Dear Families,
I hope you all enjoy your long weekend.  Our son Nolan is heading back to CAL today, his final semester at Berkeley begins on Tuesday.  It has been so wonderful to have my kids home for four weeks.  I have to admit it is hard for me to see him go, but the memories of these past few weeks will make it easier.  The simple things like having family dinner time each day is what I have enjoyed the most.  I know that we will have many more meals together down the road of what we all call life, but the first few days are always a bit hard for me when one of my kids leaves home. 
 
I hope you will all enjoy this lovely weekend weather!  Ron and I plan to take a long run tomorrow, most likely in Half Moon Bay.
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1.  As a reminder please help your learner begin making his/her Valentine cards for our Post Office Unit.  I sent out two e-mail regarding the post office this week. 
Here is the Post Office Homework Quick Recap:

• Please have your child make  21 homemade valentine’s for each learner in the classroom.  
• Each Valentine needs to be signed by the sender.
• Please put each valentine in an envelope with an address label in the correct position and have your child hand-write the recipients name on the envelope above their address label
• The Valentine’s have to be completed and at school by Monday, February 10 for our Post Office Unit.
• Bring ‘stamps’ in as you collect them
• Bring in a shoe box by Thursday 2/6
 
2.  Sharing topic for the week of 1/21 – Favorite stuffed animal
 
3.  On Tuesday 1/21 their will be a guest teacher because the K/1 Team is having an off-site Professional Development Curriculum Planning Day.  
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Monday – We had our second lesson on Community.  In our lesson we learned about the differences between living in the city vs in a rural farm area.  The learners were read two stories about living in the city vs living on a farm.  Then they completed a venn diagram about what was the same and different in each community. While half the class had social studies with the parent volunteers in Educare the other half had Slingerland handwriting time with me.  This week we learned/reviewed all of the lowercase letters we have learned this year and I taught them the letters i and j.  Like I shared last week now that the learners are efficient with the slingerland method, I will be teaching two to three letters per week and then moving onto uppercase letters.  After I taught them i and j they had a wonderful review lesson of the other letters taught this year.  After recess we had spanish, and free choice.
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Wednesday –  we had math tiles and our first lesson on how to write a friendly letter.  I explained the post office project and then we learned how to write a friendly letter.  Each group wrote a practice “friendly letter” to Ron and Hazel.  It was a fun learning experience and lesson.   After recess we had garden time. I sent a blog update about our garden lesson on Wednesday afternoon.  Then we had music and we ended our day with an all school assembly put on by the second graders.  The second grade classes sang us several songs that they have been learning this year during their music time with Erin.  It was a very sweet and fun assembly. 

 

And one last item – Ron and Hazel came for a special visit on Wednesday morning before center time.  He shared a fun Hazel mischief story from Christmas Day.  Please ask your learner about what Hazel ate for her Christmas dinner/dessert.

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Thursday – we started our day with a class meeting on Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a wonderful follow-up lesson on previous lessons and discussions about MLK.  (I wrote blog update on MLK earlier this week.)  I read them the book “March On!” written by Christine King Farris (Martin Luther King’s sister) which is a special book about the day Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream speech.”  The book lead to an amazing class discussion on what was MLK message in his speech.  Next week I plan to have the children write in their writers portfolios to the prompt “I have a dream…”   At the end of our class meeting we made a list of what the learners thought Martin Luther King’s dream was:
  • To make sure everyone is treated fairly
  • To not judge people by the color of their skin but by their behavior
  • to solve fights with words not fist
  • that we should all use kind words
  • he wanted everyone to be friends
  • he wanted us to solve our problems with our words 
 Then we had spanish, cooking time, slingerland, and PE.  This week the kinders made homemade butter like the first graders did last week.
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First Grade Language Arts time
I finished reassessing all of the learners in reading and I will forming new guided reading groups. In the afternoon after lunch we continued with our regular phonics lessons, and independent reading/writing time.  Our phonics lessons involved reviewing the consonant sounds b, g, j, k, l, m, n, p , r, s, t, and the vowel sounds u, a, i, and they also learned the new vowel sound e. These lessons are part of our phonics small group centers that we have in the afternoon.   
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 Math in Room 10
Our number talks continued to revolve around adding two-digit numbers.  We had another lesson using base ten blocks which as I shared last week is a wonderful way for the learners to experience addition visually and physically. This week, we built numbers like 70 and 20 and then we did numbers like 30 and 33 using base ten blocks and our place value mat.  We also played games to work on our math facts.