Friday, February 9, 2018

February Update

February 14th 9:00 to 10:00 am -
During the party students will pass out Valentines, have a snack, and do a quick craft.

Please send in a decorated mailbox with your child’s name on the front by Tuesday, February 13th.  Be sure your students name is large, readable and on the front of the box.  Have fun and be creative!  I love to see all the amazing ideas that families come up with. Don't forget to design a box that allows for cards or candy to go IN but also be REMOVED from the box when ready--- We have had a few boxes in previous years come in with only a small slit opening and then the students couldn't get their valentines or candy back out to read :)  We have 23 students in our class, be sure to have your child bring a valentine for each student.  Most students leave the "To:" part of the Valentine blank and just write their name next to the "From" that way it is easier to pass one valentine to each box. If you would like to have your child put individual names on Valentines you can use the class list on this website.

We have been working playing several math games to learn simple addition using dice and manipulatives. Students have been learning various ways to add including, counting the total using manipulatives, counting on and writing equations. In addition to this we are celebrating 100 days of learning! We are practicing counting to 100 by ones, tens, fives and twos. I am enjoying the students 100 day projects, they are so creative!

We made a paper chain in groups of ten.
We estimated how many links in our chain, counted by 10s and found we had 800 links!
Next, we broke them in 100s and counted by 100s. They loved decorating the room. 
We had to chance this week and last to go to the STEAM lab to learn with Mrs. Fleet. The S.T.E.A.M. lab is another place where students can explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Math. "STEAM" is an educational approach to learning that uses each of these subjects to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. The goal is to teach students to take thoughtful risks and engage in experiential learning. They solve problems, collaborate with others, and work through the creative process.  

* To learn more about STEAM I've attached a webpage: What is STEM and STEAM mean? 

 In the lab we met DOT and DASH. We learned that robots need to be programed to work using tech tools (coding) that tell them step by step what to do. Then students explored both robots, compared features, and used an ipad program to control them. The BOTS learned to talk, light up and blink in a variety of ways, make noises students chose or recorded, and Dash could even move in a variety of ways following commands students gave. If you haven't heard about it yet, just ask them. They loved it!

Then we made our own paper robots. 
*They were clever coming up with a purpose for their robot. 

In reading and writing we are beginning to study informational text. They have enjoyed exploring non-fiction and learning from pictures and words. We are writing what we learned and will soon begin writing our own informational books. Here's some of our initial learnings: 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy New Year!

It's great to get back to school and I look forward to an amazing second semester. Now that routines and expectations are in place, we can dig deeper into every subject and use our new skills to do some truly fun activities. The next few months are crucial as they strengthen skills and begin to synthesize and apply what they know. To make the most of our time, each student has set individual reading and writing goals. Ask them what their goals are. They did a pretty good job choosing goals that were appropriate without much help. I love to see them own their growth and learning at such a young age. 

The new year also brings a new focus in homework.  Last semester students needed to read each night and do an activity. This semester they will continue those activities and add a writing component. This is SO important for their growth and doesn't have to take much time. It helps them get more confident and automatic in applying their knowledge. Let them choose a special notebook or folder to get started to make it fun. If you need my help with this let me know and I can create one with your child. The important thing is that they have a special writing journal to use at home. Below are the basics to Homework 2018. This can also be found in their homework folder.  

Read every day.

  • Books will continue to come home each night for practice and review with you. 
Write every day.
  • Keep a journal and write at least one sentence about your day or a book you read.
1.    Students stretch the word out and write the sounds they hear.
2.    When they get stuck, support them by giving them their Alphabet Chart instead of telling them the spelling.  You can also print one from the blog.
3.   Let them read it back to you. (pointing to words and sounding them out)
4.  If they know some sight words, I would let them find and copy them from the back of the alphabet chart. You can add other ones to the back as they learn them. If they can’t read them yet…just let them use phonetic spelling.
*** If you are doing this…you are practicing sounds, letters, blending, segmenting AND sight words. It is the best bang for your buck!

