Our Week – November 16

We’ve spent our week focused on portfolio preparations, beginning an inquiry into national holidays, learning more about elapsed time and stopping for a moment to count our blessings.  We’ve learned a bit about the history of Thanksgiving and how it came to be celebrated. It’s kind of cool to know that New Hampshire’s own, Sarah Josepha Hale was instrumental in creating American’s special holiday.  I am hopeful that by the time you read this note, each child will have completed his or her blog sharing a thankfulor gratefulacrostic.  Their thoughts are beautiful.  Enjoy them.

Student Goal Setting and Portfolio Shares

Thank you for spending time with your son or daughter as they shared what they are learning, their classroom and their goals for this year.  They are growing their abilities to reflect on their learning processes. Since we began this process, they can already see they have changed.  They realized how they grown as a mathematician by seeing problems from early October.  It is motivating to find proof of learning and to feel the rewards of focus and effort. The more actively the children participate in their own learning, the more they will grow.

It is exciting to see their thoughtfulness and their enthusiasm for sharing what they do each day. They deserve to be proud of their efforts and abilities to present their thinking and learning at this point in the year. I appreciate knowing what they are thinking.  They always surprise me.  Their ideas and approach to each task is totally unique.  They teach me something new every day.

Book Clubs – Keeping Track Thinking While Reading

Last week the children participated in book clubs. Our first book club choices were centered on the idea that everyone can write what they know and feel in their hearts.  All of these first choices were picture books and the clubs were designed so that everyone could meet the expectations of 1) completing the book, 2) writing a summary, 3) selecting a favorite part to speak to and 4) to make an inference about the author’s message.  All of the children met these expectations and had some great discussions about their books and reading.

Our second book clubs selections all have something to do with Thanksgiving.  They are nonfiction selections and have a wide range of length and complexity.  We’ll be learning more about note-taking and questioning during these book club meetings. We’ll use what we learn during these meetings to guide us into our second inquiry project about national holidays.

Bits and Pieces –

  • We finished The Wild Roboton Wednesday.  There was a resounding “YES” when I asked if we wanted to read The Wild Robot Escapes next. Roz is an amazing robot.  We loved the book so much we’ve decided to build some robots of our own.  It will be fun to see the personalities of our robots emerge.
  • Just a reminder – we’ve got a field trip on Monday to Strawbery Banke.  We’ll be there for the morning and will be returning to school around 1:00.  The children will need to bring their lunch – or order lunch from school as yesterday’s notice outlined.  We’ll be eating lunch on the bus while we return from the program.  Please be aware of the peanut and tree nut allergies in the grade.  Thank you.
  • We’ve continued to learn more about simple and compound sentences.  We are learning more about the choices we make can add to interest to our writing.


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