Miss Colsten's Weekly Newsletter

January 15th

Important Dates

Our Library Day is every Wednesday!

January 18- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, No School

January 22 - 100th day celebration! (a letter was sent home about the option to dress up!)

February 5- 1/2 Day Dismissal at 12:01

February 15- President's Day, No School

February 16- Flex Day- No school if we have not had a snow day up to this point

February 19- President's Day Program 9:45 a.m. at Thorpe Creek Elementary. Families invited! (Details will be coming soon)

This Week...

In Reading, we're focusing on reading strategies to help us figure out words in a story. We are breaking down the parts of a story, like characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end. Next week we'll be discussing reading strategies like... Eagle Eye and Lips the Fish.

In Math, we continued to compare quantities and groups of numbers. We also continued to work with addition and subtraction, especially mixing them up and remembering which one is which! (+, -)

Sight Words this week: come, not, play

This week, we started taking our Winter NWEA assessments. We had our first round, which was Math, on Thursday. I was so proud of their patience and persistence during this time. Next Wednesday, we will be taking the reading portion.

I am still getting student role requests back and so I will send home class play information next week!

Martin Luther King Jr. Activity

We had a very exciting and emotional morning today. As students came into the classroom, they were given a red or green sticker. I did not tell them why, just simply gave them the sticker to put on their shirt.

During morning work, they could only sit with students of the same colored sticker. During calendar, greens had to sit in the back...reds sat in the front. Reds could get a drink in the classroom at anytime, greens could not. Reds could use markers, greens could not. This went on for about an hour in the morning.

As a teacher, this is always an emotional lesson. It fascinates me every year and gives me chills. The heartbreak that students begin to feel as a green, the privilege that some begin to feel as a red. There were tears and questions 'why' from both red and green students. There were lots of "no fairs." Below are just a few of the quotes from conversations I overheard in the morning.

"This is the best day ever, I can't wait to tell my mom" -red student

"Greens are the worst" -green student

"But I miss my green friends" -red student

"I used to love school until today" -green student (I wanted to quit after hearing this one!)

"I wish we could read together, but we just can't." -red student

"Maybe greens are bad kids..." -green student

"But why...why are we different?" -green student

"Sorry, you're a green, you can't be by me. Move over" -red student

Please know, during this time, lots of hugs were given and I just kept telling students "I'm sorry, its just the rule for today." It is so hard for me not to instantly break and say "Never mind, it's all just a part of a bigger picture!"

I then called students over to read Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. It's amazing to see the sadness and confusion come across their faces...and then, there's always the light bulb. As I read, students began to connect and about halfway through the story I stopped reading because there was such a buzz going on. Right away, I had a handful of students begin to share the similarities between our activity and the story.

The story did mention MLK Jr's death and when students asked how he died, I was honest. I told them someone unkind and unfair, shot him. It's amazing to me the connection students have and the tears that are shed.

We had a BIG family talk at the end. Students cried when they shared their emotions and we group hugged every student who cried. One particular moment really struck my heart. During our talk, I noticed one student really fighting back the tears. I asked him if he would mind sharing with the group why he was sad. Through tears he said, "I just was really sad all day. Because stuff that made me happy, made my friend cry. I didn't like that I got to use markers and he didn't." Just amazing and heart-felt. We often think students are too young to understand , but its there. I find it such a privilege to teach these amazing kiddos.

We ended the lesson with taking off the stickers and stomping all over them. Ripping them and throwing them in the trash. As a reward, I then let students have extra WOW time and the camaraderie that took place was heart-warming. I think it is important for students to know why Monday is a holiday. Hopefully this painted a picture of how we approached it as a class and I only wish you could have been a fly on the wall. This will be one of my most cherished memories of the year.

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Discovery News

Hello wonderful parents! This is Mrs. Foust with our news from Discovery. This week we continued our friendship unit. We discussed what it means to be a good friend and what others look for when finding a friend. For our social skills lesson, we talked about having to wait and how we sometimes need to be patient. On our movement day, students had lots of fun with movement stations! It was wonderful to see students working on balance, trampolines, scooter boards, and jumping patterns. Ask your child about his/her favorite activity!

Good Old Fashion Snowball Fight!

Nothing quite like it. We wrote sight words on a piece of paper and balled it up. Then, had a snowball fight. In order to throw a snowball, they had to find a new one on the floor...open it up...read it aloud, then they could throw it again. (This would be a great way to review sight words at home!)
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Spirit Award Winners!

Last Friday, for our school PTO's Spirit Day, our class won with the most participation in Kindergarten! The trophy is being proudly displayed in our room until next month!
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Having Fun on a Snowy Day

Below you'll find two videos of how we stayed cozy and had fun with all that snow earlier in the week. First, is a silly slow motion video during one of our sight word snowball fights mentioned above. Second is just a peak at how we stayed warm. :)

Fun in Slo-Mo
Warming up on a snowy day