February already?  Seems we just had our holiday party and Christmas break. 
The children are really doing a wonderful job in their Mystery Book Clubs. 
This reading unit is designed to not only teach the genre of mystery and the
vocabulary and differences these plots allow, but the club format gives much
more independence to the kids.  They decide home much text to read before
their next meeting, monitor their own understanding and have conversations
about the book among themselves.  Most have risen to the challenge and handled
it remarkably well.  They will be given the option of selecting another text
after completing this mystery and may continue reading in a club.  It may or
may not be a mystery.  Having conversations about books is a great way to
build understanding and to broaden their thinking.
  I am also very impressed with their abilities in our new writing unit which
is Personal Opinion Essays.  They have pulled BIG ideas out of many text we
have studied and applied these to stories from their own lives.  They each are
on their way to beginning an essay - at least with a "theme" and opinion.  
  Along with this, we are fitting in a reading / writing project designed
around the children's book titled "The Paper Bag Princess."  They practice
retelling a story by paraphrasing the text, illustrating it and being creative
with their art work.  They are having fun with this!
  You will be receiving a note very soon as Oxbow's "Spring Conferences" are
scheduled for Thursday, February 23.  I am spreading these out over a few
evenings in order to not be rushed through in 15 minute time slots.  I do not
need to see each of you.  However, as the note states, if you wish to schedule
an appointment even if I did not request to see you, please just let me know.
 We can certainly schedule time to do that. 
  The children are doing a fabulous job with telling time.  As you've seen,
there is much more to it than just time on a clock.  The elapsed time can get
tricky, but most are using the timeline strategies we've learned and can
figure out time an event takes to the minute.  We'll keep working on this and
the word problems do become more complex in number of steps and times
involved.  They seem to be up to the challenge and stick with it in figuring
these out.
  There has been a decision made to add Jr. Kindergarten for the fall in Huron
Valley Schools and Oxbow will house one section of this.  So, if you have a
student that qualifies for kindy next year or if you know of someone who does,
please consider this program.  There is information available on the district
website and there will also be information available on Oxbow's website. You
can also hear more about it at "Kindy Night" which is on the same evening as
our Reading Night in March.  Watch for information coming home.
  Thank you to those of you who have already volunteered to send items for our
Valentine's Day celebration.  A note went home a week ago regarding items the
children wish to have on that day.
  Keep warm!  That groundhog predicted 6 more weeks.  We can make it.
Mrs. Teskey