Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

 
We had such a fun time celebrating Christmas together in the classroom. Thank you SO MUCH for all of our wonderful and generous gifts!!! We have the best families ever! I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas break!!!! Don't forget to study for the 100% Club and read books on RAZ KIDS online. We'll see you back at school in the new year on Tuesday, January 3rd!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekly News: December 12-16

There is NO SCHOOL for two weeks due to Christmas vacation!!!! This is our last week together in 2010. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Years and I will see you back at school on Tuesday, January 3, 2012!!!

The Friday Prep Parties have not stopped! We want to give a special THANK YOU to Amanda Woodruff for being there EVERY FRIDAY! This Friday we will be having a Holiday Breakfast for ALL PARENTS who have helped so far this year to thank you for everything you have done! We truly appreciate all of the parent involvement and help! Thank you!

Our Online Reading A-Z program is up and running! This is a great website where your children can listen to and read books at their level - the same books being sent home in their book bags each week! With each book, you can also take comprehension quizzes and earn points! With those points, you can play fun games online. All of the information (how much time spent online, books read, and quizzes taken) comes back to me so I can check on your reading at home. There might even be prizes for the best readers! The Reading A-Z website link is found on our side tab RAZ KIDS, but I will also be sending log-in information home in your book bag this week for each student. Have fun reading online!!! 

Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, December 13th: GRANDPARENT'S DAY! Grandparents are invited to hear our classes sing in the Lion's Den at 8:15 and stay for a short presentation by Mr. Gordon. Grandparents are then welcome to visit our classroom to see our learning take place! We will be leaving for our field trip at 10:15, but you are welcome to stop by before that and watch our class in action!

Tuesday, December 13th: Our kindergarten classes will be going on a walking field trip to Braswell's Home to sing our Christmas carols and deliver cards. If you have not returned the permission slip, please do so MONDAY so your child will be able to join us! Please note there are TWO sides to the permission slip. We will be showing our GENEROSITY to Braswell's by bringing them winter socks, mitten, gloves, etc. We are asking each child to bring something to give on Tuesday. Also, if you would like to chaperone and join us on our walk to Braswell's, we would love to have you! Please let me know! :)

Tuesday, December 13th: On Tuesday EVENING, we are having a Christmas Program in our Lion's Den (Bryant St sanctuary)!! The whole school will be singing a few songs to celebrate Christmas! Kindergarten and 1st will be from 5:30-6:00, 2nd/3rd grades from 6:00-6:30, 4th-6th grades from 6:30-7:00. Our classes will be singing "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus in Coming to Town". Practice singing these songs at home and come hear your wonderful children sing!!! I would recommend getting to the church at 5:00 for a spot to sit! Your children will be sitting with you then asked to join their class on stage when it is kindergarten's turn to sing! Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, but Mrs. Stanley will be there if you need anything!

Friday, December 16th: Our Kindergarten Christmas Centers and Pizza Party - we will be having Christmas Center Activities from 10:30-11:30 followed by a Kindergarten Pizza Party. Thank you for signing up to donate your time and items for this special event!! There is still time to sign up to help!! Please check your classroom clipboard! We are also still collecting $2 per student for the pizza party - if you are able to contribute, please send this donation to school in your child's GO folder. Thank you!

December 19th-January 2nd: NO SCHOOL! CHRISTMAS BREAK!

What Are We Learning This Week??:

Sight Words: ABOUT, THAT, WHAT, WANT, WAS.

Letter Team: ED (We are learning that tricky Mr. ED goes at the end of the word to tell us that something has already happened - making the word past tense. Mr. ED is tricky because sometimes he makes the "T" sound - like in LOOKED, sometimes he makes the "D" sound - like in PLAYED, and sometimes he says "ED" like in WANTED).

Reading: This week, we will also read books about the holidays, Santa, generosity, and our poem of the week, "Santa Clause is Coming to Town".

Writing: This week we will continue our "Writer's Checklist" - a list of things that all good writers do, such as proper punctuation, uppercases at the beginning of a sentence and name, finger spaces between each word, spelling word wall words correctly, adding details, making sure our writing makes sense, and trying our best! We will read this checklist everyday to make sure we are applying each of those skills in our writing.

