Sunday, December 18, 2016

Week of December 19

This coming week is a bit funky with two full days and two half days before our winter break. Since things are a little hectic this time of year, why not add Spirit Week to the mix?!

(Fun Hat Day)
Monday is a full day, but we will be having our holiday gift exchange in the afternoon after Art from 2-2:45.  With the unpredictable weather and two half days, I was worried that we may have trouble fitting this in.  Therefore, I don't want to wait till the last minute and disappoint students by missing their exchanges.

(Twin Day)
Tuesday morning students in the elementary grades will have substitute teachers so that elementary teachers may meet with our literacy specialist in the morning and work as a team in the afternoon looking at data and our instructional practices.  This is a half day for students.

(Crazy Hair Day)
Wednesday is a full day and regular schedule.

(Pajama & Stuffed Animal Day)
Thursday is another half day with a special all school event taking place in the gym from 8:30-9:30.

In between all these events this week, we will have reading, writing and arithmetic.  I look forward to returning to our normal schedule after our break so that we can delve deeply into the light unit in science.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season; enjoying family and friends!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Week of December 5
This week we will begin a formal spelling program called Words Their Way.  The first week we will be working on words and word patterns with the long o sound.  After assessing the students there are apparent holes in skills that need review.  Your child will come home with a packet of words for the week that they should work with each night.  The first night they should sort them into three categories based on the spelling patterns of the words.  The next night they need to write 4 complete sentences using as many words as they can in the sentences (within reason, so that the sentences make sense). The third night they need to write a rhyming poem using these long o words. There is no defined expectation of the length of the poem. Finally, on Thursday night they should study the words whatever way works best for them, in preparation for a test on Friday.

We will resume our light study and; look at how light is produced, the big ideas about light that we have learned so far, and how visible light creates the "ROY G BIV" spectrum. (You can ask your child about this.)

We have been working on procedural writing and will learn about the use of white space in writing for this genre.  Students will learn about using bullets and number sequences as they type their written pieces.  Toward the end of the week they will also learn a new procedure and we will begin a couple of holiday projects.

This week (December 5-11) there is a national awareness of computer coding called "Hour of Code." I have a few websites noted in my resource section that students may link to in order to problem solve and code programs. These skills that they learn through coding will most likely be everyday skills our students will need in their future work lives doing jobs that haven't even been thought of yet. It's very exciting trying to "break the codes" and move to the next levels.  Through computer coding I have watched students take challenges, be willing to fail yet keep trying, and move from a fixed mindset to flexible thinking, not to mention great collaboration among all the learners. During this week, many apps are also offered for free to raise awareness and enthusiasm for coding.  If you go to the app store and type in hour of code, or coding, several apps appear.  Lots of math skills are also included in many of these programs!

I will try to get more pics this week to add to the blog. I sometimes get so involved with helping students that I forget to seize the moment to capture them working.  Have a great week everyone.