Our Week – December 14

Thank you so much for finding the time to meet with me to discuss your child’s progress and plan our goals for the upcoming term.  I truly appreciate your time and all the things you are doing at home to support and promote learning.  We have an eager and hardworking class – much of the time.  😀

This week we’ve done our usual reading, writing, problem solving and researching.   We spent time blogging with a winter theme.  We also had a challenge with Mr. Guidi, Open Circle with Ms. Vas and we planned, designed and created a decoration for our door. We are excited to be introducing Bamboo to the school.

Learning More About Place Value with Rounding

This week began a study of estimation.  We hope to answer these questions: What is an estimate?  Why do people estimate? When could we use estimation?  Can we find examples where estimation is used outside of school?

As we make estimates, we will be learning more about place value and rounding up and down to the nearest ten and the nearest hundred.  We’ve learned that to round you look at the digit to the right of the amount you are rounding and then use the rule – 5 and above round up, 4 and below round down.  We’ll be developing this understanding over the next few weeks.

SEL  – Strengthening Relationships

In Open Circle we have been learning ways to strengthen relationships.  We’ve been practicing giving and receiving compliments.  We’ve been learning how to speak up for things we believe in or feel strongly about.  We’ve been finding ways to share our opinions and to accept differences of opinion.  Through role-playing activities we’ve learned the difference between advocating and telling – safety is a big part of our decision making process.  We’ve practiced ways of being a supportive friend by encouraging and looking for the good in each situation and person.  We’ve spent time talking about what a cooperative classroom looks like, sounds like and feels like.

Our challenge with Mr. Guidi was one way for us to show we could apply what we’ve been learning in Open Circle.  Working together to make our gecko door decoration was another opportunity we had to show we could discuss and plan, compromise and collaborate.  We can’t wait to share it with you when we are finished.

Family Story Project – Narrative Writing

This week the children selected the questions they would like to ask in their interview with a family member or family friend.  They tried to create open questions that will lead to stories – they’ll have to see.

We went over the assignment, created copies of the questions and hope to organize all this work in a small notebook.  This information went home in your child’s communication folder on Thursday (a couple children still need to finish this.)  Please help your child, while also following his/her lead.  This is their project.  I hope we can help them step up and take responsibility for all the parts they can do on their own.  Thank you so much for you interest and support.  You may find you need to help your child understand that they don’t have to ask all of the questions on their list – one is fine if it leads to a story. It is also fine if your child gathers a collection of short stories to put together in a collection of memories.

The children will need help with the audio recording.  This is a “just-in-case” measure so the children can re-hear parts or can use exact wording if they choose to.  One of the elaboration strategies we will be learning is the use of dialogue – so the audio might be handy.  I don’t think we’ll need them in the classroom.  I’ll let you know if we do.  The plan is that the children will come back with their interview information when we return in 2019.  Thank you for your help and support with this project.

Bits and Pieces –

  • I’ve not received signed slips from every family, so I am hoping you are all aware of our super important Secret Friend Project.  If you’ve not heard anything about this project yet, please email or call me this weekend.  It would be terribly sad if a classmate was left out or receive a gift that was obviously last minute!
  • The wrapped gift should be brought to school between Monday, December 17 and Wednesday, December 19. Our Secret Friend Celebration will be on Thursday, December 21.  We’ll eat together in our classroom.  I’ll bring a special dessert for us to share.
  • We’re nearly finished reading The Wild Robot Escapes. Roz and Brightbill are in a city and that’s not a great way for our robot to stay anonymous. Talk your child about what’s happening in the story and what they think might happen to Roz as she tries to get out of the city and back to her island.
  • We learned more about the spelling rules used when writing comparative and superlative adjectives. To do that we spent more time with long and short vowel sounds.  We’ve learned a bit about syllables too.  We’ll continue this as we learn more about adding suffixes to words.
  • Completed interviews and notes are due January 2.We’re hoping the interviews can be completed during the break so we can begin writing in the New Year.
  • Our next challenge with Mr. Guidi is on January 2.  (If you’re looking for an updated challenge list, you can find it on the October 26 post on the blog.)