Monday, April 21, 2014

Week of April 21, 2014

Spelling Assessment

Today I sent home a spelling assessment with your child. Their homework for this week is to read and write any misspelled words that are found on the assessment. These words that I used are words that we  expect students to master by the end of the year. 
Within a week or so, I will also make differentiated worksheets for the students to work on at home. If you would like the worksheets sent home sooner, just send in a note with your child and I will have the worksheets made within a few days.

As always, thank you for all of your support at home!

Columbus and the Pilgrims

Dear Family Member,

Over the next several days, your child will be learning about Christopher Columbus. Each day s/he will be listening to a read-aloud that captures the excitement and danger of his voyage to America, beginning in 1492. Columbus died believing he had reached the Indies in Asia. Your child will learn about Columbus’s mistakes as well as his accomplishments.
Below are some suggestions for activities that you may do at home to reinforce what your child is learning about this figure of American history.

1. Sing a Song

Throughout our study of Columbus and the Pilgrims, your child will be learning some of

the information through the pedagogical technique of song lyrics. These lyrics will be sung to familiar child-friendly tunes, such as “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “I’m a Little Teapot.” These songs are not intended to, in any way, diminish the seriousness of the topics being taught. Rather, they are intended to facilitate students’ ability to learn key core concepts.

Each day the class will learn a new verse about Columbus. You may review this content with your child by singing these lyrics with him or her to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”:

Eastern Asia had a lot of gold and spice. Eastern Asia had a lot of gold and spice. 

But it was a distant land,

Miles and miles across the sand.

It was difficult to get the gold and spice.
Ferdinand and Isabella ruled in Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella ruled in Spain. 

Told Columbus he should wait,

Then they said his plan was great. Ferdinand and Isabella ruled in Spain.

Chris and his crew sailed across the sea. Chris and his crew sailed across the sea. Niña, Pinta, and their ship,

Santa María made the trip.

Chris and his crew sailed across the sea.

2. Gaze at the Globe
Your child will learn that the large land masses are called continents. S/he will also learn the names of five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. Look at a globe together, and help your child identify these continents. If you don’t have a globe, look at a map together. You can also find both of these items at your local library.

3. Words to Use
Below is a list of some words that your child will learn about and use. Try to use these words as they come up in everyday speech with your child.
  • journey—I would like to take a long journey across the ocean.
  • victorious—Luiz’s basketball team celebrated last night after they were victorious.
  • shore—The seaweed washed up on shore during the high tide.
  • courage—Columbus showed great courage in making the journey across the ocean.
  • ashamed—I felt ashamed after I was mean to my sister.
4. Read Aloud Each Day
It is very important that you read to your child each day. The local library has a variety of books based on the life and adventures of Columbus, and a list of books and other resources relevant to this topic is attached to this letter.
Be sure to let your child know how much you enjoy hearing about what s/he has learned at school. 

Recommended Resources for Columbus and the Pilgrims
Trade Book List
  1. The Children of the Morning Light: Wampanoag Tales as Told By Manitonquat, by Manitonquat and illustrated by Mary F. Arquette (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 1994) ISBN 978-0027659054
  2. Christopher Columbus, by Mary Dodson Wade (Children’s Press, 2003) ISBN 0516277693
  3. Encounter, by Jane Yolen and illustrated by David Shannon (Sandpiper, 1996) ISBN 978-0152013899
  4. Exploring and Settling America, edited by E. D. Hirsch, Jr. (Pearson Learning, 2002) ISBN 0769050026
  5. Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus, by Peter Sis (Knopf, 2003) ISBN 0679806288
  6. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swamp and illustrated by Edwin Printup, Jr. (Lee and Low Books, 1997) ISBN 1880000547
  7. Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast, by Kate Waters and photographed by Russ Kendall (Scholastic, 2001) ISBN 0439243955
  8. The Golden Flower: A Taino Myth from Puerto Rico, by Nina Jaffe and illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez (Piñata Books, 2005) ISBN 978-1558854529
  9. If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620, by Ann McGovern and illustrated by Anna DeVito (Scholastic, 1993) ISBN 0590451618
10. In 1492, by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Steve Bjorkman (Scholastic, 1991) ISBN 0590444131
11. Me on the Map, by Joan Sweeney and illustrated by Annette Cable (Dragonfly Books, 1998) ISBN 0517885573
  1. On the Mayflower, by Kate Waters and photographed by Russ Kendall (Scholastic, 1999) ISBN 0439099412
  2. People of the Breaking Day, by Marcia Sewall (Aladdin, 1997) ISBN 978-0689816840
  3. A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus, by David A. Adler and illustrated by John and Alexandra Wallner (Holiday House, 1992) ISBN 082340949X
  4. Pilgrims of Plymouth, by Susan E. Goodman (National Geographic Society, 2001) ISBN 0792266757
  5. The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving, by Ann McGovern and illustrated by Elroy Freem (Scholastic Inc.,1993) ISBN 0590461885
  6. The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A to Z, by Laura Crawford and illustrated by Judith Hierstein (Pelican Publishing Company, Inc., 2005) ISBN 1589802381
  7. Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy, by Kate Waters and photographed by Russ Kendall (Scholastic, 1996) ISBN 0590480537
  8. Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl, by Kate Waters and photographed by Russ Kendall (Scholastic, 1993) ISBN 0590474006
  9. The Seven Continents, by Wil Mara (Children’s Press, 2005) ISBN 0516225340
  10. Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Greg Shed (Sandpiper, 2007) ISBN 0152060448 [You will probably want to share this trade book in two sittings.]
  11. Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times, by Kate Waters and photographed by Russ Kendall (Scholastic, 1996) ISBN 0590202375
  12. Un Libro Ilustrado Sobre Cristobal Colon/Picture Book of Christopher Columbus (Spanish Edition), by David A. Adler and illustrated by John and Alexandra Wallner (Holiday House, Spanish Edition, 1992) ISBN 978-0823409907

Websites and Other Resources
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Student Resources
  1. Columbus Quiz game/index.shtml#focus
  2. Continents Game
  3. Thanksgiving Slideshow htm
  4. Thanksgiving Word Search

Family Resources
  1. Christopher Columbus Video christopher-columbus-kids/
  2. King Ferdinand, Queen Isabella, and Christopher Columbus isabella.htm 

K2's Spring Writing

The students in K2 have been creating such fantastic work, so I had to share! Recently, the students learned how to enhance their work by completing final copies. I also showed the students how they can "take notes" by drawing pictures and then using their pictures to write facts that they learned about butterflies. Saying that I am incredibly proud of the students in K2 would be an understatement!

First, you will see students working on their final copies of their butterfly facts:

Here are their final copies lined up in the hallway outside our door! 

During Writing Workshop we also worked on a Four Seasons book. All of the students were able to write what they know about each of the seasons. They did a fantastic job by adding details to their writing and their pictures! 

Since we have been learning about butterflies, our study buddies came over and helped us write a poem about butterflies. 

We have been quite busy in room K2! 

Thank you for visiting!! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Week of April 7, 2014

Letter of the Week:

This week we will be working on the letter Xx.
This is our last letter person!!

Star Word:


The star word and the letter person worksheet will be sent home on Monday in your child's red folder. 

*No School on Friday, April 11th, 2014

Spring Break:
Tuesday, April 15th
Wednesday, April 16th
Thursday, April 17th
Friday, April 18th

School will be held on Monday, April 14th and Monday, April 21st.