our Book Buddies.
Homework for the weekend is to read their new books with at least two people.