Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's long vowels time

From now until June, we'll be mastering the long vowel sounds and spellings. Initially, most students have challenges differentiating between when to pronounce short and long vowel sounds. Its important to remind students that vowels have two sounds: one like their name and another short vowel sound. We can often tell which sound to make by looking at the way a word is spelled. Here are some words that correspond to the long vowel sounds we'll be learning:
Long A: cake, bay, a,
Long E: peek, treat, Steve
Long I: sigh, my, I, try,
Long O: so, spoke, coat
Long U: flute, blue,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Educational gift ideas?

If you are purchasing gifts for the holidays, here are educational gifts ideas students may enjoy: flower pot with seeds and soil; puzzles; legos; recorders (any instrument); puppets; world map or globe; watercolor paint; kids yoga DVD; books on tape or CD; colored pencils and drawing paper; crayons and coloring books; play dough; linker cubes; wooden blocks. Here are places to peruse items. Please feel free to add more.
Kids Gardening Store:
(there are so many cool things on this site!)
The Ecology Store, Berkeley:
Elephant Pharmacy, Berkeley:
Lakeshore Learning:
Able Play:
Amazon Children's Books:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


We still love "My people" by Langston Hughes, but we've started a new poem during morning meeting. "Orgullo: Pride" is by Alma Flor Ada and is in English and Spanish. Here it is:

Orgullosa de mi familia,
Orgullosa de mi lenguaje,
Orgullosa de mi cultura,
Orgullosa de mi raza,
Orgullosa de ser quien soy.

Proud of my family
Proud of my language
Proud of my culture
Proud of my race
Proud to be who I am.

Unit 4: Our neighborhood at work

We've started "Our Neighborhood at Work," the fourth unit in our reading curriculum. We'll be learning about jobs in our community.

My People

My People by Langston Hughes
The night is beautiful
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful
So the eyes of my people.
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Beats for Brilliance Funded

Our proposal to purchase drums for the special education classes at Bella Vista was fully funded on Donors Choose. This is serendipitous, as Mr. Osuna is a percussionist who has lots of ideas about body drumming and making drums. We'll be making beats soon.