Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WOW! November is almost gone!!!

How time flies!  I have enjoyed being with the kids again after a long break.  We're fully back into the swing of things with centers, math stations, and all the rest.  We have 3 1/2 weeks left before the Holiday Break, and Ms, Jennifer and I are ready to really make it count!

Our phonics work is now halfway through our study of word families, as you can see by the list to the right of this page.  We are fully finished with individual letter phonics now and our kids should be sounding out words that are phonic.  This combined with the term one sight words and the term 2 sight words (so far) give the students the tools needed to read basic phonic texts.  Daily story reading in class improves vocabulary and fluency.  The continued daily minimum of 20 minutes reading to your child is more essential than ever now.  Thank you for your support in this daily reading time!

Our phonemic awareness focus is still "syllables", and we will be working on syllables in class through the end of the second term.  Ask your child to "clap out" the syllables of family member names and see how he or she does!

Penmanship is in full swing as well.  This week's letters are Jj and Pp.  If penmanship papers are piling up at home, please work with your child to get them done, having several of them built up can be very overwhelming!  Please remember that these pages need to be done IN PENCIL!

Our writer's workshop is going well.  We are currently working on choosing "small moments" to write about as we continue with "personal narratives".  We are working on organizing our writing into beginning, middle, and end.  Itls great to see the children take on writing at such a young age!

Math is moving along as well, and we are moving more and more into number sense now.  Keep up the good work on the homework activities!

Beginning in December, I will be moving away from directly running centers and math stations in order to do more one-on-one and small group reading with the students.  This is a call for anyone who would like to be our "spelling specialist", and come in and get trained on our spelling program in order to effectively run our spelling centers.  I'm looking for someone who can consistently come in and run these centers on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.  Of course, more than one person can do this, coming in three times a week is very daunting!  Anyway, I'm eagerly awaiting responses so that we can start as early as next week with the beginning of December!  Any takers?

I really love teaching and working with your children.  Thank you for sending them to Channing Hall!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Well, this is it...I don't get to see the kids for six sleeps after today...an eternity!  I hope you all have a GREAT Thanksgiving, and please remember that our DAILY 20 minutes of reading needs to be done even (especially?) over the Thanksgiving break.

Enjoy turkey day!!!  Gobble gobble!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Farm reports week!  We already had several reports yesterday, and they were fantastic!  I'm so excited to see the rest of the reports (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday)!

A word on the several math sheets that are going home.  (Almost) daily, we are doing one 2-sided math sheet together as a class.  This sheet will be sent home blank because we do it on the board.  Feel free to check it out and do it with your child (or not), but it DOES NOT need to be returned to me.  Next, (almost) daily, we will do one side of another 2-sided sheet in class.  These will also be sent home.  The blank side can be done together at home, it DOES NOT need to be returned to me.  Lastly, (almost) daily, your child will take home a 2-sided sheet entitled "my homework."  This is the one that needs to be returned to me.  The rest is for you to see what is being presented and how we are approaching math concepts according to our textbook.

As always, remember DAILY READING.  At least 20 minutes of reading with/to your child OR your child reading and listening on Raz-Kids.  We are always assessing, and several of the children have really improved reading ability in the past month.  A lot of that comes from daily reading exposure.  Thank you!

This term, our phonemic awareness target is syllables.  We are clapping out syllables daily in class, please practice at home with your child.  This is an essential building block for successful reading.

Hope you all had a great Halloween - I liked the relative warmth of trick-or treating night.  Thanks for all your support in the things we do in class, and for your volunteer work.  Please check your schedules again and see if you might have time to come in during "centers" or "math station" time, we really could use your assistance then.


mr. matt