Dear Families,
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.  I plan to rest and take a long run on Sunday morning to enjoy the fall colors.  I also plan to prepare for our upcoming parent conferences next week.  

Parent Conferences begin on Monday!
If possible we like for the learners to join us for the first 5 to 10 minutes of the conference, and then your child is welcome to go to educare while we finish his/her conference. 

All five days next week are minimum days for 1st – 8th grades (12:45 pm dismissal).  The kindergarten learners will keep their regular schedule during the week of conferences (12:00 noon dismissal M, T, Th, and F; 12:45 dismissal on W).  We do understand that logistically this may cause some inconvenience for families that have children in other grade levels but the K/1 educators feel strongly that, this early in the school year, it is in the kinders’ best interest to keep them on their regular schedule. 

Monday Center Time

On Monday we began our first science unit of study on Recycling.  Our first lesson was titled “Hurt No Living Thing,”  the parent volunteers read the children a poem that supports the concept that our earth is a “shared space” that we all need to learn to live in respectfully together. I think it gets at the core of why we reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot!  Over the weekend please talk to your children about ways we can respect the earth, and all it’s inhabitants big and small, those with words, and those that can’t speak for themselves.  When I think about these ideas, I am reminded of why I really enjoy teaching this unit.

While half the class had science with the parent volunteers in Educare the other half had Slingerland handwriting time with me. I know that I sent this to you a few weeks ago but here is a reminder in case you did not get a chance to read about the slinglerland program.  The slingerland program teaches the lower case letters first.  Currently I am introducing/teaching one letter each week, and once the children are more comfortable with the program, I will teach two letters per week.  During center time on Monday I plan to do the slinglerand lesson with the kinders while the first graders have science and then switch groups.  This will allow me to have a small group instruction time with each grade level when I introduce a new letter each week.  Then I will do a practice/review session of the letters we have learned every Thursday.  (this week we reviewed h, l, and b) 

Tuesday K/1 Special 
On Tuesday we had the third week of our first round of the K/1 Specials which is the same program that was formerly called seminars.  This year each child will rotate through all seven K-1 Specials.  The K/1 Specials will each last four weeks and we will have seven sessions from now until June.  The topics this year are: Mindfulness, Math in Art, Robotics, Handwork, Earth Science, Take a Part, and Archeology.

Wednesday Center Time
On Wednesday we began math tiles with our parent volunteers.   Math Tiles is a math activity that allows each child to work at their own pace.  They work on different math concepts that involve solving problems/equations which begins with counting and moves onto addition, subtraction, and eventually multiplication and division.  While half the class had math tiles the other half made their October calendars with me and then we switched groups.
Garden Time 
This week for garden time we had our first lesson about the garden fairies.  I read the learners the book titled “Fairy Houses” which is a wonderful book about a family that goes on vacation in Maine and the young girl in the book learns about Fairy Houses.  I also showed them photos of some amazing fairy houses from a book titled “Fairy Houses.”  Next week the second graders will come and share what they have learned about fairy houses and how to create/build their own fairy houses.  The following week we will be making our very own fairy houses.  This will most likely be a three week project.  I wish you could have seen the excitement and joy in their eyes when I shared that we will all make our very own fairy houses.
Thursday Center Time Cooking
Each week half the class will cook during cooking center time.  Last week the first graders made yummy apple turn-overs and this week the kinders made delicious turn-overs.  Our classroom smelled like a fresh bakery all afternoon.  While the half of the learners cook the other half do a practice/review session of their slingerland letters.
First Grade Language Arts time
I also wanted to give an update on first grade language arts time.  Each afternoon the first graders have small group guided reading instruction, phonics lessons, and writing time.  Our guided reading groups are running smoothly and the children are making amazing progress.  
I am also reading the first grade “Charlotte’s Web” and we just completed chapter 1.  They are truly enjoying this most wonderful story!
Math in Room 10
We are continuing with our number talks and discovering new strategies to use to solve our math equations.  We also continued to learn about graphs and how to collect and understand data.  We had several lessons on what we could learn from the birthday graph that we made – here are some of their discoveries:

Which month had the most birthday’s?
Which month had the least amount of birthday’s?

Which season had the most birthday’s?