Dear Families,
I wish you all a peaceful and relaxing weekend. Ron and I will take a long run in Huddart Park on Sunday to become familiar with the 6 mile loop that we will all be hiking next Sunday for the “Mini Hike For A Cure” on 4/6.

Next week will be exciting for the children because we will begin the process of creating our class play. I will send out a detailed e-mail about the class play early next week.

1. Sharing topic for the week of 3/24 – Free Choice

2. Second Harvest Food Bank Drive for the end of our unit on Community- It begins on Monday, March 31 and ends on Friday, April 4. Please bring your non-perishable food (no glass) and place the food in the barrels in front of the K/1 classrooms.
Monday – We had our final lesson for our unit of study on Community. The learners had a discussion about what is the Second Harvest Food Bank and why is a food bank an important part of our community. Then each group made a poster for our food drive that will take place from Monday, March 31 to Friday, April 4. While half the class had social studies with the parent volunteers in Educare the other half had Slingerland handwriting time. This week we learned/reviewed all of the lowercase letters we have learned this year and I taught them the letters w and x. After recess we had spanish, and writers workshop. This week we completed the process of writing down the four facts about our non-fiction book topics. We also completed the special “all about the author” page for the final page in their books.

Tuesday – we began our second session of our fifth 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 recess we had writers workshop and the learners completed their special “all about the author” page to be placed at the end of their published non-fiction books. The children were quite excited for this part of the project. Many of them commented during the rest of the week that they looked for the “all about the author” page when they were reading or looking at a book.
Wednesday – we did not have our regular center time on Wednesday due to the author visit. I posted a blog update on Wednesday about the author visit and our garden lesson. After garden time we had music and we ended our day with Families. For Families this week the children learned about the Second Harvest Food Bank Drive and made information posters for each of the classrooms.
Thursday – We began our day with writers workshop and completed the process of writing down the four facts about our non-fiction book topics. Ron also came for a special visit and read the children a fun book titled “My dog is as smelly as dirty socks.” Then we had spanish and recess. After recess was cooking and our slingerland review lesson. This week the first graders made homemade healthy chex mix that had popcorn, pumpkin seeds, soybean seeds, pretzels and dried fruit. Then the children had PE.

First Grade Language Arts time
During language arts time this week the learners moved through centers that worked on their sight words, phonics, independent reading/writing, listening center, and our guided reading groups. Our phonics lessons this week worked on practicing the consonant sounds: W, H, J, K, V, R and the short vowel sounds a, i, o, and u.

Here is a list of items that each guided reading group learned about this week:

  • paying attention to punctuation as we are reading out loud
  • we learned about words that start with “th” – the, them, then, and that
  • we learned about contractions

Math in Room 10
This week we learned a fun math game to work on math strategies for place value. There were two versions of this game. The first one was rolling a die that had the numbers 1 to 30 on it. The learners had to build the number they rolled on the place values mat, and then write down the number of blocks in each place value column. For example if they rolled 28 there was two blocks in the ten column and 8 blocks in the one column. Then once they became comfortable with this game (although many of them stayed at this level all week) I introduced another level for the game called “race to a flat.” For this version they had a hundred base-ten block (called a flat – 10×10) and they still rolled with the same die with numbers up to 30, but the new step of this game was filling up the 100’s flat. Once they covered the flat they could stat over again.