The final month of the school year is finally upon us. May was jam-packed with events like Field Day, Special Persons' Day, the Mystic field trip and our presentation with storyteller Eshu Bumpus. June is also a month full of events, plus we will be wrapping up units and finishing up projects.
In Readers' Workshop we will be finishing our unit on series books and authors' craft. The students have been getting to know the characters in their books very well and have been learning how reading and writing are closely related.
In Writers' Workshop we have been splitting our time amongst practicing various poetry types, publishing books that showcase our favorite pieces from the year and finishing up our ocean animal projects. We've practiced acrostics, couplets, cinquains and haikus. Many have even discovered a new interest in poetry.
Many students have chosen to publish a book if they have not already done so this year, so we are working on final revisions, edits, and illustrations. Some friends chose pieces they had written for the Literary Board, while others wanted to showcase a newer piece of which they were particularly proud.
Projects are really taking shape at this point. We have an array of projects from dioramas and sculptures to Google Slideshows board games. Each project will showcase some or all aspects of their research.
In Math, first graders are working on adding and subtracting within 100 using various tools and strategies for showing their work. This includes both straightforward equations, as well as word problems. Second graders are doing the same, but within 1000. Second grade friends will also have one final small unit before the year is through during which they will be learning about arrays. Arrays are the stepping stone to multiplication in third grade.
Then, finally, we are wrapping up our Science and Social Studies for the year as well. We have been learning about light and shadow in Science. Just last week we made predictions about whether or not we would be able to see the object inside a pinhole box when exposed to various amounts of light. Our next step will be using our background knowledge on light to create our very own superhero signals along the lines of Batman's bat signal. As for Social Studies, I hope to return to our class research so we can finish up answering the student-generated questions.
I sent new reading logs home on Friday because the majority of the class wanted the opportunity to earn more reading beads. I set the due date for June 18th so that I can give each student a certificate with their total number of minutes before the end of the year.
This week will be the last week of spelling homework.
There is no hot lunch on the last day of school, but we will have a class party instead. There will be more information on that soon.
Summer birthdays are welcome to celebrate in school before the end of the year. Just let me know if you are planning on sending something in.
June 7 - Lyman Lytes 5pm-8pm
June 8 - Last ECHOs
June 20 - 4th Grade Recognition Assembly (Full Day)
June 21 - Step Up Day (Early Dismissal)
June 22 - Last Day (Early Dismissal)
Thank you all for helping to make this year great!
The countdown to summer is on! Until then, we still have a lot of learning going on.
This past month during Readers' Workshop, we returned to informational text. We practiced noticing and using the various text features found in nonfiction, which tied in nicely with our project work research that we had been working on during Writers' Workshop. We are now beginning our last unit of the year which focuses on book series and how to have book talks in small groups. Thank you to Mrs. DiPietro for your donation of book charms and necklaces to motivate the students to read different series! Mrs. Nickle, our reading coach, has been working with our class to practice how to have book talks. It is amazing to see first and second graders begin to discuss books in a roundtable-type discussion.
All students have now completed their ocean animal research and have chosen and planned their various projects, which we'll begin this week. Thank you all for your supply donations!
We have switched gears in Writing to work on opinion writing. The students have been working on sharing their thoughts on various topics such as vacation destinations, pets and stuffed animals. We hope to have them on display in the hallway sometime soon. Next we are going to spend some time focusing on poetry.
In Math we just finished our unit on telling time (plus money for first graders). The students are familiar with both digital and analog clocks to tell time to the hour and half hour, while second graders can tell time in 5-minute increments. We're now moving onto adding and subtracting within 100 (1st) and 1000 (2nd). They will be practicing strategies to help them solve both standard equations and word problems.
We have begun learning about Egypt - the African country the students selected to learn about for Social Studies. They came up with an impressive list of things they wondered about Egypt that they are working to research in partnerships. We have a guest speaker coming in a couple weeks named Eshu Bumpus. He is a storyteller whose specialty is African folktales. When we're not working on Social Studies, we are continuing our light and shadow studies in Science.
A comprehensive list of the end-of-year activities/dates will be coming home today. Here a some of the highlights for us this month:
May 10 - Early dismissal for students (12:05pm)
May 11 - Special Persons' Day & our class assembly share
May 15 - Mystic Aquarium
May 18 - Eshu Bumpus
May 25 - Field Day (rain date May 29)
May 30-31 - Spring Book Fair
Have a wonderful rest of your day. Enjoy the weather!
It’s hard to believe I’ve already been back for about a month. Hopefully we are officially done with snow impacting our lives for the remainder of the school year. That’s hard to believe while looking out the window today!
