I am so sorry I haven’t posted this week. I have been sick and finally came back today. It was so good to see all of the kids and get big hugs from them! It made me feel so special. Julian’s grandma made some pretty amazing cookies, Leah brought me in a muffin, Phoebe gave me a balloon, Marquavious gave me a dragonfly toy, and I got so many great drawings from so many other kiddos. I felt so loved.
It was good getting back into the groove of everything. In reading workshop, the kids made plans for what they would talk to their partners about. I told them that they could choose what they wanted to chat about, but it was their job to go to their partner prepared. I was shocked when I saw how much they had written on their sticky notes (especially Danny who had 6 of them!).
The elephant group shared their projects they have been working on and I have to say.. WOW! I was so amazed at how awesome they were! Kyleah researched the Bahamas, David research Egypt, James researched Peru, and Charlie researched Japan. Check out these pics. Here is David presenting his to the class and get a close look at the travel brochures they made to visit these places!
After lunch, we had a really special surprise for the kids. We had a video conference with the folks from NASA. They learned all about habitats and discussed how we would survive in certain areas like the desert, tundra, and even on Mars! We talked for about 40 minutes but then had to cut it short due to a fire drill. We are going to come up with some questions we had and email him to gather all of what we were wondering. Did your child tell you about how a person washes their hair in space? Or gets exercise? Ask them about it.
What kinds of things did the Native People teach the pilgrims? Well, one of the many things they taught us was how to grow corn, and you know what comes from that…. Popcorn!!! Today, we read The Popcorn Book by Tomia dePaola. We learned so much about popcorn!!!! Every time I said the word “popcorn”, they got to take a piece of popcorn from their bag and eat it. It’s a fun activity that I love to do every year. Ask your child about what they learned from this great book!
After our book activity, we watched a short little video on a popcorn kernel popping in slow motion. They were amazed!!!!
We took a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation to learn a little more about the Pilgrim’s life when they came to America. If you have time, check out their website… lots of cool info! I visited there a few years back along with going to see the grand tiny Plymouth Rock! You would think it’s enormous… so not the case. The plantation was super cool though. If you are ever in the northeastern part of our country, you should stop there for a little field trip. I learned so much while I was there. Everyone re-enacts from the 1600s.
A lot of info went in your child’s folder today. First, we started unit 5 in Fundations, and the new parent letter was attached to their homework. Today we learned about syllables and compound words. We also put in a family project in there for your child to do over the thanksgiving break. It’s a really cool project that we share with all 2nd grade classes. It’s fun to listen to them retell what they have learned about their family members. One year we shared these and had a potluck. It was awesome, so we may have to do that! If you have any questions, please just give me a call on my cell over the break.
We have a fun activity to do tomorrow that I can’t wait for!!! Tell your kids to build some arm muscles up, because they are going to need them. Can you guess what we will be doing?!?! It will involve some dancing and making something at the same time.
The new Asheville Go Local cards for 2014 are now here! You can start using them December 1st!!! One of the cool things is that when you purchase one, you can choose an Asheville City School to support. $5 can go to Hall Fletcher Elementary, $5 goes to the Asheville Grown Business Alliance and $5 goes to Asheville City Schools Foundation (who supported your child’s recent African Drumming TAPAS Grant). With this card, you get so many cool discounts while supporting not only your local businesses but also our community as a whole.
Check out more info HERE! The online directory of all participating businesses will be available December 1st. So go out an get one!
I want to thank all of the parents and grandparents who came to the African drumming and dance performance today! The kids had so much fun working with Adama and learning all about drumming and African dance. They loved every minute of it, and you could tell how proud they were to see all of you in the audience. It means a lot to me and the kids when you are there, so thank you. If you weren’t able to come, don’t worry, you can still see it! I took a little video for you.
We also learned some old Native American legends. The 5th graders came around today and told the class 4 different stories (from memory). I loved having one of my former students, Kamari, in there telling stories to my kids. It’s so great seeing how much they’ve grown in a few years! ask your child about the stories they heard. They were such great listeners!
Mr. Adama came today to practice more drumming and dancing with the kids. We have our performance ready, and the kids were all on task getting ready to show you what they have learned. It’s not a long performance, only a few minutes long, but really awesome. I attached a little paper to their homework for a reminder so check that out. Here are some pics from our TAPAS residency.
