• Updates
     February 1, 2019

    Dear Family Member,

    During the past several days, your child has been learning about the history of the earth. S/he learned about the earth’s surface, the layers of the earth (crust, mantle, and core), as well as volcanoes and geysers. Today for our culmination activity, we made a volcano using a chemical reaction.  The students were able to see how the lava runs down the side of the mountain creating Igneous Rock. 

    Below are some suggestions for activities that you may do at home to reinforce what your child is learning about this science topic.

    1. The Earth’s Surface Use a globe or map to help your child locate and identify the earth’s continents and oceans. Also locate the North Pole, the South Pole, and the equator. Share with each other any knowledge that you have of these.
    2. Make a Model Make a model of the earth’s layers or a volcano.
    3. Draw and Write Have your child draw and/or write about what has been learned about the layers of the earth, volcanoes, or geysers, and then share the drawing with you. Ask questions to keep your child using the vocabulary learned at school.
    4. If You Were There With your child, imagine what it would be like to witness a volcanic eruption. Talk about what you would see and hear, and how you would feel.
    5. Read Aloud Each Day It is very important that you read to your child each day. The local library has many books on geology and a list of books and other resources relevant to this topic is included in this letter.

    Be sure to let your child know how much you enjoy hearing about what s/he has been learning about at school.


    Recommended Resources
    Trade Book List

    Digging Up Dinosaurs (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2), by Aliki (HarperCollins, 1988) ISBN 978-0064450782 Exploring Rocks and Minerals (Exploring Earth and Space), by Greg Roza (Powerkids Press, 2012) ISBN 978-1448885763 If You Find a Rock, by Peggy Christian and photographs by Barbara Hirsch Limber (Sandpiper, 2008) ISBN 978-0152063542 The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen (Scholastic, 1989) ISBN 978-0590407601Planet Earth/Inside Out, by Gail Gibbons (Morrow Junior Books, 1995) ISBN 978-0688096809 Volcanoes (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2), by Franklyn M. Branley and Megan Lloyd (Collins, 2008) ISBN 978-0064451895

    Websites and Other Resources Student Resources Earth from Space http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_cat.php?categoryID=1484 Caillou the Paleontologist http://pbskids.org/caillou/immersivegames/?gameID=4 American Museum of Natural History http://www.amnh.org/ Old Faithful Webcam http://www.nps.gov/yell/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm Science Kids http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/ Family Resources Minerals http://www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/identification.html Rocks http://www.geography4kids.com/files/earth_rocktypes.html Geological Society of America http://www.geosociety.org Geology http://www.geology.com

    In the area of Math, we continue working on place value.  The students have worked with Standard Notation (34), Expanded Notation (30 + 4 = 34), and Base Ten Notation (3 tens and 4 ones).  We have also covered comparison of two digit numbers (34<57) by looking at the ten's plalce and then the one's place if necessary, adding two digit numbers without regrouping (34 + 25).  We have practiced adding and subtracting tens (30 + 40 = 70, and 40 - 30 = 10).  We will continue to work on place value; but we will focus in on greater than, less than, and ten more and ten less using the hundred's chart.

