Dear Families,Happy Halloween! Amy did an amazing job capturing our field trip to Webb Ranch in pictures. Thank you Amy!
As you can tell from the photos we had a most wonderful day at the pumpkin patch!
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!
What a day! First of all, I’d like to thank all the parents and grandparents who came and spent some time with us today. The extra hands were very appreciated!
We started the day with some fun Halloween-themed centers. The learners measured the length of gourds with unifix cubes, estimated the circumference of a pumpkin with string, guessed how many candy corn in jars, weighed and compared gourds and made a Dia de los Muertos skeleton craft. Then it was into our costumes and off to the K/1 parade. With older learners lining the route to give high fives and even some chants of “K/1, K/1, K/1” the K/1s felt like superstars. We ended the parade at the Halloween Carnival. There was something for everyone: a quiet room with marble art, coloring sheets and scavenger hunts; a pie-in-the-face booth; wack-a-mole; beanbag tosses and much much more….all created by the middle schoolers.
More photos coming soon, but here’s one of the class in costume to tie you over 🙂
Hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween!
On Monday we began our day with our morning meeting. Please ask your learner about the new song we are learning titled “Aroostasha.” After our morning meeting we had center time. For social studies we learned about how communities change over time. During Slingelrand the kinders learned the letter a and the first graders continued to review their uppercase letter formation. After recess we had our weekly garden visit. For our garden lesson we were soil scientist. We learned about “living” vs “non-living” items in the garden. Here are some photos of our morning meeting, and our garden visit.
On Wednesday we began our day with our letter of the week lesson. We made a list of every word we could think of that started with the letter C. Then the children drew pictures and wrote sentences about the letter C in their magic books. Before recess Ron came for a special Halloween visit, Hazel our precious dog came dressed in her Halloween costume as “Super Dog.” The children were very excited to see Hazel dressed up in her costume. After recess we had PE, spanish, and writers workshop. Our writers workshop mini-lesson was a follow-up lesson on learning how to touch, tell, sketch, and write about small moments in our lives. Here are some fun photos of our day!
I hope you are enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Ron and I plan to go for a long run at Huddart Park later this afternoon to enjoy the amazing Fall weather. I look forward to seeing your children tomorrow morning.
This week I took photos of most of our daily activities, so I could post pictures of our daily life in Room 10.
We began our day with center time. Our social studies lesson was about learning about the important parts of a community. Each child made a community book. While half the class had social studies, the other half had Slingerland time with me. I taught the kinders the letter K for Slingerland and reviewed L, B, H. The first graders are almost done reviewing their uppercase letter formation. After recess we had garden time and spanish. Elena has been teaching fun lessons that have included spanish vocabulary words about Halloween.
Now that parent conferences are complete, we have re-started our afternoon language arts centers. Each day the first graders rotate through guided reading with Colleen/Katie, phonics with Erica, independent writing/ reading time, sight words study, and the listening center. Also the first graders have yoga on Monday and dance on Tuesday.
This week we had our fourth week of specials. The learners have four weeks of each special and by the end of the year they will each experience all seven specials. The topics this year are: Take Apart, Crafts, Yoga, Math in Art, Your Body Inside Out, Maps, and Dr. Seuss.
After recess we had music time with Ruth. Ruth has been teaching them fun songs about Halloween during music time. After music we had free choice. Our math lesson on Tuesday for first grade time was about all the ways to make 3 and 4. The photos posted below are of music time, free choice, first grade math, and language arts time in the afternoon.
Our day began with our letter of the week. We made a list of every word we could think of that started with the letter A. This was an exciting letter because it was our first vowel. Then they all worked in their magic books. Right before recess Ron came for a fun visit and he read them a Halloween story. After recess we had PE followed by spanish. Next came writers workshop. Our mini-lessons this week centered around learning how to write a small moment and making sure your story has a clear beginning, middle, and end. This lesson will be taught and re-taught all year-long. It is such an important concept to remember when writing our stories. The photos below are of Ron’s visit, snack time, spanish, and writing time.
