Werner's Weekly News

Week of February 1st

We're Learning

Last week we celebrated the 101st day of school Dalmatian style. We started off the day by making dalmatian ear hats. The class had to have a total of 101 dots on their ears. Next, we did stations about the number 101 and I painted faces while the kids worked. In the afternoon the kids made their "dog houses" (forts) to read in. This was definitely an adventure! Finally, we ended the day with dalmatian-themed snacks. I played music from 101 Dalmatians throughout the day and the kids loved it whenever the Kanine Krunchies theme song came on so they could sing along :)

We started learning about polar animals at the end of last week and we are continuing with polar animals this week. We will be learning about animal habitats in these cold-weather regions and animal adaptations.

In math we are working on doubles facts and doubles plus one to help build our math fact knowledge. We are also working on making 10 to solve equations with sums more than 10. The kids practiced using dots, fingers, tally marks, ten frames and math facts to help them with this strategy. We emphasized using ten frames.

In reading we began learning about r-controlled vowels such as ar, er, ir, ur and or. We call this "rockstar r" in our class as a tool to help them remember it. I explained that it is like the vowels are going to a concert. A is up in the front row yelling the letter name "r" because it likes "rockstar r". E, I, and U didn't really want to be at the concert because they don't like "rockstar r's" music so they make the er, ir, ur sound (like in turn, shirt and buzzer) because they are grumpy. Finally, I explained that o is a musician like "rockstar r" so it sings along with r to make the combined "or" sound that we hear in short. If you hear your child talk about "rockstar r" now you know the story that goes with it. I find that the stories help the kids remember. :)

In writing we are still working on teaching books and using text features from non-fiction books in our own writing. We went over adding table of contents, page numbers and chapters yesterday.

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Focus Quote

We began using a focus quote to stretch our thinking and work together on a common mission. Our first focus quote is from Maya Angelou: "Try the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better." We talked about how it is ok to not know how to do something, but you should still try your best until you learn how. We also discussed why it is important to not give up even when things get hard. Then, when you learn and practice how to do something you should work to do the best you can at it. The kids provided examples such as making their bed, setting the table, behaving at school, cleaning up after themselves, playing soccer or other sports and more. It gave us a chance to practice making connections, journaling, and reflecting. The kids wrote down their thoughts in their Book of Thoughts and had a chance to share if they wanted to. We will have a different focus quote every few weeks until the year of the year.
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