Dear Families,
I wish you all a peaceful Martin Luther King weekend. Anton, Ron, and I plan to spend the long weekend at our cabin. I look forward to seeing all of you next week!

Here is a recap of the Post Office Project in case you plan to work on the Valentine’s over our long weekend.

Post Office Homework Quick Recap:
• Please have your child make 21 homemade valentine’s for each learner in the classroom.
• Each Valentine needs to be signed by the sender.
• Please put each valentine in an envelope with an address label in the correct position and have your child hand-write the recipients name on the envelope above their address label!
• The Valentine’s have to be completed and at school by Monday, February 9 for our Post Office Unit.
• Bring ‘stamps’ in as you collect them
• Bring in a shoe box by Wednesday 2/4 – we will need 24 good size shoe boxes, small ones don’t work well.

Coins: In preparation for post office we will be working on learning about coins. Familiarity with coins goes a long way and takes practice. I know many children have piggy banks and just taking the coins out and sorting them is a really great experience for kindergarteners. Stacking them and rolling them to be turned into the bank is also a great project. Any sorting and talking about the coins will go a long way. Keep it fun and light, don’t feel like you have to drill the amounts of each count into them, but just having more exposure will go a long way in the classroom, and it is fun for kids to get money from the bank!
Monday – center time
We started our day with spanish and then we had center time. While half the class had social studies with the parent volunteers in Educare, the other half had Slingerland-kinders or phonics-first graders with me. The slingerland letters for this week are the lowercase t and f. The first grade phonics lesson on Monday morning was about plurals. The children had their final social studies lesson on Families during center time. The learners wrote about what makes their family special. I plan to attach what they wrote to their family collage. After recess we had our special Martin Luther King lesson that I blogged about earlier this week.
Tuesday K/1 Special
On Tuesday we had the first week of our third round of the K/1 Specials. As a reminder this is a very unique program at CLC and run by amazing parent volunteers. This year we have a wonderful set of classes including Salmon, Science, Robotics, Crafts, Math in Art, Take Apart and Don’t Let the Pigeon Lead the Special. Learners will rotate through each and every subject, staying with each Special for a four-week session. After recess the children had music time with Ruth.
We began our day with our poem of the week about the letter O. We made a list of every word that we could think of that started with O. Then we read and re-read the poem about the letter O. The lesson ended with drawing a detailed picture of the earth/world in the shape of an O. After recess we had our first discussion about our upcoming unit on the Post Office. We also had a whole group lesson on how to write a friendly letter.

We ended our day with an all-school assembly lead by the fifth graders. They shared about their Mosaic milestone experience.
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 (first graders) or a slingerland review practice lesson (kinders.) We reviewed the letter formation for the following letters: h, l, b, k, a, c, g, s, t, and f.
This week the first graders made delicious banana pancakes.

After center time Ron came for a special visit and read the children the book, “The Three Snow Bears” by Jan Brett.

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)
– blends – fl, and pl
– compound words
– how to “read” the different types of punctuation in our books

In phonics we learned about:
– making plurals
– changing and adding beginning sounds
– beginning consonants
– short vowels
Math in Room 10
This week for math during our number talks we discussed different strategies that we can use to efficiently add 10 more or 10 less to a given number. We also had our first class discussions about money. I pulled out our boxes of coins and we figured out how many pennies are in a nickel, dime, and quarter.