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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Home Learning Plan and EPRs

Yesterday on Facebook, Griffin's mom, Delia, shared the learning plan that Griffin wrote for winter break. I loved it and asked if I could share it. Griffin said that I could. I think this is a great plan and still leaves lots of room for learning through playing, messing around and exploring. Perhaps your child would like to create a learning plan, too. Thanks for the inspiration, Griffin!

Griffin's Learning Plan. He got a little bit tired of writing by the time he got to Thursday so he had his Dad help him with the writing.
If your child needs ideas of fun ways to learn over break, be sure to check out these resources that I shared earlier. Remember there are tons of ideas but there is no expectation that you use or try all of them. Just pick and choose what works best for your family.

Homework vs. Home Learning - filled with lots of links to ideas and resources
Apps We Use
Screen Time in First Grade
Ms. Jill's Pinterest Boards of Great Books for Kids

Now that you have access to your child's EPR for this semester, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about them. First of all, I don't imagine that any of you really even need to go and read them. You already know how your child is doing and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Second, learning is messy. All children truly do grow and learn at different paces and this is perfectly normal. We humans decided (made up?) what "grade level" means and what things students should learn at what ages. Then we began to worry if each child wasn't meeting these "grade level" standards (that we created) right away. I know that I can get myself all worked up about these kinds of things sometimes, too. Really we just need to step back, take a deep breath and let our children grow. I am not saying that we don't teach them or that we don't have high expectations for them but I am saying that we need to balance learning content skills with learning social and emotional skills with learning to be a self-directed learner. Our whole crew is growing in leaps and bounds and that is just exactly what should be happening. We shouldn't get overly focused on the tiny details because those will take care of themselves over time if we just keep teaching and learning. I know I won't ever give up on any child and I know you won't either. These are just a few of my thoughts about ranking and grading and scoring children. Please don't feel like I am writing this because your children aren't doing well - it is quite the opposite. They are doing great - I just wanted to share my thoughts about ranking and sorting them. I prefer to teach them wherever they are ("above grade level", "below grade level", "on grade level", high, low, struggling, advanced, whatever labels might fit) and just make sure that they keep growing and growing.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bookworm Party

To round out our last day before winter break, we had a bookworm party - complete with bookworms made out of grapes, book sandwiches, bookworm glasses, a wordsearch, a bookmark, a story created by the crew and more. I loved it! Thanks so much to Ms. Kristy, Ms. Kimberly and all of the other volunteers who made this party so much fun! There are a few pictures below but I will admit that I was running out of steam by the end of the busy, busy day and didn't take as many as I usually would.

Have a wonderful winter break!

Pacific Ocean Market and King's Land Restaurant

Wow! What a great day! We saw and experienced so much today. I will let the photos and your child speak for themselves. Thanks to all of the chaperones for coming along and helping us out. Below are a few pictures of our day. Please visit our crew photo album to see all the others. Chaperones please feel free to add any pictures you have taken to our album.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


 We have had a great week of climbing. We do plan to climb again tomorrow after our fieldwork. Thanks to all who came and belayed us while we climbed. What a great experience!

Library - Library tomorrow. Please help your child remember to return his or her books.