Friday, November 1, 2013

October was Outstanding!

Hello SRC Families!

I hope that each of you are settling into the school routine, and enjoying the pleasant fall weather we've been having! Things in the SRC Primary Classroom have been moving smoothly, and as always, I am excited and impressed by our progress! Below you will find pictures and highlights of our October activities.

Our theme this month was safety, so we focused on behaviors across environments that demonstrate safety as well as helpers in our community that keep us safe. We practiced riding in a bus or a car and staying in our seats with seat belts ON. We talked about the importance of walking at school, and learned that running (outside of recess or APE) is not safe, and if we run, we can get hurt. We learned safe ways to redirect our friends with words, and practiced safe ways to praise our friends through words and high-5s. We learned about police officers, doctors, librarians, teachers, mail carriers and other community members that can help us be safe. A highlight of safety month though, was learning about fire safety. We learned about listening to teachers and parents if there is a fire or a fire drill, and learned that fire fighters jobs are to keep us safe. Thank you to the Beaverton Fire Department for our exciting hats and stickers!

Fall, Harvest and the Pumpkin Patch
Our students had a blast at the pumpkin patch! The staff at Plumper Pumpkin Patch were so helpful with selecting a day where our kids would not be overwhelmed by too many other field trips, and the sunshine came out for our special day! We listened to farmers, went on a hayride, played on a really great playground, got to pet animals and be the first to meet a baby chicken, and of course pick pumpkins! The students particularly enjoyed the pumpkin patch after learning about fall and harvest all month, and throughout the day we heard many comments about how pumpkins grow, leaves change color and the temperature gets cooler! Way to go!

Pizza Month
Another highlight of October was that it was pizza month! Who knew? At the beginning of the month we read a story about pizza month, and throughout the month used this topic to explore preferences, fractions, and cooking! Students had 2 opportunities to make mini-pizzas using a visual recipe. While some enjoyed this and others really did not, they did a great job following instructions, what great practice for helping in the kitchen at home!

The Pledge of Allegiance
In October we also started reciting the pledge daily. I would have never guessed how exciting the pledge could be until we introduced it to this class of kids! Wow! Everyone is so enthusiastic to recite it every day during circle (and often at other times during the day)! And as a true test of generalization, I prepared the students that at the assembly at the end of the month, we would all stand up with ALL the other Sexton Mountain students and place our hands on our hearts and do our best to recite the pledge. I am proud to say that each and every student happily performed their best Pledge of Allegiance!

Stopping the spread of germs
We noticed that handwashing was a skill that many friends needed to practice a bit more, so I made 4 videos to model each step of our handwashing routine. Each day during large group instruction, we talk about the steps of handwashing and watch the videos. We now have several students verbally describing the steps of handwashing as I do in the videos, but they are describing them as they wash their hands thoroughly! Hooray! Keep an ear out at home, as you may hear:

First, get soap. 1, 2. (2 pumps of soap)
Then, wash hands. Inside, outside. (while washing both sides of hands)
Next, rinse hands.
Last, get towel. Dry hands.

We have introduced the concept to the kids that one of the reasons we wash hands is to stay healthy. We talk about how germs make us sick, and we get germs on our hands. So, in order to not get sick, we keep our fingers out of our mouths and noses, and we wash our hands a lot. Feel free to use this language at home, as they should be familiar with it!

Library due dates
I want to take a moment to clarify our library check out procedures. When a student checks out a book, they have a few weeks that they can technically keep that book at home. However, each day we go to library, there is "check out time". If your student has not returned their last book, they do not get to check out a book during check out time (even though it is not late). This can be a very frustrating and confusing concept for some of our students--to see someone else get a book but not him seems unfair, and even though he loves that book he has at home, that seems really far away from that library check out time. To make this process easier, an idea is to return your book each library day. That way every day everyone gets to check out a book. Our library days are Sexton Mountain's "D days". For your reference, I have listed below the library days from now until winter break:

Nov. 4
Nov. 14
Nov. 20
Nov. 26
Dec. 6
Dec. 13
Dec. 19

Super Sensory Harvest Party
This year Amanda, the instructional assistants, the specialists and I decided we wanted to try something different for our Harvest Party. We had 6 stations that both classes rotated through in small groups that focused on varying Halloween sensory experiences! The students really seemed to enjoy this structured style of party, and many of them tried new things! Way to go!

Days off of school
Believe it or not, there are only 26 instructional days left until winter break. Below are some important days to remember:
November 6 & 7-No school-Parent/teacher conferences (please check in your student's communication journal to verify your time)
November 8-No school-Staff Development Day
November 11-No school-Veteran's Day Holiday
November 27-No school-Budget Reduction Day
November 28 & 29-Thanksgiving Holiday
December 2-No School-Grading Day
December 23-January 3-No school-Winter Break

Happy November!
Miss Ashlee

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Three Cheers for Chevron!

Chevron's "Fuel Your School" campaign is making a difference across the country, and that includes your SRC classrooms! This fall, for every gas purchase of 8 gallons or more, Chevron donated $1 to their "Fuel Your School" campaign. These dollars went towards local Donors Choose projects posted by teachers in your community.

Wow! What an opportunity! Jessi (our SLP), Marcia (our OT), Amanda (our upper SRC teacher) and I submitted Donors Choose projects and Chevron graciously selected ALL of our projects for funding! Thanks to this wonderful company and this innovative campaign, we are all receiving materials that will directly benefit your students!

My project focused on supplemental math and reading materials that are geared towards addressing the increased rigor of the new Common Core State Standards. Thanks to Chevron and Donors Choose, we will soon be recieving additional instructional materials and games to help increase generalization of math and literacy concepts across the classroom. Thanks!

For more information on the Chevron "Fuel Your School" campaign, or Donors Choose, please visit their websites below:

For more information on my recently funded project, or past projects, please visit my site: