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Week 18- Jan Brett (The Mitten and The Hat)

January 5, 2020 by Timbra Vaughn

Happy New Year, families! I hope you had a pleasant holiday season. Breaks are nice, but I am excited to see my beloved Kinders on Monday!

This week we officially begin an author study of Jan Brett. We have read a couple of her delightful books already- A Snowy Nap and The Gingerbread Baby- but we get to learn more about her as an author and illustrator this week. We will be reading The Mitten.  This is another personal favorite (it is possible I overuse that the term favorite when it comes to books, haha).  It is a wonderful book for practicing sequencing/retelling. It is also a fabulous book for exploring strong word choice and shades of meaning. We use these skills when deciding how we want to describe something to another person. We want to use words that create clear pictures in people’s minds. We have another animal friend to help us practice this skill- Picturing Peacock. We will also be comparing The Mitten to another of Jan Brett’s books, The Hat.

We will return to our focus on reading nonfiction texts in order to gain information. Our writing focus will be on gathering facts and recording them to make an informative report on foxes.  

In math, we will continue our unit on measurement. One tricky thing that can pop up while we are comparing things by weight is that larger does not always mean heavier (it often does, but not always). Making comparisons is a very important part of strengthening these concepts.

Making comparisons with real life items is an engaging and valuable way to practice these skills. Your child (along with family members) can gather items together to compare. When making these comparisons it is also valuable to encourage your child to use what we have been practicing in class with our Habits of Discussion and Format Matters. This means that they should:

* Look at the person they are speaking to.

* Use their partner’s name.

* Use complete sentences.

* Use specific vocabulary.

* Ask questions of their partner.

For example: “Mom, my stuffed animal is heavier than your book.” and “Dad, which is longer the straw or the pencil?”

If you email me by Wednesday night to let me know your child has been using these traits to compare real life objects at home, They will get a bonus Work Ethic point. (One point total this week, although they can of course practice this skill each night.)

I hope that your Winter Break has left you enthusiastic about the rest of our year!



10 minutes each night. 

Reading should include a variety of the following activities

– reading stories (your child should at times be the reader and at other times be the listener)

– reading the poems in the binder

– working on alphabet sounds and letter names (students have mastered sounds and names should be shifting this practice time to noticing these within their own reading and writing)

– sight word games/practice.


10 minutes each night.

This week, objectives T7-T11 would be great ones to spend time on. Objectives T5 and T6 are good ones to hit a little later in the week.

Your child can explore any other objectives they are interested in. Reviewing and increasing fluency in Section C skills is also a good use of their time. Remember, real world practice of these skills is also great for building up their foundational skills.