Saturday, September 17, 2016

Week in Review--Colors and Pete the Cat!


In reading this week, we learned and completed our last two choices for our Daily 5 reading block! We are experts with Read to Self, Work on Writing and now Word Work and even Read to Someone! Read to Someone is our newest choice and boy is it a fun one. Students get to pick a partner to read the books in their book box together. They take turns reading a book from their book box and sharing it with their partner. The partner group sits right next to each other and we call this sitting “EEKK” which means Elbow Elbow Knee Knee. When students sit this way it’s easier for them to share and both see the book. Sitting across from one another or too far away makes the choice a little difficult to run smoothly for both partners. Everyday students get to choose between going to these four choices. We only have time for three rounds, so students will not be able to get to all four choices everyday. I keep track of which choices students pick on my iPad using an app and make sure they get to all of the choices throughout the week. If a student has iPads one or two days of the week, they do not go to any of these choices and complete tasks and assignments on the iPad and then the next day they are right back to the Daily 5 choices. I find that giving choices and adding iPads in keeps things fresh and exciting plus it gives students a choice and who doesn’t love having a choice!

We have continued to focus on all of the letter sounds like week. We focused in on a few different letters each day, as well as completed our morning daily review every day by practicing all of our letters. We added our sight words to our daily review this week. Please continue to practice these sight words at home. I am seeing several students learning the sight words for the week, but are not able to remember sight words from previous weeks. They should be practicing all sight words every night as the year goes on.

Our new sight words: at, is
**Be sure to keep the white sight word cards from week to week and continue to practice all of them as new ones are sent home every week.

Our Poem of the Week:

iPad Fun:
  • We learned how to use the app Reading Eggs, Recap and Sight Words Ninja this week!
  • Reading Eggs is computer based and also an app on the iPad. It makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning. The students have a login and password and will soon be able to zoom through the login and will not need assistance in getting logged in! I will be sending home your child's username and password if you want to have them practice and play at home using a computer or tablet.
  • Recap is a video response and reflection app that lets teachers see how students learn. It provides insight into students' grasp on curriculum and how they're progressing through the learning process by introducing video as a quick, simple and everyday tool to collect student data. This week we started off by answering the question “What is your favorite color and why?” as our first practice with this app!
  • Sight Words Ninja is an exciting educational game that helps kids rapidly learn sight words by sight, sound, and touch. We also will practice with ABC Ninja and 123 Ninja to practice letters and numbers.


This week we continued to focus on writing specific letters in the alphabet. The letters this week were Bb, Pp, Rr, Nn, Mm. Everyday we go through an alphabet chart, sing a song all about that specific letter, trace a letter page with the uppercase and lowercase letter and complete another activity or craft that goes along with the letter. We love learning what each new letter will be everyday!


Our math vocabulary word this week was the word rectangular array. We learned what a rectangular array is and even looked at pictures of arrays in real life. We practiced illustrating an array and building arrays with math tools. We reviewed this word every day later in the week and during our morning free explore time with the math tools I saw several students building arrays and lines with their math tools!

Students also practiced and learned about our choices during our math block. We will have similar choices to our reading block in our math block. We will learn the choices Math by Myself, Number Work and Math with Someone. This week we practiced one choice that students can choose to do in Number Work. That choice has students practicing writing numbers, drawing shapes to go with that number and writing the number word. They can also write as many numbers as high as they can go even though the paper they can use only goes up to 20!


This week was all about COLORS and a favorite story book character named Pete the Cat!

  • Monday--We made a list of all of the colors we know and love. We came up with the basic colors as well as adding in  gold, silver, burgundy, teal, neon and more!
  • Tuesday--We listened to a story on the computer b/c I do not own the book called Mouse Paint. In this story three mice get into different colors of paint and then get into another color and their colors change. We completed our own mice book and paint experiment where we combined the two colors to see what color they make. We combined blue and red today and made purple!

  • Wednesday--We combined red and yellow today to make orange!
  • Thursday--We combined blue and yellow today to make green!.
  • Friday--We completed Pete the Cat craft to go with the story Pete the Cat Loves His White Shoes. We made our very own Pete’s and picked what color of shoes we wanted for him to have and filled the color word in the blank part of a sentence.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL):

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

We will be learning and applying SEL skills every week during our community circle time. This week and for the next couple of weeks we are focusing on having a Growth Mindset. Having a growth mindset is telling yourself that you will keep trying to do your best even if things get challenging and you want to give up. Keep trying! We watched a video with a Class Dojo monster named Mojo. Mojo learned a secret from his friend Katie that changes how he thinks about learning. Mojo had a hard time in school and wanted to give up and go home, but his friend Katie taught him how his brain is like a muscle and needs to grow strong and learning helps it grow stronger. We focused on having a growth mindset all week and not giving up if something became too hard. We completed several activities that challenged us and we discussed how we will not be perfect at something the first time we try it and to keep trying and eventually our brains will grow and we will learn! We also discussed several students own challenges both at school and at home and how they can keep their brains growing stronger.

One activity we completed this week during our community circle was making a paper airplane. I handed out a piece of paper to all of the students and told them to follow me while I made the airplane. I knew it would be hard for the class to follow along and complete the activity, but that is exactly why I chose it. I wanted them to see that things can be hard but while things are hard their brains are growing. I also wanted to record the language I heard coming from them as they were following along. After the activity we discussed how it made them feel and the language I heard. Next week, we are going to talk about how to think about our words and change what we say to be positive and encouraging to our growing brains.

Have your child write all of our sight words. Have them use a pencil, chalk, crayons, a pen or even create them with Play-doh or pieces of cereal or noodles. Anything to get them to practice forming the letters and reading them!

Next Week:
  • In reading we will have iPad choices up and running and learn a few new CAFE strategies…”Check the Picture, Beginning Sounds and Check for Understanding”.
  • In writing we will continue learning a letter every day!
  • In math we learn about 2D, triangle, square, rectangle and hexagon!
  • Our theme next week is all about the author Mo Willems!

**Special donation request....if anyone is out and about and can pick up some Dum Dum Suckers, we would love to have more for our treasure box!
Image result for dum dum suckers

Important Dates/Information:
**Go to our classroom webpage if you want to see important dates on a calendar! I will update this classroom calendar as dates and events come about.

  • 9/19 School Pictures
  • 9/22 Field Trip to Exploration Acres (more information to come)
  • 9/29 Author Visit
  • 10/14 End of 1st Nine Weeks
  • Week of 10/17-10/21 Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 10/26--Grandparent Fair 10-11 AM (more info to come)

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