Room 18 News

11 September 2015

UpComing Dates

Monday September 14- Return Personal Narrative Planning Sheet
September Lifeskills: Common Sense and Responsibility
Return MCPL Field Trip Permission Slip ASAP
2 October- End of the first quarter
5-10 October- No School Fall Break
12 October- Field Trip MCPL
23 October- Author Share

Doodle Loop

Our Week

Dear Parents,

Caterpillars and chrysalises!! We watched this past week as all of our caterpillars stopped eating and climbed up to the top of our bug house to hang themselves upside down to pupate. While we didn’t get to see any in their final molt, since they had the ill-grace to pupate over the weekend, we were very excited to come in and find 24 chrysalises. We are practicing our observational skills and writing and drawing about the changes we've seen in our bug house. Writing in 'real time' can be a little tricky for learners in first grade. They may write about something they know but isn't observable at the time. It is also giving us the opportunity to talk about the difference between a fact and opinion.

In monarchs, the adult butterfly’s life span is 2-3 weeks for those butterflies born in the summer. However, the late summer generation of monarchs has a life span of 8 to 9 months. These butterflies will not reproduce until next spring, after they return from their winter migration to Mexico. We have been following reports of the monarchs’ migration with weekly updates on line and marking the ‘peak’ migration sighting on a classroom map. The migration in our area is just beginning to peak, so our butterflies will be ready in time to join the journey south.

We’ve notice that many of the insects we’ve observed have patterns, matching sides or were symmetrical. We introduced the idea of symmetry. We worked together to find lines of symmetry in shapes and in the objects in our room. We created beautifully patterned painted paper and made a symmetrical pattern by folding the paper. We used our paper to make symmetrical butterflies which will grace our hallway before we send them home. We wrote a group report about what makes an object symmetrical.

As you have probably figured out our thematic studies, such as insects, are really a cover for teaching reading, writing and problem solving. The content areas are a wonderful vehicle for snagging children's attention and getting them to think, ask questions, make observations and predictions, to infer, draw conclusions and help inspire curiosity in the world around them just to name of few of the skills embedded in thematic studies. It’s where we find the habits of being we want for our children to develop so they may become self extending and life long learners.

Each month (roughly) in Writers Workshop, we explore a different genre of writing. We'll work to complete one finished, edited and published work and we invite you to come celebrate with us. Our first Author Share will be on October 23rd in Rooms 16-18 at 11:00. We would be delighted if you could come join us! This year working we will begin with the personal narrative. We've learned that a personal narrative tells about an event in the writer's life with real characters, settings, problems and resolutions. It's different than the journal writing we do where we just tell about something we did. Coming home tonight is a planning sheet to help your child get started writing their own personal narrative in Writer's Workshop. Please help them complete their planning sheet and return it to school on Monday.

Our first field trip is to the Monroe County Public Library on October 12th. This is a corporation sponsored trip. All first graders in Monroe County go to learn about the fabulous resources available at the Library and the librarians do a great job hosting our trip. We will leave school about 10:00 and return at approximately 11:40. If you’d like to join us, you may meet us at the Library. Please leave younger siblings at home. A permission slip is coming home today in the BEE Binder. Please sign and return it on Monday.

Below, you will find a list of lifeskills. These are the character trails we all need in order to be successful and lifelong learners. Each month, we focus on new lifeskills. This month, our focus is Responsibility and Common Sense. Our class, along with Ms. Paulsen's class was responsible for teaching the school about these two lifeskills this month. This week, we worked together with Ms. Paulsen's class to brainstorm ways we use the lifeskills in our lives. By making posters of our ideas, we created a presentation to teach the lifeskills. We are looking forward to presenting to the school at Monday's convocation.

Have a great weekend!
Laura B.

Life Skills

Each month, the kids at Rogers School get together for a school wide convocation and learn about using lifeskills. Lifeskills are the character traits and skills which we all need to be successful. The lifeskills are:


  • Responsibility: being accountable for your actions
  • Common Sense: using good judgment
  • Perseverance: sticking with it
  • Effort: doing your personal best
  • Integrity: being true to yourself, knowing what is right
  • Courage: to act according to one’s beliefs
  • Initiative: doing what needs to be done without being told
  • Problem Solving: finding creative solutions in difficult situations

and with everyday problems

  • Caring: showing concern for others
  • Friendship: making and keeping friends
  • Cooperation: working together towards a goal
  • Flexibility: able to alter plans cheerfully
  • Pride: Satisfaction from doing your personal best
  • Patience: To wait calmly for someone or something
  • Organization: plan, arrange, and implement in an orderly way
  • Sense of Humor: to laugh and be playful without harming others
  • Curiosity: a desire to investigate and seek understanding of one’s world

Parent Reading Pipeline

Check for Understanding by Allison Behne

Even as an adult reader, there are times when I am reading a story and I get lost and am not sure what has happened. Fortunately, when this happens, I havae strategies I use to help me understand the story. The same thing happens when children read. However, with children they often keep reading and do not realize they lost comprehension until the end of the story. They are too concerned with reading accurately, and forget to take the time to think about what they are reading. How can we help them gain comprehension? We can teach them the comprehension strategy: check for understanding because good reader stop frequently to check for understanding or to ask who and what.

How can you help your child with this strategy at home?

  1. When reading to your child, stop periodically and say "Let's see if we remember what I just read. Think about who the story was about and what happened." Do this three or four times throughout the story.

2. When reading to your child, stop and have them practice checking for understanding by saying "I heard you say...."

3. Ask your child the following questions:

  • Who did you just read about?
  • What just happened?
  • Was your brain taking to you while you read?
  • Do you understand what was read?
  • What do you do if you don't remember?

Written by Allison Behne www.dailycafe.com