Thank you for signing up for FALL CONFERENCES I am looking forward to meeting with each of you.
Water bottles~ Please send your kiddos with a water bottle. This limits the trips to the water fountain and is less disruptive to the learning environment.
HELP WANTED: Are you free on Friday's from 11-11:30 a.m.? Would you like to help out with giving word work assessments in the classroom? If you are free and available sign up with the link in the "Volunteer in the Classroom" Box to the left. I can set up a rotating schedule if there are a few willing and able volunteers.
Also, I am looking for the 3 parents to commit to working weekly with kiddos on literacy circles, this would be at the same time and same day every week! Ideally after 10...and would need you for about a half an hour... please email me if interested and I will set up a time to meet with each of you to train... ***Please know that you may not work with a group of kids that your kiddo is involved in.
HOMEWORK - Homework is given every Friday, and is due by the following Friday. Allowing your child the weekend, as well as the following week to complete it. You are welcome to turn in the homework before then.
READING – Although we will continue to work daily on strategies and skills for comprehension, accuracy, fluency and vocabulary, we have started our new unit call “Unmasking Characters”. We will be focusing on the development of characters and looking at how the author is making us feel, see and believe to help us understand characters…while at the same time looking at the events in the story and how the characters affect what’s happening in the story and how they respond to problems, challenges and/or major events…and looking at the point of view. Understanding the protagonist as well as the antagonist and understanding their role in texts. FUN! FUN! FUN!
Due to popular demand (actually I had two kids ask for these saying they NEEDED the structure for home, I love it!), I've attached a monthly reading log last email. Please keep track of your child's minutes, books read and strategies used over the entire month of October. I will sent out a new one each month. The October Reading Log is due on Friday, October 28th. I explain the strategies down below. I have provided a paper copy THIS MONTH ONLY. NEXT MONTH YOU WILL NEED TO PRINT OUT.
We have discussed the importance of 3 ways to read when picking up a text to read. Complete these 3 ways with EVERY book your child reads. The 1st way you should have your child read is by reading the pictures. Have them flip through the text and tell the story by looking at the pictures. Pictures are vital to helping readers figure out unknown words, they help us predict what could happen next, they give insight to what might happen in the text, pictures activate our schema (our background knowledge), and help the reader comprehend what is going on in the text. Before they read the 2nd way, which is to read the words, have your child make predictions about what will happen next and ask why do they predict that (was it a particular picture? The title? A chapter title?). Lastly, once they are done reading the words then the 3rd way to read is to retell what was just read ( important events (Characters, setting, problem, solution, main idea ( what the story is mostly about) theme (lesson learned) and/or are there any connections. They could write or orally retell the text. They can stop and write down (collect) interesting words as you read different text to use in their oral language as well as in their writing. While their reading, ask about any connections they are having with the characters, feelings, or events going on in the text (Text-To-Self or Text-To-Text: this reminds them of themselves or another text helps with the comprehension of the text.)
While your child is reading the words of a text, ask your child to focus on 2 or 3 strategies to help them with their reading. When reading with them you too can help them by suggesting a strategy. You can be a coach just as they are for when they are reading to someone. For example: if your child gets stuck on an unfamiliar word you could say to them "what strategy could you use to figure out the word?" - flip the sound, chunk the word, back up and reread look at the pictures. You can have your child write a main idea sentence with 2-3 supporting details about their text along with giving a retell. Make sure to record the strategies your child uses on the monthly log.
I have attached the document which I sent home in last week’s Friday folder (cafe-I underlined the strategies that have been taught) that tells about the strategies I've mentioned above and students are using in the classroom in order to improve their Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expand vocabulary (CAFE).
Writing - We are working revising, editing and publishing our “Slice of Life” paragraphs, we have some great stories, it is fun to work with the kids in writing and for them to get that “ah hah” moment….it gives me chills! It’s why I love my job! Then gradually we will move into our new unit called “Learning to write about writing to learn,” we will focus on responding to a non-fiction questions and use factual details from text to support the main focus. We will be connecting our writing unit with our science unit on Plants.
Science - We are participating in some labs which we are investigating plants and their needs, parts and the functions of each part…then taking a step further and looking at dry and wet habitats…and plants that need particular habitats. We have also had some PTA volunteers (grant from Ralston eats) that came in to talk about planting and we also planted radishes…in addition to the bean plants and kids are actively caring for their plants. We are using a program called Pixie to create, the plant cycle, habitats for particular plants and what's involved, then we will be (writing) about the habitats, plants and their functions and needs. Which they will then orally read and attach their writing to their final published Pixie piece we will eventually post on Google docs…. But Wow what a process! We are working hard and it takes some time!
MATH - We will be finishing up our unit on story problems and using multiple strategies to show your work. Your child will be receiving more and more story problem homework. Mrs. Somers and I ask students to make sure their answers are accurate and in order to help them be more precise, we ask them to solve story problems in 2 different ways. Please do the same on any story problems homework from now on. Please also make sure that your child is using at least 1 strategy (reference the attached strategies that are posted on the PTA website) we are learning in the classroom. Continue to practice math fact combinations of 10, doubles, and near doubles for fluency, time and work with money and different combinations.
Coming up next is Geometry…2D and 3D shapes.