Dear Families,
I wish you a wonderful spring break! This afternoon Ron and I are going to our cabin for a few days. We plan to take a few long runs and just relax. Then next Friday we will all fly to Boston to watch our son Nolan race in the Boston Marathon on Monday 4/21. I am really looking forward to seeing him race this year. Last year when we went to see Nolan race I was in a much different place than I am right now. In 2013 I was still recovering from my illness and I was not very strong. Plus as we all know last year’s Boston Marathon had a rough ending. We are looking forward to a much calmer and peaceful event. If you happen to want to track Nolan his bib number is 959. I have to admit I am a very proud Mamma!

I look forward to seeing all of you when I return! Katie will be with the learners on Monday 4/21 and Tuesday 4/22. I will be back at CLC on Wednesday 4/23.
1. Sharing topic for the week of 4/21 – Free Choice or something special from spring break

2. SAVE THE DATE – Class Play performance on Wednesday, May 21 at 6:30pm
Monday – We had our second lesson on our new unit of study on Plants. This week the learners did an experiment to see what would happen if we cut the stem, leaves, roots, or flowers off a plant. We looked at the plants each day this week to see what happened to each plant after either the stem, leaves, roots, or flowers were cut-off. While half the class had science with the parent volunteers in Educare the other half had Slingerland handwriting time. We have now completed all of the lowercase letters and moved onto uppercase letter formation. I will be moving through the uppercase letter formation at a faster pace. Since we learned the lower case letters so carefully and over a long period of time that I plan to teach four uppercase letters per week. The uppercase letters for this week were H, B, L, and K. After recess we had spanish, and writers workshop. We are now in the process of editing and publishing our non-fiction books.

Tuesday – we began our sixth 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 the special authors visit that I blogged about on Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday – we had math tiles and we also worked on editing and publishing our non-fiction books. Then we had garden time and music. I sent a blog update on our garden lesson on Wednesday afternoon. We also had the very special all school staff appreciation assembly. Thank you for the wonderful assembly and lunch! I felt very loved and appreciated!
Thursday – We began our day with writers workshop and the good news is we have now officially completed our non-fiction books. Then we had spanish and recess. After recess was cooking – the first graders made yummy homemade pancakes with fresh berries. 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: y, q, z, and x and the short vowel sounds a, i, o, u, and e.

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

• paying attention to punctuation as we read – this allowed us to discover some new forms of punctuation that we had not seen before
• we learned about words that start with “wh” – when, where, why, who etc…
• we learned about compound words – we made a list of different compounds words that we found in our guided reading book
Math in Room 10
This week our number talks were about story / word math problems. For example on Tuesday the story was – Hazel ate 5 cookies, Ginger ate 6 cookies, and Ron ate 7 cookies. How many did they eat all together? The first part of the problem was to decide if it was an addition or subtraction equation. Then the learners shared how they figured out a solution for the equation. Another story problem later in the week was Ron bought 22 donuts and 9 are missing. How many donuts does Ron have left-over?