In Readers’ Workshop, students have just finished up the third unit of the year which focused on fiction books. Students have been working on their fluency and comprehension. We ended the unit today with our final day of Goal Clubs. Each student chose a reading goal for themselves (decoding, fluency, comprehension or literary language) and then were grouped accordingly. Each group needed to work together together to form a plan and put it into action. Tomorrow we will begin working on another nonfiction unit which will tie in nicely with both project work and our Social Studies topic; Egypt.
Speaking of project work, Writers’ Workshop has been focused on researching our ocean animals. Each student has come up with 10 questions they’d like to find answers to on their animal which will later be the basis of their projects. Students have been using a combination of books and websites to conduct their research. We hope to finish the research portion by next week so that we can move onto our project planning.
We are also wrapping up the measurement units in Math for both first and second grades. First graders have been working on measuring with nonstandard tools (cubes, paper clips, erasers, counters, etc.) while second graders have been using standard tools (yardstick, meter stick, ruler, measuring tape). Both first and second graders will be moving on to learn about time, but first graders will also be learning about money at this time as well. First graders will be expected to tell time on an analog clock to the hour and half hour, while second graders are expected to tell time in 5-minute increments.
In Science, we have been continuing our exploration of light. We are currently discussing what we can see in the dark and what materials can block as much light as possible.
Just a reminder, please send in reading logs for March. April reading logs are going home today.
Scholastic Book Orders for the month of April will be going home tomorrow. Orders will be due by the end of the school day on April 13th. Our previous book order earned us class coupons for $5 off your order with a $5 purchase. I will be attaching those to the flyers.
April 6 - Assembly Hosts (you received an email if your child is hosting)
April 11 - Lollypop Opera (performance)
April 13 - Book Order due
April 16-20 - No School (April Break)
April 27 - ECHOs
Have a great evening!
March Room 11 Update
Welcome Back, Mrs. Ciccone! It was a long yet quick three months without you, and we are so grateful to have you back! March is a month of exciting opportunities for your young students. Mid term progress reports will be send home in a few weeks. Parents will have both Mrs. Ciccone and Mrs. Belisle at your child’s conference this month. 2nd grade students will be leading their conference; 1st graders are not yet invited to do that.
Writers are diving into their unique ocean animal research. This month, every student will write 10 questions about his or her specific ocean animal and will begin answering them using books and online research tools. They’ve had plenty of practice with small groups answering our moray eel questions. Be sure to check out the class’ non-fiction book and your child’s contributions during your conference. Yet before they began their research, your child edited and typed one of their personal narratives to either publish or submit to the writer’s wall in the main hallway.
Additionally, students are also working in their unique word work folders. Each student has her or his own folder with a variety of activities to practice reading and writing skills in the English language. These skills coincide with weekly spelling words, sight words, and monthly reading homework. Keep up the great word work!
In Reader’s Workshop, readers are getting into longer books and working in small book groups. They’re challenging themselves with multiple strategies to decode tricky words, reading and rereading like their characters would read, and thinking about what the author is trying to tell us. Book clubs are exciting because students can create independent reading goals and then get together with their book club group to discuss what was read. We are also meeting with our 3rd and 4th grade book buddies at least twice a month. We alternate between reading in our classroom and reading in theirs right next door. What fun reading can be when sharing books together!
Mathematicians are hard at work solving real world problems. Students this month will be measuring everything and anything using both traditional (rulers/yardsticks) and non traditional measuring (classroom objects/other math manipulatives) tools. Please continue to play the addition and subtraction math homework games. Every few weeks you’ll receive a new packet of math games to add to your folder. Thank you for documenting your child’s math fact practice at home, and we hope you’re enjoying quality family game time!
Here are some important dates to keep in mind for the month of March:
Thursday the 1st is Curriculum night at the high school from 5:30-7
Online Scholastic Book Orders Due March 2
Friday March 2nd is Read Across America Day: Nicole Nalepa from Channel 3 will be reading to our book buddies and us!
Wednesday the 14th is a whole school field trip to Hartford, permission slips are due back March 5th
Early 1:30 dismissal for conferences on the 21st & 22nd, see you then!
No school on Friday the 9th & 30th
Happy almost February! January sure flew by. Can you believe the 100th day of school is coming up this month? It is a bittersweet month for me; this will be my last update, as Mrs. Ciccone returns at the beginning of March. I have so enjoyed my time in your child’s classroom.
February 8th is a 12:05 dismissal day for professional development. Please be on the lookout for other delays, cancellations or early dismissals due to weather; it is still winter.
