Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Crafts to Brighten the Season


After our Holiday Breakfast, the rest of the morning was centered on creating some holiday favorite crafts. As you can see, it took a lot of parent help at each table in order to keep thirty-five children organized and moving in order to successfully complete each one. We had snowman hot chocolate, reindeer hand bags, popsicle stick snowman ornaments, to name but a few. The best part of the morning was having us all eat a great breakfast together, provided by our parents and of course the fun crafts. This is a special time of year and "The Mall-ards" would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Nadolig LLawen, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Maligayang Pasko, I'd Miilad said oua sana saida, Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan, Sretan Bozic, Glædelig Jul, Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Hyvaa Joulua, and/or Kala Christouyenna!

Mystery Readers Galore!!


The last few weeks were highlighted by our "Mystery Readers" who delighted the children by reading some of their favorite books to the class. Claire L. read "Oh Christmas Tree" Phineas and Ferb series by Scott Peterson and then donