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!