    January 7, 2019
    Over the next few weeks, your child will be learning about astronomy. Your child will learn about the sun, the moon, the stars, and the eight planets in our solar system. Your child will also learn about space exploration, including the first astronauts to land on the moon. In the next few days, we will focus our study of astronomy on the sun, the moon, and the stars. The most powerful way you can help support your child’s learning about astronomy is to take him or her outside to observe the sky. Below are some suggestions for ways you can make his/her study of astronomy even more meaningful and fun, and some words s/he is learning that relate to each activity.
    1. Sunrise or Sunset
    Your child is learning that the earth orbits or revolves around the sun. S/he is also learning that even though it looks like the sun moves across the sky each day, it is actually the earth spinning on its axis that causes day and night. Go outside with your child at dawn to observe the sunrise, or at dusk to observe the sunset.
    Words to use: dusk, dawn, atmosphere, revolve, horizon
    2. Stargazing
    In a few days your child will learn about the stars and the constellations. Take your child out in the evening to observe the stars. The Big and Little Dipper are part of the Big Bear constellation. S/he will learn to recognize the dippers and Polaris (the North Star). Together with your child, try to identify these groups of stars in the night sky. You may wish to obtain a book from the library on constellations to guide your observations.
    Words to use: constellation, star, telescope, outer space, meteor
    3. Phases of the Moon
    Your child will learn about the moon and how it orbits the earth, reflecting the sun’s light. S/he will also learn to recognize four of its phases: the new moon, the crescent moon, the half moon, and the full moon. Look for the moon every few days and talk with your child about how much of it is visible in the sky.
    Words to use: crescent, full, reflecting, orbit, craters, man in the moon
    4. Read Aloud Each Day
    It is very important that you read to your child each day. The local library has many books on astronomy and a list of books and other resources relevant to this topic. Be sure to let your child know how much you enjoy hearing about what s/he has been learning at school.
    Recommended Resources for Astronomy
    Trade Books
    Exploring the Solar System, by Mary Kay Carson (Chicago Review Press, 2008) ISBN 978-1556527159
    Find the Constellations, by H. A. Rey (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2008) ISBN 978- 0547131788
    The Moon Seems to Change, by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by Barbara and Ed Emberley (HarperCollins, 1987) ISBN 978-0064450652
    NASA Kids’ Club http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/index.html
    American Museum of Natural History Resources on Space http://www.amnh.org/content/search?SearchText=space&x=0&y=0
    Photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/entire/npp/all/
    Place Value
    The lessons in this unit focus on place value.  Place value is the value of a digit depending on its place in a number in the decimal system.  Each place is 10x bigger than the place to its right.  We will use the base ten system of building blocks to understand this concept.
    At Home Support
    1.  Play Scoop and Group. Using a small item such as beans or seasonal candy pieces, have your child scoop an amount of items out onto the table.  Have them estimate how many they believe may be in the group.  Next have your child put the items into groups of ten until there are not enough to make any more tens.  Those are the ones.  Count by tens and then ones to discover the total amount.  Repeat.
    2.  Using the included number line, work through oral number equations such as 20 n+ 30 = ?  Model how to begin on the number 20 and jump up as you count by tens 3 times to reach 30 more.
    Math Talk
    place value -  each digit within a number has a place
    standard form - a number written with digits 53
    expanded form - a number written as the sum of each place value 50 + 3 = 53
    word form - a number writtten with words fifty-three
    value -  what something is worth


    Save the Date:  Grinchwood
    Next Friday, December 7th, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


    This event will include games, music, craftivities, hands on science opportunities, photo booth stations, the Saddlewood Chorale, Scholastic Book Fair, Kona Ice, the Humane Society's Bark Bus, and the Big Red Blood Mobile. Make plans to join us for this free event!

    November 29, 2018
    During the past several days, your child has been learning about the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia. S/he learned about the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for farming and for the cities that grew where people settled. Your child also learned about the development of a system of writing called cuneiform, the existence of leaders called kings, and the importance of religion. Your child will come to understand that it is because of these key components that Mesopotamia is considered a civilization.

    Next week, your child will be learning about another ancient civilization, ancient Egypt. S/he will learn about the importance ofthe Nile River for farming and the cities that grew where people settled. Your child will also learn about the development of a system of writing using hieroglyphs, the existence of leaders called pharaohs, and the importance of religion as key elements or components of a civilization. Your child will be able to compare this ancient civilization to Mesopotamia.

    Language Arts
    We are continuing to work onvowel diagraphs. We have covered the following sounds:
    /oo/ sound as in "noon"
    /oo/ sound as in "book"
    /oi/ sound as in "boil"
    /ou/ sound as in "sound"
    /aw/ sound as in "yawn"

    The next unit will include the r-controlled vowels sounds. They are:

    /er/ sound as in "her"
    /ar/ sound as in "car"
    /or/ sound as in "for"

    Please continue to encourage the nightly reading and I will continue to send home copies of the stories we are reading for additional practice with the specific sounds.

    I recently assessed the students on their 46 tricky words. If I attached the tricky words to the most recent progress report, please work on memorizing those words at home. Our spelling tests will continue again next week and the list will be in the last plastic sleeve of the take home folder.

