Crittenden's Critters

Updates from Room F7

Dates to Remember

*Friday, January 15- Teacher Workday - No School for Students

*Monday, January 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School

*Friday, January 22 - CEF Carnival Party (2-3 PM in the MPR)

*Tuesday, January 26 - MAPs Testing for Bears

*Friday, January 29- College Gear Day!

*Tuesday, February 2- MAPs Testing for Bears

*Wednesday, February 3 - 100th Day of School!

*Thursday, February 4 - First Grade Field Trip to Sea World (More info. to come)

*Friday, February 5- Spirit Day: Sports Day!

Upcoming Birthdays

*January 27 - Harman

*February 13- Allison

*February 15- Audrey

*February 26 - Sevan

Wow! Over half of the class completed Mrs. Donnelly's Winter Break Reading Challenge! I am so proud of our voracious readers in F7! Keep reading!

January Scholastic Reading Club!

In Friday Folders today, you will find the January Scholastic Magazine. Throughout this school year, your purchases through our Scholastic Reading Club have helped to buy our classroom over 35 books that contain relevant, exciting content! Please have a look through the January magazine over the weekend and consider purchasing books for your child through our class Reading Club.

Every purchase through our Reading Club helps to earn points that can be used to buy materials for our classroom. The process is simple: follow the link below to our class' Reading Club website. If you haven't bought books before, add the one time class activation code and shop through hundreds of books that your child will love!

The deadline this month is January 22nd. That gives everyone two weeks to do their shopping. The books will arrive here at school. We always have a fun time celebrating new books while we pass them out! If you are buying the books for a birthday or a celebration, just email me and I can get them to you without your child knowing :).

As always, thank you for your continued support and help with building our classroom library!

Follow this link to shop for books for the January Reading Club order.

Mystery Reader Sign Up

Calling all Mystery Readers!

I need your help to fill our Mystery Reader spots for the upcoming weeks! I have been so amazed with the wonderful guests we were privileged to have before the New Year. We have had parents and grandparents come and read us some of their favorite stories, and we always are SO excited about it!

Here's how it works: follow the link below to look at times for our Mystery Reader slots. We typically do Mystery Reader time around 3:05-3:20 on Fridays. I am flexible with time, because I know that many things come up during the day. If you want to come, but are not able to come at the time, or even on that day, just email me and we can schedule a time that is convenient for you. Bring your own children's book from home, or I will pick a book from the class for you.

Throughout the day, the children receive hints as to who the reader is. At the end of the day, they are always so excited to see who it is! When you arrive, you sit in our special rocking chair and read the story to the children. It's so simple, and the kids love it so much!

We are in need of readers for the month of January and February! Thank you in advance for volunteering your time :).

Please follow this link to sign up for a Mystery Reader time in January!

Weekly Curriculum Update

Monthly Theme: Teachers like to use themes to integrate science and social studies standards into the math, writing, and reading standards that we are covering. This month, our theme will be the Polar habitats of the world and the animals that call Polar Regions home. We will be exploring adaptations that animals have that help them survive in the harsh climate. We will also be studying the continents of our world.

Reading -

Foundational Skills: The kids have been working hard at the phonetic rules that we have been learning. This week, we will be focusing on a new concept: consonant blends. Consonant blends occur in just about every connected text that students will pick up, so it is important that they be able to recognize words with consonant blends, decode them, and spell them. A consonant blend is two consonants together that each make a sound, as in the word "stop" - the /s/ and /t/ each make their own sound. Students will learn to tap to decode these sounds and how to spell words with consonant blends. Some blends, such as "dr" or "tr" are tricky, and are often confused with the /j/ or /ch/ sounds. To help your child with this, encourage them to tap each sound they hear or see slowly, and then blend them together.

Literature: Next week, we will be reviewing concepts that are vital for students' understanding of connected text. We will be reviewing basic story elements (setting, characters, problem/solution, character feelings), as well as the main idea and details of a story. In non-fiction texts, we will be discussing basic text features and how they help us to understand the story.

Writing -

This past week, we have placed great emphasis on correct formation of letters in our alphabet. We have practiced forming the words, and paying close attention to word formation when we are writing our stories. We will be reviewing basic writing conventions that are important for developing writers (spacing, capitalization, punctuation, sentence flow and word choice). I will also be introducing our newest style of writing that we will learn: opinion writing. Students will learn to pick an opinion about a topic, state their opinion, provide reasons for their opinion, and provide a conclusion to their writing. I always find that students have a lot of fun with opinion writing!


Cubs: Next week, Cubs will be continuing their study of number sense and problem solving. Ms. Otto will be working with them on addition fluency to ten, solving word problems involving two numbers less than 20, and reviewing shape attributes. Their homework will come home on Monday.

Bears: Bears have been studying place value this past week. We have explored how every number in our number system has a special place. Students have learned to represent two digit numbers with tens sticks and ones circles. This helps with their understanding of a number and it's place among other numbers. They have also learned to compare numbers (greater than, less than, or equal to) based on their knowledge of tens and ones in given numbers. We will be finishing up our unit of place value by the end of next week.

Science - I am so excited about science this month! This past week, we began to explore the polar regions of the world and the animals that live there. We learned that animals who live in these harsh conditions have blubber that helps them survive. Since humans do not have blubber, we would have a hard time surviving in those conditions! We made a blubber (with simple shortening in a plastic bag)glove that helped students to understand that protection that blubber gives. They tested out icy cold water in the glove to find that with the blubber, they could not feel the harsh cold. We then brainstormed ways that humans could keep warm since we do not have blubber. The kids came up with amazing things: layering more clothes on, making a fire, and even wetsuits for the water. I am excited to continue our study of polar animals next week!

Social Studies- This month, we will be taking an in depth look and learning about different continents on our earth and the landforms on each. We will be learning about our Earth's oceans as well.