Saturday, October 20, 2018

Fall Update

Thanks to all the parents who helped or came to watch the Digger Dash! What a fun day!

We are learning that can read independently and with a partner by using different strategies for different purposes. Sometimes we are looking to learn something new, share from memory an old favorite, rereading for fluency, looking for sight words, or making connections. There are so many ways to be a reader. They are feeling confident as readers as they fill their book bags with "just right" books. Our Reader's Workshop has a mini-lesson, a purpose for their independent or partner time, and time to share with the class something they learned or a strategy they used. As their abilities grow I can see their stamina for reading grow. 

In addition to Reader's Workshop, students have been having reading groups Mondays through Thursdays and should be bringing home a new book every night. Please have them read that to/with you and return the next day. Students put their nightly book in their book bag and reread them during independent reading time in class. When you read at home with your child be sure to ask them what their favorite part is and if they had any connections ("This reminded me of...") or new learning (I learned...).  If time, I suggest picking an alphabet book to reread and highlight either letters or sight words, or another favorite book at home. 

Here is what guided reading looks like in class:

Picture Walk:
Students flip through the book and look at the pictures on each page. Adults "plant" words (point to and find a key word on a few pages that might be challenging). Planting words increases their success.

Individual Reading:
Students whisper read the book to themselves. The adults listen and try to encourage them to use strategies to decode words:

  • Look at the picture.
  • Say the beginning sound.
  • Skip the word and read the rest of the sentence.
  • Go back and try a word. Does it make sense? Does it look right? sound right?
Choral Reading:
Students read together (like a choir) to build fluency.

Strategy Discussion:
Students share what strategies they used to figure out a tricky word.

Students can retell what happened in the beginning, middle, end.

Comprehension Work:
Students are learning to think about what they read and engage in the book. Currently they are making connections to the text by sharing:
-This part reminds me of... (ficition)
-I learned...(non-fiction)

Word Study: 
Each group has a differentiated word or letter sort. The homework for that week should come home on Mondays and we will take a quiz on Fridays to see if they mastered the skill. If they struggled on the Friday quiz, please continue to practice that sort at home. 

 We began Writer's Workshop this week. Students are studying how to put their sounds on the page and write "Small Moments" about their lives.  All students find a quiet place to work and use their alphabet chart to write the sounds they hear. Everyone works at their own level and at the end of independent time we meet to share our writing and successes. 

Students are learning to read their own writing. 

Our class has been learning to use use the different tools in Seesaw. You may have noticed so many attempts coming home this week. I will soon be going through their Seesaw journals to and delete some of the duplicates. I did want you to see how much work they are putting into it. Thanks for your patience and we grow in skills. Next we will be learning to go to a quiet spot to make our recordings, so their entries will become more meaningful as we go. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Back to School Update

Here is what we have been up to:

                        Name Study

To build phonemic awareness (calling attention to the sounds) and develop some important understandings about words and letters, we are focusing on one student’s name each day. This special student will be the focus for all literacy activities for the day. Some of these activities include: sharing items in special bag, the story of their name, writing a sentence about the special student, adding their name to the word wall, using the alphabet chart to find letters that match the sounds they hear, creating a picture to match the sentence written, counting and rearranging letters, and noticing the letter-sound relationships. (*Basically, its like writing bootcamp!) I am impressed by how well our class is doing at this part of the day. They are great writers.


We have started to explore some of the math materials (manipulatives) that we will use throughout the year: pattern blocks, geoblocks, connecting cubes, buttons, colored tiles, and unifix cubes. We are learning about sets and representing a number with a set of objects. We have also begun drawing sets in our Math Journal.


We have been practicing our alphabet books and reading our chants. We have learned that readers: look at the book, point to the words, look at the picture clues to help them, and think about what they are reading. 

We have officially started homework his week.  Please sign the folder once your child completes their assignment: 1-read your book, 2-do an activity.

Social Studies
We are integrating our Civics & Economics Units throughout the day in each subject area. Students are learning how to be part of a classroom community.
They are learning what it means to:
  • Give Respect
  • Own Your Actions
  • Listen and Learn
  • Do Your Best
They are going for the GOLD and having fun earning golden tickets! :)

Please check your child’s messenger folder each night and send it back to school each day.  For organization purposes...please take out the things I sent home the day before and add any messages to me or homework completed in that folder.  This lets me know you got my messages. This folder is how you and I will communicate and will be used for homework all year long.    

Walking: If you walk to school we have been meeting at the pavilion. If you are here a few minutes early, you can also pick up outside the classroom door. We have learned that the pavilion is sometimes a little crowded.  Thanks for your patience as we figure this out.