Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pine Cones and Turkeys - Thanksgiving Fun


On Tuesday, the day before our Thanksgiving break, we tinkered with some pine cones, feathers, and pom poms. We came up with some very cute pine cone turkeys for each student to take home. These were just too cute not to share. A very Happy Thanksgiving from the Mall-ards in Hog Heaven!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Read Aloud - Magic Tree House


During the past few days, the children have been learning about the Pilgrims, the Native Americans, and the first Thanksgiving. We have been reading several books on the subject but the one they most liked is from the Magic Tree House series. The book is called, "Thanksgiving on Thursday" by Mary Pope Osborne. Eight year old Jack and his seven year old sister Annie get transported in time whenever they open a book in their magic tree house. On this adventure, they are in Plymouth on the first Thanksgiving. They meet Squanto, Captain Standish, and Governor Bradford. They befriend a pilgrim girl, Priscilla, who has them helping to prepare food for the feast. The first book in the series, "Dinosaurs Before Dark" was read last week. "Thanksgiving on Thursday" is book #27 in the series. Reading these chapter books aloud is a great way for the class to come together as a community. Reading aloud is the best way we have to immerse children in the glories of reading, showing them both how and why one reads (Calkins, 2010). We will be going on several more Magic Tree House adventures in the future, such as mummies, knights, and moon visits...and we can't wait!

Calkins, L. (2010). A guide to the reading workshop. Heinemann.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mystery Reader: P is for Pom Pom!


Our mystery reader this week surprised her brother,sister and the class by coming in and reading "P is for Pom Pom" by Laura Purdie Salas. Her arrival was announced and then five clues about our mystery reader were read. Some of the clues were: She used to go to this school; She was our patrol; and she has siblings in this class. While students were guessing, V came in and we all clapped. She was wearing her cheering uniform, brought pom poms, and was carrying the book with her. She then read "P is for Pom Pom! The Cheerleading Alphabet Book to the class. The girls could not wait to imitate some of the moves she read about. V was brave enough to chant and show us the routine of some of her cheers. During the finale, she showed us a jump and the kids just loved it. Thank you V for a great reading and being a wonderful mystery reader. The children enjoyed it and C and L were very proud of their big sister!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Literacy Centers - Time to Practice Reading


A favorite part of the student's day is when they get to enjoy authentic reading by engaging in Literacy Centers. A popular station is "Books on CD". Children have the opportunity to read along with the CD. By listening and reading along, they get to hear and practice fluent reading. The books we are using are from the county sponsored Houghlin Mifflin series for first grade and each come with a CD. These readers have some wonderful trade books incorporated into one leveled book. The CD players were sponsored by some of the student's parents. We asked for CD players at our Open House and now have six which makes a great listening center. Other stations the children visit are the computers. We have four that they visit on a rotating schedule. Also there are various genre baskets of books and magazines that they love to dive into. This is a time where students have time to practice reading either on the computer, CDs, books or magazines. They can read about sharks, finish up a chapter from Magic Tree House, or grab a Dr. Seuss book...Oh, the places they can go...during literacy centers.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Readers to Leaders: Principal Slimed


The whole school was in for a special treat today when Mrs. Phillips, our principal, kept her promise and was "slimed" because most of the students met their twenty-five book challenge this quarter. Readers to Leaders comes from a county incentive to have students read one million words a year. The one million words is broken down to approximately twenty-five books per quarter. The students are also recognized during our awards ceremony every quarter for this achievement. Mrs. Phillips was a good sport and the children really enjoyed seeing her get slimed! What's next? Oh...it only gets better!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Koala Lou...We Do Love You...bulletin board


The Mall-ards actually look forward to creating a new bulletin board presentation each month. We love sharing the learning that is going on in our classroom and the bulletin board is one way to do just that. Our board this month was on reading which featured our Author Study of Mem Fox literature. It consists of a sampling of the work that was completed by our first grade students during Reader's Workshop during this study. The first piece is a text-to-text connection between Shoes from Grandpa and There Was An Old Lady. Next is a a retelling of Possum Magic by sequencing the story in six parts. Then we have students reporting on story elements from Hattie and the Fox listing characters, setting, problem and solution. Finally, there is a Venn Diagram showing the similarities and differences between between Shoes From Grandpa and On Halloween Night. These pieces are just a sampling of showing how students are making meaningful connections and comprehending text every day in Hog Heaven!