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September 7, 2010

Ms. Brooks’ Class
September 7, 2010

   Welcome back to our second week of school.  I hope you all had a chance to rest up over the weekend.  We had a busy – and very hot – three days last week!  As children are learning, we will continue to work on daily routines throughout the next few weeks.  Children have been introduced to the classroom library of leveled books.  They are working on choosing books at an independent level and reading independently or to a partner.  We also began having the children switch classrooms for math.  First grade students are going to Mrs. Chasse’s class for math.  Second grade students stay with me; we are joined by second grade students from Mrs. Smith’s class.   
    The children have enjoyed watching our monarchs.  When we came to school on Tuesday, there was one chrysalis in the tank and one caterpillar.  On Wednesday, I spotted a caterpillar out the window and brought that in.  It was tiny, only about ½ inch long, and its colors were much less distinct.  We’ve observed that every day, the colors on this caterpillar become more pronounced.  Also on Wednesday, the larger caterpillar climbed up to the top of the tank and began spinning the web from which it would hang.  That afternoon, it formed a “J” shape, and by morning, we had our second chrysalis.  Over the weekend, I went in to feed our remaining caterpillar.  I discovered another very small caterpillar in the tank!  This one was only about ¼ inch long.  I believe that it came in as an egg on some of the milkweed, and hatched in the tank.

We have just a few pieces of news and announcements this week:

SWIMMING – Our class will begin Water Safety and Swimming lessons next Wednesday.  Consent forms should go home soon.  Please remember that we can always use volunteers at poolside and in the locker rooms.  We especially need male volunteers in the locker room.

HOMEWORK – Some of the children have asked about homework.  Once we have gotten into our regular routines, children will be taking home a book each night for independent reading.  This will likely start next week.  I sent home a family math letter with second grade students on Wednesday.  Mrs. Chasse’s family math letter is coming home today.  Second grade students will likely begin math homework during the week of September 27th.  Please remember that the family math letter talks about concepts and activities that we are working on.  You can always practice any of these at home.   

INSECT REPELLENT – With recent rains, there have been new hatchings of mosquitoes.  There are loads of them on the playgrounds.  It would be helpful if you applied insect repellent to your child before he or she comes to school.

BOOK ORDER – I’ll be sending home a book order this week.  It is due back next Monday.

BACK TO SCHOOL PICNIC – Our back to school picnic is this Thursday, September 9th from 5 to 7 pm.  We hope to see you there!