Durham Fair - NO SCHOOL - Fri., Sept. 23
Early Release - Fri., Oct. 7
Columbus Day - NO SCHOOL - Mon., Oct. 10
Parent Information Night - Thurs., Sept. 8 6:00 - 8:15
Durham Fair - NO SCHOOL - Fri., Sept. 23
Early Release - Fri., Oct. 7
Columbus Day - NO SCHOOL - Mon., Oct. 10
We are off to a great start this school year. We have been playing many getting to know you games, name games, and movement activities. We are creating graphs to learn more about each other. Every day we have had writing and reading. Summer activities and hopes/goals have been the focus of our writings. We are learning to work with a partner during reading and are finding out about all of the choices of text in the classroom library. The routines and schedules are becoming more familiar each day. We'll start working on our constitution and meeting rules, as well as write a gathering song this week. Hope to see you all on Thursday night (9/8) at 6:00 for Parent Information Night.
I wanted to give a quick update as to what we have been up to in the classroom. This school year has been going so quickly and has been packed with many great activities. I hope you have been keeping up with our project shares, video, photos and tweets. We just completed writing about our best accomplishment of 2015. The students used the Chromebooks to publish their writing. The children formatted their text and added an image or illustrated their work. Next, we will write a persuasive text. Each student is bringing in a collection of objects. Students will be choosing their favorite item and writing their opinions. After that we will hopefully be ready with our research to write an informational piece about our project topic. In reading, we are learning about long vowels, the main idea and types of details, and the authors' purpose. We are also learning how to record notes when we find the answers to our project questions by finding the key words and citing our sources. In math, we recently completed a unit on partitioning shapes and a mini-unit where we revisited subtraction strategies and worked on the basic addition and subtraction facts. Currently we are working on place value and understanding the value of each digit in a number. We have learned several games that your child could teach you at home! Projects are in full swing during science and we will be exploring the body of a squid with Mrs. Martin. First graders: Keep working on the Rosa's Readers log for recording books each night!
Everyone came back from our lengthy winter break ready to hit the ground running. I hope everyone's holidays were filled with good health and joy. In writing, we have spent the last month learning about linking words (i.e. so, because, and), transition words (i.e. next, after that, finally) and tenses. The children were introduced to where commas and quotation marks belong. Letter writing took place and we learned where the date, opening, body, and closing belongs on the page. The kindergarten post office opened in December. We have been busy drafting letters to friends, siblings, study buddies and teachers. Writers' Workshop lessons have also included how to write an intriguing beginning, long vowel letter patterns in spelling, and how the process of publishing works. We have been trying to make our writing juicy by including adjectives. Reading has been a wonderful time in the classroom over the past few weeks. Students are reading independently following mini-lesson topics about main idea, key details, and retelling. We worked in groups to read and retell four Aesop Fables. The students chose to retell their stories in the form of a skit. Several of our read aloud books for story have been by Kate Messner. Ms. Messner Skyped with us and it was exciting to hear how the publishing process works from a real author! There will be another opportunity within the month to purchase a personalized book signed by Kate. She has several new titles out now as well. In math we have been studying place value and the basic addition and subtraction facts. The students have worked on building numbers into the hundreds with flats, rods and units. They know how to write numbers in expanded notation (i.e. 100 + 80 + 2 = 182) as well as word format (one-hundred eighty-two). We used our 1 - 100 and 1 - 1000 charts to practice skip counting and found patterns within these numbers. Finally, we have done more work with the basic fact practice. Students are using counting on, counting backwards, making tens, using other facts they know, doubles, and near doubles to solve unknown sums and differences. We have learned several new card games: Go Fish (Make 10s instead of pairs), Salute, Addition/Subtraction War, and the Subtraction Card Game. Ask your child how to play one of these games. It's great fun and super for fact practice. We have begun project work. Each child has chosen an animal to study. We finished writing sections and questions to get us started with what we want to learn. Several lessons on using non-fiction text features and how to take notes have prepared the students to begin their research. As a school, we are focusing on the core value of respect for the month of January. It would be wonderful if you could tie this in to your discussions with your child at home to reinforce what we have been learning here. As always, if you have additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call or email me.
