Thursday Update

Thank you all for your understanding regarding today's heat day. I understand it does put parents in a bind when you have to scramble to make other childcare arrangements. Although it was overcast today and temps were a little cooler, our building was still rather hot and stuffy. With a school full of bustling students the heat would have been even more unbearable. Teaching is futile when students can't concentrate because they are hot, tired, and thirsty. 
We will have school tomorrow so make sure those kiddos have a water bottle if they haven't brought one (along with their Thursday folders).

We are wrapping up our second week of school, and I must say the kids are really working hard on getting those rituals and routines down. One area in need of improvement is understanding the importance of cleaning up after themselves in the lunchroom and cutting down on the chatting so they have adequate time to eat. 
We had our first practice fire drill and the kiddos knew exactly what to do! The same day we practiced a 'shelter in place' drill taking our spot in the hallway for tornado warnings. With the crazy weather in Colorado it is important for us to know what to do in the event of a bad storm. 

  • Math--This week and next week we will continue to work on basic number sense, Number Talks, addition problems involving number sentences, number bonds, and statements. We are also wrapping up a math assessment which gives me an indication of your child's understanding of the 1st grade Common Core math standards.  
  • Readers and Writers Workshop --Both subjects go hand in hand and the kiddos are working on building reading and writing stamina. This has been a bit difficult in the afternoons because of the intense heat in the building. Regardless, they are learning to work with partners, sharing their reading thinking, stretching out words to spell them--along with utilizing their OG knowledge, and understanding that writers write about things from their lives. 
  • Morning Meeting--We continue to get to know each other and build a respectful classroom community through our morning greeting and Morning Meeting time. 

Thanks to all who came to our classroom Back-to-School night last night. It was great to put names to faces without all the before and after school crowds. 

**Families who haven't subscribed to the Remind app--a quick way for me to send out classroom information via text message/email, please do so by following the directions below.

BOOK IT, our awesome summer reading program and school fundraiser, is winding down. Pledge packets are due to me by Monday, September 14, so BOOK IT participants have a few weeks left to read and fundraise! 
While reading is participating, parents were asked to focus on this as their fall giving. If the PTA can raise more than $90K, they will eliminate the direct giving campaign in the fall!
NEW TO WCE?:  It’s not too late to participate! Simply go to the PTA website for additional information or contact Liz Kegg, who’s happy to meet with parents and explain the program.
SAVE THE DATE!: Whether your child read 1 hour or 100 hours, we will celebrate and reward their reading success at our BOOK IT Celebration on Friday, October 2. More details to come. 

FYI--If you would like to comment on a post, simply click on the post title (in this case Thursday Update) and it will bring up only that post for you to leave a comment. 

Have a great evening, and if you are already taking advantage of the long weekend, enjoy!!

Attention! No School Tomorrow!


Due to the lack of proper air conditioning in our building, school will be canceled tomorrow for students. Our classroom temperature today was at about a steady 84-86 degrees--that's on the cool end of the spectrum for classroom temps in our building. Many other students were in classrooms ranging from 88-98 degrees, making any learning nearly impossible. 

Thanks for your understanding.

Thursday Update

Families, here are a few things to let you know what your kiddos worked on this week and what's coming up.

This week we have been working on classroom rituals and routines such as lining up, taking restroom and drink breaks, coming to our meeting area, walking though the halls, emergency procedures and more.
These routines often take precedence over academic content because when students know what is expected of them and they know how to take care of themselves in most school situations they are then able to concentrate on their learning. I also believe in intrinsic reward and giving children a sense of self satisfaction through positive choices and their achievements. This happens through structure, routine, clear expectations, and positive reinforcement. 

Now, this doesn't mean that we haven't been learning. During our Morning Meeting we are working on getting to know each other through greetings, going through our calendar routine, and beginning the day with a song.