Math: This week, we will complete our Saxon Math Curriculum. After the holidays, we will be working in math groups on a 1st Grade Math Curriculum, Excel! The students have been doing well with the MATH TIMED TESTS. Students are timed on addition skills and move up levels at their own pace. Some of our friends are already on +2!!!  We will continue to practice addition "DOUBLES" in our fun DOUBLES SONG. My goal for all students is to memorize all the doubles facts. Please work on basic addition (stories!) and doubles at home. Please also continue to reinforce LEFT and RIGHT with your child.

Leadership: We will continue discussing GENEROSITY in our classroom and how we can give to others and show our generosity during the holiday season.

Homework: December 12-16

Flashcards: Don't forget to make new flashcards for each sight word and letter team. New words for this week are: ABOUT, WHAT, WAS, WANT, THAT and new letter team is ED.
 
Reading: Each week in your child's book bag you will find: one fluency (Monday), three Reading A-Z books (Tuesday-Thursday) and any free-choice or AR book that your child has chosen. Please read each book three times each every night. Starting this week, you can also go online to RAZ-KIDS and you may listen to, read, and take quizzes on books!

Math: As always, if you see a math paper that has come home with my writing on it or circled problems that your child is struggling with, please reinforce those worksheets at home! You should also be practicing math at your child's level. This could be writing numbers, counting money, addition, patterns, graphing, etc.

Writing: A great idea would be to pick up a small journal and have your child write in it EVERYDAY, focusing on writing more than one sentence on the same topic with an uppercase at the beginning, finger spaces, proper punctuation, and details! Don't forget to practice writing our sight words of the week for our spelling and dictation test too!

Sharing: Write TWO sentences about what we are learning about a holiday tradition in your family. Draw a picture to go with your sentences.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Emily!


We celebrated Emily's 5th Birthday on Thursday! Happy birthday, little Emily! We hope you have a great birthday weekend!

Weekly News: December 5-9

I have updated our "Classroom Wish List" for the new trimester. Please visit this page if you are able to donate in any way. Thank you!

We will begin working on fluency as part of your child’s reading homework. In your child’s book bag you will find a fluency passage. Your child is practicing reading fluent in reading group. Fluency refers to a student’s speed, smoothness, and ease of reading out loud. Fluent readers read more quickly and smoothly, allowing them to focus on comprehension.  Fluent readers gain more meaning from the text they read. Because fluency leads to comprehension, fluent readers enjoy reading more than students who devote all their energy to sounding out words. Your child will be timed in class for one minute on the fluency passage at the beginning of the week (a cold read) and then will be timed again in class for one minute at the end of the week (a hot read).  The goal is for your student to become more fluent with the passage by practicing it three or more times each night. On most fluency passages there are comprehension questions and word families. Please practice and complete this at home as well - this is an excellent test taking strategy. Your child will then graph the results of his/her increased fluency in class. Thank you for supporting this very important component of our reading program! You will be astounded by the growth your children make through this reading!

We have MANY new events coming up, including a FIELD TRIP and a WINTER PERFORMANCE. Please read the next section carefully to stay up-to-date on our holiday happenings :)   

Upcoming Events:

December 5th-December 9th: SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR! PTO is will be having a book fair from 7:40-8:15am and from 1:00pm-3:00pm at CSC only. BSC families are invited to join at
CSC. There will be books available for all ages from TK-8th. The book fair will also
be OPEN from 5pm-7:30pm on Thursday, December 8th only! Bring your family and join the
fun! You can do some Holiday shopping at the Book Fair. What a GREAT gift a book makes.
Please keep in mind that every book bought helps ILCS!

Wednesday, December 7th: ILCS Drama performs a special show, "The Wizard of Oz Christmas" 6:00-7:00 at the California Street Campus. Come support our kids and watch a fun and wonderful show! 

Tuesday, December 13th: Our kindergarten classes will be going on a walking field trip to Braswell's Home to sing our Christmas carols and deliver cards. Please look out for (and return) the field trip permission slip coming home later this week.