Important Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, 1/20: Papermaking with Mrs. Martin
Thursday, 1/29: Tracking (snow) Lesson with Mrs. Martin
Thursday, 2/5: Field Trip to CT Historical Society
The weather has gotten chilly, but we are still blazing away in Room 19. We just recently completed our A-Z Tree Book. Students worked independently or with a partner to research their item, decide what was important to include, paraphrase information in their own words, and write a paragraph. Each child completed one or two illustrations and a bubble letter for the pages. Please come and see it in the hallway bulletin board outside our classroom door. We have started to learn about the publishing process as some children prepare to have their pieces submitted to the Writers' Wall. We are adding elaboration and revising for spelling, periods and capitals. Ask your child about how we created living sentences to help us learn to edit. In reading, we have been discussing point of view and author's purpose. Students have been working to discover who is telling the story they are reading. And for what purpose did the writer publish? Was it for persuading, informing or entertaining? We finished our read aloud chapter book, The Miraculous Adventures of Edward Tulane, and have one more Skype session with our Global Read Aloud class in Iowa to discuss the ending. The children really enjoyed the story, as well as the partnership with a third grade class. We had our third study buddy meeting and have been enjoying that time as well. Study Buddies will meet on Tuesdays for the remainder of the year. We continue to work in book groups, on work work, reading responses and silent reading during Readers' Workshop. In math, we completed our unit on geometry and did some work dividing shapes into fractions. We are now into a unit on place value. We are currently examining two digit numbers for groups of tens and extras and different combinations that make the same number (56 = 50 + 6 = 40 + 16). Our first ECHOs was a huge success. I hope your child came home on Friday excited for the next meeting. I will see you all for conferences in two weeks. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Important Upcoming Dates:
11/26 - Early Release and Stuffed Animal Day
11/27 and 11/28 - No school for Thanksgiving Break
12/3 and 12/4 - Early Release for Conferences
Another fresh start to the new school year brings so much excitement. We have been having a great time getting to know one another and learning the routines and expectations in Room 19. The students have been invested, willing to share and enthusiastic about everything we have been doing so far. I have enjoyed getting to know each of them. We have completed the writing part of our constitution and are finishing up the presentation. Please look for our final product on Family Night. So far we have covered the digraphs, elements of a story and have generated some topic ideas during Writers' Workshop. We are busy during Reader's Workshop learning how to choose a just right book, getting the most out of our time reading with partners and reviewing and receiving new sight words to master. We began reading logs this week. Students are becoming more familiar with different types of writing and classifying their books into the categories of fiction, informational and opinion. Our math unit is focused on the basic addition and subtraction facts, strategies to solve them, word problems, and computing using these two operations to 100 for the older students. We have also been learning about skip counting and odd/even numbers. The students worked so hard on our Durham Fair project and we will be continuing the discussion about Steps to Change the World. This includes ways to make our classroom the best place it can be for friendships and learning. Our project will be on display on Family Night in case you missed it at the fair. I am excited to see you all on October 16th at 6:00. Don't forget to bring your decorated strip so you can weave it in to our community piece of art. Some important upcoming dates are:
10/9 - Trail Walk
10/21 - Field Trip to CONNWood 12:00 - 3:00
10/24 - Assembly Share
I hope everyone is enjoying 2014 so far. We have been enjoying life in Room 19. In reading, we have been focusing in on character. Students identify the main character and have been analyzing the characters looks, actions, and feelings. We have been trying to get to know the character and deciding what type of person s/he is. Book recommendations are being made every week, shared with classmates, and posted near the classroom library. Many students have earned 10 points Reading Counts certificates. Read aloud has consisted of fables and folk tales. We are studying point of view, and identifying the author's message for us. Our writings have been growing in detail. In addition to including description, we are now generating powerful feeling words. Several phonics units have been covered in language arts as well. The children are very busy publishing books and more pieces for the Writers' Wall. The most exciting recent happening has been our HOT block with Mrs. Howes. She comes into our classroom once a week to study Maurice Sendak's illustrations, in particular his creatures and wild things. Students have learned about wild features and are designing and drawing their own creature. As the art piece is finished, students are writing a descriptive piece about their creature incorporating feelings, powerful words and description. Our trip to the New Britain Museum of Art to view the Maurice Sendak exhibit was incredible. Math has been filled with geometry and more place value. Please check the photo gallery for pictures from our field trip to the museum as well as from our geometry art assembly share. The children worked very hard to create a geometric collage with colored paper and wrote two informational pieces about the object they created. We have also begun project work. Students have written questions about an animal they are interested in studying and we will begin researching the answers soon.
So Winter has decided to arrive! We are staying cozy in our classroom, but are also warmed up to each other and our environment so serious learning has been well underway. In reading, we have been focusing on the authors' message by reading fables and picture books and asking, "What was the author trying to tell us?" We have been reviewing the short vowel sounds and digraphs in phonics. Letter blends and chunks have been another area of focus. We recently started our book recommendation wall and hopefully it will soon fill up with lots of ideas of books to share. Students report on the setting, characters and main idea when they make a recommendation to their peers. I would like to have the students blog about their favorite books to share at home sometime after the winter break. Perhaps some of the gift swap titles will surface there! Writing time has been filled with publishing conferences. Our class has had many pieces accepted by the literary board so keep your eyes peeled for our writings when you arrive or leave Lyman. We have been incorporating great beginnings into our new pieces by thinking of a sound, thought, question, action or dialogue. Standard spelling, phonetic spelling, punctuation, capitalization and slow motion stretching of words are also skills we are sharpening. When we include sequence in a piece of writing we are trying to include transition words as well as some description. Math has most recently been geometrically focused, but we have worked on addition, subtraction, place value and work with double and triple digit numbers. I really enjoyed meeting with each of you at conferences last week. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and questions with me. I hope this holiday season is your best yet!
Welcome to an exciting new school year! We are underway getting to know one another, the classroom routines, and the ways of life in Room 19. The second graders have been working hard to be strong role-models and help the new students acclimate to their new place of learning. We will begin our science unit on oceans soon. It kicks off with our field trip to Hammonasset State Park on Thursday, September 12th. We will collect critters in the tidal pools, ocean and tidal river to bring back for our classroom observation tank. I hope you can join us. It is a trip NOT to miss. Hope to see/meet you at the Parent Information Night on Thursday as well!
Share Fair was such a wonderful culmination and celebration of months of work researching, publishing, creating and building projects, books and models. The boys and girls worked incredibly hard to find answers to their questions about the animals they studied and design a project to show what they learned. Thank you to all the families who were able to attend. In addition, many of the students have published stories from their journals into books and some were on display that night too. The first and second graders also participated in Special Persons' Day on May 3. It was a fantastic day spending time with a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or family friend. The pairs wrote a poem and illustrated it together. It was great fun to have members from the wider community share in the Integrated Day experience. We are finishing the year with some work on fiction writing, balance and motion in science (ask your child about how they balanced a pencil and made more toy spinners), a spring trail walk and cooking wild edible pizza, and Skyping our first grade friends in Mrs. Loffredo's class about the chapter book series "My Father's Dragon." School has been busy, busy, busy! Thanks for all of your help volunteering and supporting your child at home during this eventful time of the year. :)
I'm Julie Abbott. I have five young children and love to spend time with them. I also sing, knit, practice yoga and enjoy anything outdoors.