    In Math, we have completed our unit on addition and subtraction and we will be testing tomorrow. Please continue to reinforce their newly acquired addition ad subtraction strategies and build their fluency by encouraging the use of IXL.com or simple flashcards for at home practice. We will be using these skills over the next couple of weeks to create and analyze bar graphs, tally charts, and picture graphs.

    In the subject area of Science, we are beginning a new unit in Physical Science, Force and Motion. We will begin with pushes and pulls and the direction things move such as zigzag, straight, circular, and back and forth.

    Social Studies
    In Social Studies, we will begin discussing holiday and celebrations.

    If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.Thank you for your continued support!


    October 29, 2018

    Beginning this week, students will have spelling tests on Fridays.  I have placed a new plastic sleeve in your child’s folder.  This new sleeve contains the weekly spelling list and a list of 50 ways to Study Spelling Words.  This home learning opportunity should only take 5-10 minutes each night.  Please continue to encourage 20 minutes of reading each night.  Students should be coloring their reading log each night to help them be accountable for their own reading.

    Students are digging deeper into solving addition and subtraction problems using a variety of strategies.  We’ve practiced number bonds for ten (2 + 8, 3 + 7, 4 + 6, 9 + 1, 5 + 5), fact families (2 + 3 = 5, 3 + 2 = 5,  5 – 2 = 3 and 5 – 3 = 2), adding zero, and counting on ( 6 + 3 can be solve by saying six, and counting on seven, eight, nine).  We are now learning how to find a missing number using part, part, whole ( 5 + __ = 9,  can be solved by thinking 9 – 5 = 4 or 5 + 4 = 9).  I highly recommend practicing with addition and subtraction flash cards or FastMath.

    We continue to learn about Properties of Matter.  In this unit students are classifying or sorting objects by properties such as texture, weight, temperature, color, and size.  We are using terminology such as soft and hard, heavy and light, hot and cold, big and small, and sink and float.  This unit includes concepts such as “Everything is Matter” and “All matter takes up space”.

    Social Studies
    Students are learning about history, past and present, and historical figures.  We are examining places where we can learn more about history, such as museums (Field Trip to the Museum of Natural History This Friday) and libraries.  We will compare classrooms of today and how they differ from classrooms in the past.  This unit will also include historical figures such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Christopher Columbus, and Martin Luther King Jr.

    October 8th

    Language Arts
    Students are learning about “Magic e” and how it changes the vowel sound from the short sound to the long sound.  Examples of Magic E (at > ate, mad > made, fin > fine, spin > spine).  We are reading about Gran, Jen and Josh in our reader.  For listening comprehension, we have completed systems of the human body and are beginning to learn about good nutrition.  If you would like to help your child in the area of language arts, I would suggest reading our daily stories and practicing the word cards (both can be found in the back pocket of your child’s folder).  Don’t forget to encourage your child to use EPIC, ABCMouse and MyOn.  All passwords are in the computer programs sleeve in your child’s folder.

    Students are learning a variety of addition and subtraction skills for sums to 20.  They are solving for missing addends (3 + x = 5), learning about numbers that make 10 (7 + 3, 6 + 4, 5 + 5), and using a number line to solve addition and subtraction problems.  If you are looking to assist your child in the area of math, I would suggest practice with addition and subtraction flash cards to build fluency.  Don’t forget to encourage your child to use IXL and FastMath.

    Students are learning about the properties of matter.  They are classifying objects by weight, size, texture, and temperature.  Activities will include sorting objects as heavy or light, big or small, soft or hard, and hot or cold. 

    Social Studies
    Students have been working on citizenship, responsibilities, and bullying.  Wednesday, for Fire Prevention Week, the local firemen will be visiting Saddlewood.


    Sept 14
    We have now completed a review of kindergarten standards.  Student have a good understanding of classroom and school rules, expectations, and routines. Today, progress reports went home in your child's communication folder.  Please sign and return the bottom portion of the progress report on Monday.  I will begin conducting parent teacher conferences in October; however, remember, I am always available to discuss your child's progress.  Don't forget to save the date September 27, as Saddlewood will be having Open House that evening beginning at 6 p.m.

