September 14 - 25, 2015
It was wonderful to see so many of you at Back to School Night! We hope you enjoyed seeing our classroom and some of your child's work.
Team Building and Bully Busting
We started our Bully Busting unit by talking about all the words that we would use to describe a bully. We then read the definition of a bully: "Bullying is unfair. Bullies hurt, frighten or leave others out on purpose. Bullies have more power than the people they pick on. Bullies come in all sizes." We talked through several different scenarios and identified whether or not there was a bully involved. On Friday. we did a little role-playing by identifying different types of behavior and giving them the characteristic of being a "monster", "mouse", or "me". We have more groups to go on Monday, but they are having fun and becoming more aware of how to react in different situations.
We also watched a "Power of Teamwork" video. See attached.
Reading, Writing, and Word Work!
- We are learning different ways to think about and engage with our reading. We have been practicing identifying the setting, characters, problem and solution. The children have been practicing by writing story maps where they identify each of the story features. We have also started learning how to identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story. If we can identify these basic parts, we will be able to better retell and understand our reading.
- We also talked about how teachers will confer with them and how they can help us with that conversation. We'll be asking questions like: "What's happening in the book?", "Who are the characters/setting/problem/solution?", "What is going well?", "What are you doing when you are stuck on a word?", and "Any confusing parts?"
- In Writer's Workshop we are working on taking our ideas (or seeds) and learning how to tell them across our fingers. We are learning how to choose an interesting topic and identify the important details: characters, setting, problem, detail, and solution. This piggy-backs very nicely off what we're doing in reading.
- To help the students organize their thoughts they are telling and then writing their
"5 finger retell" on paper. They will then use this to create a rough draft of their story.
- To kick-off writing our rough drafts we used Lego's to illustrate the process of editing. Editing is just a fancy writer's word for changing something. Many children resist the editing process and we wanted to show them early in the year that this is a normal part of life and the creative process. They already do it everyday in many ways, without even thinking about it! We also discovered many other parallels between writing and Lego's - they are both creative, we use our imaginations, and we also use our fine motor skills! The next time they are playing with Lego's don't be surprised if you hear them say, "Hey Mom/Dad - I'm working on my writing!!" :-)
- We continued reviewing our long and short vowels this week by identifying words and patterns. We also started our first group of word wall words and practiced them using kinesthetic exercises.
- Next week will start with our spelling lists. Each child was given a pre-test during the first week of school to identify their skills. Their spelling lists will be based on the skills that each child needs to learn.
We are continuing our "Counting to 1,000" unit. In addition to learning how to write the numbers in various forms (standard, expanded, and word), we have also been learning how to add 1, 10, and 100 to given numbers. Next, we compared numbers using the words and symbols for "greater than" and "less than". Lastly, we have practiced using place value to place numbers in increasing or decreasing order and identify patterns in lists of numbers.
We will review these concepts for the next couple of days and look to have our chapter assessment early next week.
School Pictures: October 1, 2
Columbus Day- Early Dismissal: Oct 12