1st Grade Learning Zone- Weeks 9 & 10 2019-20

They ‘put a spell on us’!

“I Put a Spell On You”…

Awww yes….. nothing goes better with Halloween than pumpkin drops, pumpkin science, pumpkin math, parades, parties, and of course the witches from Hocus Pocus! Sita, Vanessa, and sissy Jasmine were the perfect witch sisters! Everybody looked amazing and all of the children (AND adults) made it through this high energy day. In addition to Halloween, we had the unprecedented emergency school closures, and our Farm to Fork field trip. A lot of ‘out of the ordinary’, but it was all good…sometimes it takes a little ‘wonk’ in our lives to appreciate the mundane loveliness of routines!

Eeks! Even big pumpkins float!
“Ive got this” ~ Zoe!

Field Trip

The Farm to Fork field trip was spectacular and the kids became one with the land. They interacted with healthy foods, fed the chickens, learned plant parts, made apple cider, cooked tortillas, and tasted honey from the hive! The day was nothing less than magical. A perfect field trip for the day after Halloween, not to mention our nutrition study.

We all agree…Aarav makes an adorable plant!
“We want to see the apples being crushed!”~Ethan & Charles

Finding nature letters has become a recent pass time of our class and we have accumulated some pretty cool Y’s, V’s, and C’s. When walking with your child, if you stumble upon a nature letter that can’t be transported to school please snap a picture of it and I will print it out for our collection.

Do you see the A Teacher Jonnie & Teacher Gabrielle?
Look Teacher Jonnie & Teacher Gabrielle its a Y!

Dav Pilkey!

I was happy to see so many families at the Dav Pilkey event. The childen got to hear his story of perseverance and resilience. Graham was touched and stated that if Dav Pilkey had given up and had not had a growth mindset than we would have no Dogman Books! I agree with Graham, not only would we have no Dogman books, but also no literary ‘Balderdash & Gobbledygook‘ such as Kat Kong or Dogzilla! 😉

Just a few of the Dav Pilkey attendees!

Learning Targets:

We say goodbye to Octobers Learning Target which accentuated both math practice 1(making sense of problems and persevering in solving them) and being resilient in learning. We now welcome November’s Learning Targets where children hone in on math practice 2, their flexibility, reading goal, and sentence structure.

Recap of Weeks 9 & 10

Reading– Reading groups are going strong and children are learning to decode. We find time everyday to read independently and our leveled library is set up for children to ‘shop’ for their ‘just right’ books. Keep reading out loud to your child every night and have them read to you for 10 minutes.

Keep practicing the Snap Word lists with your child and mix the words up for spotonaeity. List 3 is coming out this Friday.

Writing: Children completed another small moment story and learned to edit and revise with detail and proper sentence structure. They are learning that writers must write with the reader in mind. The kiddos know that when rereading, they must look for details that would make their story more interesting for the reader. This week we will discuss and practice bringing characters to life by unfreezing people and making them move and talk. We will also work on bringing the inside out; describing how their characters think & feel. Fun stuff. 🙂

Math: We are immersed in dominos. Domino adding, domino subtracting, and domino games. This module uses dominos as a springboard to write more equations and to use strategies other than counting by ones. Children will look to combine small groups of numbers and will work using known facts as well as those less familiar. The concept of ‘parts & whole’ is becoming more clear as children write daily number bonds and solve number sentences.

A Number Corner assessment will take place this week and it will act as another data source on children’s mathematical understanding.

Upcoming For Week 11:

Chunk Spelling: ‘ap’- (preveious…at, ot, et, ug, ip, ig, in, og, am, it). A great at home scaffold is to play spelling games with these chunks using CVC words and words with digraphs & blends in them. These are reading skills that have been taught so should be a fun and achievable activity.

