This was an exciting week for us, and we have a lot of news to share.  As you can see, our painted lady butterflies emerged and were stunningly beautiful.  We released the butterflies on Wednesday, and the children did a great job sending the butterflies off to stretch their wings.  Though some of the children were sad to see the butterflies fly away, we all knew it would be cruel to keep them in their net too long.  We were very fortunate to have the butterflies in our classroom so we could observe the last three stages of the butterfly life cycle.

Ms. Bohn, our technology integrator, introduced us to a second grade class in North Carolina, U.S.A., who also recently completed the butterfly life cycle science unit.  Our class asked and answered questions via Skype, and the children did a fabulous job.  They were fascinated to learn about the similarities and differences between the butterfly experiences in both classes. 

We are continuing to prepare for our concert on June 12th.  Thank you for remembering to send in a white t-shirt.  We will paint the shirts on June 4th and 5th, so you still have plenty of time to send one in if you haven't already.

Friday, June 1st will be the elementary school's field day.  On this day, the children are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes for a variety of potentially active (or wet!) outdoor games and activities.  Applying sunscreen at home before school is a great idea, and we encourage the children to wear a sun hat and bring a water bottle.  We will have our picnic lunch in the classroom and finish the day with quiet learning activities in the room.

Today the children took home the last homework packet for the year.  However, we will continue to add words to our word wall each day, and the children will continue to have take-home reading as long as possible in June.

Today the children also had the opportunity to visit a second grade classroom.  They were so excited to meet a second grade teacher and practice  their best school manners.  The second grade teachers who receive these students next year will be incredibly fortunate. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of the school year.  Rest assured, we have plenty of learning ahead to keep us busy right up to June 15!  Here are a few notes for you.

Next week, I will be working with each student individually to assess their reading progress using the Developmental Reading Assessment.  While the fall baseline screening was done with a private appointment, the spring assessment will take place during our normal school day.  The children do not need to do any special preparation for this.  It is simply helpful to make sure that your child has a good night's sleep (something you're doing anyway) and has a healthy breakfast (again, something you're already doing.)  Also, when you are reading together, please take a moment to engage your child in a conversation about the text.  The questions on the green bookmark in your child's reading log are a perfect place to start.   You might ask your child to tell you how the setting is important to the story, how the main character feels at the beginning and at the end, or how the character solves the problem in the story.  It is always good practice for the children to make a connection to their reading. 

I know you can't miss our recent emphasis on insects and spiders.  The name of our current science unit is "Minibeasts," and we will continue researching and learning about these small creatures until the end of the year.  One important event will be the first grade musical performance on Tuesday, June 12 at 2:30 pm.  Immediately following this concert, please plan to return to our classroom so that your child can show you their research project about a minibeast. 

As a special remembrance of first grade, we will be making special minibeast t-shirts to wear for the concert.   We are asking each child to bring a plain white t-shirt to school by May 31, so that we have plenty of time to prepare them before the concert.   Thank you for your help with this!

Finally, now is a perfect time to help your child clean out his/her locker.  Please help us the next time you are in the building by taking home any remaining snow gear.  It would be terrific for the children to have their lockers organized  so they don't have to take those items at the same time as their school work and journals at the end of the year.

Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend!
The children are entranced with our caterpillars that arrived on Monday.  We are making observations, since that is something that good scientists do, as they grow and change.  So far our caterpillars are still in the caterpillar stage, but they have grown to almost twice the size they were on Monday.  Perhaps next week we will be able to transfer the chrysalides into the net butterfly habitat.  Once the butterflies hatch, we will only keep them a couple of days before releasing them into nature.

Keeping an eye on our baby caterpillars has helped us build gratitude for our own mothers.   For those of you who will celebrate Mothers' Day this Sunday, Happy Mothers' Day!  I sent links to each of you of the e-books the children made on the ipad using Scribble Press.  If your link didn't work or you didn't receive the message, please let me know so that I can resend it.   Many thanks to Ms. Bohn for organizing this ipad project for us.

Looking ahead, please mark your calendars for the First Grade Minibeast Musical Extravaganza on Tuesday, June 12.  I think the show will be at 2:30 pm, but I will definitely keep you posted with more information as we get closer to this exciting event. 

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.  I hope you have a great weekend!