Practice letters and sounds.
  • Finish learning any letters or sounds. Do the weekly sorts each night to help, and review vowels regularly. Prepare for spelling test on that sort on Fridays.
Practice blending and segmenting.
  • The blog has word lists and directions for this.
Practice sight words.  
·      Look on the check-up for sight words to work on

Practice MATH skills.
  1. Identify numbers to 20 or higher.
  2. Writing numbers to 20, 50...100
  3. Counting to 20, 50…100
  4. Skip counting by 10s, 5s, to 100 and by 2s to 22
  5. Compare numbers and sets (greater than, less than, equal)
  6. Addition and Subtraction to 10


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December News

Holiday Party - Thursday, December 2st 9-10
Report Card Release - Saturday, December 23rd
Winter Break - Friday, December 22--Sunday January 7th
First Day Back - Monday, January 8th
No School - January 12th and 15th

We studied the sun and how it provides heat and light to the earth. Students read books, researched on Pebble Go, watched Brainpop videos, and explored globes and models of our solar system. They each wrote a book about their new learning. Hopefully you got a chance to check out their book on Seesaw. 

Students have been working hard during reader's workshop. Each student picked a goal or two to work on during our independent reading time.  Ask them which goals they chose! Students share with me and the group their progress that day. 

In math we have been doing geometry. Student are learning shapes and attributes. Hopefully you were able to meet their shape on Seesaw. They are pretty cute and its great to hear them using math vocabulary

We were privileged to have a guest reader from the Parker Library. If you haven't had time to go to their reading should try to make that happen. They do a great job! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

November Update

November Update

We are enjoying getting to know our SeeSaw app and using it to create a digital portfolio.  We are not perfect at it yet... but hopefully you've enjoyed our attempts to record video, upload photos, and share what they have learned in various ways. Slowly, we are getting better. I have shared most of our attempts with you so you can watch them grow as the year progresses.  

Here are a few of the things we have worked on so far:

Counting and using a ten-frame

Taking a photo of our writing and then practice reading what we wrote. 

Counting, writing numbers, and singing!

Parents can join us on November 15th* from 10:55-1:25 and we will share our journal with you, our favorite learning apps, and teach you how we use technology to learn and share our thinking. 

Kindergarten was lucky to have a visit from a local firefighter. 
Fireman Nick taught them the basics of fire safety:
Tools vs.Toys 
...for example, a knife, lighter, matches, etc. are tools not toys!
Stop, Drop, and Roll
...then stay low where there is less smoke and army crawl to safety.
Make a Plan to your parents about where you would meet in an emergency.
Firefighters are Friends
...a firefighter may look and sound scary in their uniform, but don't be afraid. Don't hide from them--let them find and help you!

During reading workshop we have been learning about how to use schema (background knowledge) to increase comprehension. We began this unit by having students brainstorm things they know a lot about. We talked about things they know how to do, places they have been, books they have read, and movies they have seen.  All of these things are part of their schema and helps them make connections with text and the world around them.  I encourage you to use some of these phrases at home while reading to and with your child.

This reminds me of…
That has happened to me so I know…  

I used to think… but now I know…
I learned…

During writing workshop we have been practicing writing narrative stories using their alphabet chart to write the sounds they hear. They are getting better each day with practice.  

During Math we have been exploring counting in various ways. They are counting by 1s, 10s,  and 5s and learning about REALLY big numbers. They can't get enough of BIG numbers. Here is their favorite video. They count to 100 trillion! :)

Students are also learning how to represent numbers using a ten frame. Students practice picking a number, filling in the ten frame and then changing it to represent another number.  Using ten frames is a way to help students create a visual memory for numbers, and begin adding and subtracting numbers.  

 We are also experimenting with using tally marks to represent numbers. They loved interviewing classmates to collect data. They are building number sense while learning that numbers can be represented in many different ways.