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December 2017 Newsletter K-222

 

Important Dates:

12/23/17-1/1/18 Winter Recess

 

Friday 1/26

8:50-9:20am Family Friday

 

Friday 1/26

2-2:20pm January Birthdays Celebration

 

Dear K-222 Families,

 

While we will be off for winter recess soon, we have been busy this December! See below for all the great work we’ve been doing in reading, math, writing, and content study.

 

We are sending a warm welcome to a student who has joined our class this month, Pedro, and his parents, Amanda and Lucas. We are also delighted to have two new teachers assisting regularly in the classroom: Welcome to Sherelle and Chevonne!

 

For more information on what’s happening in K-222, remember to keep an eye on our class Instagram page (@k222pss).

 

Best wishes,

Robin, Julie, Lucy, and Kaltoun

 

Guess what we are learning?

This month in Reading…

The students of K-222 are reading! Every day, we have time to get inside our personal reading bubbles and do some independent reading. This month, we’ve been learning and using reading strategies like, “point at words as you go across the page” and “say what’s in the picture to help sound out the word.” We each have our own “thinkmark” too, which is like a bookmark. Everytime we learn a new reading strategy, the sticker for that strategy is added onto our thinkmarks. These have been a great tool for our early reader books.

 

We’ve been reading books together about working together as a team too. Stone Soup by Jon Muth, Duck in a Truck by Jez Alborough, and Swimmy by Leo Lionni are a few of the stories we’ve enjoyed. We’ve been discussing deeper comprehension questions and making connections to our own learning community:

“What did you notice?”

“How did the characters help each other?”

“What would you do if you were there?”

“What is similar about the story and our school rules?”

      

This month in Math…

When we are wondering about a math question, we are noticing that there are different ways to solve problems. “How many days have we been in school?” has sparked conversations around ways to use a variety of mathematical models. We are experimenting with counting by ones, fives, and tens. As we explain our own ideas and  listen to the ideas of our peers, we are developing important skills in thinking mathematically, understanding another approach, and quantitative reasoning.

 

Developing a stronger sense of five has been another focus of our math work this month. We are strengthening our ability to quickly and subconsciously identify the quantity of five without having to count. When playing games like “Five or Not Five?” children have noted that:

“I saw two and three, and then I added them together in my head. So I knew it was five.”

“There was three and another three, and I know that’s six. So it’s not five.”

“I saw two, and so I knew that wasn’t enough to be five.”

 

We are also gaining a sense of five as a combination of 5-and-0, 4-and-1, and 3-and-2. In the “How Many to Make Five?” game, children work with a partner to guess the missing quantity to make five: “If I have one red dot, how many more do I need to make five?” We check our answers and then record the data on a sheet. Some students have been challenging themselves with the “How Many to Make Ten?” version.

This month in Writing…

Literacy Centers have been a busy time for the Writers of K-222! From keeping written correspondences with teachers at the lined-paper-and-envelopes-center to sign-making at the index-card-center, children are engaged in open-ended learning activities. These centers allow each child to challenge himself/herself at his or her own level of development.

 

Did you know that when you don’t know how to write a word, there are some strategies you can use to figure it out? Children are becoming more independent with strategies like “stretch-out-the-word,” “borrow it from the word wall,” and “use the alphabet on your table.” If you were able to come to our Family Friday this month, you had the opportunity to see some of the “Sounds in Motion” work we’ve been doing with Torrie. Children are using the letter sounds they’ve learned to help sound out words during writing activities.

This month in Content Study…

The painted lady butterflies have been flying around their habitat in our classroom! Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about what children have noticed and what we are wondering about butterflies. Two leading questions in our research have been:

What do butterflies eat?

What are the parts of a butterfly?

What is the life cycle of a butterfly?

 

As we learn more about moths and butterflies, we are launching into reading and writing about non-fiction. As we conclude this study, we will be creating dioramas of butterflies and moths. Please start collecting shoe boxes for this project now!

Next month we will…

  • begin studying capital letters and extend our work with sight-words.
  • conclude our study of moths and butterflies.
  • practice the reading and writing strategies that we’ve been learning.
  • begin working in leveled guided reading groups and learning to pick “just right” books.
  • explore 2-D geometry, number patterns, and “just right” math games.

November 2017 Newsletter K222

Important Dates:

Thursday 11/30

8:50-9:20am Family “Friday”

 

Friday 12/15

8:50-9:20am Family Friday

2-2:20pm December Birthdays Celebration

 

12/23/17-1/1/18 Winter Recess

 

Dear K-222 Families,

 

Thanks to everyone who was able to come in for Parent/Teacher Conferences. It was a pleasure speaking with you about all the growth and development of the students! We hope to see you again on Thursday for our monthly Family “Friday” visit.

 

Are you looking for ways to encourage your child to talk more about school? Remember that this newsletter and our private class Instagram page (@k222pss) can be useful tools for conversation starters!

 

We check email after dismissal every day, so feel free to contact us at rsmith80@schools.nyc.gov, jlee100@schools.nyc.gov.

 

Best wishes,

Robin, Julie, Lucy, and Kaltoun

       

 

Guess what we are learning?

This month in Reading…

The Readers of K-222 have been noticing that a character in one story can be similar to a character in another story. We’re using words to describe the characters we’re reading about, like “loud,” “funny,” “hard working,” etc. We’re trying on a variety of different character voices too, as a way to reflect who is speaking.

