Clyde's Corner

Mrs. Clyde - Issue No. 20

Class News

Spring is here! I love this time of year. Kids are hard at work in the classrooms. By March we have really come together as a class and kids just take off with their learning. It is fun to be a part of watching kids grow in so many ways throughout first and second grade. They grow socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. And I get the privilege of being part of that growth for one short school year. Please remember that even though we just had conferences you can always contact me if you just want to check-in.

Animal Reports

I am so excited about our Animal Reports. Since January we have been learning about habitats as we studied plants and animals for science. This month we started learning about animal groups (mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds). Kids chose an animal they wanted to research and then I paired them up with a few other students to work collaboratively on the project. They have been reading informational text on their animals and gathering facts. They are putting together all of the skills we have been practicing this year on how to read informational text. It is exciting to watch them apply what we have learned.

I met with a group this week to read together their text and talk about the information they are finding. One girl said, "I am just so curious to know more about this. I think I am going to research it more!" That is like music to a teacher's ears when kids are self-motivated to learn!

This week we will be learning how to take all of the information we have gathered in our research and write it up in a paragraph. Kids will be practicing how to write an introduction, which introduces the main idea. They will be writing the facts they have learned about their animal and then providing a conclusion.

We will have the finished product on desks for Open House on April 28th.

Self-Managers

Self Managers Can.....
1. Listen and follow directions
2. Be a problem solver
3. Ask for help
4. Try to do my best

This past week we focused on a what a good listener is. We talked about listening with our whole body. This means that my eyes are on the speaker. Think about how many times you have said to your child "look at me when I am talking to you". That is lesson number one: looking at the speaker helps you focus on what the person is saying. And the speaker isn't always the teacher, sometimes it is your peers speaking to the class. Looking at someone is a way to show respect when they are talking.

Listening also means that my mouth is closed. I don't know how many times kids will say, "I am listening" even though they were actually just whispering to a neighbor. We talk a lot about if I am whispering to a neighbor then it is more than just me not listening. Now it is the person I am talking to plus the other kids around us who are hearing your conversation.

Listening means my ears are listening. As adults this seems obvious, but kids need to be told the obvious. And they need to be told it more than once. We also refer to our brains are listening, meaning that our brain is thinking about the topic we are discussing not what I am going to do at recess. I often tell kids to "turn their brain on", which really just means you are in charge of getting yourself engaged in the learning. We also talk about listening with our heart. This is a little abstract for kids, but it basically means that you care about what is going on around you. So it is not just ears, but your mind and your heart are engaged.

Listening also involved keeping my hands and feet still. This one, of course, is much harder for those wiggly 7 and 8 year old bodies. But we work on it everyday. And we take lots of brain breaks to give our bodies the chance to move, which is what kids really need more of!

I am sharing all of this with families because not only are these skills kids work on everyday at school, but they are really good life lessons. These are things your child can be working on at home. I am sure most parents would say they wish their child would listen to them when they are talking. If your family has any kind of family meetings or family night try talking about what a good listener looks like at home. Draw pictures and practice good listening and not so good listening. Kids think it is hilarious when they get to act out what a bad listener looks like. They also love getting to show you what a good listener looks like. These can be fun ways to spend a family evening together, and then play a family game and really work on listening to each other as you play!

Book Orders

Scholastic Book Orders are a great way to get books into the hands of your kids. They make great gifts, rewards, and prizes too. Check out the website below. Through the online ordering you have access to many, many books at various levels. Every time parents order books our classroom earns points for free books.
Check it out:

https://orders.scholastic.com/HG2LM

Dates To Remember:

No School - April 4th
School Musical - April 7th & 8th
Open House - April 28th