Can you feel the snow in the air? I can, every morning when I go out to my car! BRRR! Please make sure that your child heads off to school each day with a warm winter jacket, a hat, gloves, and soon they will need boots and snow pants. (Yikes!) Our school-wide plan is that once students leave the building for recess they are not allowed to re-enter the building for forgotten items in the classroom. Please remind your student to take ALL of their warm weather gear with them when they go outside. They can always take it off if they get too warm but they cannot come back inside if they are too cold.
Now that October is quickly approaching we will be phasing out our learning focus on the Solar System and begin working on the planet Earth. Solar System projects will be heading your way soon!
With October comes the Fall Festival (and carnival!) in our classroom. I have some fun activities planned for our celebration in class including mini-pumpkin decorating, a sensory story/experience, and mini-pumpkin pie baking. If you are interested in helping out with one of these activities during our celebration day (October 31st), please let me know. I could definitely use some extra hands for this day, especially since the kiddos will be ramped up for Trick-or-Treating! We will also be in need of a few items, if you are able to help out with this these are some of the items that will be needed for the end of October:
- spaghetti noodles (1 box)
- mini pumpkins (21)
- bag of grapes (1)
We will be doing an integrated lesson of math, science, and writing mid-October using regular sized pumpkins. If you are able to help with this supply, I would really appreciate it! Carrs currently has pumpkins on sale for $10. We will need 3 pumpkins, 6-7 kids per pumpkin is what I am thinking. We will be carving the pumpkins and recording the steps we took (First, Then, Next, Last) as well as estimating how much our pumpkin weighs, an estimation of the amount of seeds, etc. The culminating project will be a writing project about creating Jack-O-Lanterns.
FIeld trip! Field Trip! Tuesday, October 28th, from 9:15-12:00 we will be at the Performing Arts Center to see Schoolhouse Rock Live! We have plenty of chaperones confirmed to attend with us, thank you to everyone who volunteered. Each child and chaperone is $8.
Last but not least, come to the family movie and PTSA meeting night on Wednesday. It is from 5:30-7:15. You can pre-order a pizza for $10 and popcorn will be available for $1 bag. Did you see the flyer that was sent home? If you need more information let me know and I can send another one home. You can stay and watch the movie or join the PTSA meeting, it is up to you. No child is allowed to be dropped off at the school without an adult in the building present. I will be there with my husband and oldest son, Colton. Hope to see you there!
Scholastic Book Order due: September 30th
Schoolhouse Rock Live! field trip: October 28th
Classroom Fall Festival: October 31st
We have been working out the kinks in our classroom these past few weeks and I feel that we are finally all settling in and figuring out our classroom dynamic. Thank you to those who have stopped by to observe or lend a hand, your presence in the classroom is appreciated!
This month our theme has been around the Solar System. If you have stopped by in the mornings or afternoons, you probably have noticed our amazing Solar System models in the classroom. Part of our research this month includes creating a model; what has your student chosen to do for their model? If they haven't done it yet, they have one more week before we begin to turn our focus onto the Earth. We have one amazing and very detailed project currently happening that involves balloons, string, and a whole lot of white glue!
I would like to send out a big thank you to Jennifer Davis for her contribution of an awesome mailbox system, Jessica Cochran for donating her time and efforts in creating an update Control Map storage system, and Jennifer Mayfield for donating stamps so that we may begin learning how to write letters to pen pals. Also, thank you to everyone for sending in snack on your childs' scheduled day. The kids really need the boost and they look forward to it each day.
September 30th- Scholastic Order due
October 28-31st- Schoolhouse Rock Live! (field trip, date TBD)
Well, I had fixed the Spelling City error which was that I had two accounts and I was editing one of them and you were seeing the other. However when I tried to solve that problem by asking Spelling City to delete the old and inaccurate account, they deleted the updated and new one. Gah! Technology. I will get it sorted out but for now please have your students continue practicing their spelling words. They can enter their weekly words manually and continue to practice on S.C while I sort that out.
We had our first conferences together this past week. I will be meeting with students regularly to check their progress on their work plans. Please remind your child that with the freedom of choice within our classroom comes the responsibility to do their work. Several of them panicked when they realized they had not been keeping up with their work and that it was due. The unfinished work will just bump over into next week but I would so appreciate a pep talk at home too.
If you would like to come in and observe, volunteer, or be put to work please let me know or come on in and spend some time with us. Please keep in mind that while our students are working your role is to only offer help to a student when asked and to keep it to a minimum. We want to encourage the kids to do as much of the work on their own as possible. All of our students are working on a variety of works and are doing their very best to succeed; I am very proud of this group of kids!
Have a great week!
School photos- Thursday, September 18th
Talk Like a Pirate Day (Dress like one too!)- Friday, September 19th
Scholastic order due- September 30th
Wow, what an excellent week that we had together in class!
I want to give a big thanks to all of our parent chaperones who came with us on Friday to Pyrah's. The kids really enjoyed themselves and you were a big help. It is too bad that we did not have more time for the actual picking portion of the trip but I suppose it gave us something to look forward to doing next year and focusing on just the picking process.
Now that our first graders are in the full swing of things in the classroom, everyone has a lot of work that they can focus on. We are still fine tuning things and making sure that everyone is on the same page but considering we are only a few weeks in, I think it is going pretty well. We have had a few snags with homework issues, such as the spelling words and Spelling City not cooperating, but we will get that worked out.
