Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

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.  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.  Kids can write about anything they choose and many choose to write about their weekend.  Also during language workshop this week, kids finished their their bio poem.  After brainstorming to create a plan, kids used their plans to write a rough draft. They conferenced with a teacher on their drafts and then revised their drafts as they typed up final copies on their Chromebooks.  Kids began working on alphabet posters for our walls and have 30 minutes of DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) during which they read independently each afternoon.  Kids are into books during DEAR!  My goal for them right now is to find books that they are interested in and that are a good fit for independent reading time each day.  We have a pretty good classroom library to pull from.  We also finished our first read aloud, Ned Feldman – Space Pirate by Daniel Pinkwater, and we began reading Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.  Ask your kid about mean ol' Judd Travers.

Math:  For math this week, we began our first math unit on geometry and multiplication.  We will be reviewing geometry vocabulary and discussing relationships between shapes.

Outdoor Classroom:  This week, we were able to spend some time in the garden doing what we are calling Outdoor Classroom.  This outdoor learning component helps set the context for science learning for the year as we use observation to collect data.  Our conversations have been about how community is made of built and natural environments and the garden is a combination of both. 

In other news, we will make Team T-Shirts this Friday.  Thank you for sending the money and t-shirt size information.  Thank you for continuing to send a full water bottle each day.  That is so helpful!  Last Tuesday was our first library day with Ms. Cyndi.  She asks that kids talk with family to come up with a usual spot where books are kept at home and a system for remembering that books will be due every Tuesday.  Kids have the option to renew books that they are still reading.

Please follow us on Twitter @LewisRoom20 and at LewisRoom20.blogspot.com for regular updates and photos!

Mark

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