Friday, August 30, 2013

First Week

We have had a great first, full week back at school.  We have started our first math and science units, and are building stamina with the Daily 5 (more on that in a minute).  This year we are very lucky to have Music AND Art two days a week, P.E. once a week, Spanish with Ms. Melissa once a week, and Dance with Ms. Carrie Ann every other week.  Today we had our first assembly at HMK.  Ask your child about the Native American musicians we saw, or if you would like to see them live, check out The Wisdom of the Earth performance on Sunday, September 1st.  I was very impressed with the performers, but even more impressed with how great of an audience this class was.

In math we are beginning to discuss place value and number concepts.  This chapter is the foundation of everything we will be doing this year.  Students are representing/describing numbers in various ways including the number of tens and ones, the value of each digit or expanded form (56 is the same thing as 50 + 6), drawing quick pictures, and using base-ten blocks to model.  We reviewed ways to figure out if a number is odd or even, and are reviewing skip counting to 100.  We are using the GO MATH! curriculum which is aligned to the Common Core Standards.  In addition to the text, I use a lot of math games and hands-on activities to reinforce concepts.

After asking your child how their day went, you may be left wondering what the Daily 5 is.  The Daily 5 are the five things that we do every day during our Language Arts block; Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Work on Writing.  This is not a curriculum, but rather a framework that helps students to build the daily habits of reading and practicing literacy skills.  Right now we are building stamina with the various components of the Daily 5, but soon the class will be ready to be completely independent in these activities.  While I am leading reading groups, the students that I am not working with will be completing a session of the Daily 5.  Each day the students will rotate through working in a small group (or one-on-one) with me, and all of the components of the Daily 5.  For reading groups I will be using a variety of books including our Houghton Mifflin curriculum and sets of novels.  For Word Work the students will be doing Words Their Way spelling sorts and activities with word wall words.  For more information about the Daily 5 check out this site.

                               Drawing underwater scenes with Ms. Catherine.

                                       Practicing observation skills in science.


  1. Thanks! Now I know where to go from: "how was school?" good..... "what did you do?" recess.... haha!