Our day began with center time. The kinders had math tiles and Slingerland with Colleen. The first graders had math tiles and cooking. They made delicious pumpkin pancakes. After recess we had writers workshop and another mini-lesson on how to write a small moment. Next came PE and then the kinders went home. For first grade math, we had a number dot talk. We have been continuing to learn how to expand our strategies which now include counting on and counting by 2’s and 3’s. After lunch we had language arts time. The photos below are of: center time, writers workshop, PE, number dot talk, and language arts time.
Dear Families,Here is an article about “why what you learned in Preschool Is Crucial at Work.” I would just change the title and add the word pre-school and “K/1” is crucial at work.
The past few Katie Days we have been focusing on shapes and their attributes. First we started with some sorting and classifying activities. We sorted buttons, matchbox cars, legos and more -– and came up with classifying characteristics (buttons sorted by color, by number of holes, by shape, etc…) Then we talked about shapes and what sort of attributes can they have (number of sides, number of corners or vertices, if the lines are curved or straight, etc…) We made a giant chart where we classified common shapes and came up with specific examples of these shapes in the room around us.
We then made pictures using a specific simple shape and turning it into something. Some examples were: a circle is just a circle until you add numbers and then it’s a clock, or a square is just a square until you add a window and chimney and then you have a house.
We also worked with tangrams to create specific pictures, using just the provided triangles and squares.
This morning we read Go Away Big Green Monster and made our own monsters and counted the shapes we used (triangles for teeth, circles for eyes, rectangles for hair, etc…). We also recorded the color of our monster and what emotion the monster is feeling.
First graders have been doing a variety of mental math during our afternoon time. Today we did some “quick image” activities with shapes. In this type of lesson an image is shown to the learners for less than 5 seconds, then they have to remember what they saw and be able to explain it. We have done this activity with dots to understand the decomposition of numbers. Today we did shape combinations. Each card had a design of 2 to 5 combined shapes. Learners had to draw the shapes on their own whiteboards and then be able to describe them to me so that I could recreate the design without looking at the original. This activity stretches our knowledge of geometric shapes, as well as our description, visualization, memorization, drawing muscles.
In art we have been using shape and color to produce mood. We made some Andy Warhol-esque self portraits and added color and shape to see what emotions the additions create. How does the same picture when painted red vs. blue make us feel differently?
For another art project, we read Iggy Peck Architect, a wonderful book about a boy whose teacher doesn’t recognize his enormous talent of building things (a diaper tower, a castle made out of classroom chalk and more) until it saves her life. The learners then pretended they were architects and made “blue prints” using shape stamps made from recycled materials such as empty spools, cardboard and even some legos on blue construction paper. The learners enjoyed this book so much I read them the companion story Rosie Revere Engineer and then we compared and contrasted the two books, talked about the author’s voice and illustrator’s style. We also graphed which book we liked better with Iggy Peck winning the vote by a margin!
Katie and I have enjoyed meeting with all of you for our parent conferences this week. Thank you for our thoughtful and engaging conversations. We both wish you a peaceful weekend!
On Wednesday we had our letter of the week lesson – K. We made a list of every word we could think of that started with the letter K. We quickly realized through our conversation that of the many words that we thought started with K actually started with C. This realization lead to a thoughtful conversation. The photo posted below is the list that we created during our discussion.
After recess we had PE and Spanish time. We ended our day with free choice and class read aloud time.
On Thursday we began our day with center time. This week the kinders had math tiles and cooking. They made delicious pumpkin pancakes! A special thank you to Jenee for organizing fun cooking activities each week. The first graders had math tiles and Slingerland review time with Colleen. The first graders are almost done reviewing their uppercase letters.
