Thanks to everyone who came out to the BBQ and Curriculum Night this week! I met a lot of family members and we chatted about a lot. Here are some highlights.
The Power of - YET!
As teachers and parents, we've all heard those three words - "But I caaaan't!" 😉
There are a lot of things that some of our students can't do in Room 108 ... write independently, spell difficult words, count beyond 20, listen without interrupting, tie their shoes, hang on the monkey bars, jump rope, read a picture book, remember to bring home their water bottles at the end of a long day!
But, these are things that they can't do ... YET! We've continued our TRIBES conversations and have been talking a lot about GRIT - trying something new, even if it's difficult and we're afraid to make mistakes.
Check out author Todd Parr's read aloud of It's OK To Make Mistakes on YouTube (we have this in class - we'll read it next week)
Try to read for 15 minutes a day - and there are MANY ways to read:
- parent reads a chapter book; stop to discuss what might happen next, ask "if you could be a character, which one would you be and why?
- parent reads a picture book, from start to finish, as child listens
- parent reads a picture book, child tracks the writing and points to each word as they're read aloud
- child "reads" a picture book; they can use the pictures to retell favourite parts (ignoring the words, but focusing on comprehension and story patterns)
- use a picture book and play "Eye Spy" - the word the, where do you see it on the page? Use our word list!
- recognize the letters and words on a cereal box at breakfast in the morning!
Once students have mastered Sight Words and can recognize them without having to sound out each time, reading will become more fluent. Play these Sight Word Games at home!
*While these are games that students can play independently, please sit with your son or daughter the first few times they play.
For some of our grade 1 students, I'm scribing for them when they write: they tell me their thoughts, I write it on a dry erase board, then they copy the words onto their writing paper. As a first step, this is OK! Students need to practice the mechanics of writing before they worry about how to spell each word. For our developing writer's, we focus on asking questions that our reader's might want to know - giving more information and details - use who, what, where, when, why, how to pull more, to s t r e t c h ideas.
At school, I like to play.
At school, I like to play at recess.
At school, I like to play on the monkey bars at recess.
At school, I like to play on the monkey bars with my friend Leah at recess.
At school, I like to play on the monkey bars with my friend Leah at recess because it's fun to swing.
We focus on:
Lower Case Letters - use capitals for names, places and at the beginning of a sentence, but now, all other letters should be lower case.
Spaces between words & letters - we use the term 'finger spaces' in between words, as well as 'meatball spaces' (larger) between words and 'spaghetti spaces' (smaller) between the letters of a word.
Spacing on the page - like reading, start at the left and work your way to the right. If a word won't fit at the right edge of a page, then skip down to the next line and start it from the beginning.
Temporary Spelling - we come back to "YET" and it's OK for students to spell many words phonetically at this age. Measuring as 'mechuring' or climber as "klimr" - if a student has the sounds, from beginning, to middle to end - that's great! The only words that we stress students should spell without mistakes are the ones from our word list. There are others that they can find in the room and copy - words from title pages of a book (e.g., Scaredy Squirrel), or words from our schedule of the day (Gym, Writing, Music, Science etc). - but that's a next step.
Next week, we'll look more closely at math and our Number Books...
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.