November 29, 2017

Dear Families,

I hope this newsletter finds you well after a likely busy Thanksgiving break. The class has been sharing their tales from the days off from school, and I’ve heard all about your travels, some ouchies that happened, the food that was consumed, the family visited, and the games played. The students were very tired Monday and Tuesday, but were eccstatic about being reunited with friends, and just wanted to PLAY. Tuesday morning, we played on Kindy Island for one whole hour for our first snack time. They were over the moon.

Something new that we’ve started this week is our leveled literacy groups. Hannah, Becky and I will each be teaching a group of students from 9-9:30 Monday through Thursday for the next 6 or 7 weeks. In these groups, we teach early literacy skills: Letter names, letter sounds, blending, segmenting, reading three letter CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words, snap words (irregular sight words), and many other skills such as word building and spelling. We have grouped students according to their ability so each student gets the instruction that they specifically need, and so that their instruction is within their ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) which is basically a super dorky education term for the “just right” learning zone- not too easy, not too difficult.

This is the one of the ways that we “differentiate” our instruction in the classroom. All of the students are at varying levels in their language acquisition, their mathematical thinking, their social skills, their physical abilities etc. This is one of the concrete ways that we can specifically target students needs, make sure they’re getting what they need, and challenge them where they need depth.

The students love being with students from both classes, and they all know they are doing work, but don’t know who is doing what. We call it “literacy time”, and along with direct instruction, we infuse our instruction with games, sorts, collaborative projects, and many varying materials. Hannah and I love talking about this, so if you are curious, please come and chat with us!

LOOKOUT FOR LEARNING!

  • Sight (aka “snap”) Words: the, are, to, have, a, was
  • Mood Meter & Charter-Meta moment- what to do when you feel yourself experiencing a strong emotion.
  • Specials: Music, PE, Life Lab, and Art
  • Writing Workshop: Writing for Readers
  • Differentiated Language Arts Instruction with Sarah, Becky and Hannah
  • Numbers 1-20
  • Number talks- what are some ways to represent different amounts?
  • Handwriting: K, L, U, V
  • Animals of the Night Investigation: Owls
  • Investigation of light and shadows

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER EVENTS

December 14                           9am Field trip: Museum of Natural History 

December 20                          Starlight Sing 5:30-7pm in our classrooms

December 22- January 5       NO SCHOOL

January 8                                 Return to school

January 12                          In-service NO SCHOOL

As always, please let me know if you have any questions!! See you soon!

Love,

Sarah