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8/31/15 Newsletter and Homework
Sunday, August 30, 2015 7:15 PM

Dear Families,

Welcome to Week 2! Even though it’s still summer, it feels so good to settle in to our routine.  Last week we took time to play and create, and did some other important work, too.  We read lots of stories about fish, did some writing and math, and we even wrote down our hopes and dreams for the school year.  I am getting to know about everyone’s interests and learning styles and they are getting to know more about me!

Our Rules:

Rules are promises we make to one another.  We first talked about hopes and dreams, and then brainstormed a long list of possibilities.  After some group editing, this is our final product:

We promise to:

*Be kind, caring and helpful.

*Be safe- practice self-control.

*Learn from our mistakes.

*Take care of our things and our space.

*Be proud of our selves!

Taking a Break

We want to build a culture in our class where everyone feels like it’s ok to make a mistake.  In fact, mistakes help us learn and grow!  Often students have developmentally normal lapses in self-control that can interfere with their learning, or with the learning of others.  This will be a small thing, like side-talk or blurting, or poking a friend.  As a Responsive Classroom teacher, I know that little things can lead to big things, so I might interrupt the behavior while it is small, often by saying “take a break.”  Your child goes to a special chair, takes a few deep breaths, and then returns to work with new focus.  ALL children will need a break sometimes, and it’s ok.  It’s part of how we learn. to regulate our behavior and find out how to refocus when we need to.

Zones of Regulation/Mind Up

Dawn and I spent the summer studying ways to help students find their best emotional and cognitive “zones” for learning.  We will be relying heavily on two curricula this year (with our own spin, of course) that help students identify triggers and be ready with tools that help them feel calm and focused. Look for the “parent letters” in your BEE book that will tell you more about both MindUp and the Zones of Regulation.

Gaggles, Flocks and Families

In our first unit of study we will explore many interesting creatures that live in groups.  We will compare animal groups to our very human class!  Our key questions are:

*What can animals teach us about ourselves?

*How do groups help all living creatures?

*What tools do I need to do my best learning?

We started with fish (swim in schools), and this week will learn all about the fascinating ant 9 (live in colonies).  Look at the homework menu for ways to connect at home!

If you are late to school…

It happens!  Our start time is 7:30.  If your child gets to class after, sign in at the health office.

MAP Testing…

Will start the week of 9-22.  If you don’t want your child to participate, ask me for an “opt out” form.



Starts this week!  We were going to wait, but there are soooo many cool ant activities!   Thanks, Kristin

Kristin’s Class Homework

August 31, 2015    If you would like, you can connect with your school learning at home!   On Fridays, we have a spelling test and “homework sharing.” Choose a few ideas to try and enjoy.  Happy Homework!

Spelling Words

(Pick between 6 and 20 words to learn.)























Homework Ideas

*Write “ant” with honey or syrup on the sidewalk near some ants.  See if they will spell the word for you.  Take a picture!


*Find a special place to organize your learning at home.  Keep some school supplies and your backpack there. 


*Read for practice and pleasure.


*Do your own thing!


*Work as a team with your family or some friends to do a job or chore.


*Learn more facts about ants. Bring them to school to share!


*Sing “High Hopes” to your family.


*Put a cookie by an anthill and see if  you can gather some ants to observe.  What do you notice?


*Go to the State Fair and visit the Math on a Stick area.  Play the number game there.


*Write your spelling words in the dirt, with a stick.  Be careful of ants!


*Watch A Bug’s Life and AntZ- two great ant movies. (a little intense for some.)


*Play outside!