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March 15, 2015

Hi Everyone!

 Wow! What amazing weather we’re having! It feels so great after all that cold! I hope you all got a chance to go outside and find signs of spring – birds singing, crocuses in bloom, daffodils starting, and buds on the trees. We’ll be looking for signs of spring this week when we go outside.

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1) We are going on a field trip to see the Emerald City Theatre Company’s production of “Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play,” based on Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie book series. The play is Thursday, May 14. We’ll be meeting at Ray at 9:00 and we’ll be going by bus to the Apollo Theater on Lincoln Ave. The cost of tickets and bus is $13.00 per child. Please get the money in as soon as possible because we have to send in the deposit this week. We’ve ordered 10 parent tickets per classroom – 5 for the morning and 5 for the afternoon or however it works out. Parent tickets are $7.00 (you don’t have to pay for the bus). We’ll be distributing them on a first come, first serve basis. There should be a trip form in your mail folder.


2) I will not be in school this Monday and this Friday. There will be a substitute. On Friday, the Kohl Storybus will be coming to Ray with its current story, “The Three Little Pigs.” We’ll be reading Three Pig stories during the week and next week. Can you think of variations of this great story? We have the 3 Little Dassies (Australian animal), The 3 Little Fish and the Big, Bad, Shark, The Three Horrid Little Pigs, The Three Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, and we may have the Three Little Ninja Pigs though I’m not sure.

3) I am starting a new Donor’s Choose project to get a listening center for our classroom. This would include a cd player, a wireless headset system, and some books/cds as well as a small shelf to put them on. The purpose of this is so children can listen to stories (or music) while they look at the books being read. This is so valuable for children who are working on building their vocabulary, and particularly for children learning English. It also helps students feel comfortable with their favorite books before they are reading or as they are just learning. I’ll let you know when the project has been approved and send you the information. Do you have relatives or friends looking for a way to contribute to your child’s classroom? This is a great way!

4) Please make sure you have spring vacation marked on your calendar – April 6-10 school will be closed! Please note that election day is April 7 in case you need to make plans to vote early.



Making shadows and silhouettes


Parents are welcome to stay and read to their child!


Making dumplings for Lunar New Year















Light: We’ve been finishing our work with light in the classroom. The children have been learning about things that are transparent (you can see through it), translucent (light passes through but you can’t see through it, like waxed paper), and opaque (no light passes through). We’ve been learning about silhouettes and shadows, how colors work with light, and how light reflects off things that are both shiny and smooth. We also started learning about color mixing. Did you know that purple comes from mixing magenta and turquoise (or cyan), not from red and blue? And orange comes from magenta and yellow. Of course, turquoise/cyan and yellow make green. We’ll be experimenting more with color mixing in the next few weeks.

We’ll be moving more to light coming from the sun now that we can go outside again.

Measurement: We’ve been learning about small, medium and large in so many ways. Of course, one of our favorite stories, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, is all about small, medium and large. We’ve been learning through some of our stories that what is large to one person may be small to someone else. We compared the length of our feet with partners, and we’ll be doing more comparisons, especially comparing Leprechauns and giants like Abiyoyo.

We’ll be learning about units of measurement. The important thing about units of measurement is that when you measure something, the unit you decide to use has to be the same for everything you are measuring. You can’t measure the length of a table by using different sized blocks, though you can use blocks to measure if they are all the same.We’ll be exploring what it means to be “just right” and other activities.

About Books: We have been learning a lot about how books work. We have learned they have covers with the author’s name and title on it, and title pages. We’ve learned that pages are numbered, that they are held together at the spine. We’ve been learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction books. We’ve read books by the same author (Jan Brett, Mo Willems, Dr. Seuss) and we’ve read books that have similar stories (The Gingerbread Man and The Runaway Rice Cake). We will be working up to making our own books and having that be a regular activity at the Writing Center. There is also a great book making app on our ipads. Stay tuned …

The children are learning to read each others’ names, as well as identify the letters of their own names. They are writing their names each day on the sign-in cards. We will continue learning more about writing, invented spelling, and how to share ideas through writing over the next weeks.


Thank you to JunYu’s mom, for making dumplings with us for the Lunar New Year and for showing us how to write Chinese characters. Thank you to Heeseong’s dad for the Korean labels we have around the room. Thank you to Izzy’s mom and to Qur’an’s mom for taking care of library every Wednesday. (REMEMBER TO BRING BACK YOUR LIBRARY BOOK IN THE CANVAS BAG AND LEAVE IT IN THE BAG, IN THE BOX ON THE CUBBY). Thank you to all of you who helped cut up the silhouettes for us. Thank you to the parents who helped out on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Thank you for the donations of the glue sticks, paper, etc. Did I miss you? Let me know

What’s coming…

Planting, gardening, birds and bird songs, Eric Carle, Hannah’s Grandpa’s art and celebration of southwest Indians, and much more. Let us know.

Happy Spring!!!

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