Thursday, May 9, 2013

A busy and fabulous week!

Hi Families!

Such a special week- thank you!  I really appreciate all the gifts that you have been sending in.  You are so thoughtful.  It has been such a sweet feeling to get unique surprises each day.  Thank you for working together to make this week special.  It has been!

I also asked the class to think about who their teachers are.  Many of them were realizing that they may want to write a card for others, like their soccer, cheer or Juditsu teacher, as well.  We created a list of great teachers we have in our lives at school.  

Each member of the class decided to take one person so that all the teachers could be appreciated, especially those without a class of their own.  It has been such a sweet time.  All our work this year, to be able to create a clear, specific and meaningful appreciation, is showing up!  These cards have been so lovely and thoughtful.  Below are a smattering of examples.

The group has also been realizing their strength in writing, as well as doing careful and special work.  These cards are truly an example of their strong skills in showing their best effort!

Another theme this week was continuing our quest to understand our written language.  The students brainstormed a list of words they use often and that they want to begin getting correct.  This list stimulated a great discussion that lead us to look at root words and how we adapt them with -ed and -ing.  The students are beginning to see the few patterns that English has, such as the concept of dropping a silent 'e', before adding the -ing.  They had fun with the surprise of how the word changed when we incorporated the -ing!   We continue to find excitement in deciphering this tricky language.  

A third, big practice topic of this week was counting coins!  The students really seemed excited by this challenge.  Jason has a big chest of coins that he lent me indefinitely for the class and the students love using it to practice.  On Monday we began with pennies and nickels. They were soon ready for the next challenge: adding dimes to the equation.  The class worked in partnerships, to share the jobs.  They took turns organizing the coins, counting and documenting the amounts of each coin, as well as the sum.  The partnerships were especially helpful because it can be tricky to remember to change from counting by tens with the dimes, then counting by fives with the nickels and then by ones with the pennies.  You can get quite a different sum if you keep counting all your coins by tens!  

Since the students love to practice, and practice is what is going to help them to become capable of doing this confidently, go ahead and empty your pockets in the evenings and count your change together.  They might surprise you with their abilities!

And finally, I wanted to share a special moment that many of the students have been having: being our class reader.  So many students wanted to do this, that we are giving each person a day to read to us. The group is so patient and the reader, so brave.  It is really a celebration of all their practice and hard work to be able to get up and read!  

Thank you for making the week so beautiful.  And for sharing your beautiful children with me! 
 I feel appreciated and I appreciate your children each day!  
Love, Jennifer

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