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At Thanksgiving I like to take the time to thank all of you for supporting us in the classroom.
Thank you for:
* Preparing such wonderful snacks for us to enjoy each day
* Leading the children in our weekly math, science/social studies, language arts, and cooking centers
* Cleaning the classroom, cooking area, organizing the library, and dress-up center
* Helping me with various classroom jobs such as making copies or simply organizing papers
* Leading a K/1 Special class each week
* Taking care of Samantha
* Always saying yes every-time I have a request for yet another volunteer classroom job
I want you to know how grateful I feel to work with your children each day. I know I am blessed to have a job that is my true passion in life, and also one that provides me with many opportunities to grow and learn.
Thank you for entrusting your children to me each day. The children and I are so very grateful for all of the time, energy, and positive support that you give to us.
I am really looking forward to our Thanksgiving Break, I plan to take several long runs and complete a few projects around the house. My three precious children will all be home for Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to having the five of us all together again for a few days. We plan to go to my dad’s house for dinner on Thursday, and then we also plan to have a special “family day” on Friday. For me just having all of us under one roof is such a precious gift and I am really looking forward to the house being filled with our kids. I wish you all a very peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving!
This morning we learned about the letter S . Then we drew detailed pictures in our magic books of items that started with the letter S.
Then we had a class meeting about our Thanksgiving Feast. The first graders shared what they remembered about the “work jobs” for our feast. They were so proud and excited to share all of their memories from their special feast in November 2014. It made me feel happy inside to hear how much they remembered and also how much it meant to all of them. It is truly one of my favorite celebrations in Room 10.
We also had a readers workshop lesson titled “Readers Build Good Habits.” We began with a lively discussion on “what is a habit” and why we all have good and some not so good habits. Then we discussed what are some good habits for beginning readers.
We ended our day with a visit from a docent from the San Francisco Symphony. Marianne gave a special music lesson to prepare the learners for our upcoming field trip to the San Francisco Symphony on Tuesday 12/1.
On Tuesday we made the placemats for our Thanksgiving Feast. Each child pulled a name out of a hat and made that child their placemat for the Thanksgiving Feast. Each learner also wrote down what they appreciate about their classmate.
We also had music time with Ruth. They enjoyed singing some songs about Thanksgiving.
After the kinders went home the first graders played a fun math game about more than / less than.
Here are some photos of these activites.
We had a very fun and informative field trip to the Police Station on Thursday. Amy did a wonderful job capturing our journey through the police station. I think one of their favorite parts was the question and answer time in the conference room. Your precious children asked so many thoughtful and interesting questions. I believe the second favorite part was getting to exploring a real police car. You can tell from the photos that fun was had by all. We also enjoyed a lovely snack after our field trip in the courtyard by City Hall.
I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. Please make sure you sign-up to bring an item for our Thanksgiving Feast on Thursday 11/19. We still have several items that need to be filled.
Here is the link to sign-up to bring a dish for our feast and to volunteer to help with our feast: http://www.luckypotluck.com/cgi-bin/display/potluck.pl?id=128862067954182729213
Katie and I switched our days for this coming week. Tomorrow Monday, 11/16 will be a “Katie Day” and I will back with the learners on Tuesday 11/17.
We began our day with our regular morning meeting. Then the kinders had Slingerland with me and the first graders had social studies with our wonderful parent volunteers. The kinders learned the letter “c” and reviewed a, b, h,l, and K. The first graders completed the review of our uppercase letter formation and began the review of our lowercase letters. For our social studies unit on Community the children learned about the different types of homes people live in all over the world. The parents read them the book “Houses and Homes” and then they each drew a picture of their own house. The collage of all of their homes are now hanging up in Room 10.
Here is the collage of their homes.
After recess they all wrote in their writers portfolios. The prompt for this month is “I am thankful for.” We had a wonderful class meeting about all that we feel thankful for in our lives.
As a reminder we write in our writers portfolio once a month to a prompt.
On Thursday morning the kinders made delicious pumpkin muffins that we all enjoyed for morning snack. Thank you Jenee – for creating such wonderful cooking projects for our learners!
After recess Ron came for a special visit. We had a class meeting about our upcoming Thanksgiving Feast. Then he read them the book, “Giving Thanks.” The first graders were so excited to tell the learners all about the special feast that we will all be enjoying in a few weeks. Please make sure you sign-up to bring in something for our feast. I sent out the link earlier this week.
Writers Workshop Unit of Study for the month of November: Personal Narratives/Small Moments
We will continue with our unit of study on Personal Narratives for the month of November. We have been learning how to write stories with detailed pictures and words. They are also learning that their stories need to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. The learners are becoming much more comfortable with the writing process which involves remembering these important steps: touch, tell, sketch, and then write. The learners are also learning how to write about a small moment and what exactly is a “small moment.” The project/process of writing about a “small moment” will be completed by the end of November. Please note that in Kindergarten many of their stories will be mainly expressed through detailed pictures.
As a side note – To teach writing we are using the writing curriculum created by Lucy Caulkins from the Teachers College – Columbia University.
Social Studies Unit of Study Community – October to December
• A community is a group of people that come together for a shared purpose
• A community relies on different people to fulfill different roles (post office, fire department, police station etcetera)
• Each person brings something unique to the community
• What is a community?
• What are the different roles of community members?
• What are different types of communities?
• What are things we can do to contribute to our community?
Learners will know and understand
• Who are people in our community?
– Fireman, policeman, postal worker, Librarian, Nurse, Doctor, Trash Collector, Teachers, Volunteers, Veterinarians
• What is a neighborhood?
• Other types of communities
• Ways we contribute to our community
Learners will be able to
• Recognize different roles in the community
• Describe what a community is
• Assess needs of their own community
• Coordinate actions to help their own community
November – December – Readers think and talk about books to develop ideas
• How to have book talks with partners
• How to retell story
• How to envision, predict, and make connections with books
• How to monitor comprehension
• How to work on comprehension challenges
We will also continue to work on the strategies listed below
As readers we will learn how to:
– acquire print strategies
– be flexible with print strategies
– read with fluency
– choose the just-right book
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.
For the month of November we will continue practicing and concentrating on our breath, breathing in and breathing out. We have learned the spiderman, dolphin, crocodile, and butterfly breath. I also taught them that they can use their “anchor breath” to calm their body and mind. We have been discussing that they can use their anchor breath if they find that their mind is wondering and not staying focused.
We end our mindfulness practice each day with these simple words:
– May you be happy
– May you be safe
– May you be healthy
– May you be peaceful
The lessons for the month of November will be centered on: Heartfulness
The lessons and objectives listed below are from “The Way of Mindful Education” by Daniel Rechtschaffen
The learning objectives for Heartfulness are:
– Cultivating care and compassion for self and others
– Focusing on positive states and emotions
– Creating an empathic classroom
Phonics Lessons from Pinnell and Fountas for November
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 November 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)
– Identifying Onsets and Rimes
– Hearing and Blending Onsets and Rimes
– Identifying and Blending Onsets and Rimes
– Noticing Letters in Words
– Learning Beginning Sounds
– Making Plurals: Adding s
– Learning about Beginning Consonant Letters and Sounds
– Noticing Vowels in Words
– Learning Common Short Vowel Patterns: a,( i, o, u)
– Learning Common Short Vowels Patterns: e, (a, i, o, u)
– Learning Phonograms: -at, and -an