Thursday, September 25, 2014

Circle Letter 09/25/14

September 25, 2014

Dear Families,
    Our daily morning writing workshop has really taken off.  This is a class that likes to write and story tell.  In this first unit of writing the focus is writing true small moment stories. or Personal Narratives. This week we have been practicing using dialogue, as well as zooming in and adding important but perhaps small details.
    We have begun our thematic geography study of the Earth… last week we were reviewing the names and locations of oceans and continents.  This week each student is working in a small group researching a specific continent.  We are using a variety of sources including atlases and student-links on the laptop.  Groups are researching cool things! Get the scoop from your kiddo…  Also the fabulous Earth Care Posters have been coming in all week.  We will hang them outside our classroom and showcase them for all of Mitchell School to view.
        Be on the lookout each week (Mondays) for a new list of Spelling Words. The words are taken from the previous Friday Review. It is up to each student to practice mastering the spelling using the Word Work Menu for ideas.  If a student has no spelling words to practice that week content related Vocabulary Words will come home.   Parents please help out with quizzing them on the words and/or doing creative word games.  It makes a big difference.
       This week has been Maine Harvest Week for our lunch program.  Our class helped out on Monday husking locally grown corn, and the Weathervane is visiting today sharing locally harvested seafood with the 3rd graders.  Also our class did morning announcements all week…! FunJ

       We are in need of old newspaper for  paper mache globes that the students will be making.  If you have some to share we’d appreciate it!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Circle Letter 09/19/14

September 19, 2014

Dear Families,
    What a great Open House turn out… thank you to so many for coming in to see the classroom and check out how we spend our days. I really enjoy meeting the family members of my students and look forward to working together with you all this year.
    School news update: We used the laptops during computer time, and logged onto the EveryDay Math on-line games.  The students are becoming proficient at doing this, and I encourage you to give it a try at home with the password you received at Open House.  Two games I might suggest are Number Grid Difference and Target Number. They both tie directly into our Unit 1 work. Please let me know if you ever need another copy of your password.
       Our reader’s workshop is really coming along nicely.  We begin with a shared read aloud, which at the moment is a book called Poppy by Avi.  From the reading we engage in lively and interesting book talk… about our thinking and wonderings, our connections and predictions.  Afterwards, the kids cozy up with their own books and read for an extended amount of time.  There is a quiet and calm that takes over the room, as kids get absorbed in their books.
    I hope things on the homework front are settling in and you can make sense of the weekly assignment sheet. Don’t hesitate to send an e.mail if you ever need clarification.  The nightly reading slips are being filled in with great book choices.  I hand it out on Fridays in case your kiddo is reading over the weekend. Thanks for the home support with all the homework.  

Lastly, we want to welcome Angelina to our class!  We are thrilled to have her join us.  Our class has welcomed her with a wonderful openness!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Circle Letter 09/12/14

September 12, 2014

Dear Families,
    Our second week together has been great.  Most students are doing well with the new routines, remembering red folder and completing the weekly homework assignments. Also we are getting to know everybody through shared group work. We start our mornings in circle with a handshake greeting and everyone is getting comfortable with student names. This is important in fostering a supportive, caring classroom climate.
    A class project we are finishing is “Hopes and Dreams” for Third Grade. You will get a chance to see them at Open House, next Wednesday.  Please plan on coming to check out our classroom, our classmates  and get a feel of how the day is spent together.
Our Helping Hands” job-board has been colorfully designed, thanks to the help of  Mrs.Voll, who is working in our room  some this year.  We are lucky to have her with us.  Check in with your student to see what job they had this week.
    Book Orders are coming home today in the home/school folder.  If you choose to order books please return the slips and money (one check made out to Scholastic is preferred) by next Wednesday.  In advance of a year of book ordering together, I want to thank you for participating in this program. It allows us to order new classroom books for the students with each order… and good books helps to foster good reading!

    And lastly, don’t forget about the PTA sponsored four-mile road race Sunday 9/21 at Fort Foster.   Race time starts at 8:30.  It is a great fundraiser for our fantastic PTA. The $ they earn is directly spent on opportunities for Mitchell School Kids! I plan to run in it…. Care to join me?