We will also introduce the magic e song which I will apologize ahead of time for. You will find yourself singing this song at all times during the day, in your dreams, in the shower, and upon awaking in the morning. The hard things parents have to go through for their kids! :0

Word of the Week: doppleganger (prior words- shenanigans, rapscallion, hornswoggle, collywobbles, gongoozle, bamboozle, Balderdash, gobbledegook). It is heart warming to hear the children using these words in their everyday conversations. By years end they will definitely be more loquacious humans.

Family Culture Share: Charles’ Family Culture Share was so fascinating that the kiddos didn’t want it to end. Charles brought yummy foods to share and he talked to his friends about England, his favorite soccer player, and of course his new baby brother Edward.

“This is my little brother and his name is Edward”~ Charles

This Friday, November 8th our honored family will be Autumn Roberts.

Growth Mindset: This month our Growth Mindset focus will turn from resilience to flexibility, where as the children will learn the importance of being able to change a thought, a schedule, or an expectation. This is a necessary mindset when thinking about learning.

Mindfulness: It is week 3 of our Compassion-it challenge and the children have shared many compassionate things that they have done for their family and friends; such as making beds, clearing the dishes, cleaning up, opening doors, carrying lunches, and the list goes on. This week we will focus on self compassion. Self care & love is very important for the soul. It is a foundation to being able to care for others more thoroughly.

We will have mindful circles around this topic which will hone in on the power of self compassion.

The weekly Compassion-it Schedule: Weeks
1- Mindfulness
2- Compassion for Freinds and Family
3- Compassion for Self
4- Compassion for All
5-Comapssion for our Planet

Madeline made her own Meta Moment for home. She reads it to the class

Our November Features:

Artist: Shorya Mahanot (cont.)

Author: Gerald Mc Dermott

Continent: Asia (cont.)

VOICES Social Emotional Literature: ‘Perspective Taking’ is our literary focus. Teaching children to hear from others perspective is crucial for building understanding.

Science: Healthy foods, grams of sugar, and nutrition are still the talk as we learn about food groups and their nutrients. We will look at our organs and learn how sugar effects our blood & body.

We will also begin our earth science unit by looking at the rock cycle and crystal formation.

Project Base & Service Learning: We continue our study of plastics and its effects on our planet. On Friday the children will begin the design process for their prototype. Using aspects from everyones ideas the kids will engineer a prototype to clean up the Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch.

Another aspect to our plastic study is collecting the plastic packaging from our lunches. We are seeing just how much trash is accumulated by few students and are imagining how much more there is when thinking about other students at Gateway School, in Santa Cruz, in California, the United States, and then the world. This helps in their conceptual understanding of our planet and in their math thinking as well. Our land fills are full. The children are wanting to write to food companies to request less and/or different types of packaging for processed foods. They are also discussing what they can do to make less waste. Here is Zoe sharing an example of one environmentally safe way to package products.

“It’s made out mushrooms!” ~ Zoe

Design Lab: Design Lab is an anticipated part of the week because what is more fun than building stuff with glue guns! If you have any loose parts at home that you are wanting to get rid of, we will gladly take them. The children love reusing and repurposing stuff.

The Design Lab duo this week will be Charles & Piper!


Wednesday, 11/6 – Spirit Day! Dress as a character from a favorite decade.

Monday, 11/11- No School Veterans Day

Friday, 11/15- 1/2 Day In Service- early pick up will be at noon

Tuesday, 11/26- Grandfriends Day (more information TBA)

Wednesday 11/27-29- Thanksgiving Holiday

‘Earth Friendly Fridays’- Please continue to have your child wear his/her favorite earth activism T-shirts! We love our Earth Friday’s as we learn more about our planet, discuss environmental issues, talk about social justice within these issues, and explore solutions through project based & service learning. These Friday’s are not just units of study, but rather a year long focus on the importance of critical thinking, speaking out, & taking action. Learning that will penetrate deep within our children’s conscious.

Here is to a beautiful November…stay warm, put fall harvests beds, and watch the animals prepare for their transition to winter.

Have a wonderful week.

Love & Peace,

Jonnie (& Gabrielle)