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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Classroom Summary for September 12-16

Here's what we did this week...

We continued to work on learning our classroom routines and rules this week. Each morning we entered the classroom, passed in our notes from home if we had any, and read the white board to find out what our morning work was for the day. Our morning meeting was where we practiced greeting our classmates and getting familiar with the day's schedule.

In literacy block we opened our new Fundations kits and noticed what was different in our kits this year from last year. We used our magnetic letter boards, individual white boards and student notebooks to practice our phonemic awareness (letter-sound-word relationships) and to practice our spelling techniques. At the end of the week we played a game called Pop-Ups to check our spelling skills! After Fundations each day we started working on our beginning comprehension skills by listening to some stories by Kevin Henkes and responding to what we learned from the stories. We discovered that we really like Mr. Henkes stories. We highly recommend you reading Owen. We were all giggling when we found out what Owen did to keep from giving up his favorite blanket!

At our "special" time, we got introduced to all of our special subject teachers: art (Ms. Fallon), music (Mrs. Agati) and gym (Ms. Govoni). We will begin having library next week on Thursday mornings.

At math time we began working with our Number Corner and Investigations books. We got to explore some of the math materials we have in the classroom: connecting cubes, pattern blocks, tiles and geoblocks. We also started to work with groups of ten by building "cube things" and describing our cube things with number sentences. At the end of the week we began learning some geometry concepts when we played the game "Cover and Count". We had to use pattern blocks to try and fill an outlined shape five different ways. It really made us think!

In science we began our unit on trees. We read a book called Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro and we learned a really important science word: chlorophyll. We learned that chlorophyll is the pigment, or color, in leaves that keeps them green in the spring and summer. But when the temperature and light changes take place in the fall, chlorophyll stops being produced by trees and the true colors of the leaves start to show. Next week we will begin making a book about trees that will allow us to demonstrate our understanding so far. When parents come to Open House on Thursday, they can see the questions we want to find out about trees on the bulletin board outside Mrs. Salvador's reading room.

Last but not least, we had some special visitors come to our classroom on Friday afternoon. Ms. Pavlicek stopped by with some class pets for our classroom: two little black female gerbils! We were all VERY excited to have them and even more excited to find out that we would be caring for them all year long! On Monday Miss Varrell will explain who will have the first "zoologist" job and what that person will be doing to help care for the gerbils. We will also take a vote next week on what we would like to name our gerbil sisters.

Parent F.Y.I.

Thank you SO much for all your generous donations of cleaning wipes, Swiffer dusters and tissues. We use our cleaning wipes every day after snack for both allergenic and hygienic purposes so we will use a lot of them over the course of the year. I truly appreciate your generosity!
Open House is scheduled to take place this Thursday, September 22nd. In case you are unfamiliar with how Open House proceeds at Pine Glen, Mr. Lyons will briefly address parents at 6:30PM with opening remarks. To better allow parents of children in different grade levels to attend Open House for all of their children, there will be two grade level curricular sessions hosted by teachers at different times. The first teacher session will be at 6:45PM. If you are unable to come at the 6:45PM time slot, the second session will begin promptly at 7:20PM. Parents only need come to ONE teacher session as the second session will be a repeat of the first.
Example: Mr. & Mrs. Jones have two children at Pine Glen. Johnny is in kindergarten and Jane is in third grade. Mr. and Mrs. Jones attend Mr. Lyons' opening remarks at 6:30PM and then can choose to attend Johnny's OR Jane's teacher presentation at 6:45PM and then later attend the other teacher's presentation at 7:20PM.
I look forward to meeting you all on Thursday!

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