Dear Families,
This weekend will be a special one for me.  On Sunday I am running in the Nike Women’s 1/2 marathon.  I have been running for many years, but this race is a milestone for me.  As some of you know I got very ill last winter and was not able to run for 6 months.  I remember during my illness I often wondered if I would ever be able to run again the way I had done in the past.  On July 1, I received the go-ahead from my doctor that I could begin running again and I have been training ever since that day.  Last Sunday on my final training run I felt strong and so grateful to be alive and well again.  So needless to say I will probably have my slowest race ever, but I know I will finish the race with joy in my heart and a smile on my face.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!  I also wanted to say thank you for our parent conferences this week.  
Important dates for the next few weeks:
1.  Tuesday 10/22 –  FT to the Pumpkin Patch in HMB 

2.  Sharing topic for the week of 10/21 – bring something about your favorite Fall sport

3.  Halloween information for the week of 10/28 –  I like to keep Halloween low key in our classroom.  Please send your child to school dressed in their normal clothes on 10/31.  They can bring their costume to school on Thursday, October 31 in a bag labeled with their name.
Here is the schedule:
We will have our a special center time on Thursday 10/31 parent volunteers will be needed to run four different Halloween themed centers.   Center Time will be from  8:45 to 10:05.  All of the kids will go to each center for 20 minutes.  Please e-mail me if you can volunteer to help with center time!

– decorate pumpkin cookies/or cupcakes
– carve a pumpkin – first predict how many seeds will be in the pumpkin and then count all the seeds.
– art project – painting pumpkins
– Halloween bingo

 8:45 to 10:05 Halloween centers
10:05 to 10:15 snack
10:15 to 10:30  recess
10:30 to 10:45 get dressed in their costumes – parent volunteers are needed to help at this time
10:45 to 11:45 Halloween parade and then the CLC Carnival (Stacy explained the carnival in detail in her e-mail earlier this week)
12:00 regular Kinder dismissal
Parents are welcome to join us for the Halloween Parade and Carnival.  If you would like to come at 10:30 to help the children get on their costumes that would be helpful.  After the carnival the kinders will go home at their regular dismissal time.  First graders will go home at their regular dismissal time 3:00pm.

4.  Friday, November 1 – NO SCHOOL – educator in-service day

Monday Center Time
On Monday we had our second science unit of study on Recycling.  Our lesson was titled ”Living vs Non-living things,”  the children had a discussion on what is a living vs non-living thing and then they made a chart with both items.  They glued pictures from magazines in the correct columns.  This was a good follow-up lesson from last week’s lesson on “Hurt No Living Thing.”  

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 times 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 learned/reviewed k,h, l, and b) 
Tuesday K/1 Special 
On Tuesday we had the fourth 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 had 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 had our letter of the week lesson. We read our sixth story from the “Wise Enchanter” storybook about the letter E.  The story was about the boy named Sipho and how his dream from when he lived in Africa helped them to learn about the letter E and elephants. Sipho is one of the four children in the story who is in search of the castle of the Wise Enchanter. Please ask your child about the adventure of Sipho and the elephant.
Garden Time 
I sent photos and a garden time update on Wednesday evening.  Please refer to my earlier blog for that update.

We had our second “families” meeting of the school year.  The lesson for this week was to draw a self-portrait and write down three things about yourself.  At the end of the session the learners shared what they had learned about each other.
Thursday Center Time Cooking
Each week half the class will cook during cooking center time.  The cooking project for today was making fresh vegetable dip to enjoy with lots of lovely vegetables.  Yes, believe it or not your precious children were not only eating vegetables but ENJOYING them.  Our room smelled like fresh herbs while they made this yummy dip.  While the half of the learners cook the other half do a practice/review session of their slingerland letters.  This week for slingerland we learned the letter k and reviewed h, l, and b.
First Grade Language Arts time
Starting again next week after parent conferences we will continue with our 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 12.  (there was a typo from last week)  They are truly enjoying this most wonderful story!
 Math in Room 10
We are continuing with our number talks and discovering new strategies to solve our math equations.  This week our number talks were about learning how to make the math equations true statements.  Here is one of the math equations that we worked on:
6+4 = (equals or is the same as) __ + 6
the question was – to make this statement true what was the missing number.  We had a lively discussion on what was the missing number.  At first some of the learners said 10 because they had just added up 6+4 and immediately said 10, but after some careful thought and consideration as a class we realized the missing number was 4.  We will continue with this type of number talks for several weeks.