Weasel Groups 1/8-1/12

Dear Families,

We had a fun, wet week this week! Forest time the last two weeks has allowed our kids to really get in touch with the ways that weather affects our creeks, our woods, and our clothes :)

In Centering, students are taking initiative and volunteering to lead our class in finding stillness and calm in their minds and bodies. Students have been coming up with some amazing visualizations and techniques for finding that stillness, and they very much enjoy teaching their classmates about these techniques and sharing how they make use of them outside of class. It's clear that they are making this "centering" part of their daily lives outside of school, which is fantastic!

Math this week has been focused intensely on multiplication and division. We're starting to move toward automatic recall of multiplication tables and are also solving and depicting word problems involving multiplication and division. I still greatly encourage you to practice math facts with your child at home. We are still focusing on times tables for 1-5 and 10. Fluency with multiplication tables will help tremendously when we introduce long division later in the year. The Blue Group is moving past our introduction to long division and multi-digit multiplication and is now working on money. We had fun writing and solving coin riddles this week, reviewing coin values and working on adding large groups of coins together mentally.

ELA is still in the world of non-fiction, and we are deep into our Information Texts in Writer's Workshop. We've moved beyond the skills of organization and are focusing now on elaborating and creating richer chapters that "hook" the reader. Some students have chosen to bring their writing notebooks home with them to interview family members or to keep moving forward in their work. It's clear that they are very invested in their topics and are excited to see them to completion! In Reader's Workshop, we're reading narrative non-fiction with a focus on biography. In our discussions, we're talking about how the main character in a biography faces problems and finds ways to resolve them--much like the main characters in fiction--but now we're also introducing the concept of setting and how it affects a the character's life and decisions.

A quick reminder: as we all know, winter weather can be very unpredictable--a dry sunny morning doesn't necessarily mean a dry sunny afternoon. With the exception of extremely cold days, our kids get to spend time in the forest every day at school. Please make every effort to be sure your child has waterproof gear (including shoes!) and warm clothes each day.

Thank you, and enjoy the long holiday weekend!