Green Cluster (Grades K-1)

Welcome to Green Cluster from Cathy Furer and Christine Nagatsuka

The Green Cluster Theme:   “Who Am I? Discovering Myself And My World.”

The curriculum focuses on self-discovery and how we are connected to the world around us. During the first part of the year the children begin learning about themselves, their senses, and their bodies. Later we expand this to include their families, their culture, and other cultures of the world community. We end the year by learning about the environment and how we influence and are influenced by it.

As children develop beginning reading skills, math awareness, and problem solving skills, they also develop as learners and friends. Green Cluster emphasizes group cooperation and individual responsibility towards the group. Green Cluster’s activity-based program has many options from which children can choose, encouraging them to become independent, life-long learners. Our emphasis is on early literacy, using a variety of approaches to guide and inspire children to develop a love of reading and learning.

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Growing With Green - June 5, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Jun 6 (last updated Jun 6)

On the last day of school, June 9, we will have our end-of-the-year celebration as well as the May-June-July birthdays.  A bubble-ologist will be entertaining the children with magic bubbles and games. The festivities will be starting at 11am and the school day will be over at 12:50pm. It will be a busy and wonderful way to end our year together.

Growing With Green - May 30, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on May 30 (last updated May 30)

Shopping Day was a smashing success! The children shopped ‘til they dropped, using their money skills and spending all of theirmoney. Watch out for their future as shopaholics! Thank you to all of the parents and grandparents who helped us realize this enriching activity.

Last week we learned about our sense of touch and this week we will be wrapping up our unit with the sense of taste. Two activity sheets are included.

Growing With Green - May 22, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on May 23 (last updated May 23)

Last week we learned about our sense of smell. Did you know that there are about 40 million olfactory (smell) receptors in our noses? Ask your little “doctors” about our sense of smell. A worksheet is attached.

In Writing Workshop, we continued with our “How to” books. The children selected one of their expert ideas and fleshed out the details for the next step in the process. The children have truly begun to see themselves as authors. 

Growing With Green - May 15, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on May 15 (last updated May 15)

Thank you to our glorious Green parents who organized and donated money towards such an incredible Teacher Appreciation Week.  We looked forward to our special surprises every day of the week.It was so amazing to actually have a “spa day,”  a daily breakfast cart, a delicious lunch from Chipotle and a gourmet lunch prepared by Miriam (Vivian Blasi’s sister-in-law), flowers, note garlands and finally, the extraordinary Green Cluster Italian luncheon prepared by all of you.  We can’t thank you enough!  :) 

Growing With Green - May 8, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on May 9 (last updated May 9)

We have a busy week ahead of us! This week we will be continuing our unit on money in preparation for Shopping Day! We have already worked on recognizing coins and now we are going to be working on their value.  We also started a new unit in Writing Workshop on non-fiction books. We made a list of expert ideas for our “How-to” books. Some expert ideas included: “How to Make Guacamole,” “How to Relax,” “How to Make Friends,” and even “How to Scare Dinosaurs!!”  On Wednesday we are planning to continue our unit on the senses focusing in on hearing. What was that you said?

Growing With Green - May 8, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on May 9 (last updated May 11)

We have a busy week ahead of us! This week we will be continuing our unit on money in preparation for Shopping Day! We have already worked on recognizing coins and now we are going to be working on their value. We also started a new unit in Writing Workshop on non-fiction books. We made a list of expert ideas for our “How-to” books. Some expert ideas included: “How to Make Guacamole,” “How to Relax,” “How to Make Friends,” and even “How to Scare Dinosaurs!!”  On Wednesday we are planning to continue our unit on the senses focusing in on hearing. What was that you said?

Growing With Green - May 8, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on May 9 (last updated May 11)

We have a busy week ahead of us! This week we will be continuing our unit on money in preparation for Shopping Day! We have already worked on recognizing coins and now we are going to be working on their value. We also started a new unit in Writing Workshop on non-fiction books. We made a list of expert ideas for our “How-to” books. Some expert ideas included: “How to Make Guacamole,” “How to Relax,” “How to Make Friends,” and even “How to Scare Dinosaurs!!”  On Wednesday we are planning to continue our unit on the senses focusing in on hearing. What was that you said?

Growing With Green - May 1, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on May 1 (last updated May 1)

We had such a wonderful Open House!  We loved seeing all of you and sharing all of the Green Cluster projects with you.  We are very proud of the progress that your children have made this year.     

We are continuing our work with shapes and are working on 3D shapes. The children have been hunting through the classroom for objects in the shape of spheres, cones, cubes, cylinders, and even rectangular prisms. 

Growing With Green - April 24, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Apr 24 (last updated Apr 24)

On Friday, April 21st, we had an absolutely wonderful Spring Egg Hunt!  The children hunted for eggs with their names on them.  Each child had SIXTY eggs in their Spring Baskets!  That means that there were more than 2,880 eggs on the Green Yard!!  We had more eggs this year than ever before!  A BIG THANK YOU to Deedee for organizing the egg-stuffing crew. So many of you came each day to stuff away. Thank you so much for all your help! You made our Spring Egg Hunt a huge success! 