After snack time we had our official full scale earthquake drill. We practiced what we would do for an actual earthquake duck, cover, and hold. Then we evacuated the building and practiced what we would do in the event of an actual emergency. The learners did a great job. After that we had another writers workshop lesson on learning how to write about a small moment. We ended our morning with PE.
Katie and I have had a morning meeting everyday since the first day of school. I thought it would be nice to review “why” we value a morning meeting and make time for it “no matter what” everyday. As a review the morning meeting has four parts:
GREETING- goal of greeting
Sets a positive tone for the day
Helps children expand their range of friendships
Gives children a sense of recognition and belonging
Helps children practice offering hospitality
SHARING – goal of sharing
Develop children’s skills of caring and assertive communication
Helps children know one another
Encourage habits of inquiry
Provide practice for public speaking
Strengthen language arts and other content area skills
GROUP ACTIVITY – goal for group activity
Build a class repertoire of songs, games, chants, and poems, which adds to a sense of community and group identity
Encourage active and engaged participation, cooperation, and inclusion
Strengthen academic and social skills
MORNING MESSAGE – goal of morning message
Build community through shared written information
Reinforce language arts, math, and other academic skills in a meaningful and interactive way
Heighten children’s excitement about what they’ll be learning that day
Ease the transition to the rest of the day
The morning meeting has now become a sacred time for the learners to get settled, connect, and learn from each other. This morning it warmed my heart to see them so excited to share one special thing about their weekend. Every Monday they now know the “sharing” topic question will be to share one thing about their weekend.
The morning meeting has also become a time for us to truly connect and look at each other closely. They are learning how to look at each and make eye contact during our daily greeting activity. Being able to make eye contact is such an important life skill and one that they will need all of their lives.
Our garden activity today was learning about the six parts of a plant: seed, roots, stem, leaves, flower, and fruit. I read the learners the book “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle and then we looked at different examples of the six parts of a plant. They also had time to draw pictures in their garden journals of the six parts of a paint.
I hope you are all having a peaceful weekend. Ron and I are enjoying some quiet moments after several very busy weeks at both work and home. I enjoyed seeing so many of you last night at the Chili Cook-Off!
I also wanted to thank and acknowledge everyone for all of your kind thoughts and words about H4AC. I really appreciate your support!
H4AC 2015 was very special for me because this year we celebrated our 15th anniversary. As I reflect on the hike this afternoon there are a few memories that I will always treasure. The first memory is about Anton. Our precious Anton spoke at the opening on Saturday evening at H4AC. Anton spoke from his heart about what it has been like to live with histio for the past 17 years. He spoke so honestly and his words moved many people to tears. My other memory from the weekend was during the research update that was given by the doctors who conduct the research. I realized while listening to them that we are going to find a cure for this disease and we are getting close. My final favorite moment was just seeing and connecting with everyone at our H4AC celebration soup and salad dinner on Sunday night. When Ron and I arrived at the dinner the room was filled with so much positive energy, love, and joy. When I walked into the room I thought to myself this is why we created H4AC – this is why we hike.
A special thank you to Katie for taking such wonderful care of our learners and our classroom in my absence.
Here are some special photos from the weekend!
On Wednesday we learned about our letter of the week. Our letter for this week was “B.” We had fun making a list of every word we could think of that starts with b. We also looked at our special garden alphabet book with all the veggies from the garden that start with b.
Just before recess Ron came for a special visit to read the learners the book “No More Hiking Please” this book was written and illustrated by Lily Mazzola. Lily is a learner at CLC who went on H4AC last year and the hike moved her so much that she wrote a personal narrative about her experience. The book is absolutely precious. The children loved listening to Ron read her story.
On Thursday during center time while half the class had center time in the classroom doing math tiles, the other half made our October calendars in Educare.
After recess we had our first writers workshop lesson on learning how to write about small moments in our lives. I shared with the learners that we will be learning about how to write small moments/personal narratives for October and November. I read them the book “Night of the Veggie Monster” because it is a great small moment story. Please ask your learner about the story. They all enjoyed the book.