Sunday, November 20, 2011

A lot to be THANKFUL for

Coming close to the holiday season this year I can truly say I have a lot to be thankful for. One of the things I am most thankful for is such a rewarding job with such great students!

Over the past few weeks we have learned about North Americas first inhabitants the Native American Indians as well as European explorers, European Settlers and the Pilgrams, too. We have learned how Native Americans lived and some traditions and activities they still take part in today like making pottery and weaving. As a class we even wove our own Thanksgiving placemats. We also learned about how European Settlers traveled and how they lived once they reached this New World. Next week we will study the first Thanksgiving in depth and the reasons why we still celebrate today.

In reading we had our 2nd review week, and that means book reports! Our class' creativity really shined through as they created and presented their book reports to their classmates. Take a look at what a wonderful job they did.

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After the Thanksgiving Holiday we will start our 3rd of 6 reading Units. In this next Unit students will focus their reading skills on making predictions as well as comparing and contrasting characters and settings in first grade while second grade focuses on cause and effect as well as identifying main idea and supporting details.

In math we continue to practice and learn about addition and subtraction strategies. Currently 1st graders are working on basic problem solving skills using addition and subtraction number sentences. Second graders are working on adding and subtracting 2-digit b=numbers with and without regrouping. 1st graders are gaining exposure to this 2nd grade skill which they will learn and practice at the end of the year. I ask that both 1st and 2nd graders practice their math addition and subtraction facts at home daily so that multi-step problems like 2-digit addition can be completed with ease. After the Thanksgiving Holiday we will start mad minute, a one minute timed addition and subtraction skills test. This will test students ability to complete addition and subtraction problems automatically, while committing them to memory. Students will move through mad minute at their own pace and practice skills to help them better memorize their math facts.

In Science we have studied all about how items sink and float in water and the day and night time sky. Students collected some common classroom items and some extra seasonal items to experiment on their ability to float or sink. We have also been able to explore and observe the day time sky during the school day and watch movies and look at images to explore the night time sky, too! After this exploration and the discussions that followed we created 3-D models of the day and night time sky with commonly found household and craft items.

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I continue to look forward to learning and growing here in the Primary Enrichment class and Samsula and know the kids do too! Keep coming back to see more of what we learn and how we grow!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fire safety, one big school bus, and a trip to see Junie B.

What a jam-packed two weeks we have had since our last post. We have had a guest speaker, a story book parade and a field trip! Not to mention all of our regular curriculum study.

Last Thursday we had a special guest speaker come into our classroom and teach us about fire safety. Lt. Luedeke, taught us about properly using the 911 emergency system, what to do if we ever catch on fire, and how to properly get out of a structure that might be on fire. If you haven't already practiced using the 911 number for emergencies you can unplug your phones from the wall (if you still have land lines) and let your children practice just in case an emergency ever comes along. Lt. Luedeke also informed us of the proper way to stop, drop and roll making sure we stop immediately, drop down to the grounds and roll, covering our faces. It is also important to remember that as a family it is vital to have an emergency preparedness plan and a safe meeting location, out side of the house, where everyone can meet at in the event of a real emergency. I would like to take this time to again thank Lt. Luedeke for stopping by to teach us about these necessary safety skills.

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Last Friday was our Annual Story Book Parade. Although the weather was not on our side our Junie B. Jones school bus proved to be more maneuverable than we had originally thought and it made its way around the cafeteria and the school just fine with a little man-power provided by the whole class. The bus and the students looked great out of their every day uniforms. If you were not able to make it check out some picture bellow. I would like to thank all of the moms who helped make this day possible through all of the hard work and preparation to create such a Simply Spectacular (S.S.) School Bus!

The Story Book Parade and our reading of "Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly School Bus" and "Junie B. Jones First Grader (at last!)" really prepared us for our first field trip of the year. The musical performance was up-beat and very entertaining! Amidst 1,000 other audience members our 1-2 enrichment class shined, showing wonderful behavior at a live show and this was not only recognized by myself and other schools but it was even recognized the next day on morning announcement by Mrs. Conrad. Way to go class!