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Hello! It’s the month of February and our class is in the mood to celebrate friendship and the new friends we have made! We will be talking about how Valentine’s Day is about family, friends, love and friendship. So, take the time to talk about what Valentine’s Day is really all about and remember to take time to celebrate your family, friends, love and friendship together. Also, ahead in the crazy month of February we have some other upcoming spirit days, celebrations, and events, so read below to get the scoop on all this month has to offer. It’s a BIG ONE!

A Sneak Peak at our Learning Ahead…

Reading: Read-to-Self is in full swing and we are reading independently using the pictures, words, and retelling the story. We are up to 15 minutes! Whoo hoo! Read-to-self builds independent behaviors in our kids, really getting them diving into reading, and allows me to read individually with students as well as pull small groups. Our next steps are getting into our small groups to practice and build the skills we need to read on our own or reach the next reading level! (Comprehension) We are heading into our focus of asking questions while reading and working with the main idea and supporting details. Word Work-We have learned a total of 17 letters, we are working on blending the sounds to read, and have learned a total of 25 sight words. Remember blending the sounds together to read is a strategy practice. Have your child take each sound in a word and slowly blend them together until they read the word. Sight words are very different. They are read by sight and memorized over time through continued practice. They cannot always be sounded out and it just takes time to recognize them. Therefore, reading by sight, which is why they are called “sight” words. If you have questions or wonderings in either of these areas feel free to come talk to me for ideas, understanding, etc…

Writing:We are heading into opinion writing. When writing our opinion we will tell our preference to something, for example-who is our favorite character in a story, what is our favorite food, etc…

Math: Working through Unit 3 which covers partners and switch partners for number 1-10 (example-5+1=6 or 1+5=6), teen numbers, and writing numbers 1-20 in order. We are also working on building problem solving and critical thinking through fun math acitvities. Read on to find out more…

Character Ed.: Our virtue of the month is Stamina, which is the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. This is a great focus for this month because we are talking about and using stamina during our read-to-self time, during our math and literacy stations, and in all we do. It also ties in to our growth mindset talks about perseverance and doing our best even when things are tough or hard.

Other: Taking part in Suess fun and Valentine art projects, activities, and stories.

Our Valentine Celebration… Valentine’s Day will soon be knocking on our front door and Room 2 will be ready for it. We are planning on having a party with a theme focused on friendship on Tuesday, February 14 in the afternoon.This day will be all about celebrating each and every one of our kiddos and the wonderful relationships we have gained by being a part of this class. Students are invited to bring cards for the class, supply goodies for the party, and to make Valentine’s Boxes at home. To help things run smoothly, and so this isn’t too overwhelming for any of you (or myself), here are some guidelines:

  • Cards-One for each student in class and we have 22 students, 1 para-educator (Miss Crader), and myself in class. If your child is interested we also have our specialist teachers and principal-Ms. Bierman, Mrs. Schmid, Mrs. Norenberg, and Ms. Stewart. Have your child sign their name only and please do not label the outside of the Valentine and/or envelope with another child’s name to make for easy distribution of cards during class. For this reason I am not including a class list.
  • Valentines Boxes/Bags/Envelopes-Best to use sturdy boxes, for example, a shoebox or you may use a small to medium sized bag. You can use any decorations you would like to decorate their Valentine’s Day “mailbox”. A creative idea is to use recyclable items to add some flair to your box (toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, etc…)! I have seen amazing creations such as mailboxes, gardens, dogs, and even robots. Have fun and use your imagination!
  • Centers- We will be enjoying 4 centers… 1) Gaming Center (Heart Tic-Tac-Toe, Valentine Math fun…), Minute to Win it Valentine Edition Center Games, Arts/Crafts center, and Passing out of valentines/snack. It’s good, clean fun!
  • Goodies/Supplies-We are having four centers and need some supplies and goodies to add to our day. If you would like to contribute something please let me know and send it in prior to the event. If you would like to be reimbursed for your supplies, just send in the receipt and I will reimburse you through our class party/supply fund. Here is a list of some items we need:
    • Candy hearts (quite a few big bags, small and large hearts)
    • Marshmallows (2 or 3 bags)
    • Valentine Sugar Cookies (enough for a class of 22)
    • Frosting-2 or 3 frostings, varied colors or kinds
    • Decorative Candies/sprinkles
  • Volunteers-If you would like to join in on the fun, please let me know as soon as possible. I would love to have at least 4 parents, one to run each center. Thanks so much!
  • Dress up-Have your child dress in anything Valentines they choose. Valentine colors, hearts, heart glasses or head bobbers, or dress like a friend in class to celebrate friendship. Anything they choose! Have fun with this!

