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Friday, September 24, 2010

Classroom Summary for September 20-24

Thank you to all who came to Open House last night. It was wonderful to meet everyone. I appreciate the time you took out of your busy schedules to support your child's education. The children were very excited to read their notes this morning! :)

Just to give you brief an update of our activities this week....

In math this week, we worked on solving problems that involved comparing two numbers and asking the question, "Are there enough?" For instance, if Miss Varrell has 25 pencils and there are 15 children in her class, are there enough pencils for the class? Are there any extras? Does she need more? How do you know? We used pictures, equations (number sentences) and words to help explain our thinking. We will continue to work on this skill over the next few weeks. We also continued to work on counting coins and telling time to the hour and half hour. We know there are two types of clocks: analog and digital. We also know that "o'clock" means that NO minutes have passed the hour which is why when you write o'clock as digital time, it has ":00" at the end!

In FUNdations (phonics and spelling) we worked on learning glued sounds and bonus letters. A glued sound is a sound that is made of several letters that are often seen together in words (ex. ~all). Bonus letters are the letters f, l, s and sometimes z. These letters are called bonus letters because if they come after a short vowel in a word, they require a "bonus" or additional letter (ex. the word 'tos' is spelled 'toss'; 'gul' is 'gull'; 'cuf' is 'cuff').

During reading this week, Miss Varrell's reading class focused on being a community of readers. We reviewed the expectations of reading group rules and behavior. We also established our reading response journals and folders so that we have a "transportation system" for our reading materials.

In writing we began learning about how authors often use a picture/illustration as an idea to build a story. Miss Varrell drew a picture on chart paper and we took turns adding sentences to begin our story. Before we knew it, we had a really interesting beginning to a fictional suspense story!

During Science time we continued to learn more about trees. We now know that there are three different types of trees: tropical, deciduous and coniferous. In Burlington we only see two types. Do you know which ones? We put together a book on trees this week and will continue to work on them next week to illustrate our understanding. Did you know that there are more than 20,000 kinds of trees?!

Although this was only our second full week of school we made good strides in following classroom routines and completing tasks. We are continuing to need some reminders about how to settle down to our morning activities, but we are getting better at remembering to read the whiteboard and working quietly as Miss Varrell collects notes and attendance information for the office. We will keep working hard to earn those valuable compliment marbles!

FYI
  • To update your schedules at home, we now have our Library schedule finalized. We will have a 30 minute library class with Mrs.Ogren (we welcome her back to Pine Glen!) every Friday at 11:30am.
  • There is no school for students on Monday, September 27 due to the professional development day.
  • Please consider joining the PTO. Whether you can attend every monthly meeting or just one or two, the PTO is an important organization in our school that helps acquire items and opportunities for the children of Pine Glen that might not otherwise be available without their support.
  • Please be aware of the fall weather when sending your child to school. Over the next few weeks the weather will be changeable; what may seem warm enough in the morning, may not be warm enough in the afternoon! :)
  • Strep throat has made its presence known at Pine Glen already. If for any reason you think your child will be out of school for more than one day, it is recommended that you find a "homework buddy" in our class or perhaps another classroom who can bring your child's work home for you. Children will sometimes prefer to go to school "sick" if they are anxious they might miss work or fall behind. Having a homework buddy can alleviate some of that anxiety. :)
  • Have fun and enjoy the warmth of "Indian Summer" with your family!

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