We had such great experiences with our resident artists. As we finish up the light and sound science unit in our classroom, we’re compiling our own reflection journals which will be ready by Family Share Morning on February 13th from 7:30-8:30 AM.
On Valentine’s Day, we will have a small class party in the afternoon, starting around 2:15. If your child chooses to bring in Valentines and/or snacks, please be sure there’s enough for all 18 students in the class. We have plenty of water and juice boxes leftover from our holiday celebration.
Our mathematicians have been hard at work solving addition and subtraction problems. First graders will be moving up to place value up to the hundreds, continuing to use the strategies they’ve practiced to compare and order larger numbers. Second graders will be studying money and measurement. I look forward to the lessons we’ll have measuring classroom objects and sorting and counting coins. We will also be starting monthly math homework. It will be similar to the monthly reading homework, but instead of logging in minutes read, you’ll be logging games played. We (as a first and second grade team) are in the process of putting together math folders filled with fun math games the whole family can enjoy, and every couple of weeks we’ll send home more games. Feel free to create your own math games as well! We hope that by the end of the school year, your child will use this math folder to play refresher games all summer long.
In Reader’s Workshop, we are finishing up our non-fiction unit with a “museum” for our new 3rd and 4th grade book buddies to visit. Groups of three students each read several informational books on the same topic and created a museum exhibit to share what they learned. Those will also be up for viewing on family share morning. We are transitioning back to fictional texts and becoming more fluent, thoughtful readers.
In Writers’ Workshop, students have been researching our own questions about the moray eel, and we’re writing our own non-fiction book. Ask your child what questions she or he researched and which non-fiction text features their group decided to include in our class book. After we publish our class book, students will begin independently researching and answering unique questions about their chosen ocean animal.
We start Health class on Tuesday mornings with Ms. Holland this month! Sneakers are required for that and still on Mondays for PE.
On Friday, February 16th, we will be sharing at the afternoon assembly. Please try to attend! Enjoy the long Presidents’ Day weekend after that.
Although it’s a short month, it will be jam packed with all sorts of fun activities! As always, if there is anything I can do to help you or your child, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime. I have had the most unforgettable, wonderful experience with your child, and I know the transition back to Mrs. Ciccone will be an easy one. Thank you for all that you have done to welcome me into your lives, I feel so lucky and am forever grateful!
Yours, Mrs. Belisle
Happy New Year! I cannot thank everyone enough for such wonderful, generous gifts and such a beautiful holiday party! I had a fantastic week off at home with my family, and I am relaxed and ready to spend January learning with your child when the blizzard blows away.
In math, both grades one and two will be working hard at solving problems to 20 and 100, respectively. In practicing and learning new skills, we will work alone, in partners, and small groups to read and solve word problems, multi-step problems, finding missing factors, and solving the same problem in two ways. We will create our own addition and subtraction worksheets for our classmates to solve, and we will use what we know with manipulatives we have in the classroom to teach each other and build on our skills.
Our reader’s workshop has transitioned to a non-fiction unit, so we will tie that into our writer’s workshop science project work. We have all chosen an ocean animal to study. As a class, we will be studying the red sea moray eel from Egypt. I cannot wait to answer our unique questions about our animals and learn from each other!
The resident artists Derron Wood and Mr. C have been so wonderful during our two visits in December. We will have three more this month. They have been helping us learn all about light and sound with exciting STEAM experiments. And together with Mrs. Michael, the district’s science educator, we have our own classroom experiences to explore the unit even further. We always look forward to their lessons.
I am so impressed with everyone’s spelling homework and test improvement. As always, if your child forgets spelling (or the monthly reading) homework, it’s no big deal, and it’s better to hand it in late than never. I so enjoy seeing your photos of how your child studies their unique set of words at home!
Please be on the lookout for early dismissals, snow delays, the MLK Jr Holiday, etc. If I can ever answer any questions, just email me at email@example.com, send in a note or call the school anytime. Together we will make January wonderful!
November/December 2017 Room 11 Classroom Update
November sure went by quickly and December is rapidly approaching! On Sunday, November 19, Colton Ciccone was born! He was a few days early but arrived just in time to celebrate his first Thanksgiving with his happy parents. Mrs. Ciccone will be spending his first few months at home, and Michele Belisle has excitedly taken over until she’s ready to return to Room 11.
In Reader’s Workshop, students have been “getting into the character’s shoes” and learning how to infer their feelings using text clues from the author. In small groups, students chose from favorite and classic books to act out their characters’ feelings for our classmates. We had our own assembly share right in Room 11! We’re moving on to our first non-fiction unit, which we will tie into our research of ocean animals. Each student will be choosing their own animal to research and write about.
