Monday, November 12, 2018

Halloween Fun!

Dear Room 24 Families,

Last week of conferences (and early dismissal!). I remember what a pain it was to figure out where the kids were actually going to go every afternoon for two whole weeks. Yikes! Four more days and you are done!
There are several things I wanted to let you know about in room 24. Our last day of poetry with Ms. P is this Wednesday. Thanks to Kiddo! (you!) we received 6 sessions of poetry.....amazing! We are transitioning to a nonfiction writing unit. Each student has chosen a topic they know A LOT about to write a small book. They will use these books to teach the rest of us about their topic. In looking at published nonfiction books we noticed that there are lots of pictures.....this is where you come in! Over the next few weeks if you could help your child find photos, pictures online, pictures from brochures or magazines connected to their topic, I would greatly appreciate it. If you don't have a printer at home, maybe you could send them to me and I can print them? There are some interesting topics to be sure....details to follow!
To recognize the upcoming holidays, room 24 participates in the Adopt-A-Family program. I will create a sign-up genius once I receive details about the family, which should be in the next few days.
Another community service activity we do is collect sample size toiletries to donate to the Ritter House in San Rafael. They provide a shower for homeless men and women and use these all the time! Please look under your sink to see if you have anything hiding from a past trip, or ?? Ask grandma to look under her sink, your next door get the idea. We will collect, collect, collect and then bag them into individual give-away bags to donate. Ideally each bag will include shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and a toothbrush....and whatever else gets thrown into the mix. They will not take mouthwash as it has alcohol. So, if you are traveling to a hotel over the Thanksgiving holiday, bring home some samples!!
Lastly, remember to visit our wonderful Book Fair the week of December 3-7! Maybe they will even have a  book there for our Adopt-A-Family!!
Thanks for all that you do. I appreciate you and your wonderful kids!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

One Good-Bye and One Reminder

Dear Families,
Join me in bidding the Wygant family all the best on their next adventure in Spain! We will certainly miss Sienna in room 24!
I'm including the conference sign-up list to remind you of your scheduled time. Conference Sign-Up

That's it for today. I look forward to seeing you in the next two weeks!


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Conference Sign-Ups and Halloween

Dear Room 24 Families,
Conferences will begin the week of November 5th. Face to face communication continues to be the best way to share your child's progress in school this year. Each conference lasts 30 minutes, and they are scheduled back to back. Please knock on the door if I am going over the allocated time! I will appreciate it.
Conference Sign-Ups

Halloween is fast approaching! We will do a few in class activities to celebrate the day and, of course, there is the school wide Halloween Parade! Here is information about the Halloween Parade.
Halloween Parade

  • Parade begins at 8:55 led by Kinders and 5th graders. The parade is one lap. Parents, please keep the parade route clear.
  • Photographs and cheers are most welcome!
  • Students come to school in costume, and change out of costume after parade.
  • Costumes may not include weapons or be blood-and-gutsy. Remember this is a TK-5 school event - please match your child’s costume to the context!
  • Kindergarteners will parade with 5th grade buddies. Classes will walk in K/5, 1,2,3,4 order.

    In class we are finishing our Miwok unit with a brief study of Chief Marin. His life spanned a critical period in our local history; he was raised in the traditional native ways in his village, Anamas, in Mill Valley, left for Mission Dolores as a twenty year old, accompanied a military expedition looking for english speaking intruders (!)'as a guide, ran away and was placed in jail several times. Was he a rebel or a leader? One of the great kid questions was if he was a rebel wasn't that a 'bad' thing? When we learned what he was rebelling against he seemed like a hero by today's standards.

    In reading we are taking a deep dive into character analysis and learning how to put our thoughts about character into a reading response. This is HARD work!

    You may have heard that third grade has started our science rotation. Our class is with Ms. Shern for the next six weeks (approximately) learning about 'inheritance and traits'. I am working with Ms. Diamond's class. The rotation allows for many things--working with another teacher, being flexible and collaborative, and for the teachers to become familiar with a new curriculum!

    In math we are practicing multi-step word problems. Careful reading is paramount. We will move on to subtraction next.

    Thanks for reading to the end.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Museum And Caine's Arcade?

Gotta love the 'chiken' shot!

Waiting for players...

Can we do this Monday?

Pump Drills at the Museum
Dear Families,
Thanks for your help and support for all of the fun learning last week. The rain didn't deter our outside experience at the Museum of the American Indian, thankfully. We were able to do most everything, which was nothing short of amazing considering how the day started. Caine's Arcade was a blast. I learn so much about the kids during the building of their games--process, vision, execution, problem solving, design understanding, independence, preference to work alone or with a friend....I could go on. And, I'm happy all of the games are finding their way home, or into the trash....oh, did I just write that?
The fun continues as we gear up for the Edna Stampede this Sunday from 12:00-3:00. We hope to see you there! Thanks to our wonderful PTA!
Also this week, poetry with Ms. P, thanks to Kiddo! We had our first lesson last week and will receive a total of six poetry lessons this year. Ms. P (Prartho Sereno) was Marin's Poet Laureate two years ago and she is amazing with kids.
Thanks to our amazing librarian, Ms. Monge, we also have author Andrea Beaty visiting on Wednesday. She wrote Rosie Revere, Engineer, Ada Twist, Scientist and others kid favorites.
Tuesday we meet with the Mill Valley firefighters to kick off Fire Prevention week. You may want to review your family's plans in case of an emergency.
Tucked in between all of this is math, reading, writing, science and social studies.
Thank you for everything,
Sign Up for Car Line and Lunch Line Here!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Field Trips, Thank Yous, and More

