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Here are some lovely photos of the gift exchange and Santa Lucia. Emilia and Ron took these photos and I wanted to post them to our blog, so you could all enjoy them!
On Friday we had a most wonderful gift exchange. it was so precious for me to watch the children give and receive their gifts. We live in a society that tends to place so much attention on buying “new” materials goods and it was so refreshing for me to see the children excited to receive a gift from their classmate that was homemade. It reminded me that what truly matters in life is the simple things, like homemade cookies, a hand painted frame, or a fairy house made out of recycled household items. Thank you for your support with this project, it has become such a treasured activity each December.
Santa Lucia was once again absolutely beautiful! The children were adorable, and seeing them walk into the gym with their candles was priceless! Thank you again for all of your support!
I wish you all a peaceful and relaxing winter break! My three children are home, I feel so grateful to just have them under one roof for a week. I plan to truly treasure this time with my family.
Here’s a quick posting about what we’ve been doing the last few “Katie Days”. We have been very busy gearing up for the holidays: we made the holiday twig ornaments, created a homemade gift for Colleen, even practiced for Santa Lucia in the rain. In math we’ve been focusing on the combinations to 10, playing “Make 10 Go Fish”, “Make Ten Concentration” and other fun games.
We also read one of my favorite winter book’s Hedgie’s Surprise by Jan Brett and made predictions and worked on our retelling skills. We also read The Mitten, another Jan Brett book, and compared the two stories both in plot and illustrations. Then we made pictures of mittens using cool colors for the backgrounds and warm colors for the mittens. In art we also made snowmen pictures showing the perspective of snowmen looking up at the snowy sky.
First graders have been doing some sight word activities and a place value game with popsicle sticks having 10 or 1 dots on it. They toss 10 sticks and figure out their number and if it is larger or smaller than their partner’s number.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday break and I look forward to a great 2015 with our wonderful class!
We had a very busy day in Room 10. The day began with Aidan and Colleen sharing about his family’s tradition of collecting Nutcrackers. Aidan was so excited and proud to share all of his nutcrackers with his friends.
This morning for center time we all enjoyed special Hanukkah themed activities. The children made delicious latkes, played dreidel, and wrote in their writer portfolios to the prompt “During the holidays my favorite family tradition is…” Thank you to the incredible volunteers who planned, shopped, and put on this very special event for the children to experience and enjoy!
This afternoon I opened the most precious gift ever from Katie and the children. They made me a collage of my favorite Piccasso drawing, the Peace Dove, using their thumbprints. As I gazed at the most beautiful picture tears were rolling down my face, I will alway treasure this gift from Katie and your precious children!
Last Wednesday came to visit the children with our precious dog Hazel. He also read the children the Santa Lucia story in preparation for the Santa Lucia Procession this coming Friday. Enjoy the photos!
After PE on Wednesday we made our December calendars, which the children took home last week. Here are some photos of the learners working on their calendars.
Once a month the children meet with their “CLC Family.” Every learner is part of a Family at CLC. Each educator has two family pods of nine learners – each family has one learner from each grade level K-8. The children are part of the same family pod for their entire nine years at CLC. Last week for Families the 5th/6th grade read their family the book “How Full Is Your Bucket?” Then they did an activity about how to fill each others buckets with positive comments. It was very sweet to watch how kind they were to one another. Here are a few photos of the activity.
On Thursday before our Holiday Celebration the 1st graders made their gingerbread houses during center time. Here are a few photos of their houses.
Thank you for joining us last week at the very special Holiday Celebration! I really appreciate how much effort every made to attend our celebration, even though it was raining so incredibly hard all morning long. I know it meant so much to the children that you all took time out of your busy lives to join us for this event. Thank you for all of your support each and everyday in our classroom.
December Curriculum Update
Writers Workshop Unit of Study for the month of December: How to make illustrations match the stories that we write
In this unit of study we will read lots of picture books with wonderful illustrations that add “words” and ideas to the story. We will look at different illustrators and get ideas from their work. We will look at the books we have made to see if we can add more information to our stories with pictures and/or more sentences. We will also have discussions about how important it is that our pictures match our words/stories.
