Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween

Hi everyone!


Just wanted to clear up a few things about tomorrow. We will be having a small snack party at the end of the day during our regular snack time. I already have a few parents that offered to send something in, so I think we should be all set with goodies. Please just remember that all snacks must be nut free due to nut allergies. Pretzels, goldfish, fruit, etc. are all safe choices!


Also, a few parents were asking about costumes. Kindergarten is the only grade that will be dressing up tomorrow. I did tell everyone though that they are more than welcome to wear a Halloween shirt, or dress in black and orange! :)


If you have any questions, feel free to email me!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Seeds, seeds, seeds

Thank you to John for bringing in his pumpkin seeds for us to observe today! We wondered how many seeds there were in John's pumpkin he carved this weekend and decided to do some exploring at the end of math to find out! We figured out that the best strategy would be to count by tens. We organized groups of pumpkins seeds on the rug and labeled them. It was a great impromptu math lesson. Turns out there were 224 seeds!!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What's going on in Room 25? Read all about it!

We have been very busy this month diving into our new units of study across reading, writing, and math. I have established most routines, which is giving me some time to meet with individual groups and small groups to meet the individual needs of your little ones. In our mini lessons, we have been been working hard to establish foundations across all subjects. Check out what we're working on!

Writer's Workshop: We are working through our unit of Journaling. This unit allows students to keep a journal of memories, feelings, or things that have happened to them. We have been talking about what a journal entry must include (the "who" and "what happened"). My mini lessons have been focused on writing complete sentences, adding important details to each entry, and adding feelings. I am so impressed with all the writing that's happening! We are working to build our stamina too so we can write for even longer each day.

Reader's Workshop: We have been learning many strategies to tackle tricky words. I am teaching your growing readers to use many strategies when a word pops up that they don't know. Often, students try to rely on the strategy of sounding the word out. However, there are many many times this strategy does not work! I am training everyone to rely on other strategies, like thinking about what would make sense, what looks right, what sounds right, or what clues the text or pictures gives. Please encourage the use of all of these strategies as your read with your child at home. You may want to use the strategy card I passed out at Open House to guide them.

Word Study: We are continuing our word sort routines with short "u" words this week. We have been sorting words that end with "up", "un" and "ut". Students will be coming home with a practice sheet for this on Thursday.

Math: We are working through our subtraction unit. This week, we are focusing specifically on bar models and using subtraction to figure out the missing "part". This can be a tricky concept, especially this early in the year! Please work with your child on their homework and support them as they work through this.


A Few Reminders...

- All book orders need to be in by Friday. I will be submitting the ones I have received this week. Remember that you can order online too!

- Today your child brought home the coupon books. If you do not want to purchase it, it must be returned to school! If you would like to keep it, please send money in. I am responsible for turning in either a book or money for every child.

Thanks so much! Have a great night!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Important Reminder

Hi Parents!


I just wanted to remind everyone that my email address has a "c" stuck in there. It's  acwaterman@billerica.k12.ma.us. Another poor teacher, Amanda Waterman, has been getting many emails that were supposed to come my way. I just would hate for something important to go unseen, so please make sure you are using the correct email address. Thanks! :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Literacy Night- 6:30

Hi Families!


There is a typo on the homework schedule for the week. Literacy Night starts at 6:30 tonight, not 6:00. I just caught the mistake- I'm so sorry!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Apples

In science, we have spent the last two weeks becoming experts on apples! We have read many nonfiction books, examined how apples change with heat, labeled diagrams, completed taste tests, studied Johnny Appleseed and recorded in many ways all the new things we learned! Check out what we've been up to. :)

Class can/have/are chart we wrote together:


Diagram of an Apple:


Chart we made together on the Promethean board:


Apple Tasting and Graphing:







Making Applesauce and a Graph:






Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Word Study

Every day, we have a half hour of word study time. This is a time when students work with words to build their spelling and word recognition skills.

This week, I introduced the students to word sorts. Word sorts are a great way for students to work with words that have similar spelling patterns. Here are some things we have been doing:

Picture and Word Sort:
On the first day with a new sort, I introduce the students to the spelling patterns we will working with and we complete the sort together, discussing patterns we notice about families of words. Then, each student cuts out their own set of cards to work with for the week. They get familiar with the words by sorting individually at their seats.



Buddy Sort:
The next day, students engage in a buddy sort. They work together to sort their cards and discuss patterns they notice. Buddies can also engage in a blind sort, which involves one buddy reading the word secretly and the other buddy telling where the sort card belongs without peeking.


Written Sort:
Each student has a word sort notebook to complete word sort activities in. A written sort is just like it sounds! Students use their word sort cards to write their words into their word study notebook. They organized them by spelling patterns and write them according to which family each words belongs in. 


Draw and Label:
This is another activity done in the word sort notebooks. Students draw their picture cards and then write the word underneath it. 



Glue Sort:
On the last day of a sort, I have the students glue their word cards into their notebooks. Now their bags are empty and ready for a new sort the following week. For now, we will work as a class on one word sort together to establish the routines of sorting. Eventually, students will be given individual sorts that focus specifically on their own needs as a speller.