Sunday, September 11, 2016

September News!

Rm. 25 September News
2016
Dear Parents,
Thanks for such wonderful attendance and display of enthusiasm at Back-To-School Night.  I enjoyed talking with all of you – my only wish is that we had more time!  The children came to school on Friday thrilled to find notes from you in their desks.  
As you can probably tell, it has been a smooth start to the school year.  Our first graders appear happy in school and content to be in Rm. 25.  Our focus has been on building community and getting to know each other.   This week we will discuss and develop classroom expectations (which will be posted in our room).  Our discussion of “core beliefs” is in preparation for the development of lower school expectations – (I’ll be telling you more about that later).
Language Arts
Listening to stories has been a great way to begin our language arts study.  I introduced the author, Robert Munsch, - much to the children’s delight!
Celebrity Child has become a favorite part of our day.  We choose a name from "random name chooser", and interview one student a day asking questions like, “What is your favorite book?”  “What hobby do you enjoy most?”  Responses are recorded on chart paper and children then choose one sentence to write (or copy) in their celebrity child journal.  In a month or so, each student will have a journal with entries about each of their classmates.
Singing is a fun way to learn about rhymes and oral language.  I hope you are hearing some singing at home (The Breck Fight song is quite catchy, isn’t it?).
The Colors of Us
What color is your skin?  After reading the story, The Color of Us, we used multi-cultural paints to find a color that matched our skin.  We then created self-portraits of our faces and they will be displayed in our classroom with our "Celebrity Child" stories.
Chapel
We have had our first all-school chapel and Monday will be our first Lower School Chapel. During all school chapel, we sit with our Senior Buddies!
Math
We have begun our new math program, Math in Focus, and have learned classroom routines for using manipulatives, smart board activities and workbooks. We are reviewing the skills of counting, reading and writing within 10. We have been comparing numbers and using the terms more and less.
Science
In science, we will be learning all the things scientists do: research, observe, listen, take notes, ask questions, read and study more. Wow! As each student begins their first grade science journey, they have a new lens…that is looking for things that demonstrate stories the Earth has to tell us. We will be exploring the landscape around Breck School and Minnehaha Falls. Our first fieldtrip will be to Minnehaha Falls, Friday, September 23rd.
Senior Buddies
As you already know, we met some very important friends – our Senior Buddies!  Each child is partnered up with a senior who appears to share a special interest.  Some of the seniors play a sport, some play an instrument, some love animals and some love acting.  Both first graders and seniors are looking forward to having one chapel time together a month and one social time a month.  Senior Buddies are another wonderful way to build a strong feeling of our Breck Community.
Homecoming
Families are welcome to come to the Homecoming festivities on Saturday September 17th – The blessing of the Animals will be at 11:00 a.m. on the Chapel Green.
Friday, September 16th is a "Blue & Gold" Day in celebration of Homecoming.  Lower School students may dress in blue and gold colors.  They are not allowed to wear hair dye, tattoos, or face paint to school.  These kinds of decorations are perfect for "Game Day" on Saturday.  
This is a very special group of children.  They are reaching out to one another in friendship.  I have been impressed with these students, each demonstrating responsibility, thoughtfulness and caring every day.  Thanks for your help in making this year start so smoothly!
Sincerely,
Marie Murphy

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