Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Classroom Notes


It was great to see so many of you at Open House.  Thank you for coming out.  The kids were excellent tour guides!  We had another outstanding week in room 20.  This week kids voted on a team name.  We are Team 20!  It was only the second week of school and the first week that we were able to run a more regular schedule.  Each day I have been adding new “layers” of activities.  This week saw the beginnings of language and math workshops added to the routine.  I should take some time to explain several aspects of the workshop format.

Language Workshop:
  Monday’s routine includes several different activities.   Kids tell stories about their weekends.  This is one of the many ways we practice our communication skills.  After stories, everyone spends 20 minutes free writing in their notebook.  Kids can write about anything they choose.   Also during language workshop this week, kids worked on their Summer Episode personal narative, using their plans to write a rough draft on their personal Chromebook.  Kids began to practice spelling.  Kids are also working on alphabet posters for the walls and have 40 minutes of DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) during which they read independently each afternoon.  Wonder by R.J. Palacio is our current read aloud.  Kids are having fantastic conversations about being “right” and being “kind.”

At the end of the day, kids have been receiving a “Homework Helper,” a piece of paper designed to help them get organized.  I put a “menu” of assignments on the board, similar to what I do during workshops.  They use their “Take Home Folder” to transport any work between home and school.  At this point of the school year, kids are expected to read at least 30 minutes each night.  They are beginning to practice spelling.  Math “Home Connections” are assigned two or three times per week.  I want the kids to organize their evening by deciding which work they need to do. 

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