Dear Families,
I wish you all a wonderful weekend! Last night Ron and I went to an event sponsored by NDNU to hear Anabel Lee Jensen PhD speaking about the importance of Emotional Intelligence in Education. Dr. Jensen was one of my favorite professors when I earned my teaching credential so many years ago. It was wonderful to hear her speak last night. Tomorrow Ron and I plan to hike to the top of Mt Diablo, I am looking forward to a great day on the trail.

Monday – center time – We learned about our sense of taste for our unit of study on our Five Senses. While half the class had science with the parent volunteers in Educare the other half had a Slingerland review handwriting lesson (kinders) or a phonics lesson (first grade). After recess we had writers workshop, and we continued with our unit of study on opinion writing. The topic was to write about something that they liked at school and also to share why they liked it.

Wednesday – We began our day by reading our letter of the week poem. Our letter for this week was the letter “J.” The children enjoyed the very detailed story about the Jester who loved the months of January, June, and July. Then we had PE. After recess we wrote in our writers portfolios and our prompt was “Do you like winter or summer better? What are your reasons?” We had a very lively discussion on what season we all preferred – winter or summer. We ended our day with Families and the activity for Families was lots of fun, the children all made paper airplanes with their buddies.
Thursday – We began our day with math tiles and cooking. This week all of the children had 30 minutes of cooking and math tiles. For cooking the children had a wonderful lesson on our sense of taste. This lesson aligned perfectly with our science unit. The children tasted many types of food/spices – sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Some of the items they tasted were:
cocoa poder
cream of tartar
chili spice

It was a very fun lesson!

Then Ron came for a special visit and read the children a fun book titled “Ginger Bear.” After reading them the book he started to talk to them about our upcoming Class Play Project. He asked them to share some of what they have learned this year, so he could begin to think about the theme for the 2015 Class Play. I thought you may enjoy reading some of what they shared with Ron.
This year they learned about:
Five Senses
Opinion writing
Math and Math Tiles
Martin Luther King
How to tell time
Life Cycles – butterflies

First Grade Language Arts time
During language arts time this week the learners moved through several centers: sight words, phonics, independent reading/writing, listening center, and our guided reading groups.

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

• paying attention to punctuation as we are reading out loud
• we learned about words that start with “th” – the, them, then, and that
• we learned about contractions