Friday, September 25, 2015

Buckaroo news for September 21st to September 25th

Greetings from Camp Buckaroo where great thinking happens everyday, all day!  I am delighted to report that I have finished reading with each and every child and I know what they each need in order to bloom or continue to bloom and grow as readers.  I will be sharing what I've learned about your child on Progress Book as well as at conferences in October.  I can't wait to meet with each of you.  If haven't scheduled a conference time with me as of yet, please let me know so I can share the times that are still available.

  Here are the highlights of our learning this week:

In Word Study, we sorted words with /ad/ and /an/ patterns.  We also practiced these patterns using rainbow words and by writing them three times each.  Finally, we learned a new game called Sight Word Races.
In Writer's Workshop, we have read several fantastic books to help us understand where and how writers get their ideas for stories.  Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino, Ike's Incredible Ink by Brianna Farley and Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon are great ones to check out of the library to reread with your child.
In Science, we have been learning how to read nonfiction books about the moon and to find the answers to our many questions.  Our Wall of Thinking is full of our questions and what we've learned about the moon thus far.  Ask your child to share some facts with you.  
In Math Workshop, we are continuing to work on representing and solving problems involving addition within 20.  This has been challenging for many because it doesn't necessarily mean adding two known numbers to get an answer.  Many times the problems have included unknowns or "missing parts" such as 5 plus ___ equals 8.  
In Reader's Workshop, we have begun the process of self-selecting books based upon need and interest to place in our book baskets.  Next week, your child will be bringing many of these books home along with October's reading log to record the minutes your child reads to you and/or you read to your child. The children are VERY excited about this!

Specials Schedule for Next Week:
Monday - Art
Tuesday - Music
Wednesday - Library
Thursday - P.E.  (remember tennis shoes)
Friday - Art  
We are doing math problems on the computer.  The math test was really hard but we persevered.  There were some "times."  If you didn't know the answer you could just make a good guess.  We tried our best on the test.  There were some questions that were hard but we got through.  
He is making a book about himself during Writer's Workshop.  We really like it and it is really fun for all of us!  We get to write about our own thing.  It is our OWN time!  We make books.  Writer's Workshop is a time to be creative.  
We were researching about the moon.  She made moon craters with glue.  When the glue dries we get to paint over them.  We all made our own moons.

They are reading a poem together.  They are singing songs in their poetry and songbooks.  

You have to get the right books otherwise you won't read challenging books.  Everyone needs their own good fit!!
We are studying about the moon.  It's really fun to study about the moon.  This is a wall of our facts.  Without the moon, the waves wouldn't move.  It takes 27 days for the moon to move around earth.  The sun shines on the moon.  The moon is far from the earth.  It takes three days to get to the moon.  The moon has creators.  Neil Armstrong was the first to get on the moon.  The moon reflects light on the earth.  The moon changes.  You can fit 50 moons in the earth.  We drew a lot of moon facts.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Happy National Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Aaargh!  Ahoy Me Hearties!  The Buccaneers of Room 118 had a blast today celebrating National Talk Like A Pirate Day!  It's officially tomorrow but I couldn't let that day slip by without incorporating it into our learning time together.  I will let them tell you more about this in the captions below each picture.

Here are highlights of learning from our week!

Handwriting - I can already see an improvement in all of the children's handwriting.  I am formally teaching the formation of each letter.  I've also told the children that we never start any of our letters from the bottom line.  This week we worked on the letters /w/ and /t/.  

Shared Reading - As we sing songs each morning, we are engaging in shared reading.  The children love learning new songs each week that we also use for word study to find parts of words we know.  When we have a long weekend, I will be allowing the children to bring their poetry/songbooks home to share with you but will need them returned when we come back to school.

Writer's Workshop - We have finally begun this time everyday and the children are already taking ownership of this time in a big way!  I've set up the expectations for this time and they are being very responsible about their choices.  After my mini-lesson, the children are given some time to share with a friend what they've been writing about or they can get suggestions or help with words from a friend.  After about five minutes of sharing, I put on classical music which we've learned helps to get our creative juices flowing as we write.  

Science - I shared with the children that I had some questions about skunks and asked them if they'd help me to research this mammal.  The children will be bringing home a project to show what they've learned about skunks.  By studying this together, my hope is that they will also choose something they are interested in knowing more about to study on their own during our "Imagination Station" time each Friday.  This will be a self-guided time based upon each of their interests.  We will continue to review the six habits of thinkers (I shared this during Curriculum Night) to guide us as we study what we're interested in.

Math - Math Workshop is now underway.  I've already posted in Progress Book about how your child did on the first assessment which was a PRE-ASSESSMENT for all.  Based upon this pre-assessment about addition, I've planned activities for the children to do to either extend their thinking or to give them more time and experience working with me to better understand this concept.

