We’ve had a wonderful start. It seems as though everyone is glad to be back at school. We have been sharing our summer fun and beginning to think about our hopes and dreams for a new year of learning. We are getting used to our new schedule and classroom routine. U.A. classes are at different times from last year and we are working to learn how to be our best together. The class feels kindness and working to understand others is important. We have a great draft of class rules started. It is feeling like we are going to have a thoughtful, caring year of learning.
Home School Communications
I intend to send a note home every Friday. It is important to me for you to know what we are doing and why. I know my own children were skimpy on the details when sharing what was happening in their classrooms (for years I worked in the school they attended, and I still didn’t know) – so I am guessing some of you might wish for more information. I will share what I can through these notes. At first I will send this message both in paper and post it on the blog – the address is firstname.lastname@example.org I like the blog because the news can be illustrated with photographs so you can see the classroom.
I hope the weekly memo will provide you with conversation points. When children feel their families are interested in what they are doing in school they do even better. Hopefully this note will give you things to talk about.
Knowing Ourselves and Caring for Others
Our Social Emotional Learning Focus
Our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus for the first month of school is becoming more aware of ourselves as learners, friends and members of the school. We have to be true to ourselves, but we also must be respectful and aware of others. We have spent part of all four of our days defining the kind of learning community we want to build and be part of. We read I Got Big Plans, Someday and Do Unto Otters. We talked about the nice things that people can do and the not quite-so-nice things people can do. We talked about kindness and what is important to do to support our classmates’ learning and our own.
We had fun reading Quick as a Cricket and Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great as a way to add to this discussion. Each of the children made a self-portrait and wrote a few sentences to describe themselves. We interviewed each other about “favorites” and listed our “passions.” We also explored the idea of how our choices lead to success.
Learning The Work of Scientists
Each day this week we have been learning about what scientists do. We have learned that they observe and record data. We know they use tools to be more precise. We know they make and label accurate diagrams. And we learned they ask questions and look for answers. We have been working to do all of these things. We have been outside trying to see all the plants and animals we can see in “one small square” of earth. We also looked at some different weeds and seeds, first with our eyes and then with magnifiers. Sometimes seeds that looked smooth and hard at first looked as hairy as spiders when they were magnified. It was very interesting to see. We have wondered: Why are some seeds and seedpods hairy while others are smooth. We think – the hairy ones stick to things and get carried away. What about the smooth ones? Do they just drop?
Bits and Pieces:
- We enjoyed our first chapter read-aloud this week, Donovan’s Word Jar. Donovan collected and shared interesting words like profound, zeppelin, cantankerous and kaleidoscope. It is fun to think about how interesting words sound and look.
- Talk to your child about math – to see how addition and multiplication go together and to see what kinds of math problems feel like just right challenges.
- Thanks to the families who have been able to complete ALL the forms so far. We know it takes a lot of time and we truly appreciate your efforts. Please try to send in whatever remains on Tuesday. Thanks so much.
- Nearly twice a month we will have challenges with Mr. Caron on Tuesdays. The schedule is included in this week’s packet of papers.
- A HUGE thank you to the Friedman’s for bringing in the fans. They have made our days so much more comfortable. Thank you, thank you, thank you.