Mr. Brezny’s Room

                                                          October 3, 2016

      Dear families,

      We had a wonderful time at the Minnesota Arboretum Apple Orchard last week.  The children learned about pollination and the role bees play.  They also took a walk in the orchard that scientist use to study apple varieties and production. And of course the children test tasted apples, and made apple cidar. The weather was perfected and everyone had an enjoyable time. Take a minute and check out the photos of our trip. 

    Here are a couple of dates you may want to keep in mind. October 14th is picture day here at Kenwood School.  October 19 and 20 is set aside for parent conferences.  I'll send out your conference time and the date that you chose back in the beginning of school. Look for it in your child's blue folder next week Monday, October 10.

     During the month of October Uli Koester of Midwest Food Connection will be in our room each Tuesdays for an hour. He will  to talk to the children about healthy eating.  During this period the children listen to a story, act out a role, draw a picture and so on... all related to the topic of healthy food.  They also have a chance to sample a simple dish made by the students.  Uli is aware of food allergies and so no peanuts are used or products that may be contaminated with peanuts. The foods are fresh vegetables from the garden such as potatoes, carrots, lettuce, rutabagas, onions, yams and herbs.  For those who aren't familiar with Uli, he is very good with children and they always look forward to his visits.

     We will also have our first Spotlight performance on October 26th.  For those that are unfamiliar with spotlight, it is a time for a few children to shine in front of their peers.  They can tell a few jokes, sing a song, play an instrument, do a magic trick, etc...  I will hold auditions in my classroom On Oct 14th.  At that time I will select three acts to go up on stage on Oct, 26th. These acts will perform in front of the other first and second graders that are involved.  If your child is going to audition please be sure that they come prepared.  In other words, they have the CD that they are going to sing along to or the jokes well rehearsed and so on.

     In math the children are working on solving addition and subtraction word problems as well as the strategies that go with the solutions.  This is an ongoing study as part of our Investigations series and Focus Instruction.  The children are asked to demonstrate and explain their thinking.  The students listen and respond to their classmates reasoning.   They are also finding and making number combinations of ten.  A few of our learning targets for this unit are as follows: I can compare and order whole numbers up to 100, I can use words ( more than, less than, equal to) to describe and compare numbers,I can solve addition and subtraction problems in many different ways.

     Our Reader's Workshop is now well underway.  Instruction is differentiated based on each student's reading ability.  Students are given a short whole group lesson. After which the boys and girls are sent back to their seat to read independently at their level while the teacher works with guided reading groups on reading instruction.  Time is also spent during this literacy period learning to print and develop their writing skills.

     This month is fire prevention week.  We will be discussing fire safety and what to do in case of a fire in the home. Alonf with our regular homework I will send out an additional assignment on October 10th. The children will have a worksheet for a fire evacuation.  They are to complete a floor plan of their home and how they would escape in case of fire.  Some of the points you may wish to discuss are how to check for a fire by your door.  How to leave a smoke filled room (crawl on your hands and knees to avoid asphyxiation)?  Where outside the home would the family meet in case they were split up during a real fire?  What is the Stop Drop and Roll technique for putting out a fire?  Also changing all you batteries in your smoke alarms every year during the month of October is a good way to ensure that the smoke alarms are always charged and ready.  You can have your child go around the home and help you assist in this task

     In science, as many of you now know, we have been studying electricity.  The children have been learning about a circuit and how elelctricty travels. They have been exploring the many ways in which to light a bulb.  They do this by implementing a variety of  supplies given them, batteries, bulbs, light sockets, battery holders, wires and simple knife switches. The students are also looking at the many ways electricity is used in our world today. We will also be using buzzards, flashlights and small rotory motors into our collected work.  It is a very fun and exciting unit of study.

    Finally, we are finding a lot of sweaters, lunchboxes, and other items left in the room and out on the playground.  Please take time to stop by our lost and found, which is located in the lunchroom, to pick up missing items.  If you can, marking their items would be a big help in retrieval.  As the weather gets colder, do have your child's outer garments labled also.  We find many missing gloves and hats in our building as the season progresses.

Have a nice week everyone,

      Terry Brezny