MB's Multi 1-2 News!

Edition 1 September-November 2018-2019

Finally Time for a SMORE!!!

Hello Everyone! I am excited to be finding the time to write, publish, and send to you, our first on line SMORE newsletter. In this edition you will find a few updates and highlights from our first few months of school, which I have not included already in your child's See Saw on line journal. I hope you enjoy reading this and hearing about a few more things which our class has successfully worked on and or completed.

Responsive Classroom

Responsive Classroom

Every staff member in our school delved into a professional text about the Responsive Classroom during the summer months.

The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching is comprised of a set of well-designed practices intended to create safe, joyful, and engaging classroom and school communities. The emphasis is on helping students develop their academic, social, and emotional skills in a learning environment that is developmentally responsive to their strengths and needs.

Many of the staff members received training at a one day Responsive Classroom training in August. The WES staff has already had the chance to implement the responsive classroom routines and techniques which work best in each of their classroom settings. We have also had the chance to share some knowledge and ideas during one of our PLG Early Release Wednesday staff meetings. Work and implementation will continue all year long. Mrs. Langelier and I meet each week and design how the Responsive Classroom will be implemented and worked with in our Multi 1-2 settings.

In our classroom we have brainstormed and built our rules and responsibilities which we refer to everyday, and are posted simply for everyone to refer to:

Be Kind~ Be Safe~ Be Responsible~ Be Respectful

One of our favorite Responsive Classroom activities is Morning Greeting. We do this right after the daily agenda has been reviewed. We have learned about a dozen ways to greet each other and positively begin each day as a team. The other day Isla made us each a small note and passed them to us for our morning greeting. Two of our favorites are the dice roll and knock knock greetings.

We also have learned about transitioning smoothly from one activity to the next by playing "Be Still As a Rock". This one helps us stop, look, and listen to the person speaking, follow directions, and to not waste any of our precious time together. Our record for being still and focused on the speaker's instructions for transition is 1 min and 18 secs.!!!!

We also have worked with a game called Mouse Trap to build cooperation and teamwork skills.

Some of the activities are content based and help us work on particular content skills, as well as skills which help in all areas, such as asking questions. One of our favs is "What's My Number?".

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Mouse Trap~Team Building

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Preparing For a Year of Learning

Math Notebooks

The students prepared math notebooks with three dividers: Math By Self, Evidence, and Problem Solving. Math work samples, Application Problems, Fluency Sprints, and Exit Tickets will be housed in these notebooks. Mrs. Langelier and I chose student application problem work samples, and they are a part of each student's November Conference Portfolio Pockets. Students will reflect on their math strategies and work, and will choose their own work samples for their April Conference Portfolio Pockets. Mrs. Langelier and I review student work weekly, and will use each individual's math notebook's contents while reporting out on student progress in January and June. At the end of the year the students will take their math notebooks, and the contents home. Pretty important and impressive work already!!!

Daily 5 Structure and Routines

The students spent many hours during the first six weeks of school building their independence in five Daily 5 Structures:

Read to Self, Read with Someone, Listen to Someone Read, Work on Writing, and Word Work. The students discussed, modeled, and practiced : Getting started right away~reading, listening, writing, or working with words the whole time~using a zero or EEKK- elbow to elbow knee to knee voice~ignoring distractions~staying in one spot~building their own personal stamina~and persevering. Since the students have shown their independence in all of these important literacy structures, they now choose one to work at each day during Daily 5 CAFE time at the end of our school day. They alternate reading and writing choices. MB and Volunteers meet with individuals to listen to them read one of their Good Fit Book choices. They also choose three words, with adult guidance, from their writing to include in their personal dictionaries.

The students record for read to self is over 35 mins! So proud of all of their hard work. Ending our busy action packed days with Daily 5 is actually pretty magical!

CAFE Lessons

CAFE stands for Comprehension~Accuracy ~Fluency ~Expand Vocabulary. The CAFE menu is a focal point of our classroom, and it houses all of the reading strategies we have focused on. For each strategy a mentor text is read to the class, the strategy is modeled and discussed, students practice independently, with a partner, in small groups, and as a whole group. Strategy cards are made by 2nd graders, and are referred to throughout each day. Students have discovered that these strategies are also useful for writing! Strategy focus and instruction happens all year long.


This year we began our I Wonder Wednesdays with a study of BUGS, utilizing the BUGS pop up book we worked with for our CAFE strategies: check for understanding and tuning into interesting words. We focused on one type of BUG, the insect. Thanks to Mrs. Cryer and the amazing VR goggles we focused in on one particular type of insect, the honey bee. Students had the chance to use their knowledge and create an insect that might be out in the world, just waiting to be discovered. Download the pdf below to read all about it, and our incredible facts. Come on into WES and visit our hallway to see the students' work! The insects will be on display for another few weeks.

Closing Circle

We end each day with another favorite Responsive Classroom routine called closing circle. Each week a different student is the Movie Star. They get to bring items in from home, or tell us a story. The audience then gets three chances to provide comments, ask questions, or make connections. We end the day with MB reading aloud "Brighty of the Grand Canyon". When this favorite read aloud is done we will move on to another amazing book/novel. What a great way to end each day!!!!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me!

Mary Beth Clason