Reader's Workshop is also up and running.  This week we talked about the three ways that a reader can read a book.  Ask your child to share these three ways with you.  We also talked about what their needs are to do their best reading.  Take a look at the poster to see what they told me they needed:).  

Upcoming Important Dates:
Monday, September 21st - Book Orders will be submitted
Tuesday, September 22nd - MAP testing
September 30th - Our first reading log will be coming home to record minutes your child reads to you and/or you read to your child in the month of October. 

Related Arts Schedule:
Monday - P.E.  (remember tennis shoes)
Tuesday - Art
Wednesday - Music
Thursday - Library
Friday - P.E.

This is Pirate Day.  We wore pirate things.  Some of us wore pirate hats.  
Pirates have a flag with bones and a skull and it is called the Jolly Roger.  Pirates would only attack one ship at a time.  We learned to talk like pirates.  Aargh means hello.  Aargh mateys means hello friends.  
The pirates believed that  having a girl on the ship was bad luck.  They wore an eye patch to see in the dark.  They have it on the entire day and when it is night time they would uncover it and then they could see in the dark right away.  They thought that having their ears pierced would help them to see better.  They thought that whistling on the ship would bring a storm.
We wrote down number sentences for 20 and under.  We worked on different numbers and the different ways to help other people with different ways to make that number.
We were writing as many number sentences as the number was.  If the number was 18 then there were 18 ways to write number sentences.  The way that we knew that was to draw a line under the first number of each number sentence.
We got pirate names.  Girls picked three even numbers and the boys picked three odd numbers.  The names were really funny!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Buckaroo news for September 16th!

WOW!!!  I apologize for the tardiness of this post on our classroom blog.  As you  know, the electric went out for the last hour of school on Friday and that is when we typically blog about our week together.  Below, you will see a couple of pictures from our learning last week.  Use them as conversation starters for you and your child.  

We will resume our postings of our week on Friday (barring any other calamities:).  

The main reason for today's post is two-fold.  The first is that tomorrow is fall picture day.  If you would like to purchase pictures for your child, just follow the directions on the handout that is coming home tonight.  Several of you have already sent in your envelopes.  I have them and will get them to the photographer.

Secondly, this Saturday is National Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day.  Since we will not be at school, I would like to celebrate this day on Friday.  Your child may dress as a pirate on Friday if he/she wishes to do so.  We will be engaging in many fun (and educational) activities throughout the day.  My plan is to hide some "pirate booty" somewhere in the school.  If you would like to donate something for our "booty" that is not food-related please feel free to do so.  Just send in in a bag tomorrow or Friday morning and I will add it to the loot.  Thank you ahead of time for helping out with this.  This has always been a very popular day for Camp Buckaroo!

Specials Schedule:
Today - Art
Thursday - Music
Friday - Library
Monday of next week - P.E.  (By the way, every child had tennis shoes for our P.E. class this week!  Great job, families!)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Buckaroo news for August 31 to September 4

The year is flying by already!  We have completed our first full week and it was packed with tons of great learning!  My fabulous "firsties" have shared their thoughts on our week in the captions underneath each picture but I will also share a bit.  

We have begun handwriting practice and your children have heard me use the term "chicken scratch."  Ask your child if they remember what I mean when I say "No chicken scratch:)."  As I shared during Curriculum Night, we are establishing the routines of word study, writer's workshop, reader's workshop, and math workshop.  This takes time and lots of practice so we will be spending the month of September establishing those routines together.  Some of the work that will be coming home will be challenging for some and not so challenging for others but this won't be for long.  Once routines are established, differentiation will begin in full force so that all can grow and be successful wherever they are beginning their journey.  In word study, we are beginning with the "hunk-and-chunk" at.  We've already done many activities involving this hunk-and-chunk such as learning a song about a naughty kitty cat, reading about Pete the Cat, making words with magnetic letters using at, sorting and speed sorting with a buddy, etc.  In math, we began learning how to show our thinking when given a prompt, sharing our thinking, and showing the multitude of ways to show a given number.  Again, establishing the routine before differentiation can begin.

Upcoming Events:
September 7th - NO SCHOOL - Labor Day!
September 17th - Fall Picture Day - More information to come

Our Specials Schedule for Next Week:
Tuesday - Library
Wednesday - P.E.  Remember tennis shoes
Thursday - Art
Friday - Music

We made a garden with pattern blocks.  We made a HUGE land!  
We read a book called Oliver Button Is A Sissy.  We learned that we should not wrinkle other people's hearts.  We learned that people who bully are bucket dippers.  They are bucket dippers because no one has filled up their buckets.  We have bandaids on our arms all in the same place.  This was about fairness.  Fair doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing.  Fair means everyone gets what they need.
These are the words that mean don't wrinkle people's hearts.

One square can turn into something else with your imagination!  

She is teaching us how she did this math problem.