Thank you for helping us have a wonderful Valentines Day. The children were thrilled with their treats and trinkets. We had a fun morning sharing and “squeaking” together.
We’ve rearranged our daily schedule and routines in ways that encourage the children to be more reflective and thoughtful. I hope to help them get the most out of their learning. I’m asking them to put forth a bit more effort so their products show more of what they know. I don’t want them to over-analyze. No one will finish anything. I have been asking them to revise their writing, select different genre when reading or to consider solving a different type of problem. I’m pleased with how many in the class are focusing their attention and effort. Let them know what you see in the work that comes home on Friday, or in the content of their blog posts.
S.E.L – Open Circle
For the past several weeks we’ve been discussing behaviors and placing them on a continuum. One end is labeled with “Positive, Helpful, and Productive” and the other end is labeled “Negative, Hurtful, and Unproductive.” The children wrote scenarios and we’ve been placing them along this continuum. We’ve had great discussion about saving seats, playing fairly and making comments about what others have or how they look. We’ve also added behaviors like complimenting and being kind to our continuum, as well as annoying behaviors, chatting, teasing and destructive behaviors. Behavior is one thing we can choose and control when stop to reflect on how we want to be in the world.
We talked specifically about bullying this week. We talked about the anti-bullying law in New Hampshire and why it is important to understand what bullying truly is. Please talk to your child about this. The definition we used is: Bullying Behavior is when one or more people severely or repeatedly harm someone with actions or words. There is an imbalance of power. We often over use the term bullying when we speak of general unkindness, so it is helpful for the children to know that we – at school and at home – are working together to build a happier, kinder world.
Area and Perimeter
Most of the children know the difference between the terms: area and perimeter. When we talked about problems that included fencing in an area to keep animals safe the concept began to take shape. Each morning we are charting the growing patterns in our calendar and that is helping too. See if your child can explain these to concepts and how each of them is helping us practice both, our basic addition and multiplication facts.
We’ve also begun to explore the standard algorithm with addition. For some children it makes perfect sense. They can visualize the place value changes and are relieved to have a one-step process for combining amounts. For other children it is terribly confusing process. It is challenging for them to visualize amounts ort o be certain of how amounts combine. They are unsure of how place value can help us organize our thinking. With time it will come, but don’t be alarmed in problem solving work seems a bit shaky as we attempt to become more efficient in our problem solving process and maintain accuracy as well.
Bits and Pieces –
- We’ve been working on our family stories. Most of the children have completed their first draft and are now revising to add more detail and description.
- We’ve begun to chart our daily reading habits. The goal is to see what we are reading currently and make plans for how we can push ourselves to read more and differently.
- In December the class initiated the “3E Book Awards.” They were excited about writing books. This week the class voted for their top three choices. They’ve created an exciting process – and they’ve realized that the most detailed books are the ones that win. Hmmmmm.
- We’ve selected countries for our Global Geography project.
- This week we had a cooperative challenge with Mr. Guidi. It helped to reinforce the notion that the habits of cooperation – quiet, focus and kind – lead to success.