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Room 2 Super News-October

Happy New Month and what an exciting month it has been! These past few weeks we have dedicated a lot of time toward learning about ourselves, our classmates, and building a great classroom and team community. Our class is also working very hard to learn about our school and classroom expectations, routines, and procedures. We have been doing a great job and have been learning more and more every day!

This month we have also begun our core curriculum content. Listed below you will find more information on all the learning we have been or will be doing in each area. Just in case you are one of the parents that asks your child “What did you learn or do today?” and you get the response… “Nothing…” or “We had recess…” :0) Here is a little more information so you have some background of what is going on. Hope this helps!

Reading… (Comprehension)We will begin to learn how to make connections and predictions while reading. We will talk about how we connect what we know (our thinking) to the story and guess what will happen next. Doing this helps us to interact with the story and better understand what we are reading. (Word Study)… During our word study time, we dive into letters, sounds, and phonemic awareness activities, such as beginning, middle and ending sounds, rhyming, phoneme segmentation and much more. The first letters we tackle are M, A, S, T, and we do one letter per week.

Writing… The first unit of study covers narrative writing (stories about ourselves). The key ideas in this unit are that we are all writers and we all have a story to share. It also teaches strategies to help us share our thoughts on paper. We will use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to share stories about ourselves.  We also have a handwriting curriculum called Handwriting Without Tiers. It teaches students to use big lines, little lines, big curves, and little curves to build, write, and make letters appropriately. We are just beginning our work with this but have loved the songs, manipulatives, and beginning lessons with this curriculum. This works in a different letter order than our word study so I add in letter writing work in both areas.

Math… We are gaining understanding of number concepts through creating our own counting books, recognizing and representing numbers, writing numbers, and through our daily routines. We are also using counting mats to match numbers with representations of that number. Number 1-10 are our focus at this time.

Social Studies… We are focusing on our classroom rules of taking care of ourselves, each other, and our space and digging deeper into what this looks and sounds like in our classroom.

Science: We are beginning a Pumpkin Investigation to celebrate the fall season! We will intertwine science, math, reading, writing and art to study pumpkins. We will observe and study the inside and outside, learn their life cycle, and much more! What fun!

Growth Mindset Focus/Virtue of the Month: Mistakes! Kids will learn that mistakes are proof that you are trying! Instead of thinking “I made a mistake!”, I can think “Mistakes help me learn!” We will read stories around making mistakes and focus on the process of trying hard things and new things during our learning and play times and growing from our mistakes. Read more on Growth Mindset below…

Conferences… Conferences are upon us and are scheduled for the week of Oct. 23-27. Our conference sign up came out a week ago through email and we are using the Sign Up Genius System. If you haven’t signed up already please check your emails and if you need help please contact me. If I don’t hear from you in the next few days I will be contacting you to set up a time. Thanks in advance. During conference week we have ½ days the whole week. Conference times run Monday-Thursday afternoons, with evening times available on Tuesday as well. I can’t wait to see you all there and to update you on the amazing progress your child has made!

Homework… We are one month into school and our class will begin to receive homework on Monday, October 16th. Homework will consist of a reading with your child at least 10 minutes every single night. Reading with your child is the most important thing. It helps to build language, imagination, and helps them hear what fluent reading sounds like. The reading can consist of you reading to your child, them reading to you, or a combination of both. Once your child is ready and beginning of year assessments are completed, Phonics Readers will come home and your child will read to you from those at their level. I will share more about this later on. I will also include a monthly homework sheet that is supplemental but has fun activities to do as a family. This sheet is not mandatory. On our website are math and literacy links and documents to support our in class learning and focuses. We also have two great online resources that can count toward your child’s reading minutes-Raz-Kids and Starfall. I will include information about these with our first homework opportunity.

Growth Mindset: This year at Brier we are continuing our focus around Growth Mindset. This is a research based belief system that suggests that one’s intelligence can be grown or developed with persistence, effort, and focus on learning. Why is this so important to me as a teacher and your child as a student? I want to instill in them the belief that they are capable, they are learners, and that challenges and mistakes are how we learn and are an amazing thing! If you are wondering what does this look like in kindergarten? Well, we will focus on one growth mindset focus every few weeks. We will “train our brains” through wonderful read alouds that will start great conversations around mistakes, persistence, failure, and resilience and will apply this to our learning and play. My students will learn the power of yet because yet is full of possibility and learning.

