Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone enjoyed the two week holiday! It is great to be back and ready to start the new year off with some exciting activities. We are also nearing the end of Term One; report cards will be sent home in February.

This month we will continue working on instructional/procedural writing. The children will continue to write their “HOW-TO books” that will teach the reader how to do something. We will also begin work on persuasive writing to compliment our critical learning pathway focus on ‘point of view’.

Reading and rereading some traditional stories will help us develop an understanding of “point of view”. We will read and work on retelling several stories from different characters’ perspectives. Our literacy focus will be on beginning to identify, with support and direction, the speaker and the point of view presented in a text and suggest a possible alternative perspective in the stories that we listen to as well as in the books we read during Guided Reading. We will be adding some new ‘story bits’ to our bags this month as well!

We will resume the “Take-Home Reading program” today. If you have not already done so, please make the commitment to read with your child at home every night. It is the most worthwhile 20 minutes you can spend with your child and the payoff in your child’s reading ability will be tangible! I have already seen the difference – reading and daily practice of the new “word wall words” has had so far this year.

Math Homework bags will also begin this month. I appreciate your participation in this program and I
am looking forward to hearing your feedback. Math bags go home on Mondays and should be returned on Thursdays for reorganization and redistribution.

Dates to Remember
Jan. 10 Back to School!
Jan. 27 Kindergarten Open House
Jan. 27 Family Literacy Day
In 2011, Canadians will Play for Literacy! Playing games that encourage literacy and numeracy - such as board games, card games and word games - is a great way for parents and children to practice their literacy skills and have fun.

Jan. 31 P.D. Day (no school for students)

Helping Your Child to Become Independent
I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of children have returned to school with new shoes. Many of these new shoes have laces that require tying. I hope that you will work with your child to help him/her learn to tie shoes independently. I know from experience that this can be a challenging skill to master. I have shown those students who have been requesting help from me 2 different methods of tying. I have asked them to practice at home and find out which method works best for them.
I have included a couple of rhymes that I have found helpful to repeat when tying laces.
The Two-Loop Method
You take one lace and make a loop (bunny ear),
Take the other lace and make another loop (bunny ear).
Fold one under the other and viola! - Tied shoes!
The Big Kid Method
Build a tee pee, Come inside,
Bring a friend. Close it tight so we can hide.
Over the mountain, And around we go.
Here’s my arrow, and here’s my bow!

• Keep tension tight on the laces
• Cross laces to make an X
• Pinch the center of the X (build a teepee)
• Loop one string over and through the bottom (come inside)
• Bring the same string through again (bring a friend)
• Pull the laces tight and keep tension in the laces (close it tight)
• Keep tension on both laces. Stick out a pointer finger
• Loop the lace over the finger, pinching close to the shoe (over the mountain)
• Pull pointer finger out
• Bring the free lace all the way around the loop (and around we go)
• Push the same lace through (here’s my arrow) the hole made close to the loop (and here’s my bow)

During December, our character trait was RESPECT in the classroom and in the school community. Congratulations to our December award recipients!
Chris for Academic Achievement
Holly for Effort
Sydney for Respect

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