Holy cow, the first quarter of the school year is done! Wow, that was FAST! Report cards will be coming home on Friday. Your child will also be coming home with a self-report card on Friday. It will be your son/daughter's chance to tell how they feel they are doing at school. It is a great conversation tool.
There has been significant progress made since September, it is exciting to see the changes! I also see an increase in confidence with how many of the children are approaching independent work tasks. There are also fewer reminders being given about daily routines. They are becoming second-nature.
Many of the children continue to work on improving their work habits. Maintaining shared attention during large and small group lessons can be challenging for quite a few. Knowing when to talk with a friend and when NOT to talk to a friend is still hard. Completing work within the time given is another area we are working on.
This week in your child's homework packet you will find something new, a 'math challenge' page. The math challenge is OPTIONAL for all students. All other math homework should be completed as well. The math challenge is an extension of current math skills we are working on. Your child may (or may not) need some assistance with the challenge, and that is okay.
Also, I did not include a 'word writing' page in the packet this week. Many children were choosing to use their own paper. I will have lined paper available in the classroom for any student who would like to use mine.
This week in math we are finishing up with unit 2. This unit was all about fact fluency. We spent lots of time practicing combinations that make ten, doubles facts, near doubles facts, and 'turn around facts.' We will spend a couple of days reviewing skills from the unit and will take the unit assessment at the end of the week. Our next unit will continue to build fact fluency skills. We have been practicing with flashcards a couple of times each week. When we do, there are 'rules'..... Do not start talking until you have the answer. Once you begin talking, you MUST read the card before giving the answer. You have 3 seconds to complete the card. It took a few tries to get used to the format, but everyone now has it down. Practicing this way eliminates impulsive answers and lets the child hear the entire fact. They will see it, say it, and hear it - three ways to practice, but only doing it once! BONUS!
We continue to read about animals, their habitats, their special adaptations, and their offspring. Integrated with this has been our study of owls. We have learned LOTS of cool facts about owls from the 'Eyes On Owls' presentation and from reading many books. Did you know that an owl's eyes are fixed? Ask your child what that means! Today we began writing a report about owls. It will be our writing project for the next week or so. This will be the first time we take a piece of writing all the way through the writing process to a final draft. Exciting yes, but LOTS of hard work!
This week our phonics has us learning about digraphs. The kids took an instant liking to them and were noticing them everywhere! Even the word 'digraph' has a digraph in it - ph! You may hear your child referring to the 'H Brothers.' That is another name for a sub-group of digraphs that all have an h: ch, wh, th, ph, and sh. The two other digraphs we are learning are ng and ck.
Finally, a HUGE "THANK YOU!" to everyone for sending in supplies for our Halloween centers. It was very much appreciated! The kids enjoyed the harvest mix so much, many brought it to lunch and finished it before you even got to sample it! The sewing center really pushed our fine motor skills to the limit. Can you believe the great job the kids did sewing those cute pumpkins? For many, it was their first sewing experience and they LOVED it! Perhaps we'll sew again later in the year...