Room 15 News, 1/7-1/10

Hello Room 15 Families!  We had an awesome first week back after Winter Break!  We spent some time thinking about goals we have for 2019–ask your kiddo what some of his/her goals are for the year.  Here’s what else we were up to in Room 15:

Gorge Studies:  We began our new unit Earth on the Move by reading a nonfiction book by Gail Gibbons called Inside Out/Planet Earth, and really studying the inner layers of the earth this week.  Students worked in partner groups to make a model of the earth using five different colors of clay on Thursday–they did a great job working cooperatively and having fun together to show what they knew about the different layers!  Look for photos of our model building in the “Earth On the Move” album on Bloomz.       
Reading Workshop:  Our new reading unit is called Becoming Experts: Reading Nonfiction.  We learned this week that nonfiction reading is not just something we do in books–nonfiction reading is all around us.  We can read signs, posters, maps, menus, pictures–even the food boxes at the grocery store!  We practiced reading informational posters and even coins in class this week, as well as diving into nonfiction books from our class library and on Epic.  Students created a list of topics they are interested in learning about, so I will be creating a book bag for each student with books about these topics, and a book list on Epic for them to read and use in the coming weeks.  If your child has any nonfiction books at home that they would like to read in class, feel free to send these in (make sure to label any books from home with your child’s name). 
Writing Workshop:  Our new writing unit is the How-To Guide for Nonfiction Writing, and students began by writing about topics they know a lot about this week–some examples of our topics include how to take care of pets (cats, dogs, guinea pigs), how to play sports (baseball, soccer, basketball), how to bake, all about animals (elephants, turtles, sharks, orangoutangs).  We are learning how to write in ways that teach others about the topic by making a plan for how our books will be organized and using the craft moves from published authors.  We are also using the facts and features we are learning during Reading Workshop to help write our books.  There are photos of students sharing their first non-fiction books of the year with each other in the “Writers Workshop” album on Bloomz.
Math Volunteers:  We are so grateful for the volunteers who are able to come and help grade math, and help out during our math class from 1:15-2:15 each day.  Students benefit immensely from having the extra adults in the classroom during math.  If you are able to volunteer, please email me or sign up on Bloomz.  Thanks so much! 
Homework Packets:  A new homework packet was sent home on Thursday with a reading log, spelling words (test in class on Thursday 1/17) and four Language Arts passages and comprehension questions.  Please help your child complete these activities if you have time.  Practicing spelling words daily and reading for 20 minutes each day is important at this stage in your child’s reading development to keep growing and progressing as a reader and writer (especially on our 3-day weekends).  The Language Arts passages and comprehension questions are similar to those that students will see on the Smarter Balance tests, which 3rd graders will take in April/May.  These are good practice for 2nd graders too!  Reminder: If students complete old homework packets, they are able to turn them after the due date for credit and a prize from the prize box.
Let me know if you have any questions about what we were up to this week, or about school in general.  I hope you enjoy your weekend!
Ms. DiMaggio
Important Upcoming Dates:
Mon 1/21: No School, MLK Jr Day
Fri 1/25: Friday School
Thu 2/7: 2nd/3rd Grade Field Trip to NWCT Dinosaurs Play, noon performance (10:45am-2pm)
Thu 2/14: Class Valentines Celebration
Mon 2/18: No School, Presidents Day
Fri 2/22: Friday School