 

We’ve been reading books together at read aloud times with a theme of being thankful and appreciative, like Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss and The Thankful Book by Todd Parr. Literacy extensions of these stories included reading a recipe and making our own “oobleck,” using sign language to show if we are thankful for the same things as Todd Parr, and drawing/writing about what we are thankful for.

 

Another new and exciting element in our reading program is a monthly visit with our fifth grade reading buddies! When they came to our class this month, we shared books from our classroom library with them.

  

 

This month in Math…

We have done a lot of counting! We are particularly interested in different ways to show a number. When we calculate how many days we’ve been in school, we show the answer with the growing number line, tens frames, bead string, written number, and hundred chart. We each made a counting book too, where we used a variety of models to show each number.

 

We’ve been busy with counting games as well! With games like “Roll & Record” or “Grab & Count,” we are finding different ways to keep track of objects as we count them. Here are some ideas we’ve come up with so far:

“You can nod your head as you count each one.”

“I move each counter over as I say it.”

“I just knew it was three. I didn’t have to count.”

“If you have two numbers, you don’t have to count the bigger one. Like for 6 and 2, you can say, ‘6,’ and then count 2 more: “6… 7, 8.’”

            

 

This month in Writing…

The Writers of K-222 have been “publishing” their own books. We work carefully over several days on drawing (and sometimes writing) across pages. Several authors have volunteered to share their books with the class. During a share, children get to hear and see what one of their peers has been working on. After listening carefully, we offer suggestions on what the author could add or tell what we noticed about the book. These shares have sparked a variety of comments and inspired authors to try new ideas:

“Maybe the wolf and the fox could stop fighting and be friends in the end.”

“This is a good story because something happens to the character.”

“You could have a building fall onto the Bad Guy Godzilla to end the battle.”

Phonics learning is another important part of our writing work. We have been practicing how to write more lowercase letters and identify their sounds. We are also using the “Sounds in Motion” approach to help us remember which sound goes with each letter. You can see how we do “Sounds in Motion” on our Instagram page: @k222pss

   Image  

 

This month in Content Study…

There are moths and butterflies growing in our classroom! When the butterfly caterpillars came, they were very small. As they got bigger and changed into chrysalides, we used colored pencils to make scientific observational drawings that show exactly what we saw. The moth cocoons are usually still and look like “rocks” or “leaves.” Sometimes we see them move, and we’re trying to be patient as we wait for the moths to come out!

Next month we will…

~conclude our study of lowercase letters.

~learn more about moths and butterflies through observation, research, discussion, and writing.

~expand our reading fluency by exploring reading strategies.

~continue to develop our skills in counting, try some math partner games, and deepen our understanding of five.

October 2017 Newsletter

Important Dates 
 
Tuesday 10/31 
Halloween Parade 
 
Monday 11/7 
Election Day, no school for students 
 
Thursday 11/16 
First Parent Teacher Conferences 

Half day for students

Friday 11/17
November Birthday celebration

 
Thursday 11/23-11/24 
Thanksgiving break 
 
 
Dear Families,
We have been settling in nicely into the school year!
We worked hard to learn the rules of Peck Slip School and we are continuing to practice them every day. We learned how to move around the classroom or Stations times. Stations give us a chance to work in small groups, with more direct teacher support. We also learned a new way to resolve conflicts between friends with a tool called “Flower Power.”  Here are a few more highlights of the month:  
  • We celebrated September birthdays in the classroom with treats  
  • We had our first lockdown drill 
  • We have completed more than thirty days of school 
  • We will be moving to the original 11:50am lunch schedule starting on Monday October 30!
Also, a new para, Lucy will be joining us as Millette will be assisting another student in the upper grade. Millette will be missed but we are excited to have Lucy!
Best, 
Julie, Robin, Millette and Kaltoun 
 
Guess what we are learning? 
This month in reading… 
 
We have been retelling familiar stories using the “Five Finger Retell.” This helps us to identify five important elements of a story: the characters, setting, the beginning, the middle, and the end. We’ve enjoyed using the Five Finger Retell for stories like “The Three Little Pigs,” “The Little Red Hen,” and The Billy Goats Gruff.” We even got to out some of the stories out in small groups! 
 
We‘ve also been practicing how to read with a partner. We do this by sharing one book, using a “Level 1” whisper voice, and taking turns turning the pages.  
 

This month in math…

 

We learned a lot about patterns! We’ve been building, identifying, counting, dancing, and discussing patterns. We used colored tiles, pattern blocks, and unifix cubes to create our own patterns and learned about naming the repeating unit. We’ve had fun playing the “What Comes Next?” game, and we also learned to name our patterns.   
We also learned our first partner game called “What Comes Next.  Those of you coming to our Family Friday on October 27th will be able to play this with your child!  
We are also continuing to count through the routines in the classroom such as counting days in school, kids in attendance and answering a fun weekly survey question, such as “What is your favorite season?” 
Thank you to all the parents that attended our First Family Friday visit! We hope you enjoyed playing “What Comes Next” and “Build a City.” These game boards will be going home within the week so you can play them at home.

This month in writing…
 
Just like in reading, we learned to use the Five Finger Story Retell to make our stories interesting! We are working on stories that have characters, setting and a beginning, middle and an end. Some of our stories can even have a problem or a solution!  We are continuing to use pictures, words and/or add labels to our pictures to express our ideas. We also learned the sight words (words we know just by looking):  I, like, love, is, it 
 
 
Next month we will… 
  • learn about the letters: d, s, e, r, p, j 
  • start our first content study (Butterfly and Moth) 
  • create a counting book 
  • read stories that have strong character voices 
  • learn about the writing process and using tools in the classroom to begin to write words that match their picture