Welcome 2016

Lego success, addition bowling, and Jan Brett

Congrats to Tristan and Madison for joining the 100 Book Club

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Our family has been working on this Lego train set for 2 months. Each student had a part in its construction. And it works! They were so excited to watch its inaugural running. In addition to working collaboratively, students also followed detailed directions to construct. We made mistakes and had to go back and correct. Some friends knew that they loved legos. Others friends have developed an appreciation. Next, this will become a center, where learners can construct tracks, measure lengths, and compare. Thus, practicing math standards. This set was purchased with a Donorschoose grant that had generous donors. We are so thankful to have support for new and different activities in the classroom.
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Bowling addition

We added a new center this week. Learners roll, record, roll, record, and add. They have loved the novelty and don't even realize that they are working!!!

Exciting news

Earlier in December, I applied for a training/trainer position that requires me to go to NASA in Huntsville. The goal is to learn hands-on activities connected to the new upcoming science standards to use with learners in the classroom. I was selected and will be attending NASA this coming week, Monday-Thursday. I am super excited about this opportunity, but am sad that I will be missing our learners. I hesitantly told learners on Friday, because some do not like change. But I reassured them that Mrs. Wrecher, an assistant that is in our room daily, and a substitute would take good care of them. There will not be a newsletter next week, but will pick up the following week.

Shared journal

This is the year/week for new...

For shared journal this week, I introduced "word books" to our learners. It is simply a homemade book, with pages A-Z, so that learners can record words spelled conventionally. I will facilitate which words are included in the book. This will work on standards such as reading sight words correctly and ABC order.

Peer editing

As our lead learners met together, there was a consistent concern with writing in the upper grades...Students are not going back to edit their work. To scaffold editing 1st grade, we have implemented peer editing this week. It actually went very well. When a learner completes their journal, they pair with another learner. They read their journal to each other. They are looking for beginning, middle, end of stories, capital letters at the beginning of sentences, and ending punctuation. This is forcing them to reread their own work. Many times, students will realize their mistakes and correct. This also gives them an authentic audience for their writing, so that hopefully, they will begin to edit individually before taking to a friend. And because they love to share their experiences, this gives them another opportunity to share with someone other than me. And it addresses writing standards "With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed." It's a WIN/WIN/WIN!

December journals came home on Friday. Please allow your chid to read them to you. Celebrate their growth in writing! Celebrate their hard work! Celebrate their success! Please return journals on Monday.

Shared Reading

This week, we began an author study on Jan Brett. Please ask your learner about her books. We have had the opportunity to compare a Jan Brett story, The Mitten to Jim Aylesworth's version with the same title (upcoming in Freshgrade). We have also had the opportunity to compare two of her stories, The Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends (also upcoming in Freshgrade). By doing this author study, this will lead into additional opinion writing. I LOVE writing!! The learners will continue enjoying stories by Jan Brett next week.

Mystery Reader

I sent out a sign up genius link for Mystery Reader for 2nd semester. Several of you have already signed up. Thank you! The kids think this is so fun. They asked this past Tuesday if someone was coming. The day of the week has changed to Friday. If you are interested in reading some of your favorite books to our family, please sign up below. Here is the link...


Reminders and Announcements

Monday, Jan 11-Return December journals

Monday, Jan 18-No school in observance of MLK Day

  • Please send in one piece of poster board (Since our theme has taken a turn, we are making our Community fact books into a flip book with Ocean on the opposite side.)
  • Also, we will begin earning money (coins) by the end of January. This will help us count by ones, fives, tens, addition, and subtraction. The learners will be earning money to spend at our Ocean Market (more info to come). This will be our culminating activity at the end of the year. Each learner needs to bring in 50 pennies, 10 dimes, 10 nickels, and 4 quarters. At the end of the semester the students will decide on a cause in which to donate their coins.
  • Also, we have run out of bandaids. If you can supply, that will save us a couple of trips to the school nurse.
  • Over the holidays, I uploaded several pieces of evidence to Freshgrade. It has been reported that some parents are having trouble with videos and/or parents not receiving notification of additional entries. If you are having any trouble with Freshgrade, please let me know, so that I might get some help. Remember this is new to all of us. I appreciate you patience and encouragement as I learn my way through.

Equipment Drive from Coach