Thank you also to our room parents who organized our lovely Breakfast Potluck. We appreciate how busy family schedules can be and although we understand that not all parents were able to attend, we appreciate those who did. Potlucks are a wonderful tradition at Lab and build community within classroom. New traditions will begin once the children leave Lower School in 5th Grade so enjoy these opportunities for you and your child while you can!
We had our first gathering with our Kindergarten Buddies from Ms. Stowe-Grant's class. The students were paired up and we plan to meet regularly throughout the year. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to be a "big buddy" and embrace that responsibility (modeling appropriate behavior, being helpful, etc.). This first meeting was simply a chance to get to know one another a little. We spent a few minutes with introductions and conversation, asking about family, interests and pets. Then we watched a delightful video called Pumpkin Circle that illustrated the life cycle of a pumpkin. Be sure to ask you child about it.
WHOOPING CRANE UPDATE/CHANGE 4 CRANES FUNDRAISER
The cranes and the ultralights have had a series of "down days" due to fog, wind and rainy weather. Yesterday, #2-15 flew alone for 57 miles to the next stopover site in LaSalle County, Illinois. The other five cranes were cranes and driven to this location because they were uncooperative in following the ultralights. You can read more details in the Operation Migration Field Journal. So far the cranes have flown 180 miles of their 1,285 mile journey to Florida. This week, we will learn more about whooping crane habitat and adaptations.
We are getting ready to launch our Change4Cranes fundraiser that will begin over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We are asking each family to send in a sturdy container from home that we can reuse as a donation container. In our effort to “go green,” we do not want to purchase new containers and are hoping to reuse containers you would be recycling to throwing away. Some ideas include 24 oz. yogurt tubs with lids, oatmeal cylinders, plastic baby wipes boxes, etc. Containers need to be able to keep coins and paper money secure. Please do not cut slips or modify the containers - send them "as is." We have Change 4 Cranes decals to decorate our containers. Send in extra containers if you can. We need them by Monday November 16th. Thanks for you support. We'll give you more details next week. Please let us know if your child will be leaving early for the Thanksgiving Break so we can be sure to have his/her container ready.
Below is a wonderful 4 minute video produced by the National Fish and Wildlife Service describing Operation Migration's important mission. Your child could use this video to teach others about our fundraiser and why we are trying to help the cranes. Click here and here to learn more about our fundraising efforts in past years. Fundraising is not a competition (between students or between previous classes) and no matter how much we raise - every penny counts!
In math, we have been practicing place value and how to write numbers in expanded form. While they are practicing reading and writing numbers in the 1000s, children must also have a conceptual understanding of place value and know what each digit is worth in any given number. We are working with the children to represent numbers in 4 ways: standard form, model form with base-ten blocks, expanded form, and written form:
To practice place value concepts, children build numbers with base-ten blocks. This provides a hands-on, visual representation of numbers and the values of each digit. We also played a game called Roll-a-Dice. Children used dice to create 3 and 4-digit numbers and then wrote the standard, model and expanded forms.
A great game for practicing place value skills at home is called Base 10 Fun. This is a free web-based game and uses virtual base-ten blocks. You can also get the app, Base 10 Bingo, which includes the same practicing games as the online version plus a fun bingo game.
As the children begin Work on Writing during our literacy block (what we call Workshop), we want them to focus on their ideas and not worry about spelling words correctly. To help keep kids writing, we introduced GUM (Guess, Underline and Move On). If children get stuck on a word, we encourage them to give it their best try, sound it out and guess. If they are still unsure and want to check it later, they underline the word and keep writing. To inspire this practice, we gave each child a piece of pink bubble gum and a personal spelling dictionary. Children will have their own dictionaries to use as a reference and as a place to record their own frequently used words.
Each Friday, we will dim the lights and read by flashlight! We began this fun, engaging activity on Halloween.
FAMILY MESSAGE JOURNALS
Family Message Journals were sent home Friday. Please write a reply (and don't forget to print so your second grader can read your handwriting!) and return tomorrow.
We are very excited to announce that author Carole Boston Weatherford will be visiting Lab to speak to students on November 16th. She has written several picture books, including the one we read called Gordan Parks (which is also illustrated by her son). Keep your eyes open for an order form that your child will bring home this week. It will include her books, Gordan Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America as well as Moses, a biography of Harriet Tubman. Ms. Weatherford will autograph the books that you order. The form will also be available on the library website. More information about the author is available on her website: http://cbweatherford.com/
Have a wonderful week.