Friday, September 30, 2016

October Songs and Poems

Hello families!

I went with the theme of fall for this month, combined with the students' love of animals.  You saw in our weekly email that we already watched videos to see the difference between hedgehogs and woodchucks.  The kids were so enthralled during those videos, I hope you get a chance to watch more of them!

Also, Halloween is coming!  We began our October songs and poems early since we had an extra week in August and in November and December we will have shorter months (because of the holidays) so I thought we would adjust to give each month a similar time frame with their songs and poems.

I chose two Halloween themed poems because I know that usually the day that we turn the calendar page for October some student is bound to alert the class that this mean Halloween is CLOSE!  Which in turn will stimulate talk and planning for our first class party!

FYI I love using party planning to offer the students a chance to see themselves as capable, creative problem solving people, so we will be working through everything, from brainstorming ideas for a theme, activities and food, to creating the games, activities and decorations to what food we will be requesting from the families for this exciting celebration.  So stay tuned for news about their process and for the sign ups we may put out for help we will be asking for.

I hope you enjoy learning these poems along with your child!  Love, Jennifer

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September Songs and Poems!

Hello families,

Each month I will be offering 5-6 songs and poems for the students to memorize and learn from.  There are many layers to this work, which helps us to identify letter sound connection, word spelling, punctuation and writing norms.  It also supports many discussions about language in general- rhyming, homonyms, the fun of playing with language, etc.  Towards the end of each month we also delve into seeking out the meaning or message behind the songs and poems, and or why the poet or songwriter might have written it.  So there is so much fun to this small, but magical piece of our morning ritual.

For this month, I always like to start with shorter, more bite-sized songs and poems so that the students feel success no matter who they are when they join us in class.  I chose short ones, that include a haiku, about animals.  I also am using Maurice Sendak's month series, which you will get to know the new one each month.  And finally, I am a Beatles fan and this simple song is just the fun success we need at the beginning of the year!

Each day the students take turns being the pointer student, doing the hand motions that go with the songs and poems and feeling the rhythm and cadence.  The students also take turns showing things they are noticed in the poem- right now letters and words.  This reminds us all that we have something to share and expertise that others can learn from!

I hope you are enjoying hearing these at home and maybe even learning them along with us!  Have a great weekend!  Love, Jennifer