What a busy week we had! It is a great feeling seeing so many students working hard on different works and projects. We have wrapped up our first Literature Circle groups this week and it was very successful. We will be starting the second round with the students choosing new books on Monday. The students have really enjoyed having more opportunities to read together and discuss what they have read in a group. There is a great excitement for reading in the classroom.
This week, the students wrote their first letters to their Kindergarten buddies. Kindergarten buddies is a tradition in Morado, where each student has a Kindergartner in another classroom that they communicate with and get to know and help throughout the year. They will be inviting their buddies to have lunch together in a couple of weeks.
A fun lesson we had this week was called the “Tree of Life.” We have talked about how people like to organize things and scientists have organized all the living things on earth into different categories. We made a tree out of students which each branch was based around a type of living thing like bacteria, algae, plants, and animals and how they were all connected to one common ancestor at the trunk. Students also got to learn different examples from each of the kingdoms of life and their similarities and differences.
This also worked out nice because the upper elementary was out for most of the week on a field trip to Islandwood. They came back with great pictures and amazing stories to tell. They were also eager to share what they had learned on their trip about the natural world around them. Some students took lower elementary students outside and showed them different plants around the school and surrounding wetlands and how to identify them.
We would like to remind everyone that this Friday, October 2nd, school will be closed for Goal-Setting conferences. Please make sure you and your child are there during your conference time. If you haven’t yet filled out the Goal-Setting forms, we have attached a copy of them to this email. It is very important we get those before the conference to be better prepared for the meeting on Friday.
One last thing, we would like to invite parents to Morado’s Parent Education Night on Tuesday, September 29th from 6pm-8pm. Childcare will be provided with a pizza dinner. This year, we will be going over the Five Great Lessons that we do at the beginning of each school year. This is a great way to get to experience some of the really cool things we get to do in our class and how we connect everything we do during the year to those five lessons.
¿Como se llama? Me llamo Mary. This week, the children added Spanish to their schedule. They were surprised to find out how many countries count Spanish as their official language, and how many people in the US speak Spanish.
We continued the Great Lessons with number 3: The Coming of Humans. What makes humans special: an opposing thumb? the ability to remember the past, predict the future, and tell stories? the ability to love people we have never seen and species outside of our own? We added Homo naledi to the list of early humans, since the new find was announced this week.
Children selected their Literature Circle books based on interest rather than reading level, and we are in the midst of reading them together. Discussions will begin next week. Children were introduced to compound words, nouns, and verbs. They had their first spelling tests. They role-played various ways to include children who wish to join a group that is playing. They also discussed the importance of spending time with classmates they haven't worked or played with lately.
Thank you to all the volunteers who came to Friday's training. We appreciate your support. Please take some time with your child to discuss the goal-setting sheet this weekend, if you haven't yet done so. We would like to see those by Monday. Also, save the evening of September 29th for curriculum night. We look forward to telling you more about the five Great Lessons.
Mr. Ben, Ms. Mary, and Ms. Khavitha
Thanks to everyone who was able to make it on Friday to the Recess Monkey concert and BBQ. It was a lot of fun seeing all the students together dancing together to the music.
This week, students were becoming more comfortable with all the new changes this year, getting to know each other better, and helping improve our classroom community. Students have been focused on their weekly math lessons and enjoyed learning new songs and games together at our circle times.
The previous week, we had the 1st Great Lesson, and the stories of the creation of the universe. This week we jump ahead of that event and look at the formation of the Earth and all the life that has been on it. For the 2ndGreat Lesson, students are introduced to a large timeline that is broken up into the different eras of life on Earth. We talk about each era and the major events and types of organisms that lived during each one. Students then get to put different types of plants and animals on the timeline and figure out where everything is supposed to go on a timeline that spans between now and 4 billion years ago!
This week was also the start of some specialists in the classroom. Students started having weekly Music and Chorus lessons with Ms. Amy and got to run an obstacle course with Mr. Robin in P.E.. Teaches also started our weekly individual student conferences. We have scheduled each student some time during the week to meet with a teacher and talk about how they are feeling at school and come up with ideas and plans on what they are interested learning about this year.
Next week, we will be starting our weekly Literature Circles. Small groups of students will choose a book to read together during the week and have a discussion about the book at the end of the week. We are really excited to start and get to know more about your child’s thoughts and feelings from they read.
We will also be starting our daily math practice with Rocket Math and our first Spelling Pre-test will be coming home on Monday. Please practice both of these throughout the week to help them succeed. Students will be given Rocket Math sheets everyday but Wednesday. First graders will not start Rocket Math for a few more weeks, so that they can prepare and get more comfortable with their math facts.
On Bloomz, we have setup a page to sign-up for Goal Setting Conferences on October 2nd. Please sign-up for a time as soon as possible. The other classrooms at MCH should have their sign-ups on their pages soon, so if you have another child at MCH you can schedule for back to back conferences. Remember that both you and your child need to be present for this conference.
In your child’s folder, there are some forms with more information about the conferences and some forms to fill out.
Please fill out the forms and return them in them in your child folders by Monday, September 28th. These are very important for us as teachers to learn more about what your child wants from school this year and will help guide the Goal Setting Conference. If there are any questions, please let us know.
We hope you all have a great, sunny weekend,
Ben, Mary, & Khavitha
A very warm welcome to everyone, it is great getting to see everyone after the long summer and getting to know all the new people in our classroom community. We hope everyone is having a fantastic 3-day weekend. Everyone in Morado worked so hard this week that it is great having an extra day to rest.
In the start of the school year in lower elementary, the first main theme and focus is on Creation Stories. We introduce students through different stories from around the world on the creation of the universe and talk about similarities and differences between them. We also tell our own version through the 1st Great Lesson. It tells the story of the Big Bang and the creation of everything in the universe. Students were then given lessons on how stars are formed and different types of matter from their knowledge of the Big Bang. They also really enjoyed learned Planetary Distance by walking a very long model of our solar system. It is so big that it has to be laid out in our parking lot! Students also got working in small groups to make up their own creation stories and sharing them in front of the rest of the class.
Some highlight lessons from this week were Ms. Khavitha giving a lesson on different types of elements and students having opportunities to research on them. Ms. Mary also gave lessons with new materials for students to explore nature and on different art materials we have in the classroom. Mr. Ben gave lessons in geometry finding and naming different 3D shapes in the classroom. Students are also in the middle of assessments for Math, Spelling, and Reading.
A special thanks to everyone who made it to Morado’s Parent Night on Wednesday. It is always an amazing feeling to see such a big turnout so early in the year. We cannot wait for all the great things we are going to do this year.
Lastly, you should be receiving an email soon inviting you join our classroom on Bloomz, unless you signed up last year. Bloomz is an app and website for educations to stay in closer contact with parents and the community. Parents can also get to know each other better through it as well. We have added a bunch of photos the first week of school and last school year. Please check it out and let us know if you have any issues with it.
Have a good day,
Ben, Mary, and Khavitha
Mr. Ben, Ms. Mary and Mr. Robin
El Salon Morado Lead Teachers