Back to School Night is Monday August 17th at 5:30. We will meet in the cafeteria for announcements and then you will be able to come to Room 4 to find out all about our daily schedule, project based learning, homework, and opportunities to volunteer in and outside the classroom. Also, we will discuss any questions you may have about our school or transitional kindergarten/ kindergarten multi-age classroom.
The best way to get involved starting out this year is to get fingerprinted. This process will allow you to drive on field trips and we need all the drivers we can get (even if you only available for 1 or 2). The Bucks Booster Club (TBBC) will be in the cafeteria at 4:00pm on Monday to assist those you who would like to drive. Please also bring your driver’s license, proof of insurance and a DMV Driver Request. You can get a DMV print out at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/online/dr. At the least please get fingerprinted on Monday and the rest of the paperwork can be turned in at a later date. TBBC will be partially funding your fingerprinting process and you will never have to be fingerprinted again as long as your child stays in the Auburn Union School District.
Last, to help make our lunch and snack time go smoother please designate a snack in their lunch box that is labeled with their name on it. The lunchbox tub and snack basket will be outside the classroom. I will also keep a sharpie attached to the basket just in case. Once students come in the classroom they will move their name star card under "Lunch Box, Cold Pack, or School Lunch" on a pocket chart. The cold pack and school lunch are provided by Ms. Nina in the cafeteria. In order to receive school lunch parents must have filled out their Free and Reduced Lunch Form in the first day or registration packet or turn in money in a grey metal box in the office by the preschool front door. If turning in money put your student's first and last name and student ID number (myself or Ms. Kim can provide). Be sure to keep up with money in the box, so that our sweet yet firm Ms. Nina doesn't send home a bill with your student. And if your child is receiving breakfast from Ms. Nina in the morning they will need to bring their own snack from home for first recess. At first recess Ms. Nina will only give out "second chance breakfast" which is NOT a snack. It is important that all students have a small snack around 10:00 am in order to have enough energy to get through the rest of our day.
One more thing... I have been taking such wonderful pictures of our students. Unfortunately, I may only share individual photos to individual families. Any group photos can not be shared unless you sign off on a photo release for the school and a separate release for my blog/shutterfly account. Keep that in mind for Back to School Night on Monday when you are filling out your packet (I was also a photography major in college, so I love taking photos *wink).
How excited are you for the new school year? Most likely A LOT since you might be running out of ideas and activities to entertain you little ones this summer. Well don't worry the school year is about to begin and not only is it new for your Kindergartner, but it is also new for me!
Over the last 3 years I have taught second grade. I loved every moment of it; from the family history projects to our exploding volcanoes! This year I get to return to my first classroom setting of Kindergarten and I am so excited to bring along with me a love of science. Also, I know exactly where they need to be in a couple of years, so I will also look towards meeting goals that help every child feel successful when they leave at the end of the year.
Also, to help get the year started off quickly I would like to schedule some time to assess your child for where they are right now. That way we can create goals for them each trimester to reach!
Below is a calendar that you can click on and change the title of the appointment to your name and your child's name. If you have any difficulty, please email me directly with a time and date you would like to come. I will put it in myself (first come first serve). This calendar will be used throughout the year for you to schedule any time needed to discuss anything about your experience at AVCCS (my door is always open).
We are starting our spelling program this week. Students will need to practice all week long to take their test the following Monday. There are lots of ways to practice, which are listed on their homework packet. But, you can also practice online and right here on our classroom website. Visit the spelling page to type in your words for the week. Or you can go to spelling city and practice through the website (username: cowancowan).
Below is the newsletter for our activities this week. Please be sure to let me know if you can drive on our field trip next week!
Thank you so much for attending! Please feel free to contact me with any further questions that you may have forgotten to ask. Visit the contact page or leave a comment below.
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Below are the handouts from our presentation.
Today was such a great day! It was so amazing to see how much
they have grown since last year and it seems we are in for a great year full of
laughter, excitement, and a lot of moving and shaking!
We were very relaxed today and we played get to know each other
games. We also discussed what it means to be a great writer. Writing in second
grade is very important because it is my job to get them prepared for all the
papers, essays, and argumentive writing they will do in the future. Today's
focus on writing was expressing ourselves freely.
The students understood that writing is for fun and to help our brains grow!
They wrote in their journals today for the first time and were able to write
about whatever they wanted. I heard some great stories, both imaginary and real
life experiences. I encourage all the students to write whatever comes to them
and not to be concerned about following all the "writing rules." Our first draft
is always great! After we finish we can go back and make it
It is so exciting going back to school and better yet I finally have a second year at a school I love! With this year there will be a lot of new challenges, but a lot of great new adventures to come!
Below is the classroom supply list. Also, check out our class Amazon Wishlist (click here).
There was an abundance of information at the CUE conference in Palm Springs. I was able to take in so much without getting too overwhelmed. There were many other teachers there seeking information on how to become a better teacher in this new age of technology. Project-based learning was one of the main features of the conference. This teaching strategy was explained by many presenters by stating that it should be focused on how to use technology in research and demonstration of learning. But, the greatest “takeaway” was realizing that project based learning is all about the process and not the product. This means that it is about the journey that the students take and not the end result a student will produce. The product represents their passion for learning and should not be judged or evaluated in any way. Teachers should focus on facilitating learning during the research process so that the students direct their own learning, yet are lead to the particular standards that are required of the grade level. All in all, I enjoyed every moment and I am re-charged to begin innovative methods of instruction.
Taking off to the Reading Rainbow
3D Printing... Crazy!
Mathematical Practices are standards that support the Common Core. They do not dictate a specific computational skill, but they emphasize critical thinking skills and applications that allow children to approach any level of difficulty with the appropriate thinking skills needed to solve a mathematical problem. As a district we have focused on a few of these skills. As a teaching professional I found three of these practices are most valuable to the stage of learning our students are at:
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4 Model with mathematics.
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically.
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6 Attend to precision.
To practice these concepts in the classroom we discussed three ways to model with math (a term we are using to combine the three mathematical practices above). When modeling with math students can draw and create math problems. They will draw a math problem by using hand drawn "sticks" (tens) and "cubes" (ones) to show a math sentence. Or they can use actual manipulatives of sticks and cubes to move around the pieces to show a math problem. The third way to model with math is something that is very unique to our school. Students can use the Number Pieces app on their iPad to represent a math sentence. We feel so lucky as a class to be able to model with math in THREE different ways.
To make sure we are modeling, using appropriate tools, and attending to precision we are practicing every day in math centers. Students will use all three tools (drawings, manipulatives, and iPads) to represent one math problem. Currently we are focused on vertical math sentences to "show our work." Students are working towards explaining with words and writing how to use each of the tools to demonstrate a problem, ensuring we are attending to precision. Students understand that "Ms. Cowan only cares about the work and not the answer because if you did your work correctly there is no need for Ms. Cowan to check the answer." Check out the pictures** and video below to see how mathematical practices are being demonstrated by our brilliant second graders!
For more information on Common Core and mathematical practices click here.
To download the Number Pieces app click here.
**Blog will be updated with more iPad pictures...technical difficulties (:
Mrs. Cowan loves photography, horses, coffee, tennis, hiking, more coffee, and her animals. Teaching is my greatest passion and I live everyday to find new and exciting things to share with my kids!