Team Badger Newsletter

September 28 - October 9, 2015


  • Respect Week! We took a little extra time this week to not only talk about respect, but also show our respect for each other and learn a little bit more about our classmates.
  • Enrichment with Mrs. Wallace! We had our first Enrichment Class (or "Thinking Class' as she calls it) this week and the children had fun exploring the different ways that they could use and build with wooden planks. She will be meeting each week with our class over the next 6 weeks.
  • Change in Teaching Team: We welcomed Mrs. Patrone on Thursday of this week. She will be our assistant in the classroom instead of Mrs. Silverstein who will now be working with the Kindergarten and 3rd Grade. While we were all sad to see Mrs. Silverstein leave we are excited to welcome a new member to our team.

Respect Week! We are a very diverse class with many different talents and experiences to share!

We started the week by talking about different people that we respect in our lives - Moms, Dads, cousins, sports heros, etc. I shared with the children the reasons why I respect them: they are thoughtful and kind, they know things I don't know (I can't speak Serbian or write in Urdu!), they've been places I've never been (but would love to go! Korea, China, Pakistan, Scotland to name a few!), and they have life experiences that I don't have! I mentioned this to stress that we can all learn from each other - no matter our ages!

To celebrate our differences we had several children share something about their culture. We learned how to make an origami plane, had English phrases translated into Serbian, learned a little about the Chinese and Urdu alphabet! Amazing! This is something we will always welcome in the class. If your child would like to share something about their culture, we would love to learn about it! It is only by celebrating and understanding our differences that we learn to understand and respect each other.

We also watched the video "What I Am" from Sesame Street. It's not only fun and catchy - it reminds us that we are all special and unique!!! Enjoy!

Sesame Street: Sings "What I Am"

Reading, Writing and Word Work!

READING: In reading this week, we expanded on our ability to retell by learning about sequence or order of events in the story... First, Next, Then, Last. We read a book with our reading partner and then wrote down each part of the story. We also listened to Shel Siverstein's "The Giving Tree" and talked about the different emotions that characters feel and how they change through a story. We also worked with a partner to create a visual reminder of one of our retelling/comprehension strategies (for instance, retelling across our fingers; identifying characters and setting; thinking about the author's message; identifying beginning, middle, and end; etc.) ! These will be displayed in the classroom and then made into a book.

WRITING: We are publishing our first stories! Each child has completed their rough draft and used an editing checklist to ensure that they have carefully reviewed their writing. They are using their best handwriting to write their final copy and thinking of an interesting title for their story - something that will grab a reader and make them want to read their story! We are so proud of them! They are working really hard and their stories reflect this effort! Go Badgers!

WORD WORK: We are getting comfortable with our spelling routine at school. Each day we do a different activity to review our own spelling words and patterns and practice our word wall words. Word wall words may be "high frequency" words that are simply helpful to learn how to spell, words that don't follow any specific pattern, or words that follow an important pattern that we all need to learn. So far we are focusing on high frequency words like: are, tell, once, and, the. Thank you for helping them practice their individual words at home! They feel so good when they see your positive comments in their spelling books!


We are continuing in our second unit: Adding within 1,000. We added three digit numbers without re-grouping and have now started adding with regrouping (what we used to call "borrowing") in the ones and tens places. This builds on the place value foundation we learned in unit one.

To help with their math facts we reviewed number bonds and fact families. Please encourage your child to practice their math facts, especially to 10, at home. There are lots of apps and games on my website if you're interested. The 10 and 20 frames that were sent home at the beginning of the year are also super helpful for practicing facts.

We got in the Halloween spirit by making Batty Bonds one morning! We traced and cut out three black paper bats. The children each thought of their own number bond (any 3 numbers that be added or subtracted together - 2, 3, 5 or 10, 15, 5) and then wrote each number on the belly of a bat. They are flying all over our classroom door!

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In addition to celebrating Respect Week, we also continued our "Bully Busting" unit by reading "Bullies Never Win!". Afterward, we talked and practiced different "I messages" we can use when someone's behavior upsets us. We reviewed how to use our assertive voice (and not be a "monster" or "mouse"). For example, "Mary, it makes me feel sad when you don't talk to me at lunch." or "Bob, it makes me angry when you cut in line.".

We will continue thinking about these I-messages and how they can help us with our friends and schoolmates. This is real and practical for our kids. Unfortunately, situations will arise and its important for them to have these skills. We also talked as a class about how the phrase "S/he did it first!" is never an acceptable response to misbehavior. This is all part of learning self-control and having the ability - in the moment - to stop and think about what we are saying and doing. Not easy!!

We completed our weather journals for the week and will look at these next week when we continue with our Weather Unit!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Early Dismissal: 12:45 on Monday, October 12th
  • Classroom Visitation: 10:30-11:15 on Friday October 16th.

Teaching Team: Suzanne Pelkey (Classroom Teacher), Carolyn Rommeihs (Special Education Teacher), Doreen Patrone (Teaching Assistant)