Friday, September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016 News

Thank you for attending Back-to-School Night!  For those of you that were unable to attend the meeting…a note about Word Study…the children will be introduced to a new word sort each Day 1 in the six-day cycle (and they will be introduced to their first word sort next Thursday).  They are responsible for studying the words until the test, which is on Day 6.  The children should choose three ways to practice their words (using the choice sheet that is taped on the inside of their word study notebook).  I discourage children from doing all three choices all in one night as that is not best for learning.  Periodically throughout the year, the children will be exposed to new choices to help them practice their words.  Please refer to the “Helpful Info” section on the blog for other important documents. 

Your children have enjoyed reading and writing.  Next week, I will have a chance to begin my “formal” reading conferences with the children.  We will have a guest teacher on Thursday so I can have these conferences with students.  These first conferences will give me a chance to assess the children.  During writer’s workshop, the children will begin to write small moments, meet with their writing partners, and assess their own work. 

One other note about reading at home: I will not be sending home a reading calendar for the children to keep track of their reading minutes.  I have read some research that shows this kind of “homework” can turn children off to reading and that is, of course, not my goal!  Instead, I want children to develop a daily/nightly habit of reading.  In the planners, you will see 20 minutes in the reading category.  I know that some children are reading much more than that, and some are reading less.  I want reading to be an enjoyable experience for your child.  If they want to read a book (or more) to a sibling, I highly encourage it, as it develops a bond between siblings and a mutual love of reading.  Some families in the past have had “family reading time,” where they are all experiencing literature.  Some families may choose to read the same book and have discussions about it.  Whatever works for your family, do it!  If you have any questions, please let me know. 

We will begin our “official” work in our math book next week.  Our first unit is Place Value to 10,000, including addition and subtraction of larger numbers.  We also will work on our math facts in class.  There are many websites listed on the right-hand side of the blog where children can practice their math skills and math facts.  The children will be getting their IXL accounts very soon!

Next week, we will begin talking about “long ago” in what we now know as Minnesota.  We will begin to answer our big question, “What was here?”  In science, we will discuss different aspects of phenology.  We will learn different Minnesota birds in preparation for our FeederWatch program (it begins in November).   

Picture Day is Monday, September 19th.  You can fill out the paper form or online.  We will have our pictures taken at 10:15am.

Please remember to sign up to volunteer (if your schedule allows).  Our classroom coordinators, Adele Braun and Karen Shaul, will compile them all so they can make our volunteer list for field trips, parties, and other special events.  Thank you in advance for your time! 

On the horizon…Homecoming!  We will celebrate with a non-uniform Blue and Gold Day (or other Breck apparel) and attend the Homecoming Coronation next Friday afternoon.  You are more than welcome to come next Saturday, September 17th to attend the Blessing of the Animals (11:00am) and the Homecoming BBQ (12:00pm). 

Believe it or not, conferences are just around the corner on October 6th and 7th.  If possible, I would love for your child to attend.  We will be setting goals in class and will share that information with you at the conference.  If you have any questions regarding conferences, please feel free to ask.  Online registration will begin soon.  Be on the lookout for a letter outlining these dates.

Minnesota Amazing Race Project update: if your family already knows your location for this project, would you mind letting me know?  I will keep track in the hopes that we don’t have any repeats.  If you are having trouble finding a location, please let me know and I can assist you.  The directions are located in the “Helpful Info” section of the blog. 

One tidbit of information I forgot to share last night: Scholastic book order forms will come home about once a month.  It is completely voluntary to purchase books for your child.  You can either write a check (made out to Scholastic) with the paper forms, OR you can create an account online and pay with a credit card.  The first book order will home in the next couple of weeks.  The directions for how to order online can be found on the “Helpful Info” section of our blog.  One other feature of ordering online is that you can order books at any time, even from a different flyer than the ones sent from school!

If you should need me for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at or by phone at 763-381-8321.  


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