The Virtue of the Month (VOM) character education story was “The Littlest Owl” by Caroline Pitcher and Tina Macnaughton. The story is about the littlest owl who is left behind because he could not quite fly no matter how hard he tries. He tells himself, “I will, just you wait and see!” Because of his determination he learns how to fly to safety. It’s a great story about the virtue of fortitude and never giving up even when things get tough.
We also read another VOM character education story entitled “Spartacus the Spider” by Etienne Delessert. This is a tale that defines heroism not in terms of brute strength, but in being true to oneself. The story is about a spider who struggles with the most fundamental of tasks for a spider—spinning sticky threads strong enough to catch a fly. Once he learns to strengthen the silk he produces, he worries about catching everything in his web. In the end, he returns to and is happy being his “old self”.
In Language Arts (Listening and Learning), students continued to grow in literacy independence as they worked on Daily 5 Activities inspired by the authors (and sisters) Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. The Daily 5 is a series of literacy tasks (i.e., reading to self, reading with someone, writing, word work, and listening to reading) which students complete everyday while the teacher meets with small groups or with individual students. In Reading to Self, for example, students take time to read quietly by themselves at the reading center. In Reading with Someone, Mrs. Libby chooses a book that corresponds to the appropriate “reading level” of the student and they both read together.
In Word Work, students continued to practice reading and writing the following high frequency words:
Monday – in, is, you, that, it, be
Tuesday – in, is, you that, it, be
Wednesday – he, was, for, on, are this
Thursday – as, with, his, they, I, have
In Writing, students worked on writing “Descriptive Sentences” such as:
I am a 5 year old boy.
I like to play soccer in the spring.
I want to ride a white horse.
I was very sleepy at bedtime.
In Social Studies, we read “‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving” written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey.
In Visual Arts, students created colorful turkeys! They also made paper plate turkeys. In addition, students made their own “My Little Indian Book” and also created a colorful Indian Head dress worksheet.
In Math, students continued to work on writing Numbers 1 – 30 using the correct formation. They also reviewed basic shapes.
In Science Discovery, students worked on a “Bean Science Experiment” and planted beans in a cup. Students will observe how they grow over time. In connection with our theme on “The Five Senses,” students listened to the read aloud “How Do We Taste and Smell” by Carol Ballard. They graphed the results of the basic tastes. The students learned that there are 4 basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Students learned that the many tastes we make out are made up of different combinations of these 4 tastes. Talk about these concepts with your child:
– Sweet tastes are detected on the tip of the tongue.
– Salty tastes are detected along each side of the tongue.
– The middle of each side of the tongue detects sour tastes.
– The back detects bitter tastes.
To help students understand where carrots come from, they listened to the read-aloud “Carrots Grow Underground” by Mari Schuh. “Inch by Inch the Garden Song” by David Mallet was another interesting story about growing vegetables in a garden that students heard and learned about.
At home: The next time you visit the local library, borrow the book “The Littlest Owl” by Caroline Pitcher and Tina Macnaughton. Talk about the virtue of never giving up and telling oneself, “I will, just you wait and see!”