Monday, January 30, 2012


Dear Baldwin Community,

This Wednesday, February 1st, will be the 100th day of classes which is unbelievable!! This morning as I walked through classrooms, I saw all of the children focused on learning and sharing their thinking. I observed three students in Ms. Seitz's class, Jaxon, Joopsy and Joey, sharing the 100 charts they created at home. Two of the students explained that their 100 charts included 10 groups of 10 which equaled 100. The other student explained that she drew a tree trunk and added 100 leaves to it. All three students received a round of applause for their good work and for their explanations. Thank you parents for helping our students complete their displays of 100 and for continuing to enhance their understanding of number sense. 

As I walked through the 1st and 2nd grade hallways, I noticed some excellent work on the bulletin boards and in the classrooms. In the early weeks of January, the first and second graders honored Martin Luther King by learning about the importance of his dream and understanding that words have power. 
Some of the second graders wrote their own dreams and it was evident that they have BIG dreams. The children learned how historical figures and good citizens help shape the country and the state by their contributions.

Our third graders learned that the earth consists of Natural Resources and that its surface is constantly changing. They learned this by creating models of the 3 types of rocks found on the earth: metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary. The children will now be using this information to identify and compare different landforms, including mountains, hills, valleys and plains. In the orange wing, I also saw third grade work where the students created their own number lines naming points using whole numbers and fractions, including halves and fourths. 

In the green wing, our fourth and fifth graders have been working extremely hard in all academic areas. I know these students are relieved that science fair is behind them and I want to congratulate them for their great work and perseverance to get it done! I learned so much from their projects and I thank the parents for helping them get through this phase of their learning. I spent quite a bit of time in the green wing today reading the fourth graders narrative and expository compositions. They are such creative writers and they are doing such a great job using their learning within their writing. In the same way, the fifth graders had some excellent work displayed in the hallway. Their work showed that they are able to use a flexible range of metacognitive reading skills in both assigned and independent reading to understand an author's message. Today, as I walked through the fifth grade reading class, the students were beginning their study of poetry learning about poetic techniques such as alliteration and onomatopoeia, figurative language and graphic elements. Be on the lookout for your child's creative, poetic side.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the parents and grandparents that heard our plea for more reading volunteers. This week alone, I saw an increase in volunteers coming in to help our first graders improve their reading skills through our Great Leaps Reading program. We still have space for more volunteers so please checkout the Baldwin PTA website for other volunteer opportunities. Thank you again for all of your support!

I look forward to reporting more on your children's learning later this week.

Roaring with Pride,
Dr. Peña