Reading : Last week, we worked on developing the students' reading stamina (or, as we often say in our classroom 'reading for a long time'). Each day, we went over a new way that the students can use to help them read for longer periods of time without losing focus. We talked about sticking with one book rather than quickly flipping through a few books. We also talked about looking carefully at the pictures and gleaning more information about the story from the pictures.
Up until now, the students have been reading from mixed-level book bins at their table seats. Starting this week, however, they will be getting their own, independent book bins to read from during reading workshop. Each student's book bin will have self-selected books that are at his/her own reading level. Not only will they be getting their own book bins, but they'll also get their own reading spots all around the classroom. The students are very excited!
Author Study : Last week we spent a lot of time reading and discussing books by Kevin Henkes. The students LOVE these books. Ask your child about some of the books that Kevin Henkes has written. So far, we've read Chrysanthemum, Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Julius Baby of the World, and Chester's Way. Go check out some Kevin Henkes books (particularly the books with mice at the main characters) at the town library. Your child is sure to love them.
Phonics : We continued learning about letters and their sounds last week. We also learned about vowels and consonants. Ask you child what the five vowels are. (If he/she doesn't remember, that's okay! We'll be reviewing it a lot over the next few weeks.)
Math : Last week we continued working on tally marks and learned about calendars.
Science : The caterpillars came! The students are already quite well-versed at the butterfly life cycle and can't wait to see it happen before their own eyes. We'll be keeping journals to track any changes. As of Friday, we had five caterpillars crawling around, but who knows what is in the cage as I'm typing this now. On Friday, the students noticed some of the caterpillars doing some peculiar things at the top of the cage and think that there might be a chrysalis or two in there by Monday morning.
Back to School Night : As I hope you're well aware by now, Back to School Night is on Thursday, September 27th at 7pm. I look forward to seeing you then!
Writing Folders : Just a reminder that decorated writing folders are due this week. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
Here are some pictures of 1-Bu, and our caterpillars, last week: