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What we do each day

Morning Meeting
Morning Meeting is a time that sets the tone for the day. We greet each other and play a game. The games are structured to practice social skills and build community. Plans for the day are discussed and class business is taken care of: lunch count and attendance.

Together we share the date, express the number in tens and ones, use coins to express the number, and identify yesterday, today, and tomorrow using cards. Eventually we will add graphing the weather to this routine.

Morning Stretch
Every morning we sort of “rock out”, listen to music, and do a complete stretch from head to toe. It really helps wake everyone up. It gets our blood pumping so we are ready to work. It’s also a lot of fun!

Guided Reading
During Guided Reading skills are clustered in groups with other children at the same stage of reading. The teacher selects books where children can read with 90-95% fluency. The group is coached on reading skills to build their fluency and comprehension.

The Daily Five
Read to yourself
The best way to become a better reader is to practice each day with books you choose, on your just-right reading level. It soon becomes a habit.

Read to Others
Reading to someone allows for more time to practice strategies helping you work on fluency and expression, check for understanding, hear your own voice, and share in the learning community.

Listen to Reading
We hear examples of good literature and fluent reading. We learn more words, thus expanding our vocabulary and becoming better readers.

The writing workshop begins with the children coming together for a mini-lesson in which explicit, direct instruction in a skill is given. Then students write while we confer with individuals and small groups of children. Each writing workshop ends with the teacher making a second teaching point and with writers having time to read their own and other’s work. We have been using the new projector to share student work.

D.E.A.R. Drop Everything And Read
As we finish lunch and clean our tables, every child selects a book and reads. We have spent time discussing the selection of a book (a continuing process), and each child has selected a spot in the room that they believe will be a good place to quietly enjoy a book.

Lunches and milk are picked up and brought to our room. Kids relax and eat in small groups. They are expected to clean up after themselves.

Kids go outside for recess for a half hour of playtime. In the winter months when there are days where the wind chill is extremely low, arrangements are made for indoor recess. Otherwise, children should bring clothes for outdoor play year round.

See attached letter.

Ketchup and Relish
Every Thursday afternoon I schedule “Ketchup and Relish” as a time that students who have unfinished work can catch up and finish. Students who have all of their work completed relish in a choice time. This is a time that students can enjoy playing cooperatively and creatively with each other using blocks, legos, paints, playing a game, simply reading a book, and enjoying many other fun snap-together type toys. This allows me time to assist kids who may be stuck on a concept that was taught earlier in the week. It also holds kids accountable for using their work time wisely.

The Science and social studies lessons often center on a theme. For science I use kits that I have ordered through the district. This year we have started with the Rock unit. The rest of the units are scheduled as follows:
Ozalids 9/23/09- 11/17/09
Balance and Motion 11/18/09- 12/8/09
New Plants 12/9/09-1/26/10
Solids and Liquids 1/27/10- 2/26/10
The main science processes are exploration, concept naming, classification, observation, and recording data.

The Barton school theme this year is Balance. I will be working to tie our studies of the human body, community, world, and solar system in with the school theme. I see great possibilities!