Our Week – November 9

Happy Veterans Day! We’re getting ready to develop our weather forecasts as we end of our weather unit of study.  This week we’ve begun exploring our nation’s history by learning some about our nine national holidays.  We’ve continued to discuss and plan for how we can each contribute to the creation of a successful learning community.  We’ve been learning about sentences and parts of speech – nouns, verbs and adjectives. And finally, we’ve been exploring time. We’re learning about elapsed time and how to use what we know about fives and multiplication to connect with telling time.  We’re always trying to get the most out of our time.

Building A Strong Classroom Community – S.E.L.

We’ve been struggling with behavior for the past two weeks.  Both of these weeks have been full of unusual schedules and events. Because of this, I waited to see if we could pull it together.  Some have, but others have not.  As a class, we mean well, but behavior choices have left much to be desired. This, along with little attention to personal best and/or thoughtful effort, is prompting me to ask you to have a chat with your child about what they might do to support their own learning. We’ve been reading about teamwork and cooperation.  We’ve had lots of examples and now we need to make some important choices. If you have a chance, talk to your child about what s/he could do put forth best effort?  Ask how can s/he contribute to creating a classroom community allowing everyone to succeed? These conversations will help us continue them in our classroom, so we can be sure that learning is what we are about at school.

In Open Circle we are exploring the importance in being encouraging and giving compliments. We’re learning more about cooperation and how to contribute to our classroom team.  Competition has its place, but it’s not often part of our classroom learning community.  We are working toward a cooperative classroom.  Here’s how we imagine it will look and sound when we’ve been successful. We decided that a cooperative classroom looks calm, relaxed, focused and helpful. We can see that people are making eye contact and listening.  It looks like everyone is working to meet the classroom goals and everyone is doing what is expected with what the task and materials are at the moment.  We also decided a cooperative classroom sounds quiet so each person can hear what he or she needs to hear.  There would be the sound of purposeful talk that is on topic and respectful in our cooperative classroom.  We’d hear compliments and encouragement.

Our outdoor challenge this week was about teamwork too.  The class was divided into groups and sent to three different stations.  We were told we had to listen carefully to all the directions, take turns and allow everyone to participate.  Our goal was to move all the objects from one hoop into another hoop. With those directions, the class began. Ask your child what he or she discovered working through this challenge.  Perhaps Open Circle and the challenge can help your child in coming up with ideas of how our classroom can be a place where everyone can succeed in the manner that makes him or her proud.

Exploring Adjectives and the Power of 3

We’ve been exploring different types of sentences.  We’ve learned about simple, and compound sentences.  We know each sentence has a noun that is its subject. We know that the subject of the sentence has to do something, and then we are hoping to elaborate on the basic sentence structure by adding adjectives to paint a picture of our meaning with our word choice.

We’ve discovered that it is a bit harder than it seems.  We’ve also discovered that writing we admire has all different types and lengths of sentences.  We’re trying to think about all our sentence choices when we are writing ourselves. Check with your child to see if she or he trying to fill it with adjectives and description.  Some of them are, and some of them are not yet ready. You’ll be able to see some examples of readiness in this week’s set of papers.

Bits and Pieces

  • We’re nearing the end of The Wild Robot.This book has taught us about building relationships.  In the book, having friends Roz can help and that she can help in return is important. It is important in our classroom too. We are all learning how to be supportive community members.
  • If you’ve not had a chance to read and comment on your child’s informational weather writing on his or her blog, please do.  This is their first published piece.  We’ll be publishing them as books to be placed in the classroom’s weather library in addition to posting them on the blogs.
  • We’re exploring national holidays.  We’ve spent some time reading about Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Independence Day. We’ve read poems and shared our ideas as to why we have set these days aside.  It’s exciting to know that Thanksgiving became a national holiday through the efforts of a woman from New Hampshire.
  • Student-Led Goal setting conferences will be on Thursday, November 15 or Friday, November 16.
  • Our field trip to Strawbery Banke is on Monday, November 19.