Saturday, January 31, 2015

Important discussions, family fractions and more!

Hello Families,

Let's see, there's lots to share.

This week has been a little tricky.  We started off the week with a fun field trip, but we also saw many friends who are deciding to be silly, inappropriate or disrespectful at times that don't work for others.  This has come up throughout the week in different forms, so we have really began looking at what this means for each of us.

One tip I always love, that Christine shares, is how she often uses the behaviors we see in others, for instance at the grocery store, or when you are out in public, as a great chance to talk about our choices. By watching and then talking about it when it is not emotionally charged or personally connected, children can plan and try on different choices of how to handle situations.  Bring back the art form of peole watching as a model for us to learn from!

Another special moment I know families in our class try to do consistenly is where the parent shares "true stories" from their childhood.  By talking about a time when you remember lying, or when you were disrepectful, your children can see you are human, but also they can discuss what they might do if they ever are in that situation.  It really helps to open up communication on these important topics.

I encourage you to see what family rituals you can create to help your child have an avenue to discuss common human behaviors and to think and plan for when it might come up with them!  The work you are putting in now will become the foundation for your child's adult life, future relationships, and for those teenage years when many families are not sure how to communicate successfully. You parents are doing such important work!

Math Talks-

The other group looked (the one that did not do that last week) at how the ten frame can include fractions.  The students are looking for the fractions involve and praciticing how to write them and say them. Remembering the subtlties of making the jump from four to fourths, or ten to tenths can be tricky.

I also offered a fun experience to find the fractions in our families.  Some friends really got into this and began finding more traits to be documenting as a fraction.  I hope you enjoy looking through their ideas.  What's a funny fraction you can identify about your family?

Language Arts-
We continued and finalized our stories with our budies inspired by the idea of a blackout.  What works in a blackout?  What can't you use and can't you do?  I hope your child will share their funny or serious story with you.

First Grade Spelling:
What practice strategies will you try out this week?

Journal Topics:
Indonesia Diving
Mission Trails field trip
How you can help the class

Science and Social Studies-
We looked at cool diagrams to help us understand more about where electrical energy comes from.  See one of our reflection pages for more info!

I am saving the best for last, maybe!  Tuesday morning was very sweet. Kirana's grandmother, Riga, who had previously wrote answers to our country questions, came to visit from Indonesia.  She is a diving instructor and also an underwater photographer and she shared so many exciting and interesting stories and photos from her experiences.  The kids were entranced!  They each got to try on some of the gear, too!  They found out that you can be as young as 8 to start learning to dive- look out parents!

Riga also shared that she carries school supplies in to the islands that she dives that are very remote.  This has been something we have been thinking about- how we can help others in the world.  This kids plan to explore this idea further.

I hope these photos help your child share more with you.  As you saw above,this was also one of our journal topics this week!

After a week full of highs and lows, we ended the week with a relaxing day to remind ourselves how capapble, caring, responsible, fun, special and awesome we are.  I wanted to offer lots of conneciton time after a week of tricky memories.  We began with a quiet, repetitive creative drawing moment. Then there were three groups of 7 and they cycled through snack as a tea party with me, recess fun with Emma, making obstacle courses and using the parachute, and games and puzzles with friends.  It was a sweet day that I hope will help the students right themselves as a class, and remember what a strong community they can be.  They were so engaged in their game time, it was lovely to see them working together so successfully without an adult helping.

We also journaled about how we can help the class and their ideas were lovely!  They each were so thoughtful to the many ways we work together and to what makes our classroom run best.  The students were also so honest about what it is that truly would be the most helpful change they can make for the class, and for themselves!  I hope you can come in and take a moment to see what your own child thought of!

Have a great weekend!  Love, Jennifer