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Jane's Jan. 18 parent letter
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:00 AM

January 18, 2013

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

The new year is off to a great start in Classroom 120! We continue to read, write and work on math together each day. Many students have been excited by the progress they are making! I am planning a portfolio-sharing event for the morning of Wednesday, February 27th from 7:30-8:30 a.m. This is a great time for students to share their self-selected “Best Work.” You will not need to be here for the whole hour; it will likely only take about 20-30 minutes to get through the portfolio; the one hour allotted is intended to be a window of time that you can come in for your child to share. I hope you can make it to this. The students work hard to organize the portfolio (which is good learning in itself), and it provides a time for you to consider goals as you view your child’s actual work. I will also be sending home a conference sign up schedule soon.

We have been enjoying books together both in reading groups and as a whole group. I have read some stories -- Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand, and A Chair for My Mother by Vera B Williams are two examples -- to share authors as mentors as we pay special attention to the way the authors stretch a small part of a story across many pages. We also enjoyed reading Winn Dixie as a whole group. Many students have asked that I share the movie in class. I just don’t see time for that in our school day, but thought if I pass it on, maybe you could let them watch it at home. We also continue to read in small groups, and the fluency and comprehension skills are growing. We are finishing up our writing unit and will soon start the next, which is called Writing for Readers. In this unit we will start to pay closer attention to the way our writing looks (neatness) and continue to include interesting details and descriptions.

First-grade math has recently focused on number operations such as comparing numbers, counting forward and backward, and solving addition and subtraction problems. The have also worked with two- and three-dimensional shapes. Second-graders have gathered and represented data using bar graphs and line plots. We have also been working hard to learn about ratios and how we can use them to think about the relationships in higher numbers.

Finally, I am excited to be working with Kate Lynch (Jojo’s mom) as she teaches us to sing. Please watch for a hard copy of a letter explaining the project to come home in your child’s mail this week and if possible, share a song with us!

I hope the New Year is off to a great start for you too. I look forward to seeing you all at our Portfolio Sharing on February 27th.

Happy 2013!
Jane Spicer