We had another really great week together. I was out sick Thursday and Friday and both subs left me really wonderful notes about how well the class did. Usually I try to give you a heads up via Remind or an email that I will be out sick but I got hit hard with a sinus cold and was useless until today.
I realized that many of you don't know or maybe aren't sure of how our daily work plans go so I put together this explanation, which I've also posted on the website, to help you better understand what your child is doing in class each day.
Our daily work plan is as follows:
1)Read to self for 15-20 minutes and write a short reflection on it.
2)Read to someone for 5-10 minutes and write a reflection.
3) Listen to someone read for 5-10 minutes and write a reflection.
4) Work on writing - This can be two pages of handwriting practice, 5 parts of a letter, creative story writing, etc.
5) Word Work - The kids can practice their spelling words, use the skyscraper lessons, or parts of speech to fulfill this part of their work plan.
Math: There are two parts to the math section of our work plans; facts and operations.
Facts: The kids each have a laminated file that holds math facts for addition, subtraction and multiplication. They can use these to practice their facts each day in class on a set page. For example, all students started on +1. When they feel they are ready to take a 1-minute test and they can solve 20 problems on the +1 page in one minute they can then move on to +2. They can move through this packet at their own speed. The kids also have access to flash cards to work on their math facts independently or with a partner.
Operations: Each week the kids have one to two math lessons, this depends on the work that they put into their daily work. If a child is given a lesson on Monday and practices several times on this skill and shows they are ready to move forward, they're invited to the next sequential math lesson on Wednesday or whenever they are ready. If a child shows they have not practiced the skill or it is too challenging we will either do a review lesson or choose a different material to build their foundation skills before moving forward.
Every week we have at least one lesson on science, typically this is whole group. This may be the district science kit or the Montessori curriculum. Every day the kids are expected to choose a science activity for their daily work plan. I encourage them to explore the science shelf as much as possible as it relates to our main focus in class but they are also welcome to explore other interests that they have.
Just as with our science, once a week we do a whole group cultural lesson. These lessons are focused around our Five Great Lessons that begin with the Big Bang, the Coming of Life, the Basic Needs of Humans, the History of Language, and the History of Numbers. I also tie in a lot of SEL activities during this time, including our Montessori Peace Values in the beginning of the school year. Students are expected to do one cultural activity per school day for their work plan which also includes the map cabinet and flag and biome work.
We do a lot every day! I hope this helps give you a better understanding of what your child's work expectation is each day and all of the amazing things they are doing in class!
Last week we learned about stellar nucleosynthesis, and man, it was awesome! The kids picked up on it so quickly and made some really lovely projects to go along with it. First and second graders made books showing each level and the third graders used ticker tape to create their own timeline. Make sure to ask your child to see theirs! This week we are moving forward with constellation work and we will start our solar system projects. The third graders make solar system necklaces using clay, beads and wire. The second graders are making solar system mobiles and the first graders will be doing solar system books and painting.
Picture day is this week - don't forget to have your child dress to impress and send in your order forms if you'd like school photos. Retakes will be available at a later date if your child misses school this day.
If you have any questions, I'm always available through email or you can stop by after 8am during the week.
Picture Day! - September 28th (Forms to go home soon)
Leo's Celebration of Life - September 29th at 2:45pm
Lia's Celebration of Life - October 6th at 2:45 pm
In-Service day (No school!) - October 20th
Half-Days/Parent Teacher Conferences - October 25th & 26th
In-Service day (No school!) - October 27th
Fall Carnival - October 27th