Dear Families,
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.
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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:
http://www.luckypotluck.com/potluck/Colleensclassholidaycelebration

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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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
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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.