Friday, December 8, 2017

Week of 12/4 - 12/8

Reading
Our young readers practiced identifying the central message of stories using both class read alouds and individual leveled books. Next week, we will move on to identifying details that are either relevant or irrelevant to the story's message.
We also practiced an important phonemic awareness skill - "playing" with consonant/vowel/consonant words such as top, cat and dog by tapping the sounds with our fingers and then either changing a sound or adding a sound to make a new word.

Social Studies
We learned about St. Lucia Day this week. Students read a mini-book, completed a fact chart and created their own special crowns. They also used their critical thinking skills to contrast this holiday with the holidays their families celebrate.

Writing
I introduced grammar books this week. These are a supplement to our Being a Writer program. We will work in these a few times per week to focus on important grammar skills. This week, we focused on writing complete sentences with a "who" (noun) and "what" (verb). When it was time to write their own stories, students were careful to include both of these important parts in their sentences. They spent some time writing stories about things that make them either sad or mad after listening to Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems.

Math
We used a 120 chart to play a game called "Missing Numbers." Partners took turns covering 5 numbers on their chart. The other partner had to figure out the covered numbers. Strategies included counting forward and backward, counting by tens and using a known pattern from the chart (i.e. seeing all the numbers in a column having the same digit in the ones place). Students also worked on filling in missing numbers on 120 grids in their math books.

Technology
Mrs. Hartley showed us how to use the Number Frame app to compare numbers using greater than/less than. Students picked two numbers, showed the numbers using ten frames and then made a mathematical expression using the greater than, less than or equals sign. These were compiled into a collage and uploaded to Seesaw for you to see!

Upcoming Dates
  • Wednesday, December 13th - last night of parent-teacher conferences
  • Monday December 25th - Monday January 1st -  no school


Friday, December 1, 2017

Week of 11/27 - 12/1

Reading
Reading groups began to think about the central message of their stories. In some stories, authors want to teach the readers a lesson. As a whole class, we practiced identifying the message and determined supporting evidence using the stories The Three Little Pigs and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Then, readers worked on identifying the message in their own leveled texts. We will continue to work on this learning target for the next few weeks. To show proficiency in this target, students will need to understand the central message (or lesson) of the story and relevant supporting details.

Social Studies
We began a social studies unit on "Holidays around the world." Over the next four weeks, we will explore four major holidays including Kwanzaa, St. Lucia, Hanukkah and Diwali. We focused on Kwanzaa this week. Students listened to nonfiction stories, watched a short video, read and colored their own mini-books and created their own Kwanzaa-inspired woven mats to gain an understanding of this holiday.





Science

We were treated to a "Fur, Feathers and Feet" presentation by Chewonki on Tuesday. We learned about animal adaptions in two major groups of animals - birds and mammals. We even saw two live animals - a mallard duck and a groundhog. We were also able to feel authentic mammal fur, bones, feet and beaks.

Math
We explored the concept of the equals sign this week. Students had to determine whether a statement was true or false by finding the total on both sides of an equals sign and deciding if the totals were equal or not. For example, 2+2+2 = 3+3 was a true statement but 4+4 = 3+1 was false. We also began counting and writing numbers to 120.

Upcoming Dates
  • Wednesday, 12/6 is an early release. Students will be dismissed at 12:35pm.
  • Thursday, 12/7 is our first night of parent-teacher conferences.
  • Wednesday, 12/13 is our second night of parent-teacher conferences.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, November 17, 2017

Week of 11/13 - 11/17

The Circus Ship Kinderkonzert
We were treated to a special concert presented by the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Please visit this link to learn more about the performance (scroll down to the "Brass Kinderkonzerts" section). The students really enjoyed learning about brass instruments including the trumpet, tuba, trombone and french horn.

Turkey Trouble
We read this humorous story about a turkey dressing up in various disguises to avoid becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Students brainstormed and created their own turkey disguises to go along with this fun book. They created "Wanted" posters for their turkeys, too.


Math
Students worked with story problems with multiple addends and explored the math concept of commutative property of addition. They realized that the order of addends does not affect the sum. They did well writing equations to represent the story problems, too (for example: 3 + 4 + 3 = 10). We had great discussions about addition strategies. Students used connecting cubes, number lines, dot cards and illustrations to solve their stories.

Winter Clothing Reminder
It looks like cold weather is here to stay! Please help your children dress warmly with winter coats, hats and mittens. Once there is snow on the ground, boots and snowpants will be necessary, too.

Important Info
  • Early release is on Tuesday, Nov. 21st - children will be dismissed at 12:35pm. There is no school the rest of the week!
  • Parent-teacher conference sign-up sheets went home in red totes this week. I am working on a final schedule and will send home confirmation notices on Tuesday!
Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Thursday, November 9, 2017

11/6 - 11/9

Reading
All reading groups have moved forward a level in their guided reading texts. It is very important that your children get additional reading practice at home with their book bags. Thank you for taking the time to have your child read to you each weekend.
This week, we focused on two more reading strategies - Flippy Dolphin (change the vowel sound) and Skippy Frog (skip the tricky word and then go back and try again). Students also continued to self-monitor reading strategies.