We will complete their personal narratives/small moments by the time we leave for winter break.
Social Studies Unit of Study Families – October to Mid-December
All families are different.
Families are a connected group of people who care about one another.
We respect all different types of families, their beliefs, and values.
What is a family?
How are families similar and different to one another?
What are my family history and traditions?
Learners will know and understand
What constitutes a family
Family routines and activities
Families have similarities and differences
Their own family history
That the world is made up of different types of families
Learners will be able to
Investigate and explain the characteristics of their family.
How they live
Analyze and respect the similarities and differences between their own family and others.
Readers Workshop Unit of Study – November to December – Readers think and talk about books to develop ideas
Readers will learn:
how to retell story
how to envision, predict, and make connections with books
how to monitor comprehension
how to work on comprehension challenges
Phonics Lessons from Pinnell and Fountas for December
These lessons are taught each afternoon during our first grade language arts time. The lessons are taught in a systematic order to support the children in reading and writing through-out the school year.
The topics that will be covered during December are: (although this a rough schedule depending on how the lessons go each week, sometimes we may need more/less time for a certain lesson)
– hearing beginning and ending sounds in words
– identifying onsets and rimes
– hearing and blending onsets and rimes
– identifying and blending onsets and rimes
Unit of Study in Math – November/December: Number and Operations in Base Ten – First Grade
We study and learn how to count and write our numbers up 120. We will begin to work on understanding place value up to 100. We will also study how to compare numbers using the less than, more than, and equals symbols. Then we will move onto learning how to add within 100 including two-digit numbers.
Unit of Study in Math – November/December: Counting and Cardinality – Kindergarten
We will begin to learn how to count to 100 by ones and tens. We will also begin to learn how to write our numbers from 0 to 20. This will also include learning how to count and tell the number of objects within a group. Then we will start to explore how to compare numbers. Please note that we will continue to work on these concepts throughout year in all areas of mathematics.
Mindfulness – December
During the month of December I plan to focus on teaching the children to learn how to quiet their minds and being aware of the constant “chatter” in our brains. I will teach them about anchor breathing. My hope is by the time we leave for winter break they will have learned or been exposed to how to use anchor breathing to help them stay focused and quiet their mind when they are trying to be more mindful.
The information below is from “The Way of Mindful Education” this is the book that I am using as my guide for our daily mindfulness lessons.
The learning objectives for anchor breathing are:
– cultivating attention by using an awareness anchor
– finding stillness and relaxation within the body through breath awareness
– building an attention base for future emotional regulations lessons
I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I know this time of year can feel quite busy, so I hope you are all able to rest and enjoy some quiet moments as a family this weekend. I know I treasured the time I had with my three children who were all home for Thanksgiving last weekend. I am looking forward to a long and peaceful run this weekend.
1. The Family Holiday Potluck/Celebration is next Thursday, December 11 from 11:00 to 12:30. I am asking that each family bring in a dish that you all enjoy for your own holiday celebrations during the month of November/December. It would be wonderful if each child had at least one parent or relative in attendance.
Here is the link to sign-up to bring a dish for our celebration:
2. If you did not receive the letter about the gift exchange please let me know ASAP. I sent the letters home with the learners on Tuesday afternoon. We need all of the gifts wrapped and at school no later than Thursday, December 18. We will have the gift exchange on Friday 12/19 before the Winter Celebration.
3. CLC Winter Celebration is Friday 12/19 at 10:30am. Everyone is invited to attend. Our class will be starting the show with our annual Swedish Santa Lucia Festival of Lights celebration. Catherine’s mom Simona purchased the white shirts and ribbon for the girls to wear at the Winter Celebration. We are asking for a $4.00 donation to cover the cost of the white shirt and ribbon. I will hang up an envelope to collect the donations next week. The girls can keep the outfit after the show. The girls will also need to wear white tights.
The boys will wear a white button down collared shirt with khaki colored pants. Please send in your son’s white shirt by Monday 12/15 because we will have a few rehearsals before our performance on Friday 12/19.
