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December 16, 2012 Weekly Update

Dear Families,

     As you can imagine, with the upcoming Winter Break just around the corner, there’s been an air of excitement in the classroom.  The students have been managing it well both socially and academically.

     Last week, we assembled models of the human skeleton.  We then practiced locating and identifying some of the more major bones with the help of a song entitled “The Bony Hokey Pokey!”  We also learned two new poems to add to our poetry anthologies.  The first entitled “Snow” and the second entitled “Tooth Truth.”  Both important topics to first and second graders!

     In addition to the Lexia and Read Naturally reading groups and our “Just Right Books” time, there are three small reading groups going.  The titles currently being read include “The Chocolate Touch,” “Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots,” and “Barry and Bennie.”  On Friday afternoon (following an exciting trip to the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts), the class completed (with a collective sigh) our reading of the book “Gooney Bird Greene” by Lois Lowry.  Some students may want to complete a reread of that story either independently or with a parent during their home reading times.  There was a great deal of interest in the main character and the stories she tells to her classroom.  The book is definitely worth a second look.  There are three other books in the series as well that some students may enjoy.

     Our work this week will include extending our understanding of the skeletal system through reading, writing, and finally beginning the dissection of owl pellets.  We’ll also read together a short, fun chapter book entitled “Santa Claus Doesn’t Mop Floors,” and complete a special art project.  On Tuesday (during their regular math time), the second graders will be taking the “CogAT Screening Form.”  This is a district assessment that appraises students’ learned reasoning abilities.   It’s going to be a busy week and I already know that we’ll run out of time to get everything done!

     I will not be sending math packets homework this week.  Instead, students will need to spend some time researching their name.  A short list of questions and a recording form to do that will be coming home with students on Monday along with their reflection sheets from last week.  I’m going to ask students to return this homework by Friday, December 21st.  Other than the December reading calendar, there won’t be any homework over Winter Break.   Please note that classes resume on January 2nd.  My next parent update will be on January 7th.

     Happy Holidays!  Have a wonderful time with your family and friends.