Dear Families,
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend.  We went to Anton’s cross country meet this morning in SF at Golden Gate Park.  Anton is a freshman at Carlmont and is very excited to be a member of the XC team.  We are a family of runners, so it is special for me to see him discovering the joy of running.  The rest of our weekend will be spent preparing for H4AC in a few more weeks.  The hike to the top of Clouds Rest is now only two weeks away.  
Important Reminders
  • Center Time with volunteer parents will begin on Monday, October 7.
  • BTSN is this Wednesday, September 18 from 6:30 to 8:00pm.
  • SAVE THE DATE   – Parent Social with Colleen and Katie will be on Sunday evening, October 6  from 4:30 to 6:30pm.  The social will be at my home in Belmont.  We will send out a potluck sign-up later this week.  


Language Arts:

Readers Workshop our lessons covered the topics below:

Why picture walks are important before we read a book
  • it can help you read the story 
  • it can help you make predictions about the story
  • it can help you read or sound out unknown word
  • the pictures can actually tell the story

We also had a few lessons on learning about the beginning, middle, and ending of a story.  I read them a wonderful story titled “Stelluna” and then we had a whole group lesson about the B, M, and E of the story.  This lesson is taught and re-taught all year long.  It is a very important concept that is used in all areas of language arts. 

We began our “Letter of the Week” journals.  The learners were very excited to learn how we will be using our alphabet journals this year.  Our first lesson was an oral story that I shared about a “Wise Woman” who had a curved back and held a cane.  As I told the story to your precious children I drew a picture of the wise woman and her cane.  The children learned through the story that all letters are formed with curved and straight lines, which is why we started our alphabet journals with this lesson.  When we use our journals each week the learners will be using our very special box crayons.  I shared with the children that when they use these crayons something magical happens and they all become an artist.  It was quite precious to watch their eyes as I explained how to use these crayons.  They were all truly engaged and eager to use the crayons at their desk.  As I finished the lesson one of the learners raised her hand and said Katie must have had these crayons as a child because she became such an incredible artist.  I have to admit this was one of my favorite moments this week as an educator.  I love to tell stories and it warms my heart when I see that my stories help to open up their minds to new and exciting ideas.

This week we made a graph titled “Favorite Lunches” to learn what types of lunches we all like to eat.  We also learned about tally marks and how they can be used to count/collect information.  We noticed that when we used tally marks we could quickly add up numbers by counting by 5’s.  We also discovered the different types of data we gather from our lunch graph. 
We continued with roll-n-write, several learners moved onto a new level this week.  Like I mentioned last week, the first graders learned about roll-n-write  –  it is a fun math activity because it allows the children to all be at their own individual levels.  It is a math game that involves using dice and you learn about addition, and subtraction.  It does move onto multiplication and division.  

We also had a few number talks, and we continued with the current theme of looking at dot patterns on cards for 3 seconds and then they raise their hands and share how many dots they think they saw and also share what strategy they used to count the dots.  The strategies we have covered so far are grouping, and counting on.

Social and Emotional Learning:

This week we continued to practice and model what we will be using when we have an upset with one of our friends.  I read them the book “When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really, Angry” the story lead to some nice discussions on how to react when we get angry with one of our classmates. 

I feel….  (mad)When you… (took my book)Because… (I am not done reading it)I wish…. (you would ask me if you could read it after I am done instead of grabbing it away from me)

On Monday  we also learned how the receiver will respond when there is an upset. 
Receiver says:I heard you say…. (that you feel mad when I grabbed your book)I will try…. (next time to ask you if I can read the book when you are done instead of taking it)
Special Visitor: 
Ron came for a visit on Thursday morning and he read them the book “Marley Goes To School”  but he changed the name to “Ginger Goes To School” and the children loved the story.  He has already become a special friend to the children in our class.  Ron also brought our other sweet and loving dog named Ginger. The children were all very excited to meet Ginger. 
Classroom Agreements:
On Wednesday and Thursday  we reviewed all that we had written and discussed about what we needed to learn, grow, and explore this year.  We had several class meetings on these topics.  On Thursday after these conversations they all got to raise their hands and share what they felt should be written in our classroom agreements.  I just made a very long list on the whiteboard.  Then we grouped common ideas together and came up with five categories.  From these five categories each table group wrote out a few sentences to make up what they felt should be in our five classroom agreements. It was quite a long process but by the end it felt so good to me because it truly came from them, it was their words not my words.  Our classroom agreements are listed below.  
Classroom Agreements:

1.  We promise to be kind, nice, and gentle to each other.
2.  We promise to listen to our educators.
3.  We promise to be a good friend.
4.  We promise to have a calm classroom.
5.  We promise to share and be careful with our classroom supplies.