  • Math begins with a warm up and today's included counting as high as we could while jumping up and down or doing jumping jacks. The movement gives kids a chance to get the wiggles out and concentrate on the task at hand. They are learning about Number Talks--looking at a problem on the board (in this case sets of dots) and explaining how many dots they see and how they see it. It's like solving a problem and then explaining how you solved it. We then go into our application problem and the kiddos are presented with a problem to solve using strategies they've learned. After that comes the practice, done independently, and finally the wrap up of what was learned. 
  • Readers Workshop this week consists of building stamina by listening to a story, discussing it through Turn and Talk and then working on a response such as making connections. They are also learning the routines of what to do during their RW time such as being a respectful and engaged TaT partner. 
  • Writers Workshop also consists of building stamina by writing for a given amount of time, what to do when they are finished writing, and sharing with others what they have written.
  • In Skills we are reviewing the OG Picture/Sound cards. This is especially helpful for those new to Westerly Creek. We are also working on handwriting practice and understanding good writing posture, pencil grip, and beginning the majority of letters from the top. 
  • Social Studies is integrated in our Morning Meeting and Readers Workshop where we are working on building a positive and respectful classroom community.
We will continue to work on all this next week as well. 

Snack break is every afternoon at 1:45. Don't forget to pack those snacks each day. They should healthy and easy.

Thank you so much for following our drop off and pick up procedures on the blacktop. This makes the start and end of our day run so much more smoothly. 

**I'm hosting a Back-to-School Night next Wednesday in our classroom at 6:00. It should take no more than 45 minutes and I ask that only parents/guardians attend. 

Finally, take a look at your child's Thursday folder. There is an All About Me project in there. This can be turned in anytime over the next week, but the sooner the better to get to know each other. 

I have added a tab to the navigation bar on the blog main page titled Wish List for things that would be helpful in our classroom. 
I do hope you will find this blog helpful in staying up-to-date on things happening in our classroom and building. I am always open to suggestions. 

Have a great evening and don't forget to sport that spirit wear tomorrow!

We Made It!

Whew! What a day! Today was filled with learning all about the routines in our classroom as well as practicing fire drill procedures. There were lots of questions today, and I'm sure there will be a lot more tomorrow. I was pleasantly surprised at how well lunch went today and everyone seemed to find their way quite effortlessly or with the help of another student. What a great way to show kindness to others!
Also, many thanks for the easy pickup this afternoon. I know it's a bit difficult and crazy with so many people on the first day. 

Tomorrow morning I will pick up the kiddos out on the blacktop. Adult supervision begins at 8:45.
Please make sure your child brings a water bottle and snack--the heat makes for some very thirsty and hungry children!

Finally, I'm thinking it would be nice to have our own classroom Back-to-School Night next Wednesday evening for those who weren't able to attend our Wolf Den Welcome and I can answer any questions some of you may have about our school and classroom. If you think you can attend next Wednesday, September 2nd at 6:00PM, let me know. 

Have a great evening!

Class Schedule 2015-2016
Hello Families!

It's hard to believe that the new school year is just around the corner! It was wonderful meeting many of you at our WolfDen Welcome, from familiar faces to new families. Just a reminder that I will be out on the blacktop around 8:45 to greet you and your child on Monday morning.

We will walk into class together and you can help your child find his/her seat, take pictures, and give hugs of reassurance that 1st grade is going to be great! I will then ask that you leave us so we may begin our day of learning together. Remember that pickup will also be out on the blacktop at 3:45.

Please make sure your child knows what he/she should be doing after school, whether it's taking the bus, pickup by you or an authorized guardian, or Kaleidoscope. The first day can be exciting and stressful for your kiddo and it helps to know what to expect at the end of the day. Also, remember to pack a snack and water bottle for our afternoon recess. Water bottles will be kept at school and then sent home on Friday to be washed.

I will be updating our blog in the next few days with more information regarding the specifics of our classroom.

Have a great rest of your weekend and I look forward to seeing all of you on Monday.