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January News

Picture of Alyssa Ellison
January News
by Alyssa Ellison - Monday, 12 January 2015, 11:50 AM

Welcome Back! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday with family, and I'm so excited to start a new year together! If you haven't done so already, please return your report card envelope to school. It's very mucky outside these days, so please make sure your child has inside shoes every day! You can also leave a bag of spare clothes on your child's cubby hook in case of mud-catastrophies!


Scholastic Orders: Scholastic Orders were due on Friday, but if you would still like to put in an order, please give it to me asap. There are extra orders available on the parent board outside the classroom.


Math: We continue to work on different math strategies such as adding doubles, adding near doubles, making tens, counting up, etc. You can check out a super funky song about adding doubles on our moodle page (math-doubles rap), but I warn you, it's catchy! You may find yourself singing it the next day at work! ;) Your child can also play on the Reflex math website at home. On our moodle page, click on Math, and it gives you a choice of various math websites. When you click on Reflex Math, it will take you to the website where you click on “Launch” (upper right corner). Our username is “ellison4” and your child's password is his/her initials with a two digit number. Everyone should have received a letter with your child's password, but if you can't find it, send me an email and I'll find it for you.


Home Reading: Your child should be reading for 20 minutes every day at home. Please sign the home reading sheet so your child can bring it back to class when it's complete (if you don't remember the name of the book, don't worry about it)! If your child is not bringing home a book to read every night, please let me know and I can make sure a “just right book” is packed in your child's backpack. More home reading sheets are available outside our classroom on the parent board.


Spelling: This month, we will begin using the “Words Their Way” spelling program. This program is intended to help children recognize patterns in words so they can use that knowledge to become great spellers. Hopefully, this emphasis on looking at patterns verses memorizing, will help the children to transfer their spelling words into their reading and writing lives. As you know, memorizing how to spell words for the test is not helpful unless the child is able to transfer those words into every day use. Every week, your child will bring home spelling words to sort and practice. In our class time, we will practice sorting, writing, and word work during the week. All the children will have a Friday spelling quiz. There will be three different spelling groups in the class, and this allows for some different spelling challenges. If your child is having difficulty with the spelling, please email Mrs. Ellison and she can make adjustments. Also, if your child's spelling words are not making their way home to you every Friday, please email or speak with Mrs. Ellison and she will get you another copy.


Read Aloud: During our read aloud times (usually during snack times), I've been reading a book series by Jim Benton called Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist. The children love these books about a young girl who is a mad scientist and it's really been a highlight of our days to see what kind of trouble Frannie and her lab assistant Igor (her dog “who's not pure lab. He's also part poodle, part chihuahua, part beagle, part spaniel, part shepherd, and possibly part some kind of weasly thing that probably wasn't even a dog”) get into, and how Frannie solves the problem.


Author Study: We have started an author study of Barbara Reid. She is a Canadian author and artist who creates images using plasticine. You can check out some videos about her on our classroom moodle page.


Read Around the Room: As always, family members are welcome to join us on Friday mornings for our reading time. We love to read to you, and have you read to us, so if you're available from 8:40-9:10 come and read! If you're not available, please invite other people in your family (grandparents, aunties, uncles, etc.).


Library Book Exchange: We exchange our library books on Thursday afternoons, so please make sure your child's library books get back to school every Thursday. Thank you!


Science: This term we are going to learn about birds of prey (they don't know this yet!). We will discuss what we wonder about birds of prey, research facts, and find out answers to our questions. The children will work in smaller groups to research one type of bird and present their findings to the class. On February 3rd, an expert from Swan Lake will be in our classroom to talk with us about owls. We even get to dissect an owl pellet to see what it ate---how exciting! ;)


Upcoming Dates to Remember:

January 12: School Assembly at 12:45

January 14: Popcorn Day

January 21: Math Morning—Parents are invited to the classroom to play math games!

February 3: Travelling Owl program in our classroom

February 9: Family Day—No school

February 11: Popcorn Day

February 20: Professional Day—no school for students

February 24: Early Dismissal at 1:48