Growing With Green - April 17, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Apr 18 (last updated Apr 18)

We hope you had a wonderful Spring Break and are ready for an action packed week!  As you all know, we will be having our annual Green Cluster Spring Egg Hunt on Friday, April 21, from 10:45 - 12:00 noon.  Thank you to the parents who have already come in to help and/ or have sent in eggs and goodies. We will be busy preparing the eggs all of this week.  Please continue to send in STUFFERS and EGGS in SETS OF 48.

Growing With Green - April 3, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Apr 4 (last updated Apr 4)

The trip to the Skirball Cultural Center was educational and fun for everyone! The children were divided into three groups. Each group was lead by a docent of the cultural center. They experienced the wonder of Noah’s Ark through exploration, climbing, listening, dancing, and playing various instruments. We had lunch at the Sculpture Garden at UCLA. The children had a chance to run in the grass and make “Fairy House” sculptures. Included in your child’s folder is a free family pass to the Skirball Cultural Center.

Growing With Green - March 27, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Mar 27 (last updated Mar 27)

This year’s Readathon was a tremendous success!  We had 98% participation school wide. We beat past readathons by 15, 000 minutes. The children at Open School read 521,463 minutes!  Yay for reading!!!!

We enjoyed seeing all of you at your child’s parent conference.  We loved celebrating your child’s progress together. 

The 24th generation of silkworms eggs have arrived!  We will be observing their growth and metamorphosis and keeping a science journal to track changes for the remainder of the year

Growing With Green - March 13, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Mar 13 (last updated Mar 13)

This is the last week of our fabulous Readathon! There are 2 new Surprise Twists for the final week of the Readathon:

Growing With Green - March 6, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Mar 6 (last updated Mar 6)

Last week we began our study of the five senses. During the next few months we will be investigating each of the five senses in detail. We are integrating their understanding of the senses with our Poetry Unit. The children are looking at ordinary objects (sticks, leaves, rocks, etc.) and generating poetry using the five senses. The children continue to work on Math Packets during their free time. This week we will be working on the letter “P” (“P” is for Peewee Penguin) and the sight word “at.” 

Growing With Green - February 27, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Feb 27 (last updated Feb 27)

On Thursday we had our annual Readathon kick-off.  The Readthon was conceived by parents years ago as a fun way to encourage reading throughout the school. Each year parents work tirelessly and endlessly to come up with an exciting theme. This year’s theme is “Twisted Tales.” The Readathon will take place for three weeks from Thursday, February 23 through Thursday, March 16. Last week on Thursday and Friday, we read with the children for 20 minutes each day. Just add up these minutes onto your child’s log for those days.

Growing With Green - February 20, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Feb 21 (last updated Feb 21)

Last week was a very busy week.  On Tuesday we held our extraordinary Valentine’s Day party with activities organized by our wonderful Deedee (Larkin’s mom)!! We decorated Oreo pops, made fruit loop heart necklaces, played heart beanbag toss, made love crowns, played Valentine’s bingo, and decorated rocks. We delivered our * cards to each other and had a wonderful day!  Thank you to all of the parents who came in to help us. We couldn’t have done it without you! =)

Growing With Green - February 13, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Feb 13 (last updated Feb 13)

On Tuesday, February 14, we will have yet another celebration.  We will  be celebrating with our Green Cluster Valentine’s Party! If you are sending in Valentine cards, please remember to sign only your child’s name.  Please do not address the cards to specific children, as this makes passing out the cards extremely difficult.  Please make sure to send in 48 cards - one for each student.

Growing With Green - February 6, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Feb 8 (last updated Feb 8)

We celebrated Open School Day on Tuesday, January 31st. It was truly an amazing day!  Here is the list of the incredible activities:

Growing With Green - January 23, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Jan 23 (last updated Jan 23)

* SPECIAL EDITION *

We are writing a special edition newsletter this week to prepare for our FABULOUS Open School Day!  Thank you, so far, to all of the parents who signed up to help on Tuesday, January 31st for Open School Day.

The schedule is as follows: 
- 8:00 - 8:25 - Breakfast
- 8:30 - 9:15 - Special multicultural assembly in the auditorium
- 9:20 - 10:20 - Activity rotations in Green Cluster
- 10:20 - 10:50 - Snack Recess
- 11:00 - 12:00 - Activity rotations continue in Green Cluster

Growing With Green - January 17, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Jan 17 (last updated Jan 17)

Last week we started writing “Label Booklets” during Writing Workshop.  We are learning to pick topics/ themes and then add details.  Some of the children’s interesting themes were:  Places I Like to go With my Family, and My Favorite Sports. 

Growing With Green - January 9, 2017 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Jan 9 (last updated Jan 9)

We hope that you all had a wonderful Winter Break.  We are looking forward to an exciting 2017 in Green Cluster!  This week we will be starting a new Writing Workshop unit.  We will begin writing “Label Booklets.”  We are continuing our homogeneous reading groups in both literature, phonics and whole language development.  The children are making a lot of progress and expanding their sight word vocabulary.  They are becoming more familiar with using their book as a resource and learning to sound out words using their word attack skills.  We will be working on forming the letter “Jj and Kk.”

