Let’s Build with Boxes: As a whole group, I presented the children with three medium sized boxes. We discussed what we could build with them. After brainstorming many ideas, we decided to build a rocket ship. During centers, students decided where we would cut the box by drawing lines. Some children studied pictures in books to determine what the rocket should look like. We added the wings, main engines in the back, and many windows. We spent two days adding details to make our rocket as realistic as possible.

Planet small groups: To begin our outer space mural in the hallway, we focused on the four planets that were furthest away from the sun. We learned that these planets are much larger and made of gas. Then we broke into small groups to create the planets. Children could pick to work on the sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune. We learned that Jupiter is the largest, Saturn has rings, Uranus spins on its side, and Neptune is the windy planet.

Math Journals: The purpose of our math journals is to practice daily problem solving skills. Each day, we are beginning math workshops with journals. We began the first few days with the same problem for each child. We began this way to give each child the chance to learn how to complete their work as independently as possible. After the third day, students began to receive differentiated work based on their learning level. This week, we really focused on completing math story problems. The children are learning that they need to show their thought process on paper. For example, one of the problems said,
“I had 6 dog cookies and 2 dogs. How can I be fair and divide the cookies evenly?” The children learned that they needed to begin by drawing 2 dogs, then they had to draw how many cookies each dog got in their drawing. After that, they wrote the numbers. They are learning that drawing out their work is very important in math. This will help them as they begin to work on more complex problems. Please feel free to stop in the classroom at any time to check out your child’s math journal.

Fiction Writing: In writer’s workshop this week, we began fiction writing. The children are busy using their imaginations to create stories. We started by explaining that we were each going to be the main characters of our stories. We are writing about adventures that we would like to go on. Some students are writing about discovering new planets, while others are writing about adventures in the jungle. The next mini lesson, we discussed that every story has a conflict or a problem. We took our stories from the previous day and added a conflict to them. While some children decided to start new stories, some were able to add a conflict. Next week, we will continue to work on this, as well as adding in a solution and story resolution. In addition to these story elements, we are continuing to work on writing with more lower case letters, spaces between our words, and even writing some sight words accurately.

Valentine’s Day Party: Thank you to all the parents who helped to make our party a success. Many of you brought in special treats and supplies to help make the day memorable. We started the party by playing some games in the wiggle room. We played a balloon game with four teams. Each team had to keep one balloon in the air while holding hands with their teammates. Luckily, each team won one time! Then we played “cupid, cupid, arrow” (a fun spin on “duck, duck, goose.) We had lots of laughs and fun! Then we did some Valentine’s Day stations in the classroom, like candy heart graphing, candy patterns, and making cards for friends. Happy Valentine’s Day!!!