Mrs. Hernandez's Family News

"Creativity is not a competition" Autumn Sky Hall

What a Great Start to School!

As I have met many of you, I have shared how amazing your children are and I can't say it enough. I am thrilled to call each one of them mine. In the last couple of days, we have really began to kickstart our year of learning and I am simply in awe of the things your children have created, shared, and produced.

As you know, we complete Shared Journal each day and we have thoroughly enjoyed having each learner take turns sharing their story. However, what amazes me is how when it is time for them to ask questions to their friend in order to give more detail, the quality of questions that are being asked is impeccable. They want to know what their favorite books are, favorite movies are, what their bedroom looks like, where their favorite places to visit are, and so much more. This week I will be sending home their stories for the month of August and I would like for you to sit down with your learner and read it with them. You will see their words (inventive spelling, meaning the spelled it the way they think it sounds) and then you will see my words written below their's. Each day, I conference with each student and discuss individually what concepts of writing they need to work on. I think that you will see what I have seen in that I can see so much growth in their skills and quality in such a short amount of time. I am so very proud of each of them and their efforts. Research tells us that reading and writing are very connected and when learners are engaged in either, they are fostering the skills of the other. Nonetheless, through Shared Journal they are truly beginning to understand the concepts of print, letter patterns, vocabulary skills, providing good details for your audience, and oh so much more! It is absolutely one of my favorite times of the day!

I do ask that you please send the journals back each month after you have read them so that we can compile them into one big collection that will serve as a writing portfolio for each learner. I hope you enjoy your reading as much as I have!

Our Daily Schedule

Our Day does vary depending on our learning; however, below you will find sort of a guideline.

7:50 a.m.-8:10 a.m. Morning Activities (may be reading, writing, or math related)

8:10 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Morning Announcements, Pledge, Moment of Silence, Morning Family Meeting

8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Shared Journal

9:30 a.m.-9:45 a.m. Snack

9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Morning Centers in our family room

10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Specialists' Classes (M,W,& F is P.E., Tu is Art, and Th is Music/Drama)

11:00a.m.-11:35a.m. Shared Reading

11:35a.m.-Noon Lunch

Noon-12:20 p.m. Recess (take a walk outside, play with sidewalk chalk, run and kick the ball)

12:20p.m.-1:00p.m. Math

1:00 p.m-2:00p.m. Afternoon Centers in Community Learning Spaces

2:00 p.m.-2:30p.m. Theme Work

2:30 p.m. Afternoon Daily Recap

2:35 p.m. Begin to prepare for Dismissal

Reading Rocks

In the area of Reading, each of you should have received the results of our pre-assessments that defined the level in which each of our learners are reading proficiently. Along with those results, you should have received information that will help you better understand the level and what texts should look like on that level. Lastly, each learner received a list of sight words that they should begin to practice each night. I certainly hope that this information helps and I certainly appreciate all of the efforts and support that you are providing at home.

Additionally, we kicked off our 100 Book Club last week. Please make sure that our learners are reading each and every night. This practice is crucial to their success and so very important for instilling the love of reading by instilling good reading habits. I did want to let you know for our learners that are reading chapter books, reading one chapter equates to reading one book. So please just note the book and the chapter number on the form and all will be well!

Math Matters

A great deal of our math instruction comes from our calendar each day. We use the calendar to practice number sense, addition, subtraction, multiplication, coin values, place value, etc. Along with embedding math concepts and practice in our daily center work, we will begin to use concepts from our Community Theme to practice these skills, as well. We try very hard to find authentic problems in our day to solve math problems. Examples include, how many of us are eating a hot lunch, how many more brought their lunch, etc. We want their learning to be as authentic and as meaningful as possible which allows learners to solve problems that are on their cognitive level. We want solving math problems to become a way of life for our learners, not just completing a task.

Just Some Nuts & Bolts

  1. This week we will begin rotating as a class to each of the other community learning spaces for a one hour center time each day. Our intent is to familiarize our learners with these spaces greatly prior to giving them complete choice and voice. We will rotate like this for several weeks as we learn the expectations of each space, the purpose of each space, and the learning possibilities of each space. Once we feel that students are comfortable with being more independent, we will begin allowing students to choose the centers that they rotate to each day with some regulations and expectations, of course. We will certainly keep you abreast as time goes on as things progress to that stage.
  2. Please be reminded that next Monday, September 7th is Labor Day and next Tuesday, September 8th is a Professional Learning Day for Lead Learners. Both of which, are holidays for our learners.
  3. Please remember to pay for lunches using the online payment system located on our website.
  4. Please remember our dress code. Learners are expected to be in solid tops and solid bottoms and appropriate shoes for physical education. Also, for our girls, it may be a good idea to wear shorts or some sort of bloomers under their dresses or skirts. We are on the floor a lot and we certainly want to protect their privacy and integrity.
  5. Thanks so much to each of you that came out to our Open House and Informational Night!
  6. Lastly, we are kicking off our Community Theme this week by reading stories, defining community, and building background knowledge. You will begin to see more about this in the upcoming weeks as our theme takes course. Remember, we are giving our learners some voice in the direction of their interests. Therefore, we will update you on the path that our learning begins to take us!

Our Family's Wish List

Many have asked if we have a wish list for our family so I have attached one for you below. Please do not feel obligated in any way to contribute; however, I can assure you that your contribution will be greatly appreciated. Please note that some of the things on the list are what I refer to as "pie in the sky" type of items and others are simply things we will use more on a daily basis. Additionally, I do purchase a lot of things for our family from places such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon, so if it easier for your to donate gift cards to those places, we would certainly appreciate that. I promise you that I will be a good steward and I will foster a good sense of stewardship in our learners for use of any and all donations and our materials. Please feel free to contribute how you can. I appreciate it greatly.

Mrs. Hernandez’s Family’s Wish List

Lysol Wipes

Lysol Spray

Plain Band-Aids


Mr. Clean Magic Erasers

Washable Tempura Paint (all colors)

Multi-cultural tempera paint

Variety of brushes

Art Paper (newsprint, water color paper,etc.)

Craft Sticks

Googly Eyes

play dough


index cards

Ramona Quimby Novels

Electric Hole Punch


Large Dice

Learning Magnets Sets

Bucket Balance

Measuring Cups

Measuring Tapes

Yard Sticks

Plastic Rulers

Amazon Gift Cards

Walmart Gift Cards

Target Gift Cards

Drinking Straws

Paper Towels

Colored Pencils

Modeling clay

Small magnetic dry erase boards

Small cookie sheets (from the dollar store)

Recess equipment ( soccer ball, sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, jump ropes, frisbees, bean bag toss, horseshoes, etc.)

Our Learners at Work

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