Dear Families,
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Ron, my dad, and I spent the weekend in Tuolumne Meadows preparing for our hike to the top of Clouds Rest in three weeks at H4AC.  Yesterday we actually hiked to the top of Clouds Rest from the Tuolumne Meadows trailhead.  It was an amazing hike, it is a much shorter route from Tuolumne Meadows 14.5 miles vs 24 miles from Curry Village, but equally hard just not as long.  Ron and I had done the hike from CV in June 2012, but we had never taken the trail from Tuolumne Meadows.  I will be leading the hike from this venue in three weeks, so now I feel prepared and ready to go.  The other good news is 120 is now open from Groveland, and they hope to open the road from CV to Tuolumne Meadows on Monday.

I look forward to seeing all of your precious children tomorrow morning.
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Here is an update from Wednesday and Thursday in Room 10.  We continued to work on forming our classroom community.  I had planned to create / write our classroom agreements last Thursday but decided to postpone it until tomorrow since we had several children absent last week.  I will post an update with our new classroom agreements early this week.

Last week I posted photos from our gardening time on 9/4 of the children massaging the soil.  Our lesson on 9/4 was titled “Plant vs People Places.”  The children learned about the different between a “plant vs people place” in the garden.  We did this by touching and experiencing the differences between the soil in the garden beds vs the walkways.  We also made a list of what the differences were between the two soils.  We ended our lesson by massaging the soil in the garden bed and discussing the composition of the soil.  

After recess on Wednesday we had music time with Ruth and they learned one of my favorite songs “Puff the Magic Dragon.”  Ruth continued to teach them how to hear the syllables in their names by tapping the sounds they hear with sticks.

On Wednesday and Thursday we had two number talks.  We continued our discussion on the different strategies we can use when adding numbers.  Some of the children realized that using their fingers would not work very efficiently once we began adding larger one digit numbers.  This lead to a wonderful discussion on how “counting on” is a much more efficient strategy. On Thursday for math time they created different shapes with unifix cubes.  

The attached photos were taken during language arts time with the first graders on Thursday afternoon.  We are in the process of assessing all of the first graders in reading and while we are assessing them the learners are rotating through three stations.  We actually call assessment time with Colleen/Katie “interview time.”  We do this so the children will view time with Colleen/Katie for assessments as a “special time” not as a scary testing time.  The photos are of the children at the listening center, pattern block/math station, and writing center (the writing prompt was “Today I feel…”), and the final center was working with me.