Dear Families,
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!  Ron and I are going to our cabin this weekend and it looks like there will actually be snow.  I am hoping we will be able to ski on Saturday.  If it is not too cold we will probably go for a run on Sunday morning before we head back home.
1.  As a reminder please help your learner finish making his/her Valentine cards for our Post Office Unit.  
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 2/3 – Something about your favorite winter sport
3.  On Monday, February 3 the K/1 Team will be off-site working collaboratively with the K/1 educators at Peninsula School in Menlo Park.  The learners will have a guest educator. I am really looking forward to this day at Peninsula School.  We have been planning for this day of collaboration for several months and it is quite exciting to see it all come together.  We will be observing the K/1 classrooms, touring the other pre-school thur 8th grade classrooms, and then spending the rest of the day collaborating with the K/1 educators.  I taught and/or was a parent at Peninsula School for 19 years, so it is quite special for me to go back to Peninsula and share it with my colleagues and work collaboratively with the K/1 educators at Peninsula.

Monday – We had our third lesson on Community and we learned about places in our neighborhood.  The children made books that reviewed the important parts of a neighborhood: post office, fire station, police station, grocery store, library, doctor’s office etc…  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 p and m.  Now that the learners are efficient with the slingerland method, I am teaching two letters per week and I will be moving onto uppercase letters very soon.  After recess we had spanish, and free choice.
Wednesday –  we had math tiles and our letter of the week lesson on “K.”  The story was about the very “kind king.”  Please ask your learners how the four children in the story were able to cross over the gorge.  After recess we had garden time. I sent a blog update about our garden lesson on Wednesday afternoon. Then we ended our day with Families and our lesson was making “love notes” expressing how much our families meant to us this year. 

Thursday – we started our day with a special visit from Sabrina’s family to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  I posted a blog about it on Thursday morning.  Then we had cooking and we wrote in our writers portfolios to the prompt of “Happy New Year.”  The learners wrote about all that they had learned about the Chinese New Year.  For cooking this week the first graders made a delicious green salad with yummy homemade dressing.  I have never seen so many young children happy and excited to eat vegetables!
First Grade Language Arts time
Last week I explained that we began meeting with our newly formed guided reading groups. And as review I explained that our reading groups change often as the learners progress to different reading levels during the school year. We always make sure they are in a reading group that is at the appropriate level to challenge them and move them forward in their reading ability. Currently we have three guided reading groups that Katie or I meet with each afternoon. When we are meeting with them for small group instruction, we start with a mini lesson that meets the needs of the current learners in each group. After the lesson each group reads out loud to us. For example this week in the different groups we worked on:

  • paying attention to punctuation as we are reading out loud
  • we learned why and how we use quotation marks
  • we learned what it means when there is an “s” at the end of a word 
  • we learned that looking at the pictures can give us clues if we come to a word in the story that we do know recognize

Math in Room 10
This week we began learning about money.  Our question for our morning meeting on Wednesday was “what do we know about money?”  This question lead to a wonderful discussion on why our society needs money.  We had several math talks about how many pennies are in a nickel, dime, quarter, and even a dollar.  We had a fun discussion about the fact that the dime is the smallest coin but it is worth more than a penny.  These math talks are important  as we prepare for the Post Office Unit beginning in only two week!