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!