Friday, December 2, 2011

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.

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