Growing With Green - November 28, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Nov 28 (last updated Nov 28)

We had such wonderful parent-teacher-student conferences with all of you.  We loved celebrating the progress of your children!  

Growing With Green - November 7, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Nov 7 (last updated Nov 7)

We had such a busy week!  We learned about pumpkins and were given prior information about clues to look for that are indicators of how many seeds are inside a pumpkin.  We made a good guess as to which pumpkin we thought had the most seeds and which pumpkin had the least seeds.  We cut the pumpkins open and counted the seeds in groups by ones, twos, fives and tens.  This week we will analyze the data.  

Growing With Green - October 31, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Oct 31 (last updated Oct 31)

Last week we continued reading our sight word booklets and core literature selections. The children have been enjoying whole language books from the Wright Group series and using their books as a resource for their writing follow ups. 

The children have been very successful with Writing Workshop. This week we modeled how authors are inspired to write new stories by thinking of special places they’ve been to. Our student authors/ illustrators are so excited to create their own writing pieces. 

Growing With Green - October 25, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Oct 25 (last updated Oct 25)

Green Cluster authors had a wonderful time adding details to their “Zoo” stories.  Details make a story more interesting.  We counted across our fingers and made sure that we had at least five elements in our story.  We always end our writing session by sharing our stories.  The children did a wonderful job enriching their stories this past week.    

Growing With Green - October 17, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Oct 17 (last updated Oct 17)

This week we will continue our Columbia Writing Workshop.  The children will tell a story by “counting across their fingers” and include five ideas.  They will write down their ideas through an illustration.  The children learn to do this through extensive teacher modeling.  They will learn to write their name and date on their stories.  Next week we will be talking about how authors edit their work and add details to make the story more interesting.

Growing With Green - October 10, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Oct 10 (last updated Oct 10)

Last week we had such a wonderful trip to the Los Angeles Zoo and Travel Town.  The weather was hot, but we had fun!   Thank you to the all the parents who accompanied us on the trip! This was the largest parent/ adult entourage in the history of Green Cluster! 

Growing With Green - October 4, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Oct 5 (last updated Oct 5)

We have been reading up a storm!  All of the children worked in homogeneous groups using the Wright Group series, literature, and/ or phonics readers. We are learning to use our book as a resource to complete follow-ups to what we have read.  They are reading to their friends for additional practice. 

The students went on a “Pattern Adventure” around the school last week. They took their clipboards and pencils looking for patterns at Open School. We found patterns in pinecones, fences, on the play structure, on the mats, and EVEN on the school bus parked in the lot!

Growing With Geen - September 26, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Sep 26 (last updated Sep 26)

Last week we worked really hard learning our passwords for ST Math.  Some of the children are already working on ST Math at home because they advanced far enough to learn the additional icons for their passwords. To log on to ST Math, simply type in stmath.com. Within the next few weeks all of the children will be at the point of being able to log on at home. Try logging on and see what happens. =)

Growing With Green - September 19, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Sep 19 (last updated Sep 19)

Last week we completed many “apple” activities.  We sorted, we graphed, we learned about the star inside every apple and donated our apples to the bunnies in the garden.  We analyzed the data on the apple graph and the students came up with some interesting observations.  We learned about how apples grow.  

In Math we continued to work on ST Math.  The children are really enjoying working on the iPads.  We also continued to work on pattern extensions and counting by 10‘s.  We extended our sorting activities by sorting ourselves and our shoes. 

Growing With Green - September 12, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Sep 12 (last updated Sep 12)

This week we are continuing our “apple” activities.  We will make a class “Apple Graph”  with the varieties of apples that the students brought in.  We will be learning about how apples grow, other facts and creating a little booklet.  Ask your child about the little red house that has no windows, no doors, a chimney and a star inside.

Growing With green - September 6, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Sep 6 (last updated Sep 6)

    We enjoyed seeing so many of you at Back To School Night on Tuesday.  We hope that you are excited about the upcoming year and that we were able to answer any questions that you may have had.

Growing With Green - August 29, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Aug 29 (last updated Aug 29)

We have finished assessing all of your children through the Zamorano Reading Assessment.  We are organizing homogeneous reading groups and will soon begin our whole language, phonics and literature groups. During Calendar, we are working on extending the AB pattern, learning to count by 1s, 2s and 5s, and learning to recognize both odd and even numbers.  We are continuing to work on tally marks, ordinal numbers, number sequences, equations and place value.

Growing With Green - August 22, 2016 (Article)

Submitted by Green Teacher on Aug 22 (last updated Aug 22)

Welcome to our new and returning parents.  We had such a busy and productive first week of school.  We spent last week getting to know your children through activities and assessments.  We are are in the process of assessing your children in handwriting, fine motor skills, phonemic awareness and reading skills.

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