Friday, February 18, 2011

A little bit of Catching Up...

Hello Cowpokes' Parents!

So glad to find some time to blog today.  Here are a few pictures from one of the (many) snow days, and some snaps from the Valentine's Party...

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We have a lot going on in class right now.  First of all, this was the month for birthdays!!!  Happy February Birthday to...
Ashton (2/3); Caden (2/10); Clover (2/17); Jude (2/28)

We've also begun Principal's Math Club.  Each Thursday the kids are given 30 math problems of addition and subtraction, sums to 18, to solve.  They are allowed to use manipulatives and it is not timed.  We have done this twice and those that have gotten the PMC award are...
Zoe, Jordan, Mason, Ashton, Haleigh, Jude, McKenzie, Kristopher, Marisa, Ella

We also have a new student!  Welcome Haleigh Miller, all the way from Pennsylvania!  She joined us on Wednesday and has been an easy addition to our class. 

In the Classroom...
In Science we are a couple of weeks into our six weeks oceans unit.  We are integrating the unit throughout the subject areas.  This is my favorite unit of study!  And best part of all...we're going to the Aquarium on March 9th!  Thank you to the moms who will be accompanying us as chaperones.  (I've turned my list in to the office already or I'd list your name!)
In Math we are covering counting like coins to $1.00 and telling time to the hour and half-hour through the end of the month.  Money sent in will be returned at the end of our unit.
In Literacy we are continuing Reader's and Writer's Workshop.  We are also learning the five parts of a friendly letter and will soon be visiting some children's literary classics like The Little Red Hen and The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Notes and Reminders...
--If you haven't already done so, please send in your child's Field Trip money and permission slip.  I can send a new one home if it has been misplaced.
--We are in need of paper plates, both large and small, and paper bowls for some activities in our oceans unit.  If you would like to donate them, they would be greatly appreciated, BUT IT IS NOT REQUIRED!!!
--No school this upcoming Monday, February 21st
--Thursday, February 24th is Multicultural Night
--Friday, February 25th is the due date for the Six Flags Reading Program
--Tuesday, March 8th we are signed up for the Spring Book Fair.  I will get you the time at a later date.

Happy Trails :o)
Mrs. Chamberlain

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January Updates

Howdy Cowpokes' Parents!

This month has come and gone so quickly!  We have had a very productive month.  I finished reading assessments and I am so thrilled with the progress I'm seeing in the kids.  Thank you so much to each of you for being involved with your child's education, and for taking the time to read with him/her each night.  Your dedication and child's hard work is really paying off.  In guided reading groups we are reviewing reading strategies like looking at the picture cues, getting your mouth ready with the first sound, skipping the word and coming back to it, and thinking about what would make sense.  I noticed during assessements that while reading words is becoming an easier task, comprehension is still lacking.  (Remember, it doesn't matter if you can read the words if you can't understand what they mean!)  As you're reading with your child, make sure you're talking about the story.  We're working a lot this month on story elements like characters, setting, problem, and solution.  These lead to great discussions about the book and help build comprehension.  

Our kids are doing a great job recognizing shapes around them including circles, rectangles, squares, and rombuses (rombi? LOL).  They are also able to identify 3-D shapes including spheres, cubes, rectangular prisms, cylinders, and cones.  Next week we will start to identify and count like coins. 

Next week we will celebrate the 100th Day of School on Thursday, February 3rd!  If you have any 100 piece puzzles that you would be willing to let us borrow (not keep) please send them in on Wednesday, February 2nd.  I will send them home after school on Thursday.  I would also like have the students bring in sets of 100 to sort.  It would be best if their items could fit in a small ziplock bag. 

Notices & reminders....
--Don't forget to put your child's name on all of their winter items like hats, gloves, coats, and scarves.  Our lost and found grows larger every day!
--Please be sure to be initialling your child's RED folder every night, as well as emptying it's content.  Also, Thursday folders should be returned signed and empty.

Happy trails! :o)
Mrs. Chamberlain

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

Howdy Cowpokes' Parents!!  I hope you had a wonderful and restful vacation.  I feel like the first week rushed by for my family, and the second week was nice and relaxing...just in time for it to be over!!  I was ready to come back and see our kids, and they seemed ready to be here as well.  I missed their sweet faces!!

This week in the classroom...
In Math we have been studying geometric shapes, both 2-D and 3-D.  The kids have had a good time trying to verbalize the difference!!  We've talked about the difference between a regular movie and a 3-D film, as well as examined a pop-up book in contrast to a flat book.  Then we've explored real-life 3-D objects and counted faces, edges, and verticies. 
In Literacy we have read a lot of fun winter books.  We've reviewed parts of a story and recorded the beginning, middle, and end of The Biggest, Best Snowman on a snowman that we each created.  I know our kids are crossing their fingers for a snow day next week after all these discussions of snow!  We've written about our vacations and each child has had the opportunity to share their writing at Author's Chair.  I've begun reassessing their literacy levels and will my goal is to begin meeting with Guided Reading Groups the week of Tuesday, January 18th.
In Science we have begun to identify different bodies of water.  We've discussed the difference between salt water and fresh water, as well as different activities you could do in each. 

Reminders & Notices:
  • We will be going outside regardless of weather, so please check weather reports each morning and dress your child/have your child dress appropriately.  Also, please write your child's name on every article of clothes that could go missing!  Hats, gloves, scarves, earmuffs...
  • There is no school for students on Friday, January 14th & Monday, January 17th we're off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 
  • I would love to get a good collection of 24 piece puzzles as well as a few bigger puzzles.  If you have any you're looking to unload, I will happily take them!!  They can be new or gently used, provided they still have all the pieces!!  Thanks so much :o)
Happy Trails!