We need to know if your child will not be at school on Friday, December 19 so we can plan accordingly. We have special plans for our last day on 12/19, it will really help to know in advance if your child will be out of town.
4. If you would like to share a special holiday tradition with our class please let me know ASAP! I believe it is special to have parents or grandparents to come and share how they celebrate their family holiday traditions during the month of December.
Monday – center time
We started our day with spanish and then we had our slingerland lesson. Our letter for the week was the lowercase g. While the kinders had a slingerland lesson, the first graders had social studies with Adam and Alvin in Educare. The lesson for this week was discussing and learning about their houses and about how other people live around the world. Then we switched groups and the kinders had social studies and the first graders had their final slingerland review lesson. After recess for garden time we went to visit our Fairy Houses in the lot above Edison School.
Tuesday – writers workshop and music
We began the day with our morning meeting and a wonderful mindfulness lesson. For the month of December, I am teaching the learners how to “quiet” their mind, so they can truly learn how to be mindful. I felt after several months of mindfulness they were ready to begin to learn how to quiet the constant “chatter’ in our brains. We had several deep discussions on how our brains are constantly thinking and working. We also discussed that sometimes our brains can cause us to not pay attention and it can get in the way of us “being and living” in the here and now. I have to say I am continually truly amazed by how insightful your children are when it comes to being mindful and learning how to “quiet” their minds.
Then we had writers workshop and continued to work on our personal narratives. After recess we had our weekly music lesson with Ruth.
Wednesday – writers workshop, math and art
We began our day with our letter of the week poem about the letter R. Then the children had PE and after recess we had our number knight lesson and started our art project to decorate our house for the family collage activity that we will complete on Monday. Wednesday was a very busy day!
Thursday center time
We had math tiles and cooking with our parent volunteers. Math Tiles is a math activity that allows each child to work at their own pace. They work on different math concepts that involve solving problems/equations which begins with counting and moves onto addition, subtraction, and eventually multiplication and division. While half the class had math tiles, the other half had cooking or a writers workshop with me.
This week the kinders made gingerbread houses. I sent photos of the houses in my blog update early this evening.
First Grade Language Arts time
This week we continued with our regular first grade languages art time. Each afternoon the first graders have small group guided reading instruction, a phonic lessons, and listening center and/or independent reading/writing time.
This week during guided reading we learned about: (each group is learning about different strategies based on their current reading level)
– paying attention to the print while reading – reading the words that we see (one to one correspondence)
– learning about word endings – s and ing
– learning about words with the ch blend sound for example – chair, chimp, choice
– learning about non-fiction books and what is a table of content
In phonics we have continued to learn about:
– hearing beginning and ending sounds
– identifying onsets and rimes
Math in Room 10
During our number talks this week we learned about greater than, less than, and equals or the same as. Some of the equations we discussed were:
10 + 11 ____ 21 the questions was is 10 plus 11 greater than, less than, or the same as / equal to 21.
51 _____ 15 this problem made them really think and pause for a few moments, we decided as a group the best way to figure it out was to count how many sets of ten were in each number. 51 has 5 sets of 10 and 15 has 1 set of ten. After we realized how many sets of ten were in each number, they quickly realized that 51 is greater than 15.
We had a very busy week filled with lots of learning and fun. On Wednesday we had our letter of the week poem about the letter R. The children had fun drawing their very detailed pictures of the river running through the rocks.
We had several in-door recess activities this week, due to the lovely and much needed rain that we received. Here are some photos of in-door recess time.
We continued working on our number knight stories this week and we learned about the number 7 and 8. We also had fun with tissue paper, and glue to create beautifully designed “houses” for our family photo collages that we will complete on Monday.
The learners also worked very hard on their small moments this week. The kinders spent time with graphic organizers drawing detailed pictures of the beginning, middle, and ending of their stories. Most of the first graders have now completed their graphic organizers and they working working on their first drafts of their personal narratives.
For cooking the kinders were very excited to make gingerbread houses with Jenny during cooking time this morning. Enjoy the photos of their amazing creations!