Sunday, October 16, 2016

Welcome Back

Dates & Reminders

Monday October 17thDigger Dash
Monday October 31stHalloween Party – Details to come.  We typically have our party for the first hour of the day.
Tuesday November 8th – No School – Teacher In-service Day
November 21-25th – Thanksgiving Break – NO SCHOOL

Reading Groups
Thank you to all of the parents who are helping with these groups, we could not do this without you!

Your child should be bringing home a book every M-Th.  Be sure they bring it back the next day as they will re-read these books during reader’s workshop. 

Please have your child read the book to you and talk about what the book was about.  Be sure to ask them what their favorite part was and have them pick a part the reminds them of something. After reading don't forget to do a quick letter or sight word activity from the homework folder.  From time to time I will highlight specific letters or sight words to work on, I will not do this every week as students take time to learn these skills.

Here is a quick look at what reading groups look like in the classroom

Picture Walk 

·         Students flip through the book and talk about the pictures on each page, adults “plant” words (point to and find a key word on a page or two that might be challenging).  Planting words ahead of time will increase the odds for success when reading alone.

Read first page together (choral read)
·        Choral reading is when everyone reads simultaneously (like a choir sings the chorus together).
·        Reading the first page together help beginning readers by giving them an idea of what the pattern will be. 

Individual Reading—Students “whisper read” the rest of the book
·        Students try to read the rest of the book independently in a whisper voice, pointing to the words as they go. 
·        Adults listen to a page or two of each student’s reading. They suggest strategies students can use when they get to challenging word.

Strategy Discussion (after all students finish whisper reading) 

·         Students discuss the strategies they used to read a tricky word.
Reread entire book together (choral read)
·         This builds automaticity and fluency when reading.  This process ensures that students begin to build a lexicon to use while reading.
Retell
·         Students get a chance to retell the book by stating what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the book.  We encourage students to use as many details as possible along with character names when applicable. 

Comprehension Work 

·       Students get a chance to use the comprehension strategy that is being studied.  Currently we are asking students to pick a page in the book that reminds them of something.  We use the following language:

“This page reminds me of…” (fiction)
“ I learned….:” (non-fiction)
Activity/Game
·         Each group has a differentiated activity.  This will vary throughout the year and is based on the needs of the students in the group. Activities include, letter and sounds work, sight word practice, spelling pattern practice and Words Their Way sorts. 


Classroom Update

When we return from Fall Break we will begin our "Small Moment" writing unit. During this unit students will write short personal narratives about things they have done, places they have visited, and everyday activities.  In order to prepare your child for this, be sure to talk with them about some of the fun things you may have done over break.  We will practice taking a big idea like a vacation and "zoom in" on "small moments".  For example a student may have taken a trip to Disney Land, we will ask them to pick a favorite ride to write about.  We will ask them to write what they did, state who was there, and then add a few details and then state a feeling.  The more you can talk about things at home the easier this process can be.  We will spend a lot of time talking about experiences and then putting those ideas into writing.  

Technology Integration

We are excited to integrate technology into our "Small Moment" writing unit by uploading students writing into an online portfolio app called SeaSaw.  Once we teach students how to do this you will be able to access your students account and look at their work!  This will be an excellent opportunity for students to practice sharing their work with an authentic audience, learning how to use technology in a purposeful way, give you a chance to see their work, and will give us an opportunity to review their work!  
 Math
We have been working hard to develop math routines around counting, vocabulary and learning how to share our thinking and observations around numbers. We spent time learning about the classroom manipulatives, how to use them as well as describe, categorize, and sort them.  Students worked on a number book where they practiced counting, creating and recording sets between 0 and 12.

 Choice Time

Students have enjoyed choice time!  During this time of day students get to choose an activity around the room to participate in.  Once they choose they are required to stay at that activity for the whole time.  We are trying to develop stamina, responsibility and teamwork.  By having students stay in one spot they are required to solve any problems that may arise, and work together to play nicely and clean up.