Cups in Construction Center: We have recently added red plastic cups to block area. With several hundred red cups to build with, the children have enjoyed building walls, pyramids, and a variety of other structures. This type of manipulative really pushed children to think outside of the box. We began using the new manipulative by giving one cup to each student. Then we built a class structure. Each child had to add one cup. It has been almost three weeks since the cups have been added to the construction learning center, and the students still build with them daily.

Writer’s Workshop/Writer’s Celebration: On Friday, we were very fortunate to have many families stay for the Writer’s Celebration. The children were very eager to show off their published books. They worked for almost four weeks on an animal of their choosing. Each child did research in books and online. They asked specific questions and tried their best with teacher support to find the answer.

Upcoming this week, we are beginning a Fiction Writing Unit. We will begin this unit explaining to children that they will be the main character in their own story. They will begin by writing about places they wish they had gone to, and people they would like to meet.

Reader’s Workshop: Once a day, they children participate in Reader’s Workshop. This time of day usually occurs right after lunch. We read a story together, and then children either work with me in small group literacy instruction, or work on language activities at the table. Small groups at this time provide the students with additional writing and reading support. This past week, I worked with children on letter identification, sound recognition, and word decoding skills. Many children in the class are working at very different skill levels. This time helps ensure that I meet all the children at their own learning level.

Thematic Lesson: Throughout the next several weeks, we will be learning about outer space and sir travel in the classroom. The purpose for having a certain theme in the classroom allows us to learn various subject areas in relevant ways. We can link the theme to all subject areas, and this makes learning more meaningful. We will link outer space to writing through fiction stories. We will write about what it would be like to be in outer space and what we might see there. We will also study science as it relates to the galaxy. We will discuss the different planet atmospheres and the weather on places such as Jupiter, and how it compares to Earth. We will also do some mapping of Earth from how it is viewed from outer space.

Upcoming in March: We will be doing a month long Theater Unit. We will be studying various reasons for writing and communicating, such as TV broadcast, newspaper, and even plays.