Primary D Weekly Note

Dear Primary D Parents,

We studied soil this week at the Wissahickon. Students collected three different types of soil and sketched the three soil samples in their science notebooks. As a class we discussed how rocks and minerals break down alongside organic materials in soil. We also discussed how soil is a scientific word for dirt, and many students were describing their clothing as “soily" as a joke after our exploration.

McLean’s mother, Joanne, joined us this week for a Mystery Food Demonstration. She called on her previous work experience as a chef to show us how lemon juice can “cook” shrimp and how wrist energy and a whisk can convert whipping cream into whipped cream. We enjoy your classroom visits, so be in touch if you want to come in to teach the class something related to our curriculum.

In math this week first graders have been assessing the pros and cons of various addition strategies. We are working towards the understanding that the “Counting All” strategy for addition is an accurate way to count, but not an efficient way. We are working with dominoes this week as we practice addition facts. We introduced the original dominoes rules as a beginning exploration, and we have been playing a game called “Top Draw” as well. If you can find dominoes at the back of a closet somewhere in your house, your child can teach you how to play. Second grade mathematicians just wrapped up a unit on addition and subtraction facts. Next week second graders will begin working on measuring. They will be using their own feet to measure, and they will be using other standard and non-standard measurement tools as well.

In Writing Workshop this week students worked with a writing partner. Students are working on adding details to their stories and writing across pages. We explored books by our mentor authors, Audrey Penn and Cynthia Rylant, to see how adding details enhances the reading experience for one’s audience. Ask your child about their writing partner and about their current small moment story topic.

In Reading Workshop we practiced the strategy “flip the sound.” Ask your child to show you that strategy and the accompanying hand motion when you are reading together.

Have a great weekend.

Ben and Niké