Updates and Spelling Reminders

Welcome back!

The Smisking team hopes you had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving break! We look forward to seeing smiling faces back in the classroom. (Photos of those smiles from the last couple of weeks coming soon!)

As we dive into this trimester, students are starting some new units. In writing, students will be exploring the grammar behind their sentences. Most importantly, they will identify how to create complete, full sentences. Looking through books, they will find examples of how writers create those sentences with different parts. Students will also continue to set goals for themselves, looking that they have all of the sentence needs in their writing (especially punctuation and correct capitalization). They will be practicing this through narrative writing.

Kid Town is also in full swing! Mr. Smith and I love this unit. It’s a hands-on look into community, how a town works together to be successful, and a simulation in which students buy and sell items from town stores. The class has gathered some wonderful supplies to recycle into shop creations (THANK YOU)! They will work with a partner to make items for their store, determine prices, and earn money through their hard work throughout the day (both with Kid Town and with the clip chart).

Since I received a few questions during conferences, click here for the spelling homework explanation posted earlier this year. I also encourage you to talk with your child about the spelling homework. They are getting more and more practice in the classroom with these activities and should be able to answer questions about the process, as most of the activities are done in class for every sort. Important dates will be written by the students in their assignment notebook when they meet with me.

In class, spelling groups work on the following with each new sort:

  1. Day 1: They receive a sort page, cut out each word, write their names on the back, and then attempt a first sort independently. Many times students are able to see what patterns they are looking for.
  2. Day 2: The groups meet with me.
    • This is the day they receive their spelling homework page (I like to go over the sort with them before they attempt the activities at home with the new sort). I will start sending home a second word sort that students can keep at home. That way, they will always have one sort at school and one at home that does not need to travel back and forth.
    • I will now have students write down in their assignment notebook when they receive this new page, but they have been writing the due date.
    • Next I have students either star, add a smiley face, or some kind of special doodle to each of the key words (these words are examples of each spelling pattern the other words will fit underneath).
    • We identify the special spelling patterns by underlining it in each key word (this way they know what they are looking for!)
    • Students attempt the sort – we go over any questions and talk about why the words are sorted the way they are. We also identify any “oddballs” that don’t fit the patterns (students have been marking these words by writing “OB” on them).
  3. Day 3: Students play “Fast Finger” and do a “Blind Sort” with a partner. (Students are very familiar with the “Blind Sort” now and should be able to help out in doing it at home)
  4. Day 4: Students do a Word Hunt with Ms. Nham. They look at a poem that is a part of our spelling program and fits the spelling patterns they are looking for. Students then look in books to find other example words. Ms. Nham supports them along the way.
  5. Day 5: Students practice writing their words by writing them in a “fancy” font or writing them with blue vowels using a colored pencil or crayon along with their pencil (example: wheel).
  6. Day 6: Students glue their words sorted into their spelling notebook – they turn in their homework on this day.

If the student does not understand an activity from the homework, please let me know; it is something they should be doing in class every week and reviewing with Ms. Nham and I.

Have a great week!

Mrs. Buesking