Writing
After reading Growing Vegetable Soup, we brainstormed activities we enjoy doing with our families. Students wrote their own family activity stories, making sure to begin each sentence with an uppercase letter and end it with a period. We also explored the use of labels in pictures. Lois Elhert uses labels in Growing Vegetable Soup so many students used them in their own pictures.

Math
We spent lots of time decomposing numbers in math. Students engaged in different scenarios where they were given a total and had to think of all of the combinations to make that total. For example, one scenario was that I had 9 vegetables - some of them were peas and some of them were carrots. How many of each could I have? Students were able to come up with all of the possible combinations of peas and carrots I could have, as well as the equations to match the combinations.



















Reminder: There is no school tomorrow as we observe Veteran's Day. Have a great weekend!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, November 3, 2017

Week of 10/31-11/3

Reading
Our focus reading strategies this week were Tryin' Lion (think about what makes sense) and Chunky Monkey (look for a small chunk in the word that you know). Students began to self-monitor as they read. First, I listened to them read and checked off the strategies I observed. Then, I asked them to name the strategies they used and compared it with my observations. They did an excellent job thinking about their own reading strategies. You can try this at home, too. As your child reads their book, ask them to name the strategies they used. This will support your child in meeting the learning target I can use strategies to decode words when I'm reading.


Writing
We read the story Daddy Calls Me Man to explore stories about family. After enjoying this beautifully illustrated story, students brainstormed a family member to write a story about. Our target was to write sentences with an uppercase letter at the beginning and a period at the end.

Math
We revisited familiar math games from Unit 1 to practice counting back as a subtraction strategy. Children played Roll & Record Subtraction and Five in a Row Subtraction to practice this important skill. They had flexibility to use a math tool (such as a number line or connecting cubes) to assist them in subtracting. At the end of the week, we explored story problems and games with unknown and/or missing addends. Students were given the total (i.e. 7 cubes) and had to generate combinations to make the total. They could see that different combinations can add up to the same sum.

Upcoming Dates
  • Friday, Nov. 10th - no school (Veteran's Day)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14th - KinderKonzert at the high school. We leave right at 9:10!

Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, October 27, 2017

Week of 10/23-10/27

Reading
We focused on the Stretchy Snake decoding strategy this week. Students also engaged in various word work and comprehension activities to follow up with their leveled texts. Some groups worked on sequencing major events in their stories while other groups sequenced words from a favorite sentence in their books. There was also lots of work with phonemic awareness including segmenting syllables, identifying letter sounds and building consonant-vowel-consonant words such as sit and beg.

Writing
We read the book Chinatown by William Low and used it to inspire our own stories about special places. Students brainstormed, wrote and illustrated about a place special for their own families. They worked on beginning each sentence with an uppercase letter and ending with a period.


Math
We finished unit 2 on Geometry and began unit 3 at the end of the week. This unit revisits addition and subtraction by focusing on specific, more efficient strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems. Students worked on "counting on" to solve addition problems while playing Roll & Record and Five in a Row. Ask your child to give you a demonstration of counting on!

Upcoming Dates

  • No school on Friday, Nov. 10th (Veteran's Day)
  • KinderConzert at the high school on Tuesday, Nov. 14th (we leave promptly at 9:10)
Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet


Friday, October 20, 2017

Week of 10/16 - 10/20

Reading Workshop
Reading groups began a new leveled text this week. We reviewed some of our decoding strategies and put them to work while reading. This week, we focused on Lips the Fish. It is important to remember that not all strategies work for all words. Good readers think about which strategy makes sense and sometimes tries multiple strategies to read a new word. They are bringing home books bags today so please encourage your child to read the book many times this weekend!




Writing
We read the book I Love Animals by Flora McDonnell and used the story to inspire our own writing. Students wrote about animals they love and gave reasons why. Good writers can think of an idea for a sentence and write a sentence with an uppercase letter at the beginning and a period at the end.

Math
We dug deeper into our geometry learning this week in a few ways. We began to discriminate between 2D shapes by telling how shapes were the same or different. We also played a game called "Guess My Rule" where there was a  mystery rule and the class had to guess the rule after looking at two groups of shapes - one group that fit the rule and one group that did not. Partners also worked together to sort shape cards and make posters describing how they were sorted. Ideas for sorting included sorting by number of sides and curved shapes vs. straight lined shapes.

Number writing rhymes were sent home in red totes this week. They are on a green sheet of paper. We use these to remind us how to write numbers properly. The students loved them so much that they asked me to send them home! Please use these to help your child write their numbers correctly.

Technology
Mrs. Hartley showed us how to use the Book Creator app to design a class book about Skillin teachers and staff. Each student chose an adult to draw and write about. These will be compiled into a class book. Students also used the RAZ kids reading app and geometry math apps during reading and math workshop.

Guidance
Mrs. Holt brought puppets to our classroom to teach us what happens to our facial muscles and voices when we experience different emotions. Children noticed how their cheeks and mouths moved up and down depending on whether they were smiling or not. They also heard how Mrs. Holt's voice changed when she used her puppet to show sadness.


Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet