Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is it SPRING yet?

Sorry this is behind. It's been non-stop around here and with me being out for 5 days things have gotten a little crazy. I learned a ton in my CEL training in Kelly Wyoming. That was the last of 8 days this year. My LASIK went well. I can see. Weird. Kindergarten screening went GREAT too. It was on Tuesday. Looks like we might have 17 kids coming. Very exciting. They will be visiting our classroom in the next two weeks in groups of 3's. We are working to LEAD by example. 

 2 weeks ago we attended MINI-mall which is a 1st and 2nd grade MATH tradition. The kids make or bring things to sell to other kids and parents. They set up the gym to look like a mini-mall and make OPEN/CLOSE signs and everything. We got invited this year and made out like bandits.

 It was a great afternoon for us to practice counting our money. We brought 2 dimes, a nickel and 5 pennies.

This week in READING:
Comprehension skill: Compare and Contrast
Letter of the week: /Uu/
Snap words: was, what, said
Kids are working on their UPPER and lowercase letters. We have been practicing writing complete sentences. When we are done we COP our sentences: C-stands for capital, O-stands for organization, and P stands for period. Have your child try it at home.
We are reading with a focus these days. You may have noticed last week that a laminated book mark made it home. Hopefully it made it back to school too. Those bookmarks have your child's reading goal on them. Here are some things Kindergartners are working on:
-Reading Smooth (like talking)
-Reading with expression
-When I read, I have to think and not daydream.
-When I read, I ask questions and wonder
-When I read, I ask myself if it made sense?

MATH this week:
Money cubes (intro to the quarter)
Class number story book (deepen understanding of mathematical symbols and language)
Marshmallow and toothpick shapes (providing experiences with building 2-D and 3-D shapes)

Writing this week:
We are wrapping up poetry MONTH with one last poem about someone very special....
Next up on the writing docket is letter writing (mini unit) and personal narratives.

Science and Social studies:
Holidays coming up...Mother's day...LOOK for your invite to a ZUMBA dance party at the Alta school with your favorite Alta kid.
Cinco de Mayo is next Thursday and we will spend it at Lucy's house for a Mexican fiesta...and a birthday celebration.
We have started studying LIFE cycles of animals. Yesterday we watched the life cycles of a frog, crayfish, and a butterfly. We then thought of our own animal and gave it a try on the Promethean board. Next we tried it on paper. Look for our LIFE cycles in the hallway.
AND...our ant farm is on the way via MAIL and so are our SPRING investigations.

Friday May 6th at 1:15-2:15 is our MOTHER's DAY ZUMBA dance party in the gym

Thursday May 12th we wrap up our Wild in WYOMING 3-D project with Joe and Dondi by taking pictures of animal masks on our face.

May 26th- GALLERY NIGHT for WILD in WYOMING for the Alta kids at the Community Center in DRIGGS...our ART will be hanging...and we have a MOVING surprise for you....

JUNE 6th-End of the year field trip to STARLIGHT skating rink in Idaho Falls.

JUNE 7th-LAST student day of school.
See you soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2 for 1 Griffin Gazette

This is how we are all feeling about WINTER...enough said!

This newsletter will cover the next two weeks as this one is a bit delinquent and next week I am out Monday and Tuesday for professional development and again on Thursday and Friday for Lasik on my eyes. 

Reading this week and next:
Interactive readaloud with MAX TAKES the TRAIN and MAYDAY! MAYDAY!
Letters to be covered: J, W, and X
Snap words: yellow, green, blue and have
Comprehension skills: Realism and Fantasy & Cause and Effect
See the FAMILY times for more.
Leveled books will be sent home Tuesday - Thursday (please read them with your child and send back to school)
K readers are focusing on inferring while reading and asking questions. Take time to model this with your child at home as you read (the paper, a sign, the menu etc)

Math skills to be covered:
Coin review (Penny, nickel and dime)
Coin Exchange game
MINI mall is on FRIDAY in 1st and 2nd grade. The kids should bring 2 dimes, a nickel and five pennies to shop with. 
Comparison number stories
Reviewing counting by 2's
Dividing groups in half
Reviewing Attributes and learning a group game called READ MY MIND
TOOLS for measuring TIME
SKIP counting with calculators
Symbolic Representations of patterns
LOOK FOR a FEW HOMELINKS with math (you don't have to send them back, but please complete them at home)

AHHHH, it's POETRY month. 
Kindergarten just finished a HUGE project with their ANIMAL "expert books" and shared them with residents at the Renaissance center. It was a success!
Our SPRING poems are hanging in our hallway and our animal poems are in the making...look for them to be READ in MAY during our GALLERY night for WILD in WYOMING 3-D.

Other news:
THURSDAY is YOUNG AUTHOR'S night at 7pm at the ALTA gym. This year we are breaking the TRADITION a little and showing a movie of our writers in action. Please dress up like you are going to a MOVIE premier. Your child will be HONORED as a writer! We are so excited to celebrate them as young authors.

Heather Dolman will be my sub April 18th, 19th, 21st and 22nd. 

April 16th is OPEN HOUSE at the JUDO dojo if anyone is interested.

Happy Spring! I think it's here!

Monday, April 4, 2011

And we're back! some of us.

Glad we had a nice week off to enjoy our family. I sure did. I had some crazy adventures...

Reading this week:
Kindergartners will read Abuela (a fiction story) by Arthur Dorros and discuss setting. 
Question of the week: What kind of adventures can you have in a city?
Phonics skill: Ee
Snap words:
here, go and from
Reading books will come home Tuesday thru Thursday. Please help your child read them and send them back the following day.
Family times will be sent home Tuesday. 

Math this week:
Counts to measure time
Surveys and Graphs
I spy with Shapes
Intro to the Dime
Coin Exchanges
*Help out at home by counting by 5's then stopping and counting by 1's from where you left off.
*Do the same with counting by 10's then ones...
WE are still collecting objects for our shapes museum (cones, cylinders and cubes) 
Mystery Bag sharing starts this Friday. Kids bring in their sharing in a canvas bag with 3-4 clues about what it is. Your child will read the clues to everyone and we will have to guess. Then your child will have a 5 step sharing process: 
1. Name their mystery object
2. Tell a detail
3. Tell a detail
4. Tell a detail
5. I brought it because.... or it's special because...
You might want to practice at home before bringing it in. 

Writing this week:
We are wrapping up our EXPERT books on Wyoming Animal and getting ready to start poetry. The month of April is National Poetry Month and we will be kicking off that Friday afternoon with Joe and Dondi (Wild in Wyoming Project coordinators). Speaking of Friday it's a BIG day. We will be leaving school around 10:30 and heading up to Pendls for lunch. Do not pack a lunch and do not bring money. I got a grant for our class. :) After lunch we will be headed to 460 bread for a tour, break-making and shaping (into our animal of course), then off to the Renaissance center to READ our books to the residents and deliver some bread. We will be back around 1:45 for POETRY fun. Whew! A big day. 

*Just a little note: if you head on over to the Teton County School District website (it's on my sidebar) will see that next year's calendar has been approved if you are making will have a 2 week SPRING break!

Other big news: Our Promethean boards have been installed. There is one in every classroom. Come check it out!