Friday, January 8, 2016

Polar Animals Week 1

On Monday, we discussed the adaptation of camouflage, and why it is important.  We related it to the moms, dads, brothers, and sisters that hunt.  They dont want the deer to see them and the polar animals don't want to be seen when they are hunted or be seen to be eaten.  We have been talking about this as "the science word that means they match where they are."  They are doing great with this large vocabulary word!  We also did a sort of animals that would be camouflage with the snow and would NOT be camouflage.  They really seem to be getting it!

On Wednesday, we discussed blubber and how it is a lot of fat under the skin to keep them warm.  Animals can't wear coats so they have all this fat.  We then did a blubber experiment.  First we made predictions, then we tested, and then we recorded our results.  A LOT of science going on this week!

Students work on the pocket chart game of matching the baby animals to the moms. They are learning new vocabulary, matching, looking at details, and team work.
Students play the new pocket chart game,
matching capital to lower case
 letters on mittens.  The mittens must
be the same color to help self check.
Students do a polar bear roll the dice game,
students roll the dice, count the dots, and put an
X in the corresponding column.
Students are listening to a variety of
books on CD from Scholastic.  Students
find their headphones, plug them in, pick a
book, put the CD in, push play (green button),
and listen to the story.
Students in discovery center decided to
start sorting the toys by color all on their
own.  They are noticing differences, grouping,
and using toys correctly!
Students are playing with the farm in the block center.
Students are using the centers correctly which helps them
play independently (especially great during PALS assessments)
and cooperative play with friends.  This is so great to see!
Please continue to send any completed winter break homework back to school and they will get stamps for the assignments completed. Students really love getting the little prizes for doing their homework!

Please be sending boots and snow pants now that snow has fallen (yay!).   Send them even if there is no snow for warmth!  The image is the order we do our snow clothes if it helps you at home.  We HIGHLY encourage them to do it completely independently, with only a little help here and there with tying boots, second mittens, etc.

The letter of the week was Mm. We learned the sign language for a letter, the literacy link sound symbols, the letter sound, and looking at and writing it in both capital letters and lower case letters.  Click here to view the many ways we learn the letter of the week!

Each week we watch letter videos from "Have Fun Teaching" and the students are really picking up the names of letters, formations, and the sounds of letters.  Check out these videos with you child!  Click HERE.

The Tuesday project of letter of the week is to 
decorate a letter with  something  that  starts with the letter. This week we decorated the letter M with Mini Marshmallows.  Students are getting good at making predictions of what they think they will be decorating with based on words that start with that sound.  On Thursday, our letter of the week project was to read a page from our alphabet book, M is for Monkey.

Students also do a maze of the letter helping get from one object to another starting with that letter, find and color all of the letter, color a page of something that starts with that letter, and make a crown at the end of the week to be the Kings and Queens of the letter!

We also do a handwriting sheet.  This is important because writing the letters correctly helps with efficiency as well as learning cursive down the line.  We ALWAYS START AT THE TOP.  Please encourage students to write the letter correctly!  This came home on the blue sheets from break.

Important Notes:
  • PALS will start Monday.  Again, there will be less materials coming home those weeks as I will be meeting with each child to fill out the PALS. Pals data will be shared with the rest of the assessments in February at conferences.  DUE TO THE SHORT TURN AROUND FOR THE PALS WINDOW THEY GIVE US, REPORT CARDS WILL NOT BE READY WHEN THE QUARTER ENDS.  YOU WILL GET ALL REPORTS AT CONFERENCES.
  • Dress for the weather Please send your child dressed for the weather.  We go outside 2 days a week (We really TRY).  AM goes out Wednesday and Thursday.  PM goes out Tuesday and Thursday.  Extended day (students who stay all day) go out every day.  Unless it is below 0* or raining we do go out.  Please send the clothes that will keep them warm.  Also, please attempt to send in clothes that your child can do themselves.  This may be sending a zip up sweatshirt over a pull over, zipper instead of buttons, mittens instead of gloves, etc.  Thought we will always help to get your child ready, we cannot help all at the same time.  Teaching the children self help and self dress skills is an important goal of the 4k program.  By sending easier clothes, it helps them be more successful.  
  • Layers may be necessary in the school.  Heat does not turn on until later in the fall/early winter so the building can be a little chilly in the morning before the bodies warm it up.  Send your child in layers and maybe have an extra sweatshirt/sweater left in lockers in case they are cold.  It may also be time to switch out the clothes in the top of lockers to warmer options.
  • As a part of our room decorations and to make every one feel at home, we have a "family and friends" board in our room.  Students will feel more at home and have a school family if they have their home family with them.  (The same as you putting a family picture on your desk).    Please feel free to send in a family photo that will be stapled up on our wall for the duration of the school year. Send in those family photos!
  • Background checks. When it comes to these, we assume you are good unless we get a note otherwise, but we are counting on it not being processed (and will not make that assumption that it was run and you are good) until 2 WEEKS AFTER TURNING THE FORMS IN.
  • Homework  Homework would be the only blank stuff sent home.  We have a homework stamp page in the back of you child's every day folder.  When you do homework with your child and send it back, we stamp the homework, stamp the homework page, and then send it back. Anything with a stamp on it or a project that is already done is yours to keep.  The homework page in the back of the folder explains more about homework. Homework TYPICALLY comes home on Thursdays and it is some reinforcing of letters at home (same sheet different letters so they also become independent).
  • Folders. Please be checking your child's daily folder each night.  We put notes on the notebook pages in their folders as well as any notes we may have for you.  Artwork is also sent home this way. As we start letter of the week, we will also start sending home homework to help reinforce the letter concept and identification.  Please work on this with you child to help the students make the connection between home and school. 
  • Also, Please check the student's Wednesday Folders.  Please try to take info out and return the folder and any forms/info/payments in those folders a day or two after receiving. 
  • Literacy Bags come home every three weeks.  Students will have a week to complete the project inside and can then return the bag with completed sheets in it on TUESDAY.
  • Library Books come every week.  We go to library on Monday and student have the opportunity to check out a book and keep it for a week. It can be kept in their back packs or at home, but please remember to bring it on Mondays. 
  • Book Order Books will be sent home with your child when they come in unless you send a note that you would like it done differently.  We do encourage books to be gifts so if this is the case, please send a note and we put them in brown paper bags and tell the student it is mom/dad's homework.  The next book order is due January 28.  Please click on the link for scholastic at the top of this page.  When you buy books for your child, it helps buy books and supplies for our classrooms. 
  • Snack reminder. Please remember healthy, nut free choices.   A list can be found on the blog at the bottom.  If you send an item that needs spoons/forks, please also send in those items. Thank You!
Next Week:
Theme: Polar Animals (week 2) & PALS
Letter of the Week: Uu
AM Snack: Gonnering

PM Snack: Pollack

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