While we sadly had to remove our classroom fish tank, we were able to dissect our own squids with Mrs. Michael’s help! Eating calamari will never be the same for Room 11.
We are also lucky enough to have some time with this year’s resident artist for our light, sound and shadows unit. He’ll be meeting with us every otherTuesday from December to February. If we need parent volunteers during his visits, I’ll send out more specific dates and times soon.
In Writer’s Workshop, before we begin our ocean animal study, we have been honing our skills by writing directions for others to follow. Everyone chose their own skill to teach, from “How to Pet Sit a Dog” to “How to Do the Dab”, and our classroom community will help enrich our school with our gift of trying something new.
As you may already know, Math talk has been full of shapes! Our geometry unit has taken over our classroom, and we can now name all sorts of 2D and 3D shapes and their attributes. We have also been learning different strategies to solve equations from 1-20, reading and writing graphs, and working on different ways to prove numbers’ place value up to the hundreds. Practicing simple math problems at home will strengthen number awareness in our daily lives.
ECHOs has begun! One Friday a month, instead of a school-wide assembly, students will be going to different classrooms for HOT learning experiences such as yoga, photography, gardening, etc. Be sure to ask your child what their ECHO is!
We have commenced weekly spelling tests. Each student has their own unique set of 6 words each week to study. On Fridays, spelling homework is due and is also test day.
On Friday, December 22, we will have a classroom holiday pizza party. It is a 1:30pm dismissal day. More info on signing up to share treats and purchase pizza is forthcoming.
Please keep your eyes out for other early dismissal days. Thank you for welcoming me into your child’s classroom. I am thrilled to be here! Check my twitter @MrsBelisle for fun classroom photos!
September flew by and somehow October is already here. We had a busy first month. We have nearly mastered our everyday procedures and our days are beginning to run more and more smoothly.
During Readers' Workshop we have been working on building our reading muscles. We talk a lot about how to choose books that are just right for us by using the 5 finger rule. Plus we are working on using various strategies to decode tricky words. Some of the strategies we use are looking at all parts of the word, trying to find small words within the bigger word, checking to see if the word makes sense and looking at the picture for clues. We've also been practicing our fluency by trying not to read like robots.
In Writers' Workshop we have been getting ourselves set up for success. From coming up with possible writing topics, to how to keep an organized writing binder, we have been busy building a routine. We are learning how to plan detailed personal narratives with a beginning, middle and ending. To help us understand how to craft a complete story, we read a very silly book called One Day, Then End and also drew the parts of Cat in the Hat as I read it aloud.
In Math, we have been working on strategies to add and subtract and learning how to use various math tools to help us. First graders are focusing on adding and subtracting within 10 while second graders are working within 20. You may have been hearing about some of our tools such as the ten frame, part-part-whole mat, 120 chart, and number line. We have been working on doubles, near doubles, adding/subtracting 10, adding/subtracting 0, 1 or 2, ways to make 10 and fact families.
Our study of the ocean has been fascinating so far. Our class aquarium with creatures from our field trip has been very exciting. The students take turns observing the tank each day, writing down what it is they are noticing. In fact, we are so interested in oceans that we even chose to stick with an ocean theme to create our class constitution. The students came up with our own class rules and designed the constitution themselves. We can't wait to get it hung up for Family Night! Pay special attention to the beautiful marbled paper we created for the background to display the ocean zones, plus take note of the creatures each student chose to create as their way of signing the constitution. We've also begun to explore some other science concepts. We have begun thinking about light and shadow and have had the opportunity to exercise our engineering brains using Keva planks.
There's lots more to come this month. Please visit the Important Dates tab for upcoming dates. Also, homework begins this month. Make sure to check your child's folder for the monthly reading log and sight words (if your child receives sight words from me) that went home today.
First graders, remember to work on adding to your Rosa's Readers lists. When you turn it in, you'll receive a scratch-and-sniff sticker from Mrs. Davis!
Resident Artist, Sally Rogers, will begin her 5-day residency with our class later this month. She will be working with us on Family Heritage to help us to tell the stories of our families. Times are unoffical at this point, but she will be in 1/24, 1/25, 1/31, 2/1 and 2/7. if you would like to join us, please let me know.
Hi all! I'm Kristen Ciccone ("chick-cone") and I'm a 1/2 teacher at John Lyman. I live in Guilford, CT with my husband, our so Colton and our cat, Luigi. I love anything crafty and enjoy baking. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ciccone_Rm11