Word Parade… On Friday, February 17th we will be having our Annual Brier Word Parade and Vocab day. So get your thinking caps on and your creativity flowing, to come up with some amazing words and wonderful outfits to go along with it. For those of you who don’t know about the word parade, here is some important information. This is a fun and exciting day where we get to celebrate words! We all pick a word of our choice, look into the definition, and dress up to show what that word means. Also, remember to choose words that are non-violent and school appropriate. This is a wonderful opportunity for our children to learn many new and exciting words in a fun and creative way. They can even choose words related to our learning in math, science, reading, and more! Have your child come dressed up to school the morning of the 17th. Along with their outfit they should have their word posted on them, and if you would like, the definition as well. Upon arrival we will share our words with the class and then participate in an all school word parade starting at 9:30! What fun! I hope to have 100% participation and will send another reminder closer to the date. Thanks so much for all your work, participation, and support of our school and your children. I will send an email in the future with some past vocab day outfits/words that I have worn just to give you a better idea. Another great resource is searching on the internet. If you type in vocab day parades, pictures, examples and descriptions are there to explore. Good luck and have fun with this!

100th Day Celebration… On Wednesday February 22 we will celebrate our 100th day of school. This day is to celebrate us being in school 100 days and being 100 days smarter! We will share all we have learned so far, visit our kindergarten hopes and dreams from the beginning of the year, and have an exciting day around numbers and math. It should be a fun-filled day. More to come on this day in the future so keep your eyes peeled.

Math Fun! (2 activities that build problem solving, critical thinking, and math language)…

*Daily Data Math… We have been taking part in an activity called Daily Math. Daily math is a way to teach kids and offer meaningful activities that get students thinking deeper about math, numbers, and their learning. Each week is started with a question of the week, for example-Do you like to fly… airplanes or kites. We set up a T-chart and the kids place their picture under what they prefer. Then from there, each day has a specific focus. This allows the kiddos to think deeper because each day we revisit the same information but in a different way, and the data is all about our class. We’re excited about this math work and I feel this learning opportunity really improves number understanding, math vocabulary, shares a variety of math strategies, and offers a challenge to students who need it. Here’s the weekly schedule:

Make it Monday: Collect data around the question of the week, thus “making” a data display. We add a T-chart to our math journals and chart the data.

Tally Chart Tuesday: We revisit the same data and create a tally chart to show our results.

Write about it Wednesday: We write a sentence to share something we notice about the data. This will be an especially great way to create deep math talk and to share noticings about math and numbers in our class.

Three Equations Thursday: We write 3 different equations to show the data on our chart.

Another Way Friday: We show the data in another way. This could be a pictograh, bar graph, pie chart, etc…

*3-Act Tasks… 3-Act Tasks are a way to grab kids attention and peak curiosity about math. For Act 1 we show them a video or picture and ask what they notice or what they are wondering. They share their thinking and then we relate it to math. We find out what we want to solve and get the information we need. In act 2 we overcome obstacles and try to solve our math question using pictures, equations, cubes, etc… During Act 3 we resolve the problem and the kids share their thinking in how they did this. We are beginning these tasks this week and I’m really excited to share this with our class. We have fun and engaging videos about birthday celebrations, missing cookies, Humpty Dumpty’s broken eggs and more!

Save the Date… Read Across America Event (Kindergarten Team Reading!!!)… The kindergarten team will be taking part in an amazing community event!On Saturday, March 4th your very own Brier kindergarten team (Miss Yampol, Mr. Mitchell, and myself) will be working together to read Dr. Seuss books in honor and celebration of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. This event will take place in downtown Edmonds at Revelations Yogurt in the back room. Come down early to enjoy all the fun planned around town. Last year you could meet and take pictures with Thing 1 and Thing 2, search around town for The Cat in the Hat, eat yummy yogurt and listen to some amazing reading and storytelling in celebration of Dr. Seuss. Please come down, enjoy the fun, and cheer us on as we read some Dr. Seuss classics! A flyer is attached to this email with information on this event and there will be more reminders to come, so keep your eyes peeled! I can’t wait to see you all there!

Seusstastic News and Events:

 *Tuesday, Feb. 7: Report cards home.

 *Friday, Feb. 10: Early Dismissal at 12:20. Teacher Professional Development Day.

*Tuesday, Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Celebration!

 *Friday, Feb. 17: Word Parade Day 9:30.

 *Monday, Feb. 20 & Tuesday 21st: NO SCHOOL. President’s Day Holiday.

 *Wednesday, Feb. 22: 100th Day Celebration.

 *Saturday, March 4: Read Across America-Kindergarten team reading. Downtown Edmonds.

Thanks!

Megan Murphy

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