Dear Families,
This will be a very busy two days preparing for H4AC next weekend in Yosemite. Next Friday at this time we will be checking hikers in at H4AC headquarters in Curry Village. If you are curious about our hike or the foundation that Ron and I help to create please feel free to visit our websites at: http://www.histiocure.org or http://www.hikeforacure.com.

I will be leaving for Yosemite early on Friday morning 9/19. Ron and I will return on Tuesday, September, 23. The learners will be truly blessed in my absence because they will have the gift of three “Katie Days” in a row – Friday 9/19, Monday 9/22, and Tuesday 9/23 will all be “Katie Days” or as the kids call it “Special Days.”
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Important Reminders
• Center Time with volunteer parents will begin on Monday, September 29.
• BTSN is this Wednesday, September 17 from 6:30 to 8:00pm.
• SAVE THE DATE – Parent Social with Colleen and Katie will be on Friday evening, October 17 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. The social will be at my home in Belmont. We will send out a potluck sign-up later this week.
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Volunteer sign-up link for snack time help:
Here is a message from Colleen McGuire – she set-up this link for our class!
Colleen and Katie will need a volunteer each day for snack/recess from 10-10:45. I’ve created a Volunteer sign up so parents can help on the days that work for them rather than having to take on a regular weekly shift.
Please sign up for Room 10 Snack/Recess Helpers – here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/JYnpuR
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!
Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

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Language Arts:
Readers Workshop our lessons covered the topics below:

Why picture walks are important before we read a book
• it can help you read the story
• it can help you make predictions about the story
• it can help you read or sound out unknown word
• the pictures can actually tell the story

We also had a few lessons on learning about the beginning, middle, and ending of a story. I read them a wonderful story titled “Stelluna” and then we had a whole group lesson about the B, M, and E of the story. This lesson is taught and re-taught all year long. It is a very important concept that is used in all areas of language arts.

We began our “Letter of the Week” journals. The learners were very excited to learn how we will be using our alphabet journals this year. Our first lesson was an oral story that I shared about a “Wise Woman” who had a curved back and held a cane. As I told the story to your precious children I drew a picture of the wise woman and her cane. The children learned through the story that all letters are formed with curved and straight lines, which is why we started our alphabet journals with this lesson. When we use our journals each week the learners will be using our very special box crayons. I shared with the children that when they use these crayons something magical happens and they all become an artist. It was quite precious to watch their eyes as I explained how to use these crayons. They were all truly engaged and eager to use the crayons at their desk. Next week I will introduce the book we will be reading this year for our letter of the week journals “L, M, N, O, P, and all the Letters A to Z.”

Math:
This week we made our birthday graph and I posted a blog update about it on Thursday afternoon.

We continued with roll-n-write, several learners moved onto a new level this week. Like I mentioned last week, the first graders learned about roll-n-write – it is a fun math activity because it allows the children to all be at their own individual levels. It is a math game that involves using dice and you learn about addition, and subtraction. It does move onto multiplication and division.

We also had a few number talks, and we continued with the current theme of looking at dot patterns on cards for 3 seconds and then they raise their hands and share how many dots they think they saw and also share what strategy they used to count the dots. The strategies we have covered so far are grouping, and counting on.

Classroom Agreements:
On Monday and Tuesday we reviewed all that we had written and discussed about what we needed to learn, grow, and explore this year. We had several class meetings on these topics. On Wednesday after these conversations they all got to raise their hands and share what they felt should be written in our classroom agreements. I just made a very long list on the whiteboard. Then we grouped common ideas together and came up with five categories. From these five categories each table group wrote out a few sentences to make up what they felt should be in our five classroom agreements. It was quite a long process but by the end it felt so good to me because it truly came from them, it was their words not my words.

Our classroom agreements are listed below:
We promise to respect each other’s personal space.
We promise to work hard and do our best work.
We promise to raise our hand when we want to speak.
We promise to be kind, thoughtful, and include everyone in our play.