We played a really fun game today in Math called Cover Up. We have been learning about the “unknown” in our story problems and working on how to write equations that don’t give us all the information. An example of this kind of problem would be: Alex had 10 balloons. Sam gave him 4 more balloons. How many balloons does Alex have now? The equation for this would be 10 + ? = 14. Cover Up was a great way for them to practice this skill. This is an easy game for you to play at home with your child using anything small really (beans, cereal, rice, etc) Here’s how you play!
- Decide on what your total number of counters will be.
- While player 2 is not peeking, player 1 will take some away and hide them.
- Player 2 then counts how many are shown and has to figure out how many are hidden.
Here’s a little video of Danny and Charlie playing in case you need a little help.
We are almost finished Unit 4 in Fundations! We have our unit test tomorrow, and I am excited to see how well hey do. They have gotten so good at sounding out words, and they have become pros at suffixes.
In reading workshop, we talked about how readers often have to go back and reread when something doesn’t make sense to us. There are a lot of times where we get confused on a part in a text that is crucial in understanding what we are reading. We used out sticky notes to mark the parts in our books that we had to go back and reread and then shared with our partners.
The kids are writing some really great realistic fiction stories. You have to ask your child about their writing. David was cracking me up with how he was explaining his story to me. I felt like I was listening to a movie trailer!
We had our drumming lesson today with Adama. We practiced the rhythms we learned from last week and then practiced some dancing… we are going to practice this every day so we can super great!!! Our performance will be in Friday at 1:00. I will be sure to send a paper invite home so you won’t forget. If you can make it, we would LOVE for you to be there!!!
Did you all have fun at the Fall Festival this past weekend?! I thought we had such a great turnout, and there were so many cool things to do! I had a few kids upset with me for not wearing the target shirt. I guess they want to throw some things at me!!!!
We learned about making predictions today in our reading workshop lesson. We started with only looking at the cover of a book, Squashed in the Middle, and thought about what this story could possibly be about. Students all made predictions as to what they thought the story would be about and then as we read, we changed our predictions. A lot of times, our predictions are not correct and that’s ok! I want the kids to know that taking guesses that sometimes aren’t right are ok. Predictions are never wrong… it’s good to take a guess and then change it as we continue reading. It shows that we are paying attention to what we are reading in the book!
They were super excited about writing realistic fiction, and I can’t wait to read what they have written so far! I had to go to a meeting at Vance during their writing block so I’m super excited to take a peek at what stories they came up with.
We are getting back into story problems again as you probably noticed on the kids’ homework tonight. Please make sure that when they are solving these problems, ask them to close their eyes and visualize what is happening in the story so they can see it better. This helps them know if it is going to be an addition or subtraction story problem. I always ask them is they think the answer will be higher or lower than a number that’s given the problem to check to see if they know to add or subtract. Any kind of visualization will help them with this.
We have been putting a lot of forms in your child’s folder so please make sure you check that out. There are volunteer forms for our Fall Festival on Saturday, Holiday Picture order forms, and many others. I hope you all have a great evening!!! I am looking forward to tomorrow’s drum lesson with Adama again!
I hope everyone had an awesome long weekend! I went to a farm in Virginia and got to get in a lot of rest and relaxation. We had our class party on Friday. The kids were so comfy in their pajamas with their favorite stuffed animal. We ate popcorn and watched a movie at the end of the day to finish off the kind of party they voted on. It was fun and well deserved. They were so great today and earned 10 cubes by 10am! We emptied our compliment jar out, and now we start again and try to earn another party. Do you think they can do it by the winter holiday break?! I think they can!
We had our health fair today. They got their teeth checked, height and weight, and a little lice check. I sent home the papers from the dental screening so please make sure you check those out in your child’s folder. They wrote some recommendations if needed. ABTech has a dental sealant program that we go to every year where they give kids free sealants. If your child needs their sealants, this is a great time to get them, and they are free!!!! We will send that info to you once we get our date for the field trip.
Our TAPAS residency started today with West African drummer, Adama Dembele. They were so focused and learned a few rhythms. He will be back on Thursday and then again next Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We will have a short performance for the parents and other 2nd grade classes so I will keep you posted on the time we decide. I hope you will all be able to make it. I only took a couple of pictures today, but I promise to get some good ones to send home with you all.