Class 12-1 October Update
Hard to believe we are into the second month of school. We have accomplished so much in
Reading; I have tested all children’s reading levels and are now in the monitoring phase.
Some students that are reading at lower levels will improve more rapidly than others that
are reading above level M. At times, you will see your child plateau. This is okay. Just
keep reading or providing that time and support for home reading. Please return your
child’s home reading duotang every Monday and Thursday, (or Tuesday if a long weekend).
I check in to look at levels and use this as a guide for retesting. During our Daily Five, one
of my centres is Guided Reading with me. I have grouped the children in similar levels and
we read together and review comprehension questions orally. I have parent volunteers for
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings – and they will be reading with certain
students every day for additional support and assist with book exchanges.
Daily Five Centres; this is where the student’s exercise some level of choice in our
language block. After a group lesson on sentence conventions, or writing ideas, or word
work the children may choose to Read to Self, Read with Someone, complete their Word
Work in their folder or work on a word activity centre, Work on Writing, (the students
have many writing options and free range writing in booklets or paper – this is different
than our journal writing), Computer (Raz Kids) or Listening Centre. A small group or
individuals will be with me. We have practiced what each of these centres should look and
sound like and my expectations for the success of Daily Five. These centres are now up
and running as of last week and so far, so good. This allows each student to be working at
their level and my expectations, regardless of grade.
Writing – the focus will be on the six traits of writing throughout the year in the following
order; conventions (mechanical correctness), ideas (the main message), organization (the
structure of the piece), word choice, sentence fluency and voice (the person tone of the
author’s message). With conventions I am getting the students to practice editing for
capitals, proper use of upper case and lower case letters and punctuation. I am going to be
tough of these conventions for ‘published’ pieces, (not free choice writing in Daily Five).
We have also been working on how to brainstorm for ideas. For grade 2’s; I will be
building in the organization of a paragraph next with an opening sentence and three ideas
and a concluding sentence. For all the children, I have been tying in some printing practice
and expectations into their editing work. My standards are high in this area to build a
Math: We have covered the basics of numeracy and our now moving into sorting,
grouping, some data management and patterning. This is very hands on math with
manipulatives. The children enjoyed sorting many objects this past week by size, colour,
texture, shape and other attributes. Grade 1’s are expected to sort objects by one
attribute and Grade 2’s are expected to sort by two attributes. This moves into a review
of tallying and grouping and then we will do some graphing and data management. We will
also create patterns – grade 2’s must create more complex repetitive patterns than grade
1’s. You will see less paper work coming home during these units and I take more notes
from oral testing with manipulatives on a daily basis for checking on understanding.
Social Studies – The grade 1’s are wrapping up their Rules, Roles and Responsibilities.
They will be interviewing an ‘Important Person’ in their life and presenting this orally to
the class. Grade 2’s are wrapping up their All About Me unit and will be doing an activity
on their family tree and presenting to the class a small object or tradition that is passed
on from generation to generation within their family. Celebrations in Social Studies will
be all year flowing with the calendar. We have discussed Canada’s tradition of celebrating
Thanksgiving and will be doing Halloween and Diwali as well for October. Remembrance
Day for November.
Science – will be starting shortly. The first unit for Grade 1’s will be Daily and Seasonal
Changes. We will be looking at the cycles of the seasons, cycles of a plant (pumpkins!) and
the sequences within various cycles. I brought in a sunflower and we have taken out all
the seeds. We are going to tie the counting of these seeds into math but the children
want to save some to plant in the spring. I think we should do the same with the pumpkin
seeds if we don’t eat them all. Yes, we will be carving pumpkins the week of the 23rd. I’ll
give you a heads up on that messy day. I am undecided as of yet for the grade 2’s
whether or not we will do Water and Air now or wait until the spring for that unit as it ties
in nicely with Liquids, Gases and Solids. (grade 1’s will be doing Energy simultaneously).
We also have Gadgets and Gizmos coming up and I may just dive into this one next. I will
keep you posted on that early November.
Art – So far we have done Terry Fox posters, Piet Mondrian art with primary colours and
Thanksgiving burlap turkeys. Coming up we have VanGogh sunflowers and seasonal trees.
Music, French, Drama and Dance and Health are taught by other teachers. I do teach
our class Physical Education last period on Fridays. It is a great way to end the week. If
you have any questions about these subjects please send them my way and I will make sure
they get to the correct teacher. If you have any further questions or want to discuss
something, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am happy to arrange a time to get
together or talk on the phone.
Thanks again for all of your support at home. I really
enjoyed meeting everyone at Open House.