Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Thank You

We'd like to thank everyone who helped make our gallery opening successful. Thank you to our loving families, friends, and schoolmates for attending!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Time to Order Scholastic!

Perfect for holiday gift giving! Please let me know if you would like any of these packaged up secretly - it is not a problem.

As always, paper forms are coming home - but click on the link to be taken to our classroom page. Order on line by this Friday. Thank you!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Creating Space for Reading

If you pop in after lunch recess on any given day, you will see a lot of coziness going on. Children make little nested areas in the classroom and in the library. They cuddle with stuffed animals and will even read to them. On dark and rainy days, we break out the flashlights and read/tell stories under blankets. When the weather turns nice again, we will pack up a blanket or two and head to the woods with a bag of books. I want to make reading as pleasurable an activity as possible - one that is scheduled and looked forward to as a time to recharge.

At home, making a designated reading space makes sense. A reading nook can cut down the distractions, and create a serene and welcoming space in which to curl up with a favorite book. Maybe you could find a way to screen off a part of your living space and add some cozy cushions and a lamp - all set! Take the doors off a closet and transform it into a reading nook fit for Harry Potter. A canopy from Ikea can create a magical place.

More important even than creating a physical space is creating an emotional space for reading. A whole family reading time is highly recommended. Your children can see the value and joy of reading if they know you value it too. Putting all the electronic screens away for 30 minutes to curl up with your own reading material - what a nice way to relax from the hurried nature of the day.

You can read this article from KQED/Mindshift called Tips and Tricks Parents Can Use to Nurture the Love of Reading in Kids. While this is geared mostly for caretakers of older children, I found much of the information can be applied with even the youngest of people. I particularly like the part where children should be allowed to read what they want for pleasure, even if it isn't the best "literature." Long live Captain Underpants.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Special Reader Update - Mark Your Calendars!

Here is the updated roster for Special Readers, with a reminder on how it works. 

Monday, November 18 - Alex and Lynn
Monday, December 2 - Augustus and Lawson
Monday, December 9 - Livia and Emma
Monday, December 16 - Finley and Kalyan

Monday, January 6 - Mira and Evan
Monday, January 13 - Graham and Alex

Two children will come prepared to read a special book aloud to their classmates. This book should be picked out at home and practiced several times for increased fluency and expression. Shorter, funny picture books are the most popular with audience members, although children have also had success reading joke/riddle books, short mystery stories, poetry, and other types of literature.

Not only does this time give the readers a chance to become better readers, it also gives the rest of the class a 
chance to practice being good audience members. We are learning to listen with not only our ears, but with our eyes, mouths, and hearts.

HOT HOT HOT! This Week in Math Class

This past week in my math group we've been attempting base ten riddles. They started out quite mild, and then got extra spicy.

Most children easily solved Monday's mild puzzles by themselves, without my help or the help of the base ten blocks. Because our Singapore math books emphasizes place value, we were all ready for these basic challenges. Here are some examples:

I have 4 tens and 8 ones. Who am I?

I am 36. How many tens do I have?

If you put 3 more tens with me, I would be 46. Who am I?

If you take away 1 ten, I would be 78. Who am I?

Image result for base ten blocks

By the end of the week, the puzzles took a decidedly spicy turn. Children decided there was strength in numbers and worked together, with me or an adult helper, and found the base ten blocks very useful!

I am 56. I have 26 ones. How many tens do I have?

If you put 4 more tens with me, I would be 125. Who am I?
If you take away 5 tens, I would be 94. Who am I?

I am 452. I have 25 tens. How many hundreds do I have?

I have 18 ones. I am between 130 and 140. How many tens do I have?

These types of riddles are great practice for developing true number sense. Students find it fun to manipulate and play with numbers as long as it is kept low-stakes and light. Try making some of these base-ten puzzles for each other at home! 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

2nd Snack Roster of the 2019-2020 School Year

Please mark your calendars!

Lawson     November 18 - 22
Finley       December 2 - 6
Emma       December 9 - 13
Kalyan      December 16 - 20
Evan         January 6 - 10
Mira         January 13 - 17
Livia        January 21 - 24
Alex         January 27 - 31
Augustus  February 3 - 7
Lynn         February 17 - 21
Graham    February 24 - 28

Monday, November 11, 2019

Yay! A Snowy, Snowy Day!

It was certainly a winter wonderland today, and I got to spend it with 11 of my favorite people. Here are some pictures to remember a special school day.

Morning recess was GLORIOUS! It wasn't too cold, and the snow was just right to make snow balls and snow angels.

mmm, pretty good ...

going back in for more!

Gussy just can NOT believe how good this is.

For afternoon snack, the children help make snow ice cream - a very special occasion snack. First, they harvested 11 (or so) very fresh cups of snow. They we added a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Stir and enjoy!