    Language Arts
    We are reading decodable stories with trick words. Today, all students were assessed on their knowledge ofthe first 22 trick words required for our reading series. Monday, I will send home the results and I suggest any words that were missed be practiced everyday until you child can recognize all trick words on sight. Trick words "do not play by the rules" for sounds. For example the word "said" sounds like /sed/ and the word "was" sounds like /wuz/. Additionally, we have completed the first unit in our knowledge series, Fables and Folktales. Upon thecompletion of Unit 1 assessments, next week, we will begin Unit 2 The Human Body.

    We continue working on addition and subtraction. We have covered the number ten and it's importance in our counting system. We've also discussed the commutative property. This is the property that states 2 + 3 = 5 and 3 + 2 = 5. Students are also being exposed to the language of math. Some of the vocabulary we've covered includes addends, operation, equal to, sum, equation, and number sentences. Remember that IXL is a fantastic program for working on our math skills. I would encourage your child to put about 15 minutes in to working on IXL each day. It's a great way to strengthen their math muscles.

    We are learning about the Scientific Process, Properties of Matter and how to conduct an experiment.  Next week, we will begin discussing hand washing and germ prevention while conducting experiments in science.
    Social Studies
    We are discussing responsibilities at home, school and in the community.

    Sept 5
    Open House
    SAVE THE DATE: Open House will be on Thursday, Sept. 27th, at 6p.m. Hope to see you there!

    Aug 31
    Good afternoon families. Today marks the end of the third week ofschool.

    All students are coming home today with new librarybooks. They have taken Accelerated Reader tests on last week'sbooks. I am encouraging all students to read for 20 minutes eachday. If you have a moment, I have placed another technologypaper in the third sleeve of their folder. This paper explains theAccelerated Reader program and how you can continue toparticipate in motivating and assisting your child with reading.

    We are continuing to work on number sense. This includescounting to 120, greater than, less than, odd and evens and skipcounting. You might want to work on counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's.

    We are working on how scientists use their curiosity andthe five senses to learn about the world around them. We haveintroduced science tools and next week we will begin talking morein depth about the scientific process.

    Social Studies
    We will continue to learn about rules, laws, andauthority.

    Aug 19
    We had a great first week. Thank you to all families for providing supplies and returning the Student Medical Info sheets. If you have not sent in supplies and /or the medical form, please send them in as soon as possible.

    Friday, I sent home the students' Communication Folder. This plastic folder is to remain in your child's backpack at all times.  Please help remind your child to place the folder in their backpack after you review it each day.

    The communication folder has many components, they are as follows:

    Left Pocket - Review / Return / Notes from Home
    1. Emergency Form - This form is critical as it indicates who can dismiss your child, as well as important medical and family information. Please return it Monday morning in your child's folder.
    2. Guided Math Overview (keep at home)
    3. Reading Home Letters (Keep at home)
    4. Me Bag (return by Aug. 27th)
    Please help your child complete the activity. This project will help us get to know our similarities and differences. We will begin sharing these bags during the third week of school.
    5. Class Dojo Sign Up Instructions (keep at home)

    **If you need to send me a written note, please place it in this pocket.

    Right Pocket - Graded Work / Keep at Home

    Center Plastic Sleeves (Do Not Remove Documents)
    1. Reading Log / Strategies & Questions
    Each night that your child reads for 20 min, they may color one pencil on the reading log page. Last week, all students went to the Media Center and checked out two books. The books are in their backpack. I will be encouraging the students to take Accelerated Reader Quizzes on their library books to build comprehension. I will provide more information on the program during Open House.On the back of the reading log, you will find a list of decoding strategies we will be using in the classroom, as well as suggested comprehension questions you can use with your child when reading.

    2. Math Unit Overview / 120 Chart
    This document provides Home Learning Opportunities that can be used to support what we are doing in our math lessons. On the back side of the sleeve, you will find a 120 Chart to use for practice.

    3. Technology Websites and Passwords
    The third sleeve contains information about computer access to a variety of sites that can be used to support learning across the curriculum. Friday, this sleeve contained information about accessing IXL for math activities. Monday, I will be adding access pages for Prodigy Math, ABC Mouse, and EPIC.

    Please leave these documents in the plastic sleeve in your child's folder. This way they will always be with your child when they need them whether at school or at home.

    Check back here weekly for Classroom Updates!