January 6, 2017

Happy New Year!

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Welcome back to school! We’ve had a busy week and it’s flown by fast! I hope you all had a wonderful break and enjoyed spending time with your families. Before break we had a wonderful party thrown by our amazing room mom, Ann. The kids loved playing games and enjoyed the treats she prepared. Thank you all so much for the thoughtful gifts sent in and for the gift cards from the class. I so appreciate all of the kind words and messages!

We started the the week talking about New Years Resolutions. We’re creating a craftivity that will display various resolutions that we’ve made with specific plans to achieve them. The idea is that a broad resolution isn’t motivating. A SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) resolution will be more likely to be achieved. We also watched a sweet video by a little girl talking about how New Years isn’t the only time for change and change isn’t just one big moment. The little moments through out the year are what will drive the change for our future.

On Thursday, we had our amazing field trip to the 49ers Museum. The trip was a four part STEAM based day. We took a tour of the stadium discussing the engineering, went into the museum itself, participated in a class about forces and motion, and had a PE class down on the field. We were busy, busy, busy, and learned a lot. I bet the kiddos came home exhausted!

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Today we found out that our heater is broken for good. While they’re working on replacing it, the students were incredibly flexible and joined me for class in the art room today. Despite the change, we got a lot done. Most exciting was probably getting our nonfiction book clubs organized. Over the next five weeks, students will be reading nonfiction books together and having weekly discussions. Each week they will be assigned a different job to prepare for the weekly meeting.

In math, we’re nearing the end of chapter 4 introducing multiplication. Chapter five will be focused on practicing our multiplication facts. It’s really more of a continuation of chapter 4.

In writing, we continue our look at informational writing. Before break, the students analyzed 20 different paragraphs while working in groups. There were four different subjects and each subject was written about in five different nonfiction text structures (compare & contrast, sequential, description, cause & effect, and problem & solution). As a group, the students were to read each paragraph and decide together which text structure it represented. Once they decided, they check their work with me. If they were cleared, they each created a clipboard representing one of the text structures. It really got the students discussing and using reasoning skills while developing their understanding of different structures. Plus… it made an adorable bulletin board!

Before the break, students participated in the week long hour of code. During our regular Typing Club times, the students worked on a coding game from Code.org. They started with one centered around Moana. When they completed that, they were able to do one of their choosing. Today, with our shift of classrooms, we were able to extend our time in the lab and get in a little more coding fun!

This new year also brought about the start of cursive! Our morning routines will be changing a bit now. We’ll be coming in and learning our letter of the day. Once the students have completed their letter, they can move into a work period for their book clubs. Then, around 10:00 we will start our writing lesson. As the students become more confident with their lettering, this time will shorten.

We had our December Project Cornerstone visit from our room mom, Ann. She read Don’t Laugh at Me to the class. We then got to listen to the song that the book is based off of. After that, the students discussed what it is like to have differences and disabilities. She lead us in an activity where we had to guide a partner while they were blindfolded. It gave the students a chance to walk in the shoes of someone with a disability for a moment.

With all of the rain lately, we’ve had to have indoor PE for a couple weeks in a row. That means a lot of Go Noodle for us! The kids love stretching with Maximo, dodging paparazzi on the red carpet, and doing brainercise with Mr. Catman! Good thing, because it looks like we’ve got a wet week ahead of us!

Have a WINNing weekend and stay dry and safe in all of the rain!

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