This week patterns seemed to be involved in everything the Otters encountered.  We have been spending time reviewing skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's and being able to recognize these patterns on a 100's chart.  We looked at several sets of items and numbers and made statements about which ones didn't belong in the set and why.  Next we made our own "Which One Doesn't Belong?" slide show and shared our drawings with our classmates.  We worked our way into recognizing the relationship of 3 numbers in a "fact family" or equation.  

On Wednesday we took a walk to the Forest Grove Post Office to mail the letters we wrote last week.  On the way back we stopped to work our way through the paths on the labyrinth.  We stopped to collect leaves that we will be sorting, describing and categorizing this week.  

We were also lucky to have Ms. Shelley make time for us to have music on Thursday this week.  We have been learning a new song and have our own books where we can read both the music notes and the words for the song.  

As we work into adding more details in our writing we have been focusing on parts of speech. This week we had a lot of fun listing and acting out verbs.  We also continue to work on building community through group play.  The sunny weather gave us a chance to play a few games in the outdoor playground.  The Otters enjoyed a lively game of Duck, Duck, Goose and a running relay.  In the end, it appeared that both the running and the cheering were equally enjoyable.  When the weather didn't cooperate, we spent some time revisiting the Creative Play area which most of us haven't been able to enjoy since last year.  

Numbers and Writing

This week the Otters spent a lot of time writing.  We shared our stories from writer's workshop with our classmates.  Some of us practiced using the SmartBoard to present our writing.  We also received some special writing materials from Ms. Ellie that we used to write letters.  We will walk to the post office this week to mail those letters.  Don't be surprised if you find one in your mailbox!

We also spent a lot of time with numbers.  We estimated the number of seeds in several different sunflowers.  Next we worked in small groups to remove the seeds and decide on a strategy to count the seeds.  After finalizing our counts we came back together to share our findings and discuss which strategies worked best as well as whether or not our original estimates were reasonable.  We also used dominoes for several activities to challenge our ability to find one amount in several different ways. 

We Love a Mystery

Mysteries seemed to be a theme in several of our activities last week.  We toured the Pacific library and got to turn the handles in the compact shelving area to reveal books and more books in between the shelves.  We revisited the mystery boxes and made several of our own.  We counted tree rings in the outdoor playground and then created our own tree ring art to tell about ourselves.  One new experience for many Otters was our outdoor relay race which involved running and sequencing the days of the week.  A few favorite activities were: making Get Well cards for Cadel, making paper airplanes which held coins on as cargo, and buddy reading on Friday.  

Building Community

The Otters spent last week singing, dancing, learning, and creating together.  During Numeracy we explored reasonable estimates through estimation jars and measuring our friends. We read several stories together each day and started Writer's Workshop.  We got reacquainted with all of our outdoor spaces which included picking many raspberries and grapes in the Piazza.  Building continues to be a favorite activity during classroom choice time.  Several Otters built instruments and formed a band.  We finished the week by planning and sketching sidewalk chalk drawings and then completing the drawings on the sidewalk in front of the ELC. We look forward to more sharing opportunities together and music with Ms. Shelley on Friday's.  

First Day

We had a very busy first day of school in the Otter classroom.  During classroom choice time, building was a big favorite with both the Rigamajig and the marble run.  We spent time outdoors in the Piazza building with blue blocks, eating grapes and playing in the music garden.  We also traveled to the outdoor classroom where we threw frisbees (mostly over the fence) and got a little muddy.  We wrote letters to previous teachers.  We made collages by finding the letters in our name and pictures of things that tell something about us.  We also got math journals and wrote some numbers that tell about who we are.  Mostly, we spent time enjoying each other and delighting in the first day of school.