We’ve completed our second week and our first Friday. I hope your children feel as though we are settling into a routine. The class developed its daily jobs list. We started using it on Wednesday and it has been exciting to feed the animals and work together to get things done.
S.E.L and Social Studies
This week our focus was on what are our rights and responsibilities as members of a community. We spent time defining community – a group of people that come together to do something – and a right – something you need and should have – and responsibilities – actions we need to take to make sure members of our community can have their rights met. We’ve read several books like Swimmy, Miss Nelson is Missing and The Great Fuzz Frenzy to help us understand how communities work together and what can happen when they fall apart. We read about rights in I Have the Right to Be a Child and we’ve begun to consider how many different communities we are a part of.
You’ll notice that several papers in the back of your child’s folder where s/he was thinking about what habits and behaviors would help us become a more successful learning community. Most of the children are hoping for a calm, focused, helpful learning community. And it is certainly true; the children are able to do their best work in that environment. It can be hard to maintain. We are beginning to see the importance of reflecting and thinking carefully about what we are doing. We are trying to consider how our choices impact one another. We are using theses ideas and discussions to develop our classroom rules and guidelines that will remind us to make better choices.
Reviewing Addition and Subtraction
This week in math we’ve reviewed different strategies for knowing and thinking about addition facts. There are 100 altogether, but when we break them down to think about the different strategies we can use to find the sum quickly it’s not so bad. We’ve learned a couple of games that help practice these facts – Roll Two Dice (a probability game) and Card Combinations for adding and Subtracting.
We also took the time to finish the baseline assessment. That is our second early-year math assessment. The data from this work will help me create some challenging problems for the children to work on throughout the rest of the year. You’ll also notice that we completed an addition fact check. They did a great job on that!
We’ve also begun exploring polygons. We read Tangled: A Story About Shapes, Friendshapes and The Greedy Triangle to remind us of how many different shapes there actually are. We’re learning about different categories of 2-dimensional shapes and how they are sorted. We’re learning about congruence, lines of symmetry and angles. We’re having fun with this as we build our calendar each day and learn more.
Bits and Pieces –
- The children are still learning about our classroom library. There are so many books to discover and explore. The children are finding the right combination so they can successfully read all of independent reading time with books that in interesting and understandable.
- We completed our first chapter read aloud, 8 Classroom Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos. We determined that the genre was fantasy because the animals were telling the story. We’ll be exploring different genre throughout the year, helping the children discover what they enjoy. You might want to ask your child which classroom pet they thought was more interesting as Twitch (the squirrel) ran through the school.
- We’ve been exploring the characteristics of award winning narratives. The children have begun to write their own. Some are writing personal narratives and others are writing fictional narratives. Some of the children are working together to create character themed story collections.
We are off to a great start. Thank you for your support and interest in what we are doing in our classroom each week.