Back in the Swing of Things!

Happy weekend, everyone! 

Welcome back from Thanksgiving Break! We have been enjoying hearing tales of your adventures – from gators and golf to elves and events, it sounds like everyone had a phenomenal week off of school. Here’s a glimpse of our week:

READING UPDATE:

  • What a reading life these kids have!  When asked what was the best thing they read today, the room is filled with enthusiastic readers.  Students are making book recommendations to one another, sharing reading tips, and voraciously reading across genres.
  • We have surpassed our stamina goal of 40 minutes and are now reading for 48 minutes each day!
  • Word work continues to strengthen our decoding ability.  We’re playing with the short vowel plus hard -ck ending.  (sock, sick, tick, stick, sticker, trick, tricky, track)
  • Comprehension skills are being challenged as we read books through the lens of story arc mappers. We’ll continue this practice next week as an extension to our 100% retelling skills.

WRITING UPDATE:

  • We celebrated the end of our informational writing unit this week! First and second graders invited one person from within our school community to come to our classroom and listen to our published books. Amidst chocolate chip cookies and bubbly water, stories were shared, and facts were learned.

  • Your first and second grade authors have entered the gripping world of fiction writing. We have discussed creating a fictional character, giving that character a strong emotion, and then planning the rest of the story based on what that character wants more than anything else in the entire universe… and then what happens to get in the way of that desire. Be sure to check in with your writer to find out more details about his or her current piece. Everyone is super excited about Writing Workshop these days, and everyone is doing a phenomenal job!

MATH UPDATE:

  • Your first grade mathematicians are representing a teen number as one group of ten and some number of ones, finding and exploring relationships among two-addend combinations of numbers up to 10, and visualizing, representing, and solving a put together/take apart story problem with both addends unknown.
  • Your second grade mathematicians are understanding equal parts of a whole, partitioning and identifying halves and quarters of a square, and using fraction vocabulary (one fourth) and the associated notation (1/4) to describe fractional parts of a whole. They are also beginning to notice that fractions truly are EVERYWHERE… like when your mom cuts your sandwich in half or in fourths, or when the windows appear to be divided in half…

SCIENCE UPDATE:

  • Check out the field trip that we’re taking next Tuesday! (Look below at Upcoming Calendar Events…)
  • We presented our elk project at this morning’s All School Meeting! Your young scientists were very proud of their work, and clearly described the process of finding, gathering, sorting, cleaning, creating, assembling, and labeling the bones to the entire school.
  • Beyond these excellent descriptions, our first and second graders also shared some facts about elk. These facts were chosen based on their absolute urgency to be known by the world, such as…
    • “Bull elk fight to gain the harem. A harem is a group of cows.”
    • “Elk have four digestive chambers.”
    • “Elk migrate in the spring.”
    • “Elk have other predators than hunters, like mountain lions.”

WELLNESS UPDATE:

  • We checked back in with the Listening Tool this week. Playing eye contact games is an important part of learning how to listen to each other, and making eye contact when you are speaking with someone is an expectation that we have in our classroom. When you have the ability to hold eye contact during a conversation, then you are more likely to be fully present in that conversation, and to form a connection with the person with whom you are speaking.
  • While it is more about eye contact in the adult world than the child world, here is an article that you may enjoy!

MOMENTS OF GRATITUDE:

  • Thank you, Anita, for threading all of the needles for our holiday projects!
  • Thank you, Lisa, for helping in math this week!
  • Thank you, Erin, for helping with our Scholastic book order!
  • Thank you, Trevi, for your awesome Cajun reading skills, and for bringing us beautiful flowers this week!

UPCOMING CALENDAR EVENTS:

  • Tuesday, December 5th: Our next field trip! Wahoo! We plan to leave school on the bus at 10:30 and go right up the road to the Flying Dog Ranch. George and Patti Stranahan have graciously given us permission to hike up behind their house and to explore the property beyond. We will be keeping an eye out for evidence of beaver activity, and we will also be seeing how other animals and plants adapt to changes in their environment.
  • Thursday, December 7th: The Ks are having a cookie sale to support their annual Gift Giving project. Cookies will be $2.00 a piece, and there will be a limit of one cookie per person.
  • Wednesday, December 13th: The K-4 Winter Festival! Come join us in the Central Area from 5:30pm until 6:30pm. You will be regaled with stunning and multi-cultural musical interludes as you wonder and marvel at the incredible work that your child has produced in class this semester.

OTHER CLASSROOM NEWS:

  • We are in search of small, short, cleaned, glass jars for an upcoming project. If you happen to find any little glass jars kicking around your kitchen or your recycle bin, then would you mind bringing them in? Thank you!
  • Even though we’re in the midst of this snow-free playground situation, will you please keep an eye on the weather? It’s supposed to get a bit mucky early next week, and we will absolutely be going outside for our recesses. Boots and jackets will be necessary!

That’s our news from 1-2 Land. Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see you and/or your child back in school on Monday!

– Kristina, Casey, and Katie