Thursday, January 27, 2011

Special Guest

We had an amazing opportunity on Tuesday morning to meet a German exchange student. Hannah has been attending Owatonna High School. She lives with Kathy Hoen, Sibley's speech specialist, and her family. She will be returning to Germany next week and graciously took time to visit and share about her culture and time spent here in the United States.

Hannah spent an hour with our class during math. She met with small groups and taught them to count in German. She also shared how they write the date with the day coming before the month. Then she read Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle in German. This was a favorite story of hers as a child. The children were able to ask lots of questions about her life in Germany. She shared some of their Christmas customs which was interesting for the children to hear after having visited there on our Christmas Around the World adventure. She told them about St. Nicolas visiting on December 6th. She said that gingerbread houses are very popular as well as gingerbread hearts.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Holiday Program

Just a reminder that the Holiday program has been rescheduled for January 6th at 6:30 at the high school.  Please bring your child to the high school by 6:15.  There will be signs to let you know which classroom to drop them off in.  I will be with them during time they are not performing.  Also, we will be taking buses to the high school to practice tomorrow afternoon.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MAP Testing

Well, our next round of standardized testing is just around the corner.  Your children have made some great progress so far this year and I'm hoping we can show how hard they've worked.  Please make sure your child has a good nights sleep on the nights before our tests.  Encourage them to do their best but don't make it a pressure situation.  Let them know you are proud of them and all that they have learned (and you'll continue to be proud no matter what their test score).  We'll be testing reading on Monday, January 10th from 1:15-2:40 and math on Monday, January 17th from 1:15-2:40.  I should have the scores to share with you at winter conferences.

Christmas Around the World (after the trip)

Wow!  Our school days seemed to be so busy before winter break that I didn't get a chance to post anything about our trip around the world to learn how others celebrate winter holidays. 

We learned about holiday traditions for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.  Everyone made a kinara and played a dreidel game.  We also 'visited' Sweden, Italy, France, Mexico, England and Germany.  Our last stop was the North Pole for our Polar Express day.  One of the big highlights of our journey was making gingerbread houses which is a tradition in Germany. 

I thought I had pictures saved on my computer but they must still be in my camera.  I'll post pictures later.  You'll have to check back to see all the gingerbread houses.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Welcome back!  I hope everyone found a way to enjoy winter break with family and friends.  Here's a little preview of what is coming up in the next couple of weeks. 

We are working on learning our 2-D and 3-D shapes in math.  To help the kids remember the names of the shapes we create our own classroom shape museum.  Your child can bring in objects to add.  Look for things that are cubes, rectangular prisms, cones, spheres, cylinders, and pyramids.  We'll also be making our own 3-D pyramids out of straws and pipe cleaners.  Keep working on math facts at home!

Everyone will continue to work at their own reading level individually and in small groups.  I'll be doing a formal check of their reading levels this week and next.  I've seen some great progress and am excited to see just how much they've grown in their reading.   We are still working on increasing everyones fluency and comprehension.  When you read with your child take the time to ask questions along the way to check for their understanding.  I'll be tying in our science unit on plants with our new reading theme.  The stories are both non-fiction and fiction and cover seeds, plants, and trees.  Hopefully your child is finding time to read at home most nights.