Dear Parents and Guardians,
Thank you to all the families who were able to join us on Wednesday evening for the First Grade Parent/Guardian Night! It was fun to offer you a bit of our Morning Lesson. I also appreciate your comments and questions. Each one helps me reflect on my practice as your child’s teacher and be better prepared to meet their needs and yours.
If you were unable to attend, watch for notes soon. Please let me know if a weeknight other than Wednesday is better for your family for our next meeting in January.
We wrapped up our first Language Arts Block on Friday! During this block, the children were introduced to and explored: B, D, F, J, K, M, N, P, T, W. We had the opportunity to play some games with all those consonants. You can see them playing Alphabet Train in a photo below. This game game them a chance to review all the consonants–through verse, sound, and form of the letter. And, now, we will let this work rest as we enter a new block on Monday!
The children have ample opportunity to work together and problem solve outdoors at recess. At times, this is a simple undertaking; however, at other times, this really is work in First Grade! On Thursday, there was some frustration with a game they had created. At the end of the recess period, we sat down to create a plan moving forward. The children decided that if they needed to speak to their friends to solve a problem that was causing frustration, they would hold their arms up, wave their hands, and say “Who-oa.” Upon hearing this, the children decided and agreed that they would answer back with the same sounds and come to that person. They will be trying out this new plan over the next few days. It is important for them to know a teacher is out there to support them, but they also need to have space to work things out as conflicts arise. When I observed that they needed more support, I held this review of our recess to support the problem-solving. I will keep you posted!
Dia de los Muertos, November 1 during school day
No School—Records Day, November 2
Dia de Los Muertos
On Thursday, November 1, we will celebrate Dia de los Muertos at school.
What is Dia de los Muertos?
Dia de los Muertos is a special time celebrated in Mexico, the festival coincides with All Souls Day giving this time significance in many parts of the world. On this day loved ones who have passed away are invited to return for one night to be celebrated by their friends and family.
It is a joyful and reverent time to feel close to our departed loved ones and acknowledge the cycle of life and death we all exist in. This will be brought to your children in an age-appropriate way.
We will create an Ofrenda at school. Ofrenda means “offering” in Spanish, it is a place where we invite the spirits of the dead to join us with photos of them, beautiful decorations, and sweet smelling marigolds.
How should photos be sent?
Children may choose to bring in a photo of a loved one (no pets please) for the Ofrenda. Photos should be clearly labelled on the back so they can be returned after the festival. Photos may either be framed or in a format that can be put up on a cork board with push pins (essentially a photocopy).
When can we send photos to school?
Any day between Thursday 10/25 and Thursday 11/1. I will speak to the First Graders by this time so they understand what the photos are that they are bringing to school.
How can parents and guardians participate?
There will be no assembly for this festival. If parents and guardians would like to experience the Ofrenda between 10/25 and 10/31 (please no visitors on 11/1) they may do so after drop-off, during lunch time (12:10 – 1:40 pm), or before pick-up. Parents and guardians are welcome to bring a photo. All visitors must sign in and out at the front desk and wear a visitor badge while in the building.
October 31 is just around the corner and I realize it is time to start thinking about costumes! At Urban Prairie, the children are welcome to dress up for Halloween at school. They may choose a character from a story we have shared in class. This includes: a wolf, a goat, a raven, a frog, a prince, a brother, a giant, Snow White, Rose Red, a black bear, a fisherman, a flounder, a wife (who wished to be a king, emporer, pope), a robber, a minstrel, a fox, a hare, a woodsman, a peacock, a maiden, princess, king, and leaf. Please let me know if you have any questions! Your child may remember another less prominent character—if so, please encourage them to check in with me. Thanks!
**Added this week…a thief, an astronomer, a huntsman, and a tailor!**
Amy Parakkat, mom to Reva, has volunteered to be the First Grade Parent Council Representative.
Also, I am not sure I shared this in a newsletter, but Lisa Gonzales and May Reilly have volunteered to be our Room Parents for the school year.
Thank you for sharing your time with our community in this way!