Tuesday, December 13th: On Tuesday EVENING, we are having a Christmas Program in our Lion's Den (Bryant St sanctuary)!! The whole school will be singing a few songs to celebrate Christmas! Kindergarten and 1st will be from 5:30-6:00, 2nd/3rd grades from 6:00-6:30, 4th-6th grades from 6:30-7:00. Our classes will be singing "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus in Coming to Town". Practice singing these songs at home and come hear your wonderful children sing!!!

Friday, December 16th: Our Kindergarten Christmas Centers & Pizza Party - we will be having Christmas Center Activities from 10:30-11:30 followed by a Kindergarten Pizza Party. Look out for the "Christmas Sign-Up" on the Classroom Clipboard sometime next week if you are able to donate any items for our centers. We are also asking for $2 donations to help cover the cost of the pizza.

December 19th-January 2nd: NO SCHOOL! CHRISTMAS BREAK!

What Are We Learning This Week??:

Sight Words: AS, THROUGH, AROUND, NO, KNOW.

Letter Team: KN (the K is silent, like in KNOW and KNIGHT), EW (like in NEW and STEW) and OUGH (making the OO sound like in THROUGH - we will learn later about the other sounds it makes!)

Reading: The kids have learned that schema is "what we know" and we have started applying this to our reading. This week we will learn all about text-to-self connections. This week, we will also read books about the holidays, Santa, generosity, and our poem of the week, "The Gingerbread Man". We will also study landforms (like mountains, valleys, deserts, and plains) and bodies of water (like rivers, oceans, lakes, and ponds) in our reading. 

Writing: This week we will make a "Writer's Checklist" - a list of things that all good writers do, such as proper punctuation, uppercases at the beginning of a sentence and name, finger spaces between each word, spelling word wall words correctly, adding details, making sure our writing makes sense, and trying our best! We will read this checklist everyday to make sure we are applying each of those skills in our writing.

Math: Last week, we began MATH TIMED TESTS. Students are timed on addition skills and move up levels at their own pace. The kids did a great job! A bunch of friends passed "+0" and will now be moving on to "+1". We also learned the addition "DOUBLES" in our fun DOUBLES SONG. Please work on basic addition and doubles at home. This week, we will start reading math stories and making number sentences with the stories. For example, "Billy had three apples and Susie had five apples. How many apples did they have altogether? Answer: 3+5=8" Please try these math stories at home! We are also learning the directions RIGHT and LEFT - please reinforce this at home. 

Leadership: We will continue discussing GENEROSITY in our classroom and how we can give to others and show our generosity during the holiday season.

Homework: December 5-9

Flashcards: Don't forget to make new flashcards for each sight word and letter team. New words for this week are: AS, THROUGH, AROUND, NO, KNOW and new letter teams are KN, EW, and OUGH.
 
Reading: Book bag and Book box reading EVERYDAY!

Math: We want students to be practicing math at THEIR LEVEL. For some students, this means still counting practice, number flashcards, and number writing practice. For other students, counting money and simple addition is appropriate. YOU know your child best. Please make sure to practice a little bit of what your child needs for math practice every day. If you see a math paper that has come home with my writing on it or circled problems that your child is struggling with, please reinforce those worksheets at home!

Writing: A great idea would be to pick up a small journal and have your child write in it EVERYDAY, focusing on writing more than one sentence on the same topic with an uppercase at the beginning, finger spaces, proper punctuation, and details! Don't forget to practice writing our sight words of the week for our spelling and dictation test too!

Sharing: Sharing for the second trimester will now consist of writing TWO sentences each week. This week's sharing homework is to write TWO sentences about what we are learning about landforms (desert, plain, valley, mountain) and bodies of water (river, pond, lake, ocean).  Draw a picture to go with your sentences. Make sure you practice reading your sentence at home so you are prepared to read in front of the class. Sharing is due any day this week. Please see the "Attachment Library" page to download our Sharing Page - this is a great paper for sharing with a picture and writing space :)