Beech Class

Week of February 1

We had a lot to celebrate in the Beech Class this week--Sasha's birthday, Maya's birthday, Delia's birthday, and Groundhog Day! Here are some other highlights from the week:

  • Beech and Gingko had three sing-alongs. We're learning the song All I Really Need.
  • It snowed again. We made snowpeople, snow angels, snowballs, and a forest of branches!
  • Studio Sara is back! The Beech Class started working with clay.


Rasha and Madeleine

Beech and Gingko Sing Together

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Recess in the snow

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Working with clay

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In exploration this week, we added a dishwashing center. It was a popular choice.

Students continued to work with block building, small worlds, photography, hollow blocks, dramatic play, art, and Magnatile, Lego, and tube construction.

Everyone in the class has now had a turn in the photography center. Here is a sample of students' photography work:
Check out more of the students' photography work here!

Family Study

We are now in the fourth week of our family study. This week, students shared what they already know about each other's families. In the coming week, we will brainstorm ways that we can learn even more about each other's families.

Rasha and Madeleine shared pictures from their homes. This Tuesday, we will start to send digital cameras home so that students can take photos of important happenings and objects in their lives and share them with the class.

We read A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams and selected poems from In Daddy's Arms I am Tall illustrated by Javaka Steptoe.


Students are on a roll with their personal narratives. Madeleine and Rasha held individual writing conferences with students. While Madeleine and Rasha were conferencing, the rest of the class practiced "being like Herman" and helping themselves. We talked about tools that help students help themselves, like the word wall and our alphabet charts.

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At home: Keep asking students to tell you stories about their day and important events in their lives. After break, we will start a writing unit on memory stories. This will be a time for students to write about important family memories.


Students had another week of one-on-one meetings with teachers to practice sight words and talk about reading strategies. Not everyone got to go book shopping this week. We will make sure that all students get a new set of books before the break!

At home: More of the same! Keep practicing sight words with the cards in students' book baggies. When children recognize words "in a snap," it helps them to read with greater fluency and focus more energy on figuring out tricky words they encounter. Children should also be reading each night. Please make sure book baggies come back to school every day!


This was our last official week working with patterns. On Tuesday, we learned the Chicken Dance and charted the movement pattern.

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On Wednesday and Thursday, we practiced making beaded patterns and talked about growing patterns.

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Then on Friday, students created and shared movement patterns of their very own! Some students worked alone, some worked with partners, and some worked in a small group.

A handful of students decided to chart their pattern on paper before sharing it with the class.

Ezra's pattern
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Word Study

This week we introduced the sound and motion for A. This was our first vowel!

At home: Ask your child to share some of the letter sounds and motions that we already learned. Here is the list: T, C, D, G, S, F, M, J, H and A.

COMING UP!...and reminders

  • 2/15 to 2/23 - February Break
  • 2/26 @ 2:15PM - February Birthday Celebration!
  • 3/1 - Performance of Caps for Sale at the New Victory Theater
  • 4/11 - Field trip to the Battery Urban Farm

  • Please remember to send in clothing that matches the weather. With the snow, we recommend boots, snow pants, hats, and mittens.
  • Please also make sure your child has an extra set of clothing, just in case they get wet during the day.

What does a groundhog look like? Predictions...

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be like herman

Rock show in the block area. Students perform an original hit, "You Can Be Like Herman and Help Yourself."
Be Like Herman