Early Elementary News: February 2013

K-1 is finishing up the Fairness Unit in our current thematic unit “My Journey through the Community.” This portion of the larger unit provided a deeper context for the meaning and celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The children will next explore “Resource Use”, in which they learn how people get what they need to live from the environment and how our actions affect the environment and our community.

Additionally, we are continuing with work we began in our last unit “My Journey Through School.” Children made their way through the school, made observations about what they saw, and proposed some potential service projects they could carry out this year to improve their school community. The children discussed the merits of their ideas and choose several projects they will carry out with their class. Planting more in the Edible Garden, improving our wooded trails, and improving the appearance of our hallways are a few of the projects we are planning.

In math we are finishing up a unit on problem-solving strategies, and we will next begin a unit on place value and measurement. Additionally, both kindergarteners and first graders are developing fluency with math facts.

In language arts we continue to use structures such as writing workshop, reading workshop, word study, read aloud, and handwriting during our literacy blocks to introduce and reinforce skills.

The children just finished presenting book projects where they were required to identify fictional story elements and retell key details of a fictional text. Nonfiction retelling will be the focus of our next book projects. In writing workshop, the children will begin writing nonfiction in the form of “How to” and “All About” books as well.

New to our curriculum this year due to the change to the Common Core Standards is a focus on language in terms of spoken and written conventions. We will begin introducing mini-lessons twice a week during the word study portion of our literacy blocks to address these new goals. Children will be documenting their work and progress with these goals in a language notebook that will be sent home at the end of the year.

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