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Class News Week of November 17th Room 1

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This week our lead story is called Animal Babies in Grasslands. This story is a continuation of Unit 2 which is looking at Animal habitats and environments. There is a strong social studies and science component to this unit. Our focus this week is on animal babies. Our vocabulary words include, calf, cub, joey, grassland, pup and foal. The comprehension skill focus this week is Main Idea. I will be introducing 2 new word wall words (me, see). It would be very beneficial for you child to practice these words at home as well. At this point we have covered all letter names and letter sounds. We have been very focused on the short vowel sounds in the past few weeks. It is imperative for them to know these sounds to be able to decode unfamiliar words and to write unfamiliar words.

In writers workshop, we have been focusing on getting a main character or characters and having a setting. Today we brainstormed possible characters and possible settings. We wrote fiction stories. Some examples of stories were  mermaids in outer space, a turtle and a dolphin in Hawaii, and another was about a zebra and a monkey in the zoo. We are working on getting stories beyond “I like to ride my bike”. It is a process, but we are on the way.

In math, we are continuing to sort and classify, look at repeating and growing patterns, solving problems in multiple ways, and really focusing hard on using tally marks to group numbers by 5′s. We have been graphing the weather as well.

This week is going to be another cold one. Please have your kids bring hats and warm winter coats. We will be going outside to get movement regardless of the temperature.

Looking ahead: November 19th is Picture retake day, November 27-28 No school for Thanksgiving break, December 10th Field trip to Northwest Children’s Theater to see Mary Poppins

Class News Week of November 3rd Room 1

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I can’t believe we are already in the month of November. We are about a quarter of the way through the school year. As I work on assessing your kids, I am thoroughly amazed at how much we have learned and accomplished, and how much more we have to do this year.I so enjoying having time to meet with each family and get to know you all a little better. I always love sharing the amazing progress the kids are making at conferences.

This week, our lead story is a fictional story called Armadillo’s Orange. Our comprehension focus this week is setting. We are learning about animal habitats and will be comparing and contrasting it to other animal homes. Our vocabulary words for this week are : tortoise, grub, landmark, neighbor, burrow and armadillo. There is a strong science connection with this lead story which always makes for high interest.
We have been working VERY hard on learning our letter sounds. We have a goal of learning all vowel sounds in the next few weeks. It makes it so much easier to write unfamiliar words, and to blend sounds for decoding unfamiliar words.
In math, we are creating shapes on our geoboards, learning  a fun shape game called Hungry Caterpillar, learning a new pattern in our calendar and graphing weather daily.
In writing, we are working very hard on writing unfamiliar words, and remembering spacing and ending marks. We are making great progress!
In Art we have been continuing to do weekly art lesson based on the elements of art. Last week our focus was on line. We will be making very cool caterpillars using all kinds of line.
Looking ahead: Monday is a Teacher Planning Day. Tuesday is Veteran’s Day so we have no school.

Class News Week of October 20th Room 1

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Thanks for all the support and cheering for our kids at Run For the Arts. I think I had a record number of kids collecting sponsors for the run this year. We lucked out   with decent weather.

This week in Room 1 our lead story is Life in The Ocean. We are learning about how smart readers read informational or non-fiction books in a different way than reading fiction. We are learning about paying attention to facts, and rereading for clarification. In response to this book, we are making word webs of ocean words, doing an ocean art activity, doing a graphic organizer on important information about the ocean and completing sentences using sentence frames. We are really rolling along in worktime and the kids are becoming so much more independent. Our word wall words up to this point are (am, I, is, little, like, me, to, the, went). It is very helpful if you work on these at home as well. At this point, the kids should be able to read and write these words without adult help. If that is challenging for your child you could have them practice at home to reinforce the skill.
Hopefully you have noticed the beautiful pumpkin art outside our classroom door. We have an art teacher who is volunteering every few weeks to teach some art lessons. She is the sister of a retired teacher from our building Ms. Pechette. We are so lucky to have her help us with art.

I want to let you all know I will be attending a work related conference in Central Oregon with Mr. Lauer and several other teachers from Lewis Tuesday afternoon through Thursday. You kids will be in great hands with Ms. Patricia.

Looking ahead: We are preparing for Parent Teacher conferences. I’m looking forward to having time to meet with you and talking about your amazing children.

Class News Week of October 13th Room 1

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Fall is in the air! This week we will be talking a lot about the changing of the seasons. As we get into colder weather, please be sure to send your children to school dressed to go outside regardless of the weather. Unless it is pouring, we will get outside to play every day.

This week in Room 1 we are fully immersed in our worktime centers. Last week was our first week of doing centers in our small groups. With the help of my volunteers, we were able to stay on worktime tasks for about 30 minutes. We are working on building stamina. Stamina is a key kindergarten skill. Staying focused on a task for a sustained period of time is very important for academic success. This week in worktime, we will be doing a wide range of activities based around our lead story, Dig, Dig Digging. In Writer’s Workshop, we have been working on adding detail to our stories, and using punctuation at the end of a sentence. My expectation is that they spell the word wall words correctly (am, I, is, little, like, me, to, little) and writing the sounds they hear in other words, ie. bg for bug, or frnd for friend, or hape for happy. It is important for them to feel safe in taking a risk in writing unfamiliar text. This class is loving our writing time. We are now writing for about 20 solid minutes which is much longer than we began at the beginning of the year.

We are looking forward to Run For The Arts.  Thank you to all of the parents who signed up to help with RFTA. It is a wonderful school wide fund raiser which benefits our Arts Fund for Lewis.

We are really looking forward to our trip to Kruger Farms on Tuesday the 21st. Please fill out permission forms and return this week.