Weekly Notes from the Desk of Mrs. Biggs February book orders are due by Thursday, February 5th

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Weekly Notes from the Desk of Mrs. Biggs

  • February book orders are due by Thursday, February 5th at 11:00am. Thank you for ordering and supporting our class. Our classroom library is growing thanks to you!
    Class User Name: BeckyBiggsClass Password: ClubOrders

  • Please take time to visit our classroom website. It is under construction and will change a little bit each week for the next few months. Please feel free to send an email and I will share it with the class at meeting time: http://www.windham.k12.me.us/wsd_primary/staff/bbiggs/index.cfm

  • There are several things in this newsletter that need to be passed in on Monday. Please read the newsletter carefully and send in the items with the Eagle News. Thank you!

  • Answers to the following questions will help me have more thorough conversations with each of the students. Please answer the questions below and hand this sheet in on Monday:

    1. Are you reading with your child for 10 minutes every day?

    2. Does your child know how to write and recognize the entire upper and lower case letters of the alphabet?

    3. Are you encouraging your child to practice writing his/her first and last name with upper and lower case letters?

    4. Are you finding opportunities to count from 0-20 and looking around to find these numbers in our environment?
    5. Are you practicing (writing, reading, and finding) our word wall words: a, am, for, he, I, little, the, to, have, is, we, my, like, me, with, she, see, and look?

    6. What words can your child make with the following letters (the letters we have introduced thus far): Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ff, Ii, Mm, Nn, Pp, Rr, Ss, and Tt?

  • Do you have a phone you can donate? Please ask relatives. Please get involved. Go Green!

    1. Please send in any cell phones you are no longer using. Our goal is to collect 100 cell phones. We already have 32. Two of the phones are from our classroom. The deadline for the cell phone collection is February 13, 2009. The school has collected 129 cell phones so far; 2 have come from our class!

  • Please try playing the following game with your child:

Show them a three letter CVC (consonant vowel consonant) word that you write on a paper and ask them to say the sounds in the word. DOG = /d/ /o/ /g/, ANT, BOX, CAT, DOT, CAN, GOT, HAT, JET, LIT, MAT, NOD, POP, PAT, RAT, RIP, SAT, SAD, TAP, VAN, and ZIP are all good words to start with and then you can come up with others for additional challenges. For another project, ask children to use the alphabet to come up with words that they can spell. If they come up with a nonsense word, use it for practice and sound it out just like the other words.
  • We send home the Family Times, Decodable Reader and Phonics Story every week. Please take time to read these with your child. These stories provide wonderful practice with predictable text that aligns with the Reading Street goals. For nightly homework, children should be reading for at least 10 minutes a day at home. Your child can spend these ten + minutes looking at books independently, being read aloud to by a parent or another grown up, or trying to read/tell a story to a grown up by taking a picture walk through the story. Please also remember to continue sending in your list of ten books as your child completes them. We almost have 100% participation. Three of our friends in our classroom have already gone to the reading celebration for completing 100 reading selections! Congratulations Noah, Elizabeth and Diane!!!

  • During math centers this week we reviewed and built on many of last weeks concepts. Students have been working with the attribute blocks (circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles – small and large, thick and thin). Children sort these attribute blocks in different ways. When sorting a group of things at home, it is great to take time to ask if there are other ways to sort the same group of things, why each group of items belongs together, and discuss the attributes chosen to sort – for example, color, size and shape We have also played “What’s my rule?” I fish for a certain type of fish (student) and they guess what my fishing rule is. The first time I catch all of the fish who have sneakers on their feet. The second time I catch all of the fish who are boys. Children guess my rule. Practice retelling about the day with a focus on the order of daily events. We did this through discussion and drawing this week. Children also practiced counting with calculators! They loved this. Practice counting up by adding 1 (2, or 5 on future tries). Have them count through at least ten using the + sign. It is a great activity for car rides. We also have begun measuring distances with our own feet. How many of my feet is it from the door to the bathroom? Please do some of this at home. It is great practice!

  • We also give math homework most weekends. It is the Every Day Math home links sheet that is included in the Eagle News. Please also take time to write number stories with your child. Send them in and we would love to share them at morning meeting. Determine whether the story is an addition story or a subtraction story. Example: Mrs. Biggs at 2 slices of pizza and Mr. Biggs ate 3 slices of pizza. They ate 5 slices of pizza! 2+3=5 It is great to include illustrations. Some of the children/families have handed these number stories in and we have been able to share them at meeting time. Thank you! 

  • Students have worked this week connecting /o/ to Oo: fox, shop, spotted, mop, lot, job, hot, pops, top, flop, ox, otter, and octopus are words that have come up in our writing, reading, singing and classroom discussions this week. We have now introduced Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ff, Ii, Mm, Nn, Oo, Pp, Rr, Ss, and Tt. The children have been practicing making words using these letters. How many words can your child make up using these letters? Please have them bring the list in on Monday with the Eagle News!

  • Please practice letter and number recognition with your children. The more automatic this becomes, the speedier they will be at these activities. Having automaticity with both letter naming and knowing what sound the letter makes allows your child to be that much more successful reading. You can do this with flash cards, with books, or with newsletters like this one! Children are working to be at a level where they recognize and write all of the letters in the alphabet (both upper and lower case), numbers 0-20, our word wall words, and their first and last name. Please also encourage your child to sound out words, read through the word, and read one word at a time. If the word is hit and they guess hat (Example: Dan got a hit at the baseball game.), encourage them to go back and sound out the word looking at all parts of the word.

  • Patches will go home with a child on the last day of the week and needs to be returned to the classroom on the first day of the week. Please feel free to include a photo or two of Patches during the home visit in the journal entry. Patches went home with Julyana last weekend and will go home with Kamden this weekend.

  • Each Reading Street Unit has a theme and concept question as well as a focus book. Each week we expand on the concept with a concept question of the week and a book.

Unit 3: How do people, plants, and animals grow and change?

Week 14: How does a panda change in its first year of life? Little Panda: The World Welcomes Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo by Joanne Ryder

Week 15: What new things can you do as you grow and change? Little Quack by Lauren Thompson

Week 16: How do people, plants and animals grow and change? See How We Grow by Katacha Diaz

Week 17: How do friendships change? Farfallina and Marcel by Holly Keller

Week 18: What do seeds become? Seeds by Ken Robbins

Week 19: How do people, plants and animals grow and change? Hide, Clyde! By Russell Benfanti

  • In addition to our Reading Street readings we have been doing this week, students have had the opportunity to listen to animal stories on tape in the listening center. We have talking about main idea this week. Every story tells about something. You can tell what a story is all about in your own words. The one big idea that connects everything in the story is the main idea.

  • Students have been practicing our word wall words (a, am, for, he, I, little, the, to, have, is, we, my, like, me, with, she, look, see, they, you, and of) every day. We now have twenty-one word wall words that we are responsible for so far! Please take time with your child to practice reading, writing, and finding these words in print.

  • In addition to word wall words, we have amazing words each week. This week’s amazing words are: chameleon, jungle, pattern, skin, hide, scampered. Please use these words to trigger discussions with your child about some of what he/she is learning about at school.

  • We have two new songs this week. Both are from our Reading Street curriculum:

  • Oh, Little Chameleon

  • Fox, Fox, Cleans His Shop

  • Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support!

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