Welcome to the second half of our school year! We are “diving” in right away to learn about aquarium life. There are many exciting activities planned including a study of guppies and snails. The students will be able to make observations in the classroom. A trip to the Aquarium is planned for January 18th.

The students have been very busy learning about coral reefs. We have learned many different types of information and answered questions in small groups about them. The students were very interested to learn that many different types of animals live in the reefs. They learned that humans are doing things that are harming the coral reefs, and we talked about how we can protect our earth.

In Writer’s Workshop we had a Writer’s Celebration on Friday. We were able to use the skills and strategies we have learned about and applied them to a special piece of writing we shared. The students practiced using their speaking voices when presenting to a large group. We will soon start non-fiction writing by connecting it to our study of aquarium life.

In Math Workshop we have been working on counting to higher numbers. We did many hands-on activities to practice our counting. One activity we did was using colored tiles to see how big our feet are. We traced our feet and then filled the outline of the foot up with colored tiles. The colored tiles were then counted and we recorded our individual numbers. Another activity involved using our bodies as well. We took fruit loops and a tracing of our hands and estimated how many fruit loops it would take to fill up the handprint. After we made our estimation we filled up the handprint with fruit loops and counted to find out what the actual number was. We then decided if our estimation was a good one. This not only practiced counting with higher numbers, but it also introduced estimation.

In our large group reading instruction we worked on punctuation. We discussed many different types of punctuation, but focused mainly on ending punctuation marks. We practiced reading sentences using the correct inflection of our voices. The voice used was determined by which punctuation mark was at the end of the sentence.

During small group there were a variety of activities. Some students worked on a Reader’s Theater piece about Coral Reefs. Each student was given a part and followed along with the script. This helped the students practice reading fluency. Another activity included a variety of practice on blending phonemes.

This week we had a special treat! Miss Krista was in charge of gym class. The students enjoyed using their gross motor muscles and movement. Each week Miss Krista and I will switch off running gym class!

Please remember to turn in your money and permission slip for the field trip to the aquarium. We are excited to observe, explore, and complete field research.

If you have any questions let me know! Remember to sign up for a conference outside the classroom door!