Dear Room 24 Families,
So many thanks for sending in all of those forms and money! A special shout out to the folks driving on our first field trip: McIntyre, Boyd, Terrier, and Green. Even with these four brave people, we are looking for one or two more drivers. The drivers had to complete the important insurance declaration pink page and get an official declaration page from their insurance carrier. We thank you for the extra effort required to get us to the Museum on October 2, from 9:00-12:00. Let me know if you are available to drive.
Last Friday we had our second 'Keys to Communication' lesson, a part of the Kimochi program, with our wonderful school counselor, Jen Ferrer. It is amazing to witness the way these lessons are already a part of our school community. This is the third year that Jen has taught these lessons at Edna. The kids intellectually know and understand the 'keys', which allows for them to really evaluate and determine how they are showing up in our day to day interactions. Key #1 is built around how to get someone's attention, ensuring they are available for communication. Key #2 is how communication is delivered by words and TONE of voice, and tone is often 'boomeranged' back. Therefore it is wise to use a 'talking tone' of voice as often as possible. 'Fighting tones' will often generate more negativity. Ask your kids to explain some of this to you. Let's keep the ball rolling!
September 26 is Character Day! The emphasis is on choosing character strengths and traits to help us become the person we want to be. What are our strengths? Who do we know that uses this trait? Can we emulate them? The belief is that in doing so we are able to attain happiness in our life and and relationships. So, who do you admire and why?
I hope all of you had a wonderful movie night on Friday. It is an all time Edna favorite event! Thank you for helping, participating, and being a part of our Edna community!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Thursday is Back to School Night!

Dear Room 24 Families,
Welcome to the week of Back to School Night! I'm looking forward to seeing, and/or meeting, many of you Thursday night. The festivities begin in the multipurpose room at 5:30, with classroom presentations beginning promptly at 6:00. While I have tons to say about school generally and room 24 specifically, I really want the evening to be about what YOU would like to talk about. Please be thinking of any burning questions you might have. For example, maybe you want to know what developmental changes to expect in your child this year, what is my perception of this class, what am I looking forward to this year, how is third grade different than second grade, should my child do chorus, or ??? Really, this night is about all of that and more. Start your personal brainstorm of questions; you have four days.
This week in the green Edna homework folder you will find information about the field trips for this year. There is information about monies due, our first permission slip and the VERY IMPORTANT car insurance page. We will talk more about field trips on Thursday.
Last week Lauren Snell, one of Mill Valley Library's librarians, came to room 24 to promote the bookmark contest and the Mad Scientists Club. Both have been hugely enjoyed by Edna third graders in the past. The sign-ups for the Mad Scientists are open on September 17; seriously, I'd mark your calendar. It is free and the kids loved it last year! The information is in your child's Homework folder.
Last Thursday we began brainstorming our Caine's Arcade games. If you haven't watched the video, check it out. Caine is adorable.Caine's Arcade Video
At the moment we have all of the boxes we can handle, however, the kids seem to think we need A LOT more tubes! This includes paper towel tubes, toilet paper tubes, wrapping paper tubes, and any other cardboard tubes. As you might imagine, this project generates huge enthusiasm. Getting them to slow down to focus on the learning is another story. It is nice to have the collateral 'time to build' though! If you find yourself looking for something to do on a Monday between 11:10-12:00, 1/2 of us will be building in Room 24. The other 1/2 will be in art. Both rooms could use some help/supervision. Let me know. Art will need a volunteer the entire year; I will only need coverage for four Mondays.
We are looking for other volunteers, but the 'real' sign-ups will be available on Thursday.
Many thanks for reading to the end.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Welcome to Room 24!

 Dear Room 24 Families,
Welcome to our new school year!

As you can see from the photos, we have started the year with 'engineering' challenges, fostering collaborative partnerships and fundamental engineering design principles. The first challenge was to build the tallest structure possible under the constraints of time and materials. The second was to build a structure capable of supporting the weight of at least one dictionary. One idea we will continue to explore is the function of the various parts of their structures. Efficiency of form, designing something that does what you want it to, and sharing ideas are embedded throughout. The kids are very ernest in their collaboration, skills that will help us throughout the year. Most of them initiate their work independently and then jump into partnership. Really interesting to witness!

This coming week we will also begin to look around our immediate natural world and imagine how its earliest inhabitants, the Miwoks, survived. We are so fortunate here at Edna because of our proximity to our amazing early history. Did you know that Edna Maguire sits on top of one of the largest Miwok villages in Mill Valley? And, the rumor is that during the excavation of our building human remains were discovered? And, several stone tools were discovered in our old garden? We have a rich history right here in our own backyard!

We are establishing our classroom routines in the midst of all of this, too. One important routine is homework. Next week's homework will come home Monday. It is simply to bring in a book to read during reading workshop (some have already found a book in class...check with your child) and to establish the all-important nightly reading habit. Third graders are to read between 20-30 minutes nightly.

Lastly, I am so happy to begin the year with this group of kids. They  already demonstrate kindness, curiosity, and a willingness to work hard. It is going to be a great year.

Many thanks,