Monthy Newsletter

      

 

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Dear Parents, 

I can't believe it is December already!  I hope you all had a nice and relaxing Thanksgiving. The classroom is all a-buzz with the excitement of upcoming holidays and family vacations!  It has been tricky trying to keep everyone focused on their schoolwork but I think the few special activities I have planned for December will be well received.  

Guided Reading

The best laid plans...Guided Reading groups did not get into full swing this November, as I had planned.  Too many days away from school and not enough hours in our school day are the reasons I pushed it back.  In order to properly place the children in guided reading groups, new assessments had to be done....which takes time....more time than I thought....  Here's a recap of what I said in my November newsletter.  It still stands for this month: Guided Reading groups will begin this month.  Whereas in Reader’s Workshop the children are responsible for choosing the books they read, I will be making the book selections for the kids in guided reading.  During this time, the children and I will meet in groups of 3 or 4 at a time.  They will be reading leveled books and will work on a variety of “strategies” such as using the pictures as cues, looking at the first letter of the unknown words, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out the sounds in the unknown words, reading for meaning, working on fluency, and making their story come alive. 

Power Words / Word Study

The Power Words (sight words) your child will be working on between December and January are: said, this, have, like, here, has, look, was, do, are. Please have your child review these words often.  As you read to your child (or as your child reads to you), have him/her point these words out in text.  Please keep in mind that the children should be able to spell, as well as write, these words from memory. The alphabet letters and sounds that will be reviewed this month are m, n, o, p. 

The purpose of Word Study is it examines words in order to reveal the logic and consistencies with our written language system and it helps the children master recognizing spelling, defining, and using specific words. This can include playing with letters, playing with words, experimenting with word patterns, and creating word sorts.  Word sort activities are those in which each child will receive a sheet of pictures, letters or words.  On day 1, we will identity each of the items on the sheet and the children will cut these apart and store them in an envelope.  On day 2, the children will work independently on sorting these items into categories.  In the beginning, the children will be sorting by concept (living/non-living).  As we move along, some may be sorting objects by initial sound, others by middle vowel, others by digraphs and blends or syllables, etc.  Each set of sorts will make their way home to you when we are done using them in the classroom.

Writer’s Workshop

  This month, the children will continue working on our Writing for Readers unit.  In this unit, the children will be working toward writing stories across three pages that others can read.  The stories must be experiences from their lives and must have a beginning, middle, and ending. It also includes, working on using upper and lower case letters (where appropriate), adding punctuation, and, for those that are ready, working on some conventional spelling.  As with all our writing, your child's work will be sent home at the end of the unit. 

Math

We will continue to work on identifying and describing shapes. 

Science/STEM

In November, the children worked in pairs to create a Native American drum.  Their drum had to withstand 20 drumbeats and had to have at least 2 design patterns on it.  The partners also had to work together to create and demonstrate their 20-beat drum pattern in front of the class. There were some very interesting creations and drumbeats for sure!  One partner from each group was chosen to take the drum home. The STEM activity for this month will involve creating a gingerbread house according to a set criteria.  Children will work in groups of 4 and one lucky student from each group will be chosen to take the gingerbread house home! I will be emailing a Sign-up Genius form home to ask for donations for this activity (graham crackers, canned icing, candy canes, etc.)

 

Literature Studies
This month, I will introduce the children to my vast collection of Gingerbread Man stories!  We'll read the traditional tales but I'll also be reading The Gingerbread GirlThe Gingerbread CowboyThe Runaway Wok, The Runaway TortillaThe Matzah ManCatch That Pickle, The Cajun Gingerbread Man, and The Gingerbread Man Loose in School, to name a few!  We will use Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast characters and settings and will note the particular phrase each character repeats throughout the story.  Please ask your child to share with you the story du jour!

Days Off

School is closed from December 25th until January 2nd. We will have an Early Dismissal Day on the 22nd.  Please note:  On early dismissal days, the AM session’s schedule does not change.  The PM students will start their school day at 10:30am and will leave at 1:00pm.

 Special Activities
The children will take part in a few special activities this month.  On December 5th we will be entertained by our 3rd grade chorus.  This is always such a great show of talent!  Hats off to our 3rd graders (and former kindergartners
J and to our awesome music teacher Mrs. Allesee!  On the 15th, the children will be working on their gingerbread STEM activity.  On the 19th, we are making sweet sock snowmen.  Be on the lookout for them.  I think they'll be something you'll bring out every season!  On the 21st, we'll have our Winter Wonderland celebration.  Once I have given the information to our room-moms, they will be in touch with you if they could use your help at the party.  Thank you SO MUCH in advance!

Have a great month and a wonderful holiday season and break.  Please remember to view your child's progress report through Genesis on December 20th after 3:00pm!

 

Kim Moss