Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hot Chocolate and Other Warm Things...

Brrrrrrrrrr!  A common sound echoing up and down the hallways throughout the school day at Mann.  We are deep in the heart of winter as the snow continues to pile up and icicles are forming anywhere water can drip.  This is the time of year that students need to be the most comfortable indoors because it is where the students from Room 108 have been spending the entire school day.  We do take every opportunity, when the temperature is tolerable, to head outside for a snow break but those dwindle as the temperature does.  

Unit 5 continues through stories about weather and investigations and comparisons with numbers.  In addition we continue our flight through our solar system and occasionally into our Milky Way galaxy and beyond.  Our social studies have been surrounding the exciting current events, such as President Obama, and discerning our place in the world - All very challenging concepts for six and seven year olds to wrap their minds around.  It has been extremely interesting to hear some of the connections your children make to the planets, outer space, our president, as well as cities, states, and countries.  

Last Friday, the art appreciation parents took the students in Room 108 to the cafeteria to illustrate Shel Silverstein's poem "Sick."  Children listened to a reading of the poem, picked lines, and displayed their creativity through illustrations on large white paper roll.  The finished visual poem is on display in the lobby of the school.  Also, keep checking the blog for the posting of the video slideshow! 

Be sure to check out the upcoming events and happenings on the right hand column as well as the variety of classroom extensions and enrichment activity links.  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration Day

Hi Readers and welcome to the new era that is upon us all.  Like it or not we officially have a new President!  His "stand-in" was in the library during Inauguration Day and we were able to take a picture with him.  We also took time out to honor the significance of this day in the timeline of American history.  There is no projecting what will happen over the next four years but we (the world) will be watching it unfold.  

Within the midst of this new age, Room 108 is smack dab in the middle of Unit 5.  We are studying the moon and our solar system, practicing and finding long vowels in everything we read, and comparing all kinds of numbers as we learn about place value.  Not to mention we are still discovering where we are in our community and finding our place in our country and world.  It would be very understandable for your children to either feel lost throughout this very expansive exploration of place and time or else begin to ask all kinds of questions about what is surrounding us throughout the universe.  

Please check the right hand column in the blog for upcoming dates of importance and keep up the hard work with homework packets and home links.  Some children are getting very excited about their work and continue to ask for more!!  Hopefully you can keep up!  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Exploding Into Unit 5

3...2...1.... Blastoff!  We are now racing full throttle into the next phase of learning.  With a solid effort and performance during "Game Day" on Tuesday the students in Room 108 are now venturing into Unit 5 of Open-Court Reading and Everyday Mathematics along with a new unit in science titled "Finding the Moon."  This is a very exciting time because all children are beginning to read independently and are being challenged to be more creative and apply previously learned skills while still experiencing new things every day!  

Unit 5 in Reading is titled "Weather" and students will be engulfed by an assortment of story genres to read about and learn the many different kinds of weather and its effects.  Comprehension skills we are practicing will include asking questions, making connections, predicting, summarizing, and cause and effect.  As vocabularies are broadened writing will become more descriptive and concepts will become much more clearly understood and applied.  Phonemic awareness will continue to focus on the many different spellings of long vowel sounds and decoding of new, more difficult words.  

Unit 5 in Math will move beyond basic number sequencing into place value, number relationships, as well as number stories and models.  Another major focus of this unit will be addition facts.  Students will continue to take addition time tests and if they complete, with 100% accuracy, they will move onto subtraction timed tests.  The best way to get better at facts is to practice, practice, practice.  There are plenty of math facts links on the right hand column of my blog.  Using flash cards at home is always an easy way and if you make it into a speed challenge it can be kind of fun too!  

Science is making the biggest change to our curriculum for the upcoming months.  We are shooting beyond our Earth's atmosphere into outer space to explore our solar system and all the interesting features of its planetary bodies and objects.  Students will be challenged to think about the movement of the planets, moons and other space objects with terms like rotate, revolve, orbit, inertia, and craters.  Children will also be engaged in activities that attempt to simulate the unique aspects our solar system has to offer.  Keep your eyes on those Mail folders as you should see space material coming home!  

Hope you are all finding ways to stay warm in this "bitterly" cold weather!  Keep your "munchkins" dressed in full arctic gear!!  


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Box Tops 4 Education

Room 108 is participating in a contest at school to see which classroom can collect the most Box Tops!  Box Tops for Education donates 10¢ to our school for each Box Top that is collected from participating products.  The money goes toward the purchase of educational resources for our school.  You can help by checking out the list of products and starting a collection at home.  It may also cause you to think about some of the products you buy.  Thanks for you thoughts!
Help our classroom collect as many tops as possible by February 4, 2009!  Every Box Top helps!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Easing Into the New Year

Happy New Year Readers!!  As 2009 brings excitement and energy so does the prospect of continued growth and development in Room 108!  After just a few days "back at it" in the classroom it is obvious already these children know what it takes to work hard and have fun at the same time.  Hopefully you all had a enjoyable, and somewhat restful, holiday season and are prepared to embrace the new year with eager spirits and open minds.  Heading into the second half of the school year brings heightened expectations and responsibility for not only the children in Room 108 but also children and faculty throughout the school.  

This week we are continuing through Unit 4 in math, reading and phonics and are set to have a "Game Day" on Tuesday, January 13.  Monday will be a review day for all subject areas.  If you and your child have been completing homework and discussing things that are happening in the classroom then they should be more than prepared for the assessments.

It has been a very pleasant surprise this week to see how well the students adjusted when returning to the school setting and I am eager as ever to continue our daily progress and growth.  Hopefully I will see many of you soon!