## Highlights from last week....

I am so glad to be back at school with all my friends. They came back rested and eager to learn. Even though our week was a bit crazy because of the two hour delays this week, we still were able to accomplish a lot!

In Phonics, we focused on our new letter cuing system and the children LOVE it! It is much more user friendly than the Open Court letter cards that we were using previously. For those of you wondering what I am talking about when I refer to the "cuing" system in our classroom, I am referring to the new alphabet cards that are posted in the classroom and they have the letter, a picture that begins with that letter and the sound. We use these card for letter recognition and letter sounds. We have also been really working hard on making words using our consonants and vowels. We have been "tapping" out the sounds and then building the words. After we build the word, we sound it out using the letters on the board. The kids are doing wonderful. This skill not only helps us spell and write words, but also helps us break down the sounds while we are reading.

In Math, we finished our unit on measurement. Our focus this week was on volume. We compared volume by using more than, less than, or same as by pouring. We explored conservation of volume by pouring and we compared using same as with units. This was a VERY tricky concept for most of my friends. We will continue to practice volume in our math stations. We have also been working on math talk and using the proper math vocabulary. Please see our friends in the video below working on their math talk.

In Science, we studied the states of matter: solid, liquid and gas.

In our Second Step program, we continued to learn about our own feelings.

We read several books from Jan Brett and discussed the story elements, such as character, setting, problem and solution. We will also used her books to help us understand prediction by using the pictures in the margins of her book.

## A peek at our learning this week....

In Phonics, we will really practice recognizing beginning and ending sounds, rhyming words, writing words using letter sounds, tapping out words and sounding out nonsense words. I will be focusing on a skill a day and reinforce the skill by playing games.

In Reader's Workshop, we will continue with the strategy of using multiple clues when we come to a tricky word. A strategy that good readers use is to think about what we read. When we sound out the letters in the word and the word we say doesn't make sense or sound right, we will learn that we need to stop and do some reading work. We need to ask ourselves, "Does that make sense?", "Does that sound right?" and "Do the letters match?" Because this is a newly introduced skill, we will be working on this skill for a few weeks before we can move on. If your child masters this skill before we move on, I will work with them independently to challenge them at their level.

In Math, we will review our unit of measurement and will continue our mid module assessment.

In Science, we will be studying the states of matter: solid, liquid and gas.

We will perform an experiment with ice this week.

In Social Studies, we did not get a chance to work on our unit on maps, so we will learn about where we are on the map. We will read some books and also create our own book on where we live.

In our Second Step program, we will continue to learn about our own feelings.

We will read several non fiction books about states of matter and talk about the components of non fiction books.

DAILY PROGRESS REPORTS
Our friends have been working really hard to control their bodies and follow the rules of the classroom. As part of our preparation for first grade and building independence, our children have been performing a self assessment after each station rotation. The assessment is a four part assessment. They have to think about their behavior and use their fingers to gauge their performance. If they worked on the job at their station the right way, they put up one finger. If they worked quietly and cooperatively with their partner, they put up another finger. If they used their inside voices, they put up another finger. If they stayed at their station the entire time, they put up another finger. If at the end of their rotations, they did not put up four fingers consistently, I write a note home on the progress report and ask that you sign it. If they did what they were supposed to do, I will put a smiley face on the report. The children are really excited about implementing this self assessment! I attached an empty form in the homework packet that I sent home on Friday so that you will know what to expect. This will give you an idea of your child's performance on a daily basis, I hope you will enjoy it! If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.

BOOK ORDERS
Book order are due this Thursday, January 15th. I will place the order on January 16th.

SUPPLIES NEEDED
Many parents are asking what the class needs for supplies. We could use some Clorox Wipes and paper towels. Thank you in advance.

FLASHCARDS