Sunday, April 21, 2019

Classroom News

We have completed our Reading Workshop unit on poetry, and have moved on to nonfiction as our next genre of study! We revisited the idea of making connections as we read, and identifying the big idea or message that the author or poet wanted to communicate.

After some fun practice with rhyming words, we created our own raindrop poems modeled after the poem, "Raindrops". I loved seeing the creative ideas everyone came up with for this exercise.

We also enjoyed doing a poetry walk in the LMC and listening to various poems as we scanned QR codes along our path.

As a fun little celebration at the end of our unit, we read the poem, "Shout" from Shout! Little Poems that Roar by Brod Bagert. We worked together to make up motions for the poem to act it out. We had a blast!
Shout! from Lauren Glaser on Vimeo.

We showed off our acrostic poem writing skills as we worked together with Mrs. Riesing's class to create an acrostic poem in honor of Mrs. Beane from our kindergarten poets. We were celebrating Mrs. Beane during Assistant Principals' week. Her sunny disposition and helpful nature bring so much joy to our school!

Next, we chose some great new nonfiction books for our book bins! 

In this unit, we will learn about three different types of nonfiction books- reference, literary nonfiction, and biographies. We began by introducing a chart this week that helps us to organize our learning when reading nonfiction. We worked together as a group to identify things we thought we knew about a topic before reading (the game of soccer in this case), and things we wonder about the topic. As we read, we confirmed what we knew, identified any misconceptions, and recorded new learning and questions that came to mind.

Finally, we learned about nonfiction text features that we will encounter as we explore various nonfiction texts. Features such as the table of contents, labels, headings, captions, fun facts, and the glossary can help us easily locate important information as we read!

 In math, our focus has been on counting up to 10 and back from 10.  We are using our fingers to talk through number stories, and learning how combinations of numbers make 10. For example, students are learning to connect these pairs of numbers by understanding that if we start at 6, we count up 4 to get to 10. If we start at 10, and count back 6, we arrive at 4. This understanding is instrumental in learning why addition and subtraction work the way they do, and being able to verbalize and explain relationships between numbers. Here we are, using our fingers and cubes to explain these number relationships!

In preparation for Earth Day tomorrow, we brainstormed ways in which we can save the Earth and wrote about our ideas. Next we practiced our fine motor skills by tracing our hands, cutting, gluing, and coloring to put together an Earth Day project to display in the hallway!

We also loved learning more about our friend, Phoebe!  She shared with us some beautiful photos of her family, her soccer trophy, a special rock her friend painted for her, and her favorite Shopkin. She also showed us her Seattle snowglobe and a crayon representing her favorite color!

Phoebe's mom joined us to read a few great books! We giggled at The Book with No PicturesElephants Cannot Dance, and Dragons Love Tacos!

We also had an exciting opportunity to welcome Matt Wilhelm to Dryden, thanks to the Dryden PTA. He is a famous BMX athlete who has competed in the X Games, on America's Got Talent, and is a Guinness World Record holder. He taught us how important it is to be kind, stand up to bullying, and to always work hard! I remember him performing at Dryden a few years ago, and saw new, even more amazing tricks in this performance. Even the experts can continue to perfect their craft with hard work and practice! Our friend Andrew was lucky enough to win an autographed poster, which was super exciting as well!

A few important updates:

  • 5th grade service project: This year for the 5th-grade service project, the students will be collecting donations for the cats and dogs at The Animal House Shelter in Huntley, Illinois. A full list of donation items can be found here, but we are focusing our efforts in the areas of care and wellness and other non-perishable items. If you can donate any new/unopened or reusable items, please have your child bring them to school and place them in our grade level's colorful collection box from April 23 – 26.
  • Kindergarten Musical:  The Kindergarten musical is quickly approaching on May 3rd! All students will arrive at 8:55 a.m., and line up at the front doors where we normally do. They will not need to bring backpacks this day, just their smiles for the stage! All kindergarten classes will have a dress rehearsal together, and the musical will begin at 10:30 a.m. Parents and loved ones are welcome to arrive anytime after 10 a.m. After the show, there will be light refreshments served in the gym, and families are welcome to return to the classroom. The morning will conclude at 11:50 a.m., but we typically finish up around 11:30. You are welcome to take your child home early, just make sure to sign them out on the sign-out sheets we have available so that everyone is accounted for. We look forward to celebrating the growth of our kindergarten friends this year with you! 
    • Field Day: Field Day will take place on Friday, June 7th. ALL Kindergarten students will attend in the afternoon this day, and there will be NO MORNING KINDERGARTEN. Our afternoon begins at 12:50 p.m. and concludes at 3:35 p.m. More details will be coming, but don't forget to mark this schedule change on your calendar!

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