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.
Click this link to view some recommended links to use at home from the RSD13 Tech department: https://www.smore.com/rzbvw
Photos from our Halloween celebration have been added to the Class Photos tab. Click on photos to see full size.
Yahoo accounts seem to be experiencing difficulty receiving my monthly newsletter e-mail. Here is the link. It will actually be the same link every month as I just edit the same flyer each time. Sorry for the technical difficulties! https://www.smore.com/7heep
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 and our cat, Luigi. I love anything crafty and enjoy baking. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ciccone_Rm11