Saturday, September 3, 2011

Week 2

Week 2 got off to another fantastic start. The children are learning rules and procedures, which allows for more learning to take place. We also got rid of our nap time and put science in its place. I think the children really enjoyed that. We continue to reinforce the rules of the classroom through book, song and discussion. We also role-play scenarios to get the students to problem-solve. We want them to be able to independently solve their own little problems without the help from an adult.

We began our writer's workshop this week. Each day, we have a mini-lesson that will build upon each other. The children have their own writer's journal and get to go out and practice the techniques that they used. We are also developing our skills through our morning message and shared writing.

In language arts this week, we focused on nursery rhymes. We learned many nursery rhymes and did several crafts that go with them. We made Jack and Jill going up the hill and practiced our gluing techniques.

We made Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall and practiced both gluing and cutting.

We role-played Jack Be Nimble jumping over the candlestick. We switched out the names in the story and each child got to jump over the candlestick/block. This was a big hit.

We made Hickory Dickory Dock and added a mouse running up the clock. We enjoyed practicing the rhyming and the rhythm of the nursery rhymes. We also changed our voices and did giant voices, mouse voices, silly voices, opera voices, robot voices, etc. It was a fun way to learn the nursery rhymes.

We also began our Daily 5. The first thing we learned was Read to Self. This is when the students have their own book boxes. They take them out into the classroom and find a quiet spot to read a book silently. We learned that there are 3 ways to read a book. We can read the words, read the pictures or retell the story. We are working on building our stamina. So far, we have been able to read to self for 8 minutes. We will continue to build our stamina as the weeks come.

We also reviewed some letters of the alphabet. We will go back and specifically focus on letters in a couple of weeks. We are singing alphabet songs and discussing what kind of Handwriting Without Tears shapes make up each letter. The shapes include big line, little line, big curve and little curve.

We enjoyed having our principals come to our classrom and share a story with us.

In science, we learned about what the word "science" actually means. We talked about science expectations as we set up our science journals. We talked about what scientists are and we wrote about what kind of scientist we wanted to be. We discussed what scientists do and we did our first experiment. We predicted what would happen when we added Mentos to Diet Coke. Then we repeated the experiment with what would happen if we added M&Ms to Diet Coke. We recorded our information and hypothesis in our science journals. The kids absolutely loved this experiment and wanted to do it again the next day too.

We learned about the tools that scientist used. We practiced using tools by counting how many drops of water could fit on the top of a penny. Each scientist got to use an eyedropper as a tool. The students were totally engaged in this experiment. They practiced measuring and repeating the experiment.

We also learned about safety in science. We discussed how many community helpers keep us safe and the kind of tools and equipment they use and applied them to how scientist can be safe. We signed a safety contract and included it in our science journal too.

In math this week, we began a unit on sorting. We talked about attributes of balls. Each child got to choose a ball and draw and describe the ball in their math journals. Then we used their descriptions to see if we could identify their ball. We practiced sorting the balls in many ways.

We sorted math manipulatives, buttons and attribute blocks. Mrs. Langham took pictures of each child's accomplishment and we put the pictures in our math journals. We had fun coming up with new ideas to sort (color, type, size, number of holes in buttons, thickness, etc.)

We concluded our week on Friday with a visit from Zero the Hero. He visits us every 10th day of school.

Then we enjoyed making our own Zero the Hero books and drawing 10 objects into our books to represent the number of days we have been in school.

Thank you to Donnell Oliver, who made the wonderful class sheets with pictures and addresses for our class. We also thank her for organizing a play date this Saturday. I hope you got to enjoy this time with your child and get to know other parents in the class. I love how this class is already becoming a family and working so well together. Thanks for all you do to make this possible. Here are some more cuties.

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