Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11, 2016

·       We are writers!  You would be so impressed and amazed with the progress these students have made in 12 short weeks!  Every young author in Room L51 has created a pattern book about something in nature.  We worked hard at making our writing easy to read.  We love using a new writing tool called "Space Man" that helps us remember to put a space between each word.  The illustrations in these books are gorgeous!  We are in the process of recording each child reading their book on Seesaw.  They will be completed just in time to show off on Grandparents/Special Friends Day!

      We are citizens of the USA!  On Election Day, we read the book Duck for President.  Duck wants things to be different on the farm, so he runs against Farmer in an election.  By the end of the book, he's been elected president of the USA!  After the story, we held our own election.  Each child cast a ballot for either the duck or the farmer.  We talked a lot about some of the rules around voting:  how one person casts one vote (to keep things fair), how votes can be private (so we don't put our names on our ballots) and how we usually vote for one person when voting for our leaders (which is sometimes a tough choice, as with the duck and the farmer).  In our election, Duck won in a landslide 10-3 over Farmer.

·       We are readers!  The best part of reading workshop is when we get to share with our reading buddy.  It is truly awe-inspiring to listen to these children engage in meaningful, thoughtful conversations with a partner.  They are sharing their favorite parts, wonderings and what they believe the story is mostly about.  I can’t describe the pride I feel for each student when I overhear comments such as, “In this picture, I am wondering why her brother has a mean look on his face.  What do you think?”  

·       We are mathematicians!  We are deeply immersed in learning about "part-part whole". This unit is strengthening our knowledge of numbers and how to decompose them.  Numbers greater than five can be represented by holding up 5 fingers on one hand and extras.  Our subitizing cards (we LOVE to subitize!) are arranged with dots that remind of our fingers—in groups of five and extras.  We can quickly identify numbers using this system.  

·       No is a great word to practice reading in November!   We learned about another reading strategy friend named "Chunky Monkey".  Chunky Monkey tells us to look for little words we know inside of bigger word. This can help us figure out those trickier words.  Already, we've discovered the little word to in today and tomorrow, and the little word yes in yesterday.

·       We have been learning about what life was like in earlier times.  We have been enjoying a wonderful series of picture books based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books Little House in the Big Woods  and Little House on the Prairie.  The one we have enjoyed the most so far is still Going to Town.  The children were very impressed with pioneer life, and we had a lively discussion about how things are different now.  In Going West, Laura and her family move out of the little house in the big woods, and travel in a covered wagon to their new home on the prairie. 

·       We have transformed our dramatic play center into an old-fashioned log cabin.  The children are loving dressing up and pretending to be Pa, Ma, Laura, Mary, baby Carrie and their good old bulldog Jack!  

Just a reminder:  Grandparents/Special Friends Day is on Wednesday, November 25th, from 8-12.  School ends at noon, and there is no Extended Day.  There is no school on Thursday or Friday, November 26-27, for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

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