What a Week!

Holy shamolies, what a few weeks we’ve just had! From crazy mixed up schedules to aggressive germ fighting to an incredible CTB performance… we’re relieved to be exiting this short week holding onto our hats.

Here’s a small glimpse inside of our recent classroom universe:

First Grade:

READING AND PHONICS UPDATE FROM KRISTINA:

  • First grade readers are working hard to pull their phonics information into their everyday reading lives. As they read, they are on the lookout for twin letters (like in little or butter), three letter “sticky” blends (like in scrub or three), words “in disguise” (contractions like it’s and she’ll), vowel teams (like in toad and snail), and compound words (like toolbox and fireman). They’re also using parts of words they already know (like the sh in she) to read words they are not yet familiar with (like shake). That’s a ton of reading and thinking work!

WRITING UPDATE FROM SUSAN:

  • First grade writers chose two of four writing prompts to explore their reflections and thoughts about Celebrate the Beat. Check in with your young writer to see if he or she wrote about a favorite part of CTB, a part that was challenging, some new information that was learned, or wishes for a future performance.
  • Adding arguments to their opinion pieces was the other focus for first grade writers this week. Collections are no longer needed for writing inspiration at school, so keep an eye out for their return home.

MATH UPDATE FROM BO:

  • Holy cow, first graders are cruising through math content and diving in with ease! We wrapped up our unit on measurement and fractions earlier than expected since these little math machines can plug and chug with larger numbers. Our next unit is all about number games and becoming automatic with different number combinations. Since we have been working on this skill throughout the year I expect their mighty math brains will eat up this new content. Things to help at home include casually asking your students to combine numbers 0-10 and beyond!

Second Grade:

READING AND PHONICS UPDATE FROM KRISTINA:

  • Second grade readers have been looking carefully at the different spelling patterns in words that rhyme. They’ve explored the crazy fact that -igh- says “I”, and have found it in so many words in their books. Making rhymes on the fly is also something that they’ve been playing around with, so if you find your household speaking (or rapping!) in rhymes this week… now you know why!
  • Second grade readers also looked carefully at the differences between fake and real reading – we had quite the eye-opening conversation!

WRITING UPDATE FROM KRISTINA:

  • Second grade writers are wrapping up their fiction stories as well as writing their CTB reflections. Be sure to check in with your writer to find out more about these detailed processes.

MATH UPDATE FROM BO:

  • Back in class we are moving past our money and cents unit. We are moving into consistently working with two digit numbers. Specifically, how to work out equations that have one missing part. For example, ___- 43=20? We are working on strategies to uncover these mysteries in class. This type of thinking takes a bit longer for most students since a key part of the story is missing. Skills to work on at home include underlining the important words in the story problems and creating the number equations that match.

Everyone:

OTHER CLASSROOM NEWS:

  • Kristina and Susan are headed to Denver this afternoon for the annual Colorado literacy conference (CCIRA). We are excited for three and a half days dedicated to learning more about teaching reading and writing, practicing our craft in workshops, and meeting some of the literacy rockstars that come to this incredible conference.
  • Valentine’s Day is next week! We will celebrate as a class on the afternoon of Friday, February 14th. Susan has emailed a list of first and second grade names, so please reach out if you did not receive that resource. We really only have a few classroom “rules” around this celebration: If your child is going to make a valentine for one person, then your child makes one for everyone. Our goal of our Valentine’s Day celebration is to include and honor everyone in our classroom community, and – of course! – to enjoy our time together. Treats are fine (please remember that we have some serious nut allergies in our classroom), words are fine, homemade is fine, store-bought is fine, and even nothing is fine!

UPCOMING CLASSROOM EVENTS:

  • Thursday, February 6th – No school. Professional Development Day.
  • Friday, February 7th – No school. Teacher Workday.
  • Wednesday, February 12th – our next skating day.
  • Friday, February 14th – Valentine’s Day.
  • Saturday, February 15th – ACS/CCS Hoedown at Cozy Point! Follow this link for tickets, volunteer information, online auction details, and MORE!

MOMENTS OF GRATITUDE:

  • Thanks, Lieba, for finishing up our x-c boot fitting!
  • Thanks, Kathy, for being our Celebrity Guest Reader, for teaching us about the Chinese New Year, and for keeping our portfolio organization happening!
  • Thanks, Karina, for being our Celebrity Guest Reader!
  • Thanks, Aminah and Vince, for the delicious birthday donuts!
  • Thanks, everyone, for coming to support our CTB performance!

That’s it from us these days. Enjoy your long weekend, and we’ll see you and/or your fabulous kiddo back in school on Monday morning!

Love,

Us