This month we are focusing on the Solar System. Did you happen to see the amazing Solar System that was created by Chloe and Gus hanging from our classroom ceiling? I am really impressed with the work they put into it and I am so looking forward to seeing what everyone else creates. Currently I am working on field trips for this coming year to coincide with what we are learning in the classroom. I am hoping that we can make it to either the Anchorage Museum for a planetarium visit or to UAA to see a show in their incredible planetarium. I will keep you posted! Meanwhile, I have an excellent app called Star Walk that allows students to point an iPad up to the sky and it will identify constellations in that are. It would be excellent if a parent or two could volunteer to come in for a couple of times in the next few weeks to take students outside on the playground to use the iPad and app. It will be a much better experience with two students at a time considering I currently have just one iPad. If you're interested in this, please contact me soon.
I was really surprised at how many families came to our Open House. I love how involved all of the families are and the support that you show for your child. In turn, I feel equally supported and that is an excellent feeling. I forgot to mention a few things that are happening or changing at school though:
1) Front door security- The front door will now be locked at 9am and you will need to be buzzed in by the front office. This is a security measure to keep students and staff safe. Also, please avoid picking your child up early from school in an effort to avoid parking/traffic. We know this is a difficult situation but we want to make sure that all of our kiddos are involved in the procedures and routines of the full school day.
2) Thursday Folders- We do not have homework folders, only Thursday Folders. The kids are expected to pick up a reading log, on their own, from it's "home" space by our classroom door each Monday. Everything else will be sent home on Thursdays in their folder. The folder, and the reading log, should be returned the following Friday.
3) Scholastic orders- I love this program and you will be seeing many order forms sent home. If you would prefer not to have these sent home, please just let me know. I am setting the due date for each order for the end of each month to avoid bombarding you with catalogs and due dates. Just plan on having your order placed between the first and last of the month. If you miss the due date, go ahead and submit your order anyway. It just will not be filled until the following month.
*I took a few fun photos from our field trip, please let me know if you DO NOT want me to publish them on the website. I will also send a form home asking for feedback before posting them.
School Picture Day: September 18th
Talk Like a Pirate Day: September 19th
Scholastic Due Date: September 30th
Have a great week!
Christine Homan :)
Many people have asked how they can help out in the classroom and until this weekend my brain was not ready to contemplate how to utilize extra hands. Now that our class has settled in a bit more, I have a much better idea of what things can be done. Thank you for being patient with me!
1) Control Maps- I need new folders made for the control maps that we will be using quite a bit starting in November. These can be made from the large poster board size paper we have at school, labeled, and laminated so they last us a long time.
2) Student Mail System- I need a creative mind to help me come up with a functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing mail system for students to collect returned papers to take home. In the past I have used a plastic crate system which has worked well but it is sticking out like a sore thumb and quite large in our environment.
3) Birthday Chart - It would be great to have a birthday wall in our classroom. I need a parent to come in to take photos of each child, print them off, and design a monthly birthday calendar on one of our side walls.
4) Party Coordinator - Do you love planning parties? Help me! I would like to have a winter holiday party (one that will focus on world holidays the students have chosen from our year long research project), a Valentine party, and an end of the year party. If you have some fun ideas and are willing to do the foot work, please let me know!
Each day of the week we have a different focus for lessons. Monday and Wednesday is math, Tuesday is literacy, Thursday is culture, and Friday is science. If you are interested in coming in to help out during our learning block and/or giving a special lesson based on your knowledge, please let me know. Our focus for each month is as follows:
September- Solar System
December- World Holidays
I will be updating this list as I have other projects arise. Thank you!
I hope that the long weekend treated you well and that you and your family are feeling refreshed. Did you make it out to the Alaska State Fair? My family always enjoys going, especially as our kids are getting older and there are more options for them to partake in.
Each month this school year we will be having a focus to help guide our studies. Here is the plan:
September: Solar System
December: World Winter Holidays (this is a short month)
March: Inhabitants (people and animals)
April: Language/ Writing
The idea behind this structure is that these monthly focuses build on each other and allow us to have a family presentation on all that we have learned about our world throughout the school year. Each student will have something completely unique and different to share about places around the world as they will have the choice from the beginning of which continent to focus and work down the line from there. How fun, right?
This is a short week for us in that we have Monday off and Friday is our awesome field trip out to Pyrah's in Palmer. If you have volunteered to chaperone this field trip please get in touch with me to confirm if we have not already done so.
Last Thursday I sent home a yellow (or gold) colored form to order Denali Gear from. If you are interested in purchasing a shirt or sweatshirt, please return the form by Friday, September 5th with cash or check. You can also pay with a credit card by calling Cari at 223-0477. If you need another form please let me know and I can send another one home.
Please come and join us for our Open House event on Thursday, September 4th! This event will be from 6pm-8pm. There will be three rotations during this time frame to allow for parents with multiple children within the school to visit in all of their classrooms. I will have more information for you about our classroom at this time. I will also have a sign-up sheet for volunteers for classroom parties, a wish list, and opportunities for your child to show you some of their work and around our classroom.
We have been working very hard in class each and every day. I am truly amazed at how intelligent your children are and at how hard they choose to work. This past week we explored the Big Bang and learned about the nervous system. We will continue to explore the human body over the next several weeks as well as many other exciting things. Please make sure to ask your kiddo what they're working on in school. This is a great way for you to keep in the loop with our classroom if you are unable to come for visits.
Open House- September 4th
Field Trip - September 5th
School Pictures - September 18th
Scholastic Book Order due- September 30th