Saturday, June 24, 2017

Happy Summer!

Dear Families,
I wanted to wish you all a happy and relaxing summer.  I hope you and your family will find lots of opportunities to be together this summer.  Perhaps your child will find the time to participate in our reading board-game this summer as well?  I look forward to hearing from you.....

Here is a picture of the entire Harmony House on the last day of school.  I miss you all.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fun Day

We had a great morning at WCS for Fun day.  Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Family Newsletter

Dear Families,
I cannot believe we only have one more week of school!  Time goes by fast at the end of the school year, with many fun activities and changes to our schedule.  I hope you have also noticed all the school materials coming home as the students clean out their cubbies, desks and work bins.

The students did not bring home book bags this week.  Please look at your home to see if there are any books or book bags that belong to our classroom and if so, please return them to our classroom next week.  Thank you!  Library books were due this week as well.  We have returned almost all....some students know they have books at home, so please return those to school as soon as possible as well.  Thank you for helping us!
The Book Mobile visited our school on Wednesday as well.  Your child will have information about the local library's summer reading program in the Friday folder.  They were all very excited to learn about this summer reading opportunity.  I hope you and your family will join.
On the last day of school, I will also send home a reading board-game challenge for all of my students.  There is one version for first grade, and another board-game for second graders.   Instructions how to play will come with the game.  I hope your child will participate.  We are also in the process of publishing a summer review/recommendation book for our class so the students can read about books that their friends read and liked this year.  Hearing from friends sometimes is more efficient and has more of an impact than hearing from mom and dad.....

The students continued to write poetry this week and brought home many inside their Friday folders.  This week, they learned how poets use the font, the words and colors to covey emotions or messages in poems.  They also started working on their own cinquains.  They love poetry and will often write many.  Please look for them inside their Friday folders.
The Scribe, our school magazine, was published today as well.  If your child's work was included in this year's edition, his/her copy will be inside the Friday folder.  The Scribe can also be read online.  I belive there is a link in the School Bell and on our web-site.

First grade mathematicians also started to clean out folders, bins and math boxes to bring home.  In their Friday folders, they have 2 new games and one larger math packet for the summer.  These games and packets are voluntary, but they are encouraged to finish them to keep up on their math facts and skills.  All math assessments finished this week.  They all did an amazing job.  I am so proud of this group of mathematicians!

Kindergarten Step Up:
Today was Kindergarten Step Up day.  We got to spend some time with our new, incoming friends from Kindergarten.  We had a great time together.  We did a greeting, sang some of our favorite songs on Harmony and danced to some goonoodle.  We really look forward to seeing our new friends again! 

Upcoming Events & Reminders:
  • FUN DAY is Monday.  Buses will leave ABS around 8:30am and we will return around 11:15am.  We will be on the fields behind the WCS all morning, participating in many fun and challenging activities.  Please make sure your child comes to school wearing sneakers and weather appropriate clothing.  As of now, it looks like it is going to be warm and cloudy, so shorts and a T-shirt would be best.  If your child wishes to bring a hat and a water bottle that is fine too.  Water will be provided and all the groups will have water breaks in between the stations.
  • We will have a team-wide end-of-the-year Pizza Party on Tuesday June 13th at our regular lunch time.  We will order pizza from Rumonto's.  Please let me know if there are any dietary restrictions or allergies for your child that I am not aware of.
  •  Our last day of school is Friday, June 16th with dismissal at 11:35am.  Thank you to those who have already told me if your child needs a packed lunch for that day.  There is not need to email me if your child does not need a packed lunch.  Thank you!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

School Celebration

The students of ABS filled the BeeHive again for being safe, kind and responsible.  We celebrated with a marshmallow race on the field behin the playground.  Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Family Newsletter

Dear Families,
We had a wonderful week together in our class.  It went by so fast.  It is hard to believe, but the school year is almost over.  The last day of school is June 16th.  It is a half day with dismissal at 11:35am.  Students who wish to have a hot lunch that day, will get a bagged lunch.  Usually, there is a choice for the sandwich.  I will let you know as soon as I hear from the kitchen staff.

We started to pack up special projects and writing this week.  Please look for your child's scrapbook, reading restaurant projects and solar system crafts in this week's book bags and Friday folders.  Your child also had the opportunity to share his/her stories with other friends in class.  Some of these are coming home as well.  We hope that your child will continue to read these at home and celebrate student writing.  Your child will also start to bring home poetry that we have worked on in class.  Please take the time to read these.  They are wonderful!

Formal end-of-the-year reading assessments will continue next week.  We use the Fountas & Pinnell reading assessments at ABS and will, once again, look at fluency, reading accuracy and comprehension.  If you wish to meet with me, or chat about a specific reading plan over the summer, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I would be happy to assist.  Traditionally, I send home an interactive reading board-game over the summer to encourage students to continue to read over the summer and to prevent regression.  Participation is encouraged, but voluntary.  I will provide more information as we approach the last week of school.

Our poetry unit is in full swing.  The children love this type of writing and it is a nice break from the more formal, research writing they did during our animal research unit.  This week, we practiced "I am" poems and we also started to explore shape poems.  We learned that not all poetry has to rhyme.  We also learned that poetry can be very creative and "look" different from other writing.  For example, the words can go around in a circle, or from top to bottom.  We also learned that sounds words, repetition and alliteration are powerful tricks for making our poems more individualistic and interesting.

