Update from our Head of School - October 2, 2020
Happy Friday! As we move into October, I can't help but reflect on the changing leaves. Even with so much going on in our world and with how different the start to our school year was, the color changing of the leaves has remained a beautiful constant in our lives. The smiles, joy, and laughter of children learning also continues to brighten our days.
This week, during All-School Meeting, our students shared about their favorite fall activities. I loved hearing the children share about activities such as apple-picking, jumping in leaves, picking and carving pumpkins, and more. I am so grateful for these outdoor activities that our children get to do that bring joy to their lives.
At Wednesday's All- School Meeting, students were assigned a Leaf Book to complete. I hope you are all able to take some moments this weekend and enjoy the beauty around us with your child while they look for leaves for their book or do other outdoor activities.
Monthly Social Emotional Learning Update:
As part of our Social Emotional Learning Curriculum, we will be focusing on a different value/ character trait each month. Many of these traits and values are aligned with the Conscious Discipline Skills that we are teaching and practicing.
The month of October will bring a focus on the character trait of Responsibility. Each month, we will pick a character trait to focus on as part of our Social-Emotional Learning. Responsibility aligns with the Skill of Consequences. As a school team, we work to use logical consequences to help students understand that their actions are related to the response they get. This helps teach them that responsibility has a positive impact on their life and the lives of those around them. It also helps them learn that when they make a mistake, they can make it better by taking responsibility for it and using words or actions to repair whatever damage was done.
We will be teaching about Responsibility through the use of children's literature along with conversations and the use of consistent language throughout the building. Many of these lessons will happen during morning meeting, All-School Meeting, and read aloud time periods throughout the day. Additionally, we have already introduced classroom jobs and the idea of taking care of our spaces to benefit ourselves and those around us.
Updates from the classrooms:
This week in PE we have been working on our soccer skills with moving the ball on offense & defense. We enjoyed a rainy day in the gym playing Line Tag and Hula Hoop Showdown with Rock Paper Scissors. We also announced our PE Students of the Month for September! Check them out on our facebook page. Our next unit will be Hiking!
Kindergarten/ First Grade
This week in ELA the K/1 team has been doing an amazing job of building writing and reading stamina. I have seen amazing writing from every group! Their stories will continue to grow and become more in depth as we move through the school year. As a class, we have read many books, including books about a bear who suffers a case of mistaken identity and has to take care of four goslings, a book on trees, and a book about what we can learn from animals. For phonics the Kindergarteners have focused on capital letter identification. We made the letters in sand to practice and the kiddos really enjoyed this activity! K/1 has been working hard on letter sounds and really stretching out their words and hearing more sounds in those words. Keep up the hard work on this, K/1! The first graders have been looking for tricky words in the books they're reading and learning those words. We also worked with digraphs and recognizing the sounds we hear blended together in the digraphs (br, fl, st, etc).
Science In science the K/1 team is finishing up our first unit. We learned all about plants, their parts, their needs, and the plant life cycle. The kids also grew their own plants and made observations about them, predictions about what the plants are, and did plant yoga. We are finishing up the unit with a craft today and then sending the plants home. Have a great weekend!
In kindergarten math we have been working on number recognition and practicing writing our numbers. Students have also been working with addition using pictures. The first graders have been learning about comparing numbers. They have been using number lines and made alligator mouths to compare numbers.
This week in Mindfulness the K/1 students continued to practice being grateful, mindful listening and mindful breathing. They are starting to work on noticing when their mind wanders during mindful breathing and how to bring their attention back to their breath. Over the weekend the K/1 students are going to try and teach someone at home how to practice mindful breathing! Enjoy that experience!
This week we have been reviewing our routines and procedures plus working on how to treat others and ourselves. We started our Readers Workshop with summarizing and retelling the story of the Little Red Hen as well as our story of the Gnomes & the Gemstones in Math Read Aloud time. Also we explored watercolors to depict a scene in our gnome story.
This week, students started Writers Workshop with the activity of One Word Image to create our main character of our class story. In Math Workshop we learned about different math tools that can help us in math. We explored and used tools such as the 100 Chart, the number line, pattern blocks and coins to practice our addition, subtraction, money and geometry.
We also assigned at least two class jobs to everyone. Our class jobs included botanist, zoologist, artist, assistant, kindness reporter, desk inspector, board eraser, line leader, mail person, pledge leader and swift sweeper. Our students are excited for these responsibilities!
The change in weather is not slowing the third graders down. We still got outside for science this week. Our observations helped us determine what details to add to our tree models. We also took a mindful moment to listen to the sounds outside and drew sound maps to show our position in the outdoor environment. Third graders started reading fairy tales this week. Our goal is to use our growing knowledge of fairy tales to write our own fairy tales in October. Our classroom forest will create the perfect setting for inspiring this writing. Math becomes more challenging as we explore how to use arrays to better understand multiplication and work towards defining and calculating the area of a space. We are looking for a project idea to further explore the concept of area. Have a great weekend!
All of our students are learning the days of the week and the months of the year as they practice saying or writing the date in Spanish. They are also learning the format of the date which is different in Spanish than in English. All of the students have been learning about Hispanic Heritage month, which will guide our Wednesday project for the month of October. The 2nd and 3rd graders have begun an interactive Spanish notebook to record the new words they are learning.
Charter School Association Parent Council:
Our school is a part of the New York State Charter School Association. Last Spring, they started a Parent Council to better advocate for charter school students' needs across the state. We invite you to join if you are interested. Here is a message from the group:
No one understands the needs of your child better than you. Making real change in education must include input from parents if we are truly going to serve the needs of the kids. Please use your voice to help us shape the future of education in our state by joining New York’s first-ever parent-led education council. Facebook Parent Council group https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYSCharterParentCouncil
- Sara and the Truxton Academy Team