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A New Year

It's the time of year when many of my podcasts and news sources like to talk about New Year's Resolutions - how to make them and how to keep them. Each fall, and again in January, I think I resolve to be a better teacher. I actively reflect on my teaching and try to figure out how to make it better. I set goals, reach out to colleagues, read articles and books, and attend professional development courses. But I also look closely at the children I am teaching. Where are they struggling? Where are they shining? What parts of the day are causing them to get wiggly? What learning is solid, and what is still shaky? My answers help me to plan my daily schedule, my curriculum, and my goals.


Morgan's PK and K Class

* Welcomed a new friend to our group and were excited to come back to school after our break!

* Used measuring tapes to measure each other, then compared our heights on the white board. We also measured different things around the school.

* Looked at "big books" and compared them to smaller sized books.

* Spent a lot of time writing and drawing in our notebooks.

* Our letter of the week was upper-case H and lower-case h brought to us by "Hattie Horse."

* Talked about our vacation with each other and what some of our favorite parts were!

* We saw that the calendar was for a new year, new month and counted how many days were in the month. This furthered our conversation with other months and how many days they had. We also talked about important dates in other months.

* Learned new winter finger plays and dances.

* We explored painting, shaving cream, and cutting up pine needles.

* The children that are not there in the afternoons for Adventure Walk got to participate in Forest Friday! They were very excited about this on-going schedule switch up to ensure our half day students get a chance for forest play time!


Tracy's 1st - 3rd Class

In math, our first grade class has been working on learning doubles facts and the doubles song. We have all been working on counting forward and backward by ten, starting at numbers other than zero (ex: 103, 93, 83, 73...). As a class we have started a number box challenge to see how many different ways we can name a given number in 2 minutes. Our second graders are working on identifying the strategies they use to solve subtraction problems. Both second and third graders are practicing measuring in centimeters and inches.


In writing, we are talking about poetry. What makes something a poem? It's a complicated question, and we are reading examples of different kinds of poems as well as writing some of our own. We made a color poem and a shape poem this last week.


Theresa's 4th - 6th Class

Theresa was off on her annual search for the sun, and it was gratifying to see how well her kids did having a substitute teacher for a few days.


In math, everyone has been digging into the world of angles. They are working on identifying different types (acute, obtuse, right, etc.), drawing angles, and measuring them. As their understanding grows, they can see how angles work in different types of shapes.


Literacy time has been all about poetry. The kids are reading and analyzing poems as well as writing some of their own. They talked about haikus and concrete poems. Theresa and Tracy's classes are talking about getting together a poetry reading of some of their favorite poems before the end of January.

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