First grade mathematicians completed the first set of assessments for the end of the year and they did an amazing job!  I am so proud of their hard work this year and their kindness to each other.  We also continued working on strategies for solving subtraction problems and how we can find efficient ways of solving these.  The children practiced their relational thinking by finding tens, or finding the difference between numbers by thinking about addition or fact families.

We had our last 4 Winds class yesterday.  Thank you all parent volunteers who have made this wonderful program possible for us.  The students learned about habitats and life forms of streams.

News and Reminders:

  • There is no school on Monday, May 29th (Memorial Day)
  • 2nd grade STEP-Up Day is scheduled for May 31st.  Current 2nd graders will visit WCS in the morning to meet their new teachers and classmates for a brief activity.  They will take the bus back to ABS after this visit.  Ms Crowley and Mrs. Benoit will go with all of our 2nd graders and Ms Stein and I will remain at ABS with our current 1st graders.  Letters indicating your child's teachers for 3rd grade will be going out today, Friday. 
  • ABS will attend the WCS Chorus Concert on May 7th.  This is a late afternoon performance so dismissal will be from WCS.  If you pick up your child from school, please meet your child in the front lobby/office at WCS.  All other children will board their regular buses and Imagine kids will board a bus back to ABS.
  • Kindergarten STEP-Up Day is scheduled for Friday, June 9th.  Current first graders will meet their new, incoming Kindergarten friends for a little while.
  • Fun Day is June 12th between 9-11am.  Please send your child to school in sneakers and with a water bottle for outdoor fun.  More information will follow soon.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Family Newsletter

Dear Families,
I want to thank all of you for coming to our Reading Restaurant last night.  What a turn out!  The children did an amazing job and were so proud of their stories and the art work on display in our classroom.  All of the tips were distributed in school today and placed inside your child's Friday folder (or backpack).  We did not read them here.  Traditionally, we send them home to be enjoyed in private with our families.  Thank you!

All of the materials created for Reading Restaurant will come home in the next couple of weeks.  Large mural paintings will be given away through a lottery for those students wishing to participate starting next week.  Individual scrapbooks, projects and paintings will be distributed and packed the week after next.

Upcoming Events and Reminders:
We have 4 Winds on Thursday next week.  Please make sure your child comes to school in sneakers for outdoor scientific explorations.

We also have a visit from the Williston Public Works department on Thursday.  It is a hugely successful program and the kids love to learn more about the trucks and special vehicles used around town.

End of the year assessments start next week.  I will start with 1st grade math assessments and reading for all students on Friday.

STEP UP Day is scheduled for May 31st.  This is an event that allows all the children to visit with their new teachers, see their new classrooms and meet their new classmates.  Outgoing 2nd graders will ride the bus over to WCS in the morning and meet their teachers and class for about 1 hour.  First graders will remain at ABS.  Ms Crowley and Ms. Benoit will take all the Harmony 2nd graders over for STEP UP Day.  They will return when the activity is over. 

Parents of 2nd graders should receive a letter indicating their child's new teacher/team before May 31st.  Please let the office know if your family did not get yours.  It is my understanding that they will be sent out on Friday, May 26th.

Last day of school for students is June 16th.  This is a half day with dismissal at 11:30.

I hope everyone will have a great weekend.  Thank you all for coming to our Reading Restaurant yesterday.  Here are some more pictures for your enjoyment.

Here is a link to our African Animals google presentation too.  Enjoy!  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Extra Recess

Enjoying extra recess and some warm weather!

Practicing Reading Restaurant

Here are some pictures from today when the students had a chance to practice our Reading Restaurant with Horizon and Synergy.  More will follow after tonight's event.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Family Newsletter

Dear Families,
It is great to be back with the children again.  It was so much fun to hear about their adventures and activities over April break.  It sounds like everyone had a nice and relaxing vacation.

Reading restaurant:
Our Reading Restaurant is scheduled for May 18th.  Your child brought a sign-up sheet home in their Friday folders.  Please read this note carefully and respond back as soon as possible.  Please don't forget to let me know how many guests will attend.  If the time slot does not work for you, please let me know.  The class has been divided into the two time slots and I try to do my best to accommodate schedules and prior commitments while keeping in mind the limited space we have in our classroom. Your child will "work" during the time slot you received.  That means that your child will help "serve" our stories.  Our reading restaurant is a celebration of writing throughout the entire school year and we look forward to sharing these with you.

Looking for volunteers:
The students will create different murals and paintings for our reading restaurant next week.  We will primarily use the time after recess and lunch, starting at 12:30.  If you are willing to come in and help supervise these crafts, please let me know.  The students will work in small groups and rotate through these activities.  I will have all the materials and groups ready for you.  We will use the space in the hallways, so it is very helpful to have an extra adult or two.  Thank you for considering.

Moon Journals were due on Friday.  If your child forgot to hand them in, please bring them in next week.  They are wonderful!  Thank you for supporting our learning at home and for providing hands-on activities which connect with our science learning in the classroom.  Last week, the children continued learning about the moon, its evolution and characteristics.  We read online books, with embedded videos and we also created space shuttles and astronauts out of paper.  We also voted on our reading restaurant name.  We will be called "The Lazy Lunar Lounge".  Thank you Michelle Childs for donating your time and efforts to help us create our reading restaurant menus.  We would not have done it without you!

First grade mathematicians continued their work on different addition strategies and off-decade counting.  They worked on ways to bridge to ten in order to efficiently adding numbers together.  They also learned about estimation and the differences between making guesses and having a sample to estimate reasonably and accurately.

Have a great weekend everyone!