This Monday, 1/14, I will have the first of three parent meetings. This meeting is going to be on academics, the second (2/12) will be on social development, and the final meeting (3/14) will be on emotional and physical development. All of these factors are very inter-related, but we will be attempting to look at each one separately. Focusing on each of these areas will give us a chance to look at it in depth and to finally give us a more complete picture of how they all work together and how important it is that they are balanced. I like to compare this meeting to a play (actually a set of three plays) where each play focused on a family in a particular room of the house. One play showed the family in the living room, another the kitchen, and the third on the porch. The members of the family would leave the living room and go into the kitchen but one could only know what happened in the kitchen if you went to the second play that focused on that room. I found this series of plays fascinating. Seeing all three plays gave the full picture of the interaction of the family and filled in many more details about their lives. I am hoping that these meetings will do the same for us in discussing some of the things that are important in growth and development.
This week the schedule included continuing work such as math work book, we continued to enjoy J’s fish presentations, N read to us in bookcorner, we did ocean work, we created more life-sized animals, we read a mini play and article from Scope Magazine, and wrote in our journals. New work included a project by L on The Wackiest White House Pets, we had a talk by Joyce, a TNS parent, on her two week trip to Uganda and Rwanda topped off with the opportunity to eat a fried grasshopper. Finally we focused Thursday on working on the new self-evaluation sheets and placing work on the walls and in the writing drawers. We are hoping to work on puppet plays on Friday. It was a good four days and everyone was glad to be back, however we did miss having E and K in the class who were out sick.
We are finishing up our bird project and will be moving on to animal classification systems. The children and I will be brainstorming ideas for a project based on animals other than birds. The children want to continue some connection with the bird project so we will be doing a few mini activities such as making natural bird feeders.
Our apps of the week are focusing on spelling. Spelling City and Spelling Magic levels 2 and 3 are just two that we are previewing. The children will be evaluating which ones work best for the variety of learning levels we need.
Individual children, especially 3rd years, will be continuing projects from last year including NXT and Wolf Quest. I will be meeting with individual students in preparation for upcoming conferences.
Middle Class Trip to Poricy Park, for “Feathers, Beaks and Claws” Program. We’ll take a look at birds and their adaptations, with particular focus on owls. An outdoor search for bird habitats is followed by a dissection of an owl pellet. Please note the following important items:
- Students will wear gloves to dissect owl pellets which may contain animal fur. Please let me know of any allergy concerns you have with regard to your child.
- Each student needs a brown bag snack so they can take it with them on the trip. We will return to school by lunch so you can send them with a regular lunch separate from their snack.
- We will not be taking the bus for this trip so I will need some parents to drive. We will leave at the start of the school day and return to school by 12:30. If you are available to drive, please email Jill and let her know how many students you can fit in the back seat of your vehicle.
It has been a wonderful return to school after the holidays. Everyone in my class has come back happy, healthy, and ready to work. We began the week by journaling about the vacation and then we began our new project on predators. Everyone in my class has picked a predator to research. We will be writing research papers and creative stories, creating life-sized murals, learning about predator prey food chains and creating mobiles to show how they work. The predators range from a bat to a lion, including two types of eagles, a honey badger, a clouded leopard, and a hedgehog. Kim pulled a lot of books from the library and we have already completed a lot of research. They have also started art work and some creative writing. This project will last until February break. We are also working on an issue of the Little Class Newspaper, everyone has selected an article to write, Big E is leading the newspaper, since it was his request to be an editor that started our work on the issue. Little E will be helping as an assistant Editor. Kim will also be starting Spanish lessons next week. We will be learning phrases connected to the predator project as well as the newspaper. I am really excited to start this language process.
Please make sure your child has a weather appropriate change of clothes, including socks, in their locker at all times.