THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the wonderful birthday wishes!!  The children are my joy and bring me happiness every day!!  (My secret to staying young! Lol).

We have had another excellent week!  Over the past few weeks, the children have adjusted well to the classroom and are wonderful to work with! You as parents have been great and so receptive!  I would like to thank all of you who have brought in items for our Practical Life Snack.  A new sign-up sheet will be posted every month.

In Language, journal writing (for Kindergarteners) continues to be a favorite activity.  Each day, the children copy the date and a written journal prompt from the board.  They answer the prompt phonetically (“inventive writing”) and then get to illustrate their answer.  As the year progresses, the children love to see how far they have come in their writing ability since the beginning of the year!

To help unlock the meaning of language, we teach children to apply sense to symbols.  They learn to associate sound pictures with letters and then to combine letters to make sounds.  This progression happens naturally.  Some children can decode single words and next can read sentences, paragraphs, and chapters with ease.  For others, each step comes with great effort, and success is not always at hand.  Some children may be able to decode at an early developmental age and others may take longer.  They each seek what the proficient readers have – fluency.  Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy and expression – which are essential to comprehension – the primary goal of reading.  This fluency comes with practice.  Exposure to print, immersion in a rich linguistic environment (not limited to books) and practice, practice, practice all lead to fluent reading.Some of the children are working on becoming more solid with their letter sounds.  They enjoy working with the Waseca Reading Program.  The Waseca Reading Program was designed to phonetically break the English language down into manageable pieces to be presented sequentially.  The phonetic elements presented build cumulatively toward mastery of the language in terms of reading and spelling.  The sequence of presentation follows that used by the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading and compliments the Phono-Graphix and Montessori approach.  The Orton-Gillingham approach was developed for use with dyslexic students and is very thorough in terms of breaking our language down and isolating phonetic elements.  The proper progression of language is so important, I have the children read to me (isolating each letter sound and then blending the sounds together) before the reading book is sent home.  Please have your child read the book(s) several times to you, their relatives, their neighbors, and even their pets and stuffed animals!  Please return them to school no later than one week from the day they have been brought home.

During Story Time we are reading E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web; the children are enjoying this classic story very much!

In Math, some Preschool children and those new to our school are working on one-to-one correspondence (0-9), number rods, bead stair activities, teen numbers, the 100 board and the bead chains.  Some of the children are working on the concept of addition, using counters and the Golden Beads.  On a weekly basis, the children are becoming more confident in their mathematical abilities!

We are finishing up our Unit Study of “Down on the Farm” and have begun our Unit Study of “Layers of the Earth/Rocks and Minerals”.  This week I introduced the four layers of Earth; inner core, outer core, mantle and crust.  The children made a model of Earth showing these four layers.  We will move into the study of “rocks and minerals” as well as “Plants/Seeds and Leaves” in the weeks to come.

Fall is almost upon us (my favorite season – I am from the North (Upstate NY) and the fall holds so many special memories for me and my family.  I will try to share some of these with the children. One of my favorite lessons is how to “Make a Homemade Apple Pie” with the children!  We will be making apple pies in honor of Johnny Appleseed’s birthday later this month (September 26th). 

This informational letter will be sent home approximately every two weeks; in additional to memos/brief notes when necessary.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by a note put in the basket on top of the children’s cubbies, send me an email at efalls@millhopper.com or you can leave me a voicemail.  I will get back with you as quickly as I can.

Dates for your Calendar:

Scholastic Book Orders Due – Wednesday, September 11, 2013 (please find attached additional Scholastic Book Order Forms if you have not received (or have misplaced) the forms sent home last month)

PTO MeetingThursday, September 12, 2013 – 6:00 p.m.

Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday – Apple Pie Day! – Thursday, September 26th

Parent Night is Tuesday, October 8th – 4:30-6:00

MMS Fall Festival – Thursday, October 24th

Student Holiday/No School – Teacher Work Day – Friday, October 25th

Halloween Celebration – Thursday, October 31st

School Holiday/No School – U of F Homecoming – Friday, November 8th

Have a Great Weekend!

Sincerely,

Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Jessica

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