Dear Families,
I wish you all a wonderful long weekend.  I plan to take a few long runs, and I am looking forward to it.  I signed up for the Berkeley 1/2 marathon, so I am increasing mileage over the next few weeks.  On Saturday our older son Nolan at CAL plans to come home for a few days, so it will be nice to have all three of my kids home and under one roof.  I treasure the time we are all together and I am looking forward to making a special Sunday night family dinner. On Monday I plan to work on the progress report cards, which will be sent out to all of you on Friday, November 22.

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Reminders for the next few weeks:  
1.  Sharing topic for the week of 11/12 – Favorite book
 
2.  Banana Seed Book Fair – November 12 to 14.  Our class will visit the Book Fair on Tuesday 11/12 from 10:30 to 11:00

2. Here is the link to sign-up for our Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday, November 21 from 10:45 to 12:00.  I am asking that each child bring in their favorite dish for Thanksgiving.  This feast will be just for the children, to help us celebrate our sense of community and friendship in our class.  The potluck link:  http://www.luckypotluck.com/potluck/2013ThanksgivingFeast

4.  Save the date – for our Family Holiday Potluck/Celebration on Thursday, December 12 from 11:00 to 12:30.  I am asking that each family bring in a dish that you all enjoy for your own holiday celebrations during the month of November/December.  It would be wonderful if each child had at least one parent or relative in attendance. 

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Monday Science Center Time
Our science lesson was titled ”Composting,”  the learners made four small compost bins with items that would begin to break down and not break down over the next several weeks.  As a class we will check the bins once a week to see what has changed and/or stayed the same.  Some of the items buried in the bins were:  bottle caps, plastic spoons, newspaper pieces, banana peels , and apple cores.  While half the class had science with the parent volunteers in Educare the other half had Slingerland handwriting time with me.  This week we learned/reviewed g, k,h, l, c, b, and a.
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Tuesday K/1 Special 
On Tuesday we had our third session of our second 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.

After Specials we had our first lesson on how to write a personal narrative/small moment.  I read the learners the book “A Chair For My Mother,” which is a wonderful book about a small moment for the young girl in the story.  We spent the week talking about what is a personal narrative  and how to write about small moments in our daily lives.

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Wednesday Center Time  
We started our day with our morning meeting and then got ready for the “great quake – shake-out” drill that took place at 9:00am.  The drill went quite smoothly and the learners were very well prepared and comfortable with the whole process.  After the drill, I read them the book “Giving Thanks” that I blogged about a few days ago.  After recess we had our wonderful lesson in the garden about seed saving and then we wrote in our writers portfolios about what we are thankful for…  I posted a blog about it a few days ago. 

Garden Time – Seed Saving
I sent photos and a garden time update on Wednesday evening.  Please refer to my earlier blog for that update.  

Families
We had a wonderful Families meeting.  The learners played fun games together as a family, and one of the games was “duck, duck, goose.”
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Thursday Writers Workshop and FT to the Fire Station  

On Thursday morning we had our morning meeting  and then another lesson on how to write a personal narrative.  We continued our discussion on the book “A Chair For My Mother.”  Then we had snack and got ready to depart for the Fire Station. I sent an e-mail update about our FT on Thursday afternoon.
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First Grade Language Arts time 

This week I started to re-access all of the first graders in reading, and I will be forming new guided reading groups by the middle of next week.  All of the learners have made amazing progress.  We also continued with our small group guided reading instruction, phonics lessons, and writing time.  During our phonics time we have learned how to stretch out the sounds we hear in our words when we are spelling.  So far this year we have learned the following sounds: M, S, F, B, T, C, R, and the short vowel sound a.
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 Math in Room 10
Our number talks this week continued with the theme of learning how to be flexible with where we see the = sign.  The learners had several “ah, ah” moments during our talks.  Two of my lessons this week were titled is this statement true or false.  Some of my math equations were:  8+1 = 0+9,  9+0 = 4+5, and 4+3 = 4+2 –  I always say that the “=” sign means is the say as.  The other lesson they love is when I ask them to find my missing number for example – on the whiteboard I will draw a number line that starts at 50 and ends at 250. Then I tell them they have to guess my number.  These types of lessons really help them with their number sense.