November is Empathy Month! To launch this new character education trait, we read Big Al. Ask your son or daughter to retell the story to you and how empathy was involved.
We have a field trip to the Royal Winter Fair next Wednesday! Parent volunteers will be contacted first thing Monday morning (just working out some logistics with Lillian's class as well, trying to accommodate all the request we received!). Remember to wear comfortable shoes, a light jacket as we're walking around indoors, a litterless lunch AND a water bottle or juice box.
See you all next week, Thursday or Friday for interviews. Please contact me if you're unable to keep your time slot. For more info about the TDSB Report Cards, please read here
Over the past few weeks, we've been practising our Daily Five literacy stations through a Gradual Release of Responsibility model - "Show Me, Help Me, Let Me" ... well I tell ya', they're ready to get going! I've modelled all the stations - 1)Read to Self 2)Read to Someone 3) Listen to Reading 4) Work on Writing and 5a) Word Work 5b) *Special* Word Work Games when we have volunteers. They have practised, with my support and re-teaching, as well as peer support (e.g., 'Shh, you're not using your daily five voice!' or 'Here, let me show you where to get the materials for Word Work'). Next week, is the release step - 'Let Me' - and students will be expected to rotate through two Daily Five centres each morning, one Reading centre and one Writing Centre. As students work independently, this will give me the opportunity to work with students 1-on-1 or in small, guided reading groups at the Teacher's Table.
*PARENT HOMEWORK* please ask your son or daughter each day when they come home next week about their Daily Five Centres! Here are some prompts:
Which Reading/Writing Centre did you do today?
What materials did you have to use? Did you know where to find them?
How might you help someone if they don't know how to use the Listen to Reading (or other) centre?
Why will Daily Five Centres help you with your reading and writing?
For more about the Daily Five program
During Writer's Workshop this week, grade 1 students have been working on Retelling while grade 2 students have been working on 'How To' instructions. Both require students to use the language 'first, next, then, finally'. For instance, after listening to the read aloud Click Clack Boo, grade 1 students were asked to include the characters, the setting, the problem and the solution in their retelling, while the grade 2 students were asked to include detailed information about 'how to' throw the best Halloween Party.
PARENT HOMEWORK: if your son or daughter is in grade 1, rather than read a book before bed, get a favourite they've already heard and ask them to re-tell it to you (first, next, then, finally, characters, setting, problem, solution); if your son or daughter is in grade 2, encourage them to talk-aloud as they *get ready for school *eat their dinner, - get them to explain orally, the routines that they're doing everyday!
We've transitioned from Data Management (survey's and graphing) into Patterning, because both units deal a lot with 'sorting' information. Many of you have already started practising with your son's and daughter's at home by sorting and creating Halloween Candy patterns - THANK YOU FR YOUR TWEETS! There are many ways you can sort and lots of 'sorting rules' we can follow based on object's attributes, for example colour, shape, size, width. Students were given a bunch of Halloween stickers and asked to sort; skulls and pumpkins, happy pumpkins and scary pumpkins, things that fly like witches/bats and this that dont fly like spiders/cats. As they sorted, they were encouraged to explain their sorting rule and write about it in their Writing Journals.
We've also started playing with our Attribute Blocks; ask your son or daughter how they've sorted them! *Note, grade 1s are sorting by 1 attribute while grade 2s are sorting by 2 attributes. Grade 1s sort with two separate cirlces, e.g., red and not red, while grade 2s sort with two, connected circles and two different attributes like colour and shape: red, red circles, circles. This is an awesome online and interactive game that really helps explain sorting with two attributes - and it's all about zoo animals, yay for integrating science and math! This game is great for BOTH grade 1 and 2 because you get to choose your sorting rules, one hoop, two separate hoops, or two connected hoops (a Venn Diagram). Need to know more about how Venn Diagrams and sorting really works?
Other, Integrated Learning
We had Kirsten come in for a visit just in time for that Halloween Candy rush, to answer all our questions about teeth! As students were book browsing through our 'Community' bin, they came across the book "Meet my Neighbour the Dentist" and they had quite the debate over how teeth fall out, why they fall out, when they fall out. We realized that we needed to reach out to a community helper, someone who provided this type of service and who could answer our questions; because Kirsten had filled in her Family Questionnaire at the start of the year and let me know that one of her special skills/interests was dental hygiene - I reached out to her and called her in! Thanks Kirsten for answering all our of questions, and for sharing that lovely take away with new toothbrushes and toothpaste.
If YOU'RE interested in coming in for a short, half-hour workshop, here are some of the other questions we've wondered about:
Halloween is always so much fun : D Lilly , Krissy and I dressed as storybook characters from Click, Clack, Moo - I was the Cow, Lilly was Farmer Brown and Krissy was the Duck! We took a short break from reading Wind in the Willows to read The Littles and the Great Halloween Scare. Students also got to take home their very own copy of a Reading A to Z book Maria's Halloween *Grade 1 parents, this book is a Benchmark Book: November's 'at grade level' is a DRA 6 - 10 , and this Reading A-Z book is a DRA level 6. Practice at home please!
As you know, we're learning about Our Local Community and this past week we were presented with a real life problem to solve - Helena's daughter found a lost / stray dog, running around the streets near Dundas/Annette/Dupont/Old Weston in our Junction Community. The kids were ready to spring into action and help and wow did we brainstorm. We decided on a three pronged plan 1) Tweet information (a picture, big idea FOUND LOST DOG, contact info) and hashtag/mention Junction organizations to get the word out, 2) Create posters to hang in our local community (on a telephone pole outside our house, at our grocery store, coffee shop or restaurant) 3) TALK to people we see and ask questions - are you missing a dog? do you know of anyone missing a dog? if you hear of someone who's looking for a puppy, tell them to call HPAS! We'll keep you up to date!
With this whole "How might we help a lost dog in our community?" inquiry, here are just a few of the Social Studies Expectations that we've been able to cover:
- formulate questions to guide investigations into the interrelationship between people and the community
- identify some services/occupations in their community and describe how they meet people’s needs, including their own needs
- create a plan that outlines some specific ways in which they can responsibly interact with the local community
(FYI: Helena took the dog to the Vet, but he's got no microchip. He's about 1-2 years old, black with a white neck, short legs, long body.)
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.