Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week of September 18th

We had a great first week of centers! Thanks so much to all our center helpers. I appreciate your diligence in coming on time and working with the children. All went very well last week, and I'm so excited to have two helpers for every day!

Remember to send in your child's Blue Bag on Monday, with the laminated reading sheet inside. Just leave that in there all year long. You will receive a new book again on Wednesday.

Safety Week
This week, students at Alta Vista will be practicing different types of drills on three different days in the morning. Even though our class will not be in session, it would be nice for you to have a conversation about these drills at home. We will practice a fire drill, an earthquake drill, and a shelter in place drill. Our class will have an opportunity to practice at school at a later date.

Guided Reading Training
On Tuesday the 19th, I will be out of school for the day at a Guided Reading training. The students will have their first substitute teacher. The students are in good hands with an excellent sub (who is also a retired teacher from Alta Vista), but I just wanted you to be aware of this and let your students know that I will be back again on Wednesday. I am very excited to be part of this training-- I attended the first week of it during the summer, and it is an excellent reading program that addresses the needs of all students.


Alta Vista's Walkathon is coming right up, and I hope to see everyone out there! The students had a kickoff assembly this past Friday (kindergarten didn't attend due to STEAM centers) and we will be talking to the kindergartners this week about this amazing school-wide event. Please mark your calendars for Saturday, October 21st, and plan to come out for this great community-building day-- your child won't want to miss it!

Language Arts

Our "Daily Phonemic Awareness" activities have been focusing on many different skills. We've been breaking apart compound words and putting them back together. We've been deleting parts of words and stating what is left. We have also been identifying beginning and ending sounds, and working on rhyming.

This week's letters are Ii and Jj, and our sight word is see. We will continue to read books about apples, both fiction and non-fiction.

We will also be adding the Guided Reading center to our "Daily 5" literacy centers this week. Children will begin meeting with the teachers to read and talk about a book while other students continue to work on literacy centers that we've been gradually introducing.

We are continuing with Module 1 in our Eureka Math program. Parent tips can be found here. We will be looking at numbers to 10 and begin decomposing numbers. We will play some fun math games while we will look at combinations that make up a number. For example, 5 can be 1 & 4, 2 & 3, 5 & 0. Obviously, this sets them up for pre-addition skills. We will also be learning some counting skills so that children can count one-to-one, no matter what the arrangement of the items is (scattered, in a circle, in a grid, etc.)

We will continue with our apple study this week, learning about the life cycle of an apple tree and doing a taste test of two different apple products (juice and sauce). The apple unit leads nicely into our next unit, a FOSS science unit on Trees & Leaves, which we will begin next week. We will be studying different types of trees, deciduous trees vs. evergreen trees, and taking a close look at parts of a tree. FOSS science units provide fun, hands-on lessons for the kids.

This week's STEAM centers will be apple-themed, and our Alta Vista STEAM TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) Ms. Pugliese, will be working with us on these exciting investigations. We will be building structures with apple pieces & toothpicks, investigating whether apples sink or float, dissecting apples, and seeing how far apples roll!

Helpers & Activities This Week:
Monday: Daily 5, Centers (Kym & Laura)
Tuesday: Daily 5, Centers (Sarina & Suzanne)
Wednesday: Recess 101, Blue Bags go home
Thursday: Daily 5, Centers (Karen & Jennifer)
Friday: Daily 5, STEAM Centers (Heidi & Marie)

September Parent Helpers

Upcoming Events:
Wednesday 9/27: Wacky Wednesday 10am-1:20pm
Saturday 10/21: Alta Vista Walkathon
Wednesday 10/25: Wacky Wednesday 10-1:20 & Field trip to Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch
Tuesday 10/31: Halloween Parade & Party