*Please note that all Show and Shares are scheduled for the week of December 11-15. If your child is unable to present during their scheduled time, please let me know and we'll find an earlier or later date. Thanks!
My Family’s Favourite Celebration & Our Traditions:
Over the past few months, we’ve been learning about some celebrations from a variety of communities and cultures as part of our Social Studies program. So far we’ve read books about and discussed:
During the coming weeks in our Language program, we’ll be learning about how to support our main ideas with interesting and supporting details. For example, birthdays may be a favourite family celebration, but HOW do you celebrate them, what are your traditions? Clarity and Coherence will be our focus, using the five W’s (Who, What, Where, When, Why) to organize our thoughts.
Please help your child select a family CELEBRATION and draw conclusions about your TRADITIONS. Practice recounting it orally with the use of a simple visual aid, a photograph or a drawing.
As an extension, students can speak to family members to gather information and then connect their present-day celebration to celebrations from the past. Think about ways in which our heritage and traditions are passed on (e.g., stories, music, crafts, dance, food, recreation, clothing). For example, how have birthdays been celebrated over multiple generations in your family? Try to identify some of the main reasons for changes in these traditions.
Some ideas to spark discussion from the Social Studies Curriculum:
“How might technology affect the ways in which we celebrate some holidays?”
“What did you find out about the differences between traditions related to the Christmas now and in the past? What is still the same? Do you think the changes are good?”
“How did moving to a new country change the way your family celebrated some of its traditions?”
“When we visit my grandparents, they have a real Christmas tree. My grandma says that her parents put candles on their tree because they didn’t have electricity. At home we have an artificial tree with built-in lights. They are safer than candles.”
“Christmas has changed in some ways. Our tree and decorations are different in a lot of ways. But we still put up stockings and give presents. We eat the special dinner that my grandma makes. It’s the same as what her mother made. So a lot is the same too. It’s good that those things are the same. They make Christmas special.”
“My dad is from India. My mom is from Quebec. My dad buys special sweets for Diwali because he remembers eating them in India. My mom’s family didn’t do that.”
Our presenters and audience members will be focusing on:
As always, we are flexible about the date so if your child is away that day or needs more time to prepare they can present when they are ready.
Thank you to everyone who was able to make it out to Parent Teacher Interviews!
Here are a few of the common items that many of us discussed:
Library & Levelled Books
Today in Library, Claire (Krissy’s Long Term Occasional replacement teacher) reminded the students about the ‘5 finger check’ or the ‘Goldilocks Rule’ of reading (*we’ve been discussing it in class during Daily 5s Read to Self as well). When we first started going to the library this year we wanted students to practice a love of reading and to choose any book that interested them, which might include some longer chapter books or graphic novels that were above their reading levels. Now that we’ve been back at school for a while, we’ve been learning what makes good readers and which reading strategies to use (see blog post), we’d like students to choose at least 1 book at their level before they choose a ‘family read aloud’ book from the library.
*If you’d like to know your son’s or daughter’s current reading level, please reach out to me!
*Remember to visit the Literacy Link tab on the Homepage (under homework) to see a visual and further explanation of the Developmental Reading Assessment.
By November in Grade 1, students are:
"at level" if they're between levels 6-10,
"approaching" between 3-4, and
"at risk" if they are at or fall below a 2.
By November in Grade 2, students are:
"at level" if they're between levels 14-18,
"approaching" between 10-12, and
"at risk" if they are at or fall below a 8.
Snacks & Lunches
Many families expressed concern about the amount of food that comes home in their child’s lunch bag some days; I agree, many of our students get so excited about recess that they neglect to eat their snacks!
We’ve had many discussions as a class about the reason for eating, how these foods help to fuel our bodies for a long day at school and work. Each morning as we get ready for the a.m. recess, I remind students to choose their healthiest of snacks first, to help set them up for a good day. As I drop them off in the lunchroom, most days I remind them to ‘eat your healthy foods first - your sandwiches, your soups, your pastas, your meats & cheeses - before you eat your treats & desserts”. If time allows, we sometimes get our lunch bags and finish our leftovers during story time at the very end of the day - but students know that this is not a guarantee and that they really should be eating most of their foods during recesses and lunch.
The HPAS Snack Program that takes place once a week is also a great reminder of why we should try to eat as many healthy foods as we can (I encourage each student to at least try the snack, even if they think they might not like it). Tanya, our ‘Snack Lady’, even puts up YouTube videos that include interesting facts about the fruits and veggies we’re eating. The students love to watch them, so be sure to check them out at home too!
Recess Play & Social Skills
The school yard is a big place with lots of little (and big!) bodies running around outside. Our students are learning how to navigate the social aspect of recess and to think of the impact that their choices and behaviours can have on other people. As part of our Social Studies Curriculum, we’ve been talking a lot about Relationships, Rules and Responsibilities, describing how our responsibilities might be different as a friend, as a sibling, as a member of the Room 108 Classroom Community or our larger HPAS Community. The biggest message is that we want our students to be able to speak up and advocate for themselves; to listen to their peers with open and caring hearts; to try to understand each other’s point of view.
To help reinforce this at home, you can use our School’s Problem Solving Questions:
Also, remind your children to:
Thanks again for all your support from home, and as always, please feel free to reach out to me should you have any questions, comments or concerns.
When choosing levelled books for your child, there are LOTS of different types of levelling systems. This chart may help you when looking for new books. *The Scholastic Flyers do list some DRA levels on certain books. Be sure to check them out each month!
In November, we will be learning about how to retell stories as part of our language program. Students are also learning how to use sequencing words (first, next, then, finally) when writing a recount of a personal event. Please help your child select a PICTURE book and practice retelling it orally. Each student’s show and share date is listed on the Class Google Calendar. As always, we are flexible about the date so if your child is away that day or needs more time to prepare they can present when they are ready.
Here are a few guidelines and ideas to help you prepare:
*On the day of your show and share please bring the book to school with you!
As presenters and audience members we are learning how to:
If your child is a reader and feels comfortable bringing in notes to help them, they may. Some students do better just talking naturally about the topic.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
When students come to read with me during Guided Reading Groups, or when they Read to Self or Read to Someone, they've been practising these Reading Strategies.
Ask your child:
☑️ which strategy they use most often.☑️which strategy they are trying to practice using. ☑️which strategy they find most difficult to use. (and why?)
We found a fun video online that helps us with the tricky "Flippy Dolphin" strategy:
Old MacDonald Had Some Vowels. It goes through the short and long sounds of each vowel - so remember that if you try one vowel sound and it doesn't seem quite right, flip it and try the other vowel sound!
**The 'Long Vowel Sound' is the same as they name of the vowel.
Last week, each student took home their very own bookmark with the strategies listed. Please use it at home as you read together and talk about the different strategies that you're using! *Resources courtesy of Deanna Jump @ Teachers Pay Teachers
In our Room 108 Classroom Community, we foster an engaging, respectful and caring environment. I aim to balance a consistent program with flexible responsiveness to students' individual needs.