Primary A Weekly Note

Dear Primary A Families,

This week we were off and running in reading workshop with a discussion about making connections.  We learned that when we connect to the books we are reading, there are three different types of connections.  They are text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world.  When an event in a story reminds us of something in our lives, we can make a text-to-self connection, and when we think about another book, we can make a text-to-text connection. We decided the one that is most challenging to make is a text-to-world connection because they are usually things associated with world events.  We practiced this new comprehension strategy by reading aloud a Frog and Toad story titled Cookies. The students were eager to make text connections, especially ones centered around themselves, text-to-self.  Ask your child how they connected to the story and remember to have them make these important connections to the books they read at home with you.

We kicked off our new writing unit on poetry this week.  We began with a fun scavenger hunt that had us searching for clues on sticky notes to figure out the new topic.  As we gathered all the clues about poetry, we created an anchor chart with many descriptions and examples of what poetry could be.  We began our poetry writing with a List Poem.  We read two List Poems, one by Eloise Greenfield titled "Mama," and "Sound of Water" by Mary O’Neil.  Students were able to choose a subject that was important to them and create one word lists or phrases that connected to their subjects.  Some of those topics were family, friends, and pets. 

As we continued our poetry study, we took some time to discuss the importance of observing things in order to give vivid descriptions when writing poetry. We carefully observed some beautiful daffodils and sketched them first in pencil and then in color in order to gather visual impressions. We will use the visual information to help us compile descriptive words and phrases for our poetry writing. In order to better understand the genre, we also read aloud Emily by Michael Bedard, which has a wonderful description of what poetry can be. We are approaching poetry in non-rhyming form as a way to focus on use of words that give the reader imagery. 

Primary A students are always excited about learning and playing at The Schuylkill Center. This week we had a wonderful lesson taught by Damien, one of The Center's educators.  The lesson was focused on the life cycle of a frog. Ask your child about the stages of a frog’s life. We also learned some important facts about frogs and how they survive on land and in water. The second part of the lesson continued at Cattail Pond, where we used small bowls and nets to scoop some pond water samples to observe.  There was some great excitement around this activity. Students were eager to take close looks at the water and what might be inside. The lesson ended with Damien sharing some pond dwellers, like tadpoles, an American Toad (not living), dragonfly, and a mayfly. The students not only enjoyed the lesson, but they learned a lot and we look forward to more engaging lessons at The Schuylkill Center. 

 This week, ask me:

…. about Encuentro this morning. 

…..about our new read aloud, The Prince of the Pond by Donna Jo Napoli. Who are the characters? What is Pin’s problem?

Things to Know:

  • The Student Council is having a pretzel sale on Monday April 17. They are $1 a pretzel (mustard will be provided). The pretzels are from Center City Soft Pretzel Company, which is an all-natural soft pretzel company. The facility is nut-free, dairy-free, and kosher certified. The pretzels are only made from three ingredients: flour, yeast, and water.
  • There will be no school for students on April 21; it is an in-service day for teachers.
  • Move-Up Night for incoming first and third graders will be on April 27. 
  • Mark your calendars for the final Primary Learning Celebration at The Schuylkill Center, on May 17.
  • Primary teachers will be out in the yard on Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:00 - 8:15, so if you would like to say hi, or need to check in with us about anything, you are welcomed to do so at this time.

In partnership,

Bernadette and Cinda