A Peek at Our Week

Our Spectacular 1st-3rd Grade Class

April 15, 2016

Being Present

What does it mean to be present? is another one of my favorite books on mindfulness for children. "Being present means living in the moment. It means realizing that yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift - that's why we call it the present!" The children LOVED that play on words! Being present in the moment is about listening to yourself and others, focusing on the now, being grateful, and learning from mistakes. It is also about slowing down to focus on the beauty that surrounds us each and every day. When we are present are lives are much richer, fuller and happier as we are able to fully enjoy what is happening in the hear and now - feeling the sand between your toes, watching the rolling waves, smelling the seaweed, listening to the seagulls and tasting the ocean's salty spray. It is a full sensory experience!!
We are incorporating other breathing and body experiences during our mindfulness mornings. This week our birthday girl (Olivia!) pulled this card for us to practice. In this exercise we scanned our bodies and experienced how our loving hearts and deep breathing can give comfort to physical discomfort or hurting hearts.

We have also practiced Breath of Joy. This is a good one for sweeping away sluggish feelings and really energize the whole body, get oxygen flowing and make us smile! It is a great way to start the day!
Bee Yoga Fusion Breath of Joy


2+2+2+2=8 How many times did I just add 2? 4 times!! Yes, 4x2=8! We are SO excited to dive into multiplication!!!! We began with taking stock of the tools we have already. Can we add? Check! Can we count by 2s? Check! By 5s? Check! Awesome, let's go! We did some warming up with skip counting...some worked on reinforcing their 2s and 5s while others started their 3s and 4s and some played with 20s and 50s. We played Swiper where one player takes out a number and the other player must figure out what is missing.Oh, that sneaky swiper!
We also played Tic-Tac-Toe with A Twist. We put our skip counting to practice by flipping a card that told us how many groups we had...5 groups of 5...count by 5, 5 times! Our fingers helped many of us keep track of how many groups we needed to count. This game can be played with x2s on up to x9s!


Writing Workshop

We are such a creative group of authors! We are writing up a storm! We also spent some time this week sharing many of our stories that have been patiently waiting to be read and enjoyed. From portals to other worlds to a singing banana our stories continue to do their job - entertain!


Magic C asked us to practice l and k. For l, "Straight line down. Bump." For k, "Straight line down, Bump. Kick! Slide away."

Reading Workshop

Chunking Letters and Sounds is a strategy we can all use now that we are all loaded up with many experiences of investigating word families and patterns. Accessing our knowledge and finding chunks we know is a great start to decoding an unknown word. As we practiced as a whole group looking at small words, word families or vowel patterns we recognized within a larger word, one child shared it was like learning the anatomy of a word. Why yes it is!


We are SO excited (and VERY concerned!) about our final exploration as Earth Heroes - Endangered Animals! One thing we have learned throughout the year is problems must be recognized in order to help or fix them. When we acknowledge a concern we can work toward supporting a solution. This is true in our relationships with friends, our challenges in working on a project, addressing the needs of our local homeless population, solving the problem of toothpaste falling off our toothbrushes and looking at big global issues that endanger animals. Earth Heroes apply creativity, energy, courage and hard work to make the Earth a better place. They do amazing work and they take chances. They care deeply, they speak passionately, and they inspire other people, too. OCS kids ARE Earth Heroes through and through!

We are still buzzing from our initial exploration of endangered animal books and the numbers were shocking! And, they are all our favorite animals! Or, animals we never heard of but instantly fell in love with! We then turned to recognizing the needs of animals and what common threats are compromising their needs and causing their populations to decline. We are happy there is a system in place that recognizes the status of an animal, conservationist to collect data, and laws that protect animals once they are listed (Yay! Endangered Species Act!). We learned the conservation status levels from Extinct to Endangered to Least Concerned and that there are success stories of animals being delisted!!


Our exploration of endangered animals influenced this year's Arts Walk project. What local endangered animal might you see in this landscape? Visit Traditions next weekend to see the final masterpieces!

Friday Workshops

  • April 22nd - Oliver, Stella
  • May 6th - Gillian, Ethan

  • May 13th - Laurel, Sam

  • May 20th - Ethan, Stella

  • May 27th - Addy, Oliver

  • June 10th - Olivia, Laurel

Field Trips

  • April 29th - Hands-on Children's Museum and Old School Pizza!
  • May 6 - Wolf Haven - 11:45
  • May 20 - Woodard Bay Bike Trip - 12:15
  • June 3 - Cougar Mountain Zoo - 8:15 (all day!)

Important Dates

  • April 20 - Board Meeting
  • April 22/23 - Procession of the Species/Arts Walk

  • May 4 - Parent Meeting
  • May 16-20 - Bike Week!
  • May 18 - Board Meeting
  • May 30 - No School
  • June 1 - Parent Meeting
  • June 10 - Half Day
  • June 15 - Board Meeting
  • June 17 - Half Day/Portfolio Share
  • June 18 - End of Year Ceremony