Parent Volunteers… I am in the process of scheduling and contacting parents who turned in our classroom volunteering form.If you are interested and haven’t turned a form in yet, please contact me and we will get it scheduled. Also, remember that if you would like to volunteer in class you must turn in a background check form and it must be ok’d in our system before you can enter our classroom or school for volunteering. I am looking to start classroom volunteers the week after conferences. The schedule is a little crazy up until that point with picture days, ½ days, etc… Thanks for your patience!

Superhero of the Week… Very soon we will be starting our superhero of the week! This is an opportunity for your child to get to share all about themselves with the class and for us to recognize them for the amazing kiddo they are. Every child in our class will have a chance to be the superhero of the week and to enjoy being in the spotlight. Each day of their week will be dedicated to getting to know something wonderful about them or having something special planned for them. Listed below are my ideas for each day of the week. I will have a sign up available during conference week so that you can sign your child up for a week that works well for your family. If you have no preference I can just plug them in for open weeks throughout the year. Parents will play a little part in this, so be ready. It will be a special time for your child! Whoo hoo! I’m looking forward to this opportunity and I think the kids will be super excited about it too.

Monday: All About Me Poster completed and ready to share with the class.  I would love if they would bring a few family photos as well. We will display this in class for all to see.

Tuesday: Bring in their favorite picture book. I will read it to the class or they can!

Wednesday: Sharing sack with 3 items that are important to them, their favorite things!

Thursday: Lunch with their family (or special lunch with me and a friend if family can’t attend).

Friday: Letter/book from the class that will come home.

Fund Run… This is just a heads up to keep you in the loop for an upcoming event.On Friday, November 3rd, our Brier PTA is holding a Fund Run. This is a fundraising event where we collect pledges for the number of laps we complete. They will be holding this event during school hours so that every student can participate, regardless of whether they were able to collect pledges or not. Pledge packets will be sent out on October 19th. This should be a fun, community building event!

Donations… Every once in awhile in class we will ask for donations for projects, play or in class activities. This month I’m reaching out for cardstock. Donations are not required but if you would like to donate or have some extra laying around home we would love it! I use cardstock every week for our letter of the week art project. We can use any color (as long as it’s not too dark to copy onto). Just send it in with your child or it can be dropped in class or in the office if you would like. Thanks a ton!

Snacks… We are running low on classroom snacks. If your child is taking part in our classroom community snack and you would like to contribute, please feel free to send it in any time with your child. We would love to have it! The mid-morning snack gives the kiddos that extra boost they need to keep the learning and playing going all day. Listed below are some great snack options for our class that fit the Smart Snacks Law. I have found some of these options at a reasonable rate at Costco, so I will identify those if you are interested in contributing that snack.  Thanks!

 

  • Belvita Blueberry Breakfast Bars (Costco)
  • Freeze dried fruit (Costco)
  • Whole Grain Goldfish Crackers
  • Kellog’s Cereal Bars (Costco)
  • Whole Grain Graham Crackers
  • Cinnamon Teddy Grahams
  • Fruit Leather (Costco)
  • Pretzels (with whole grain in the first ingredients)

 

(Fall on the Farm) Fall Celebration… Our Fall Celebration is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, November 2nd. The kiddos will be traveling through 4 centers- art, cookie decorating, and Fall gaming activities. There will also be Fall stories, recess, and much more! If you would love to volunteer to run one of our centers, please let me know and I will pencil you in. All are welcome to join the fun and travel with your child, just observe, or help out at our celebration. We are all very excited about this day! For the celebration, students (and parents :0) ) are welcome to dress for our Fall on the Farm celebration. This could be as simple as a fall color dress up (red, yellow, brown, orange, etc...) or as creative as a farmer, scarecrow, pumpkin, apple, etc... Make it fun and do whatever your kiddos feel comfortable with. Remember there will be frosting, paint, and recess involved so keep that in mind while thinking of dress up options. Also, an email will be coming a little closer to the party date to ask for donation items for the party, for example cookies, frosting, etc… If you would like to donate, be on the lookout for that email in the next few weeks. We can't wait to have our fun Fall Celebration!

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to email me at murphyme@edmonds.wednet.edu, call me, or leave a voicemail for me at (425) 431-2096. Thanks so much and here’s to another wonderful month of school!

 News in a Flash:

*Friday, Oct. 13: Picture Day! Say CHEESE!

*Monday, Oct. 16: Art in Action @ 2:30.

*Friday, Oct. 20: NO SCHOOL. Professional Development Day.

*October 23-27: Conference Week. ½ days ending at 12:20.

*Friday, Oct. 27: PTA Monster Mash Event in gym-6:00 p.m..

 *Thursday, Nov. 2: Fall on the Farm Celebration in class!

  *Friday, Nov. 3: PTA Fund Run 3-3:30.

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