Thursday, October 16, 2008

Conferences and Game Day

Greetings Readers!  This installment of the blog is going to give you the basic information regarding "Game Day" in Room 108.  What "Game Day" revolves around are assessments. Open-Court Reading and Everyday Math have end-of-unit assessments for each unit.  I like combining these assessments into the same day and talk with the students about the value of preparation for an important day. Testing is not something that should be feared rather it can be viewed as an opportunity for every child to show what they know. What I encourage from you at home is to ensure your child eats a hearty dinner and gets plenty of rest the night before Game Day.  Then the day of, help your child to eat a well-rounded breakfast and come to school like any other day.  There is no need to stress about the assessments or feel a need to do any extra studying.  If your child attends school daily and participates in class lessons and activities he/she will be well prepared for Game Day. This kind of preparation and practice readies children for standardized tests, which they will take in future grades.  Assessments are also a strong cumulative evaluation tool to gauge student achievement. During conferences I will review Unit 1 math and reading assessment with each of you so you know exactly what the assessments look like.   I must say as a class, performance was very high for the first set of assessments.  

The second unit assessments will be administered next Thursday morning, October 23.  That day is also Wear Your Cap to School Day sponsored by Caps For Kids and New Era.  This is a great chance to support pediatric cancer.   I look forward to meeting with each of you to have a conversation about your child and his/her progress so far this year.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Walking to School...

Walking to school every day is a unique opportunity afforded to the students of Mann school and others that live close to the school they attend. So many children grow up and as adults reflect upon their bus experiences as a child. For Mann students those memories can be replaced with wonderful learning opportunities such as "Walk to School Week" and focusing efforts on environmental conservation and "Going Green." Thank you to the Mann PTO for organizing such an excellent theme and week full of environmental education! If you haven't had enough green info this week, check out The Daily Green.

As the behavioral learning continues in the classroom, so does the academic curve. Every day is a new chance to learn something new and useful whether it is something to do with manners, such as a boy letting a girl go first, or realizing that 5+5=10 no matter how many different objects are used to represent the numbers. Likewise, letters always make the same sound and when you put certain letters in a certain order they make a certain word and that word is spelled the same no matter where it is written. Consistency and repetition in school, and at home, induce greater learning potential within children. Students are very familiar with their Phonics, Everyday Math and Handwriting Without Tears workbooks that allow for individual guided practice and remediation for all lessons and whole class activities. Children are discovering very quickly that when they focus on the task at hand and work hard, they can complete their work in a timely manner which allows for more intriguing learning options such as books and sight word cards in the reading corner, math games and flash cards, and possibly the most popular of all, independent work time.

As we progress into the middle of October students will continue their investigation of the world in which they live. Communities have been identified and now students are encouraged to think on a broader scale to their state, nation and world. Children are discussing reasons families move, major events of their life, and potential effects of life changes such as parents getting new jobs. Exploration of other communities and peoples brings us into different animal and plant environments. These are the beginning understandings of ecosystems and Open-Court Reading has introduced animal families, diets, and living conditions. This has allowed for greater research of animal science and the needs of living creatures.

Please keep up with the Math Home Links and continue to fill out those reading logs. Extra extension activities at home should include addition facts, sight word recognition, reading (through decoding) along with questioning your child about what they are reading, as to encourage comprehension. Continue to check your child's Mail folder nightly and if you need anything from me please don't hesitate to ask. Thank you parents (and other readers) for your support and cooperation in the learning process. No one person can learn alone. It is with collective effort and motivation that education continues. Let's keep it up!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Upcoming Events...

This post is dedicated solely to the wide array of events happening in Room 108 in the next month.

October 6-10 - "Walk to School Week" - Our attempt to "Go Green" in a number of different ways
October 7 - Picture Day - please submit your order form
October 9 - Room 108 Garden planting - part of the "Go Green" PTO initiative
October 20-24 - Parent/Teacher Conferences - you will be sent a reminder of your scheduled time.
October 23 - Where Your Cap To School - New Era sponsored fundraiser for pediatric cancer!
October 31 - Halloween Party - parents are welcome and so are cameras! Room 108 is in need of some pictures to add to the blog - bring your camera and lets make a photo album!

Reminders - National Geographic and Legoland (Field Trip) checks are needed. Please submit yours if you have not.

Thank you for your reading and interacting with the Room 108 blog. I hope the links are of some help for guided browsing at home. And a big THANK YOU to all of you parents that ordered books for your children. You will get the books soon and the classroom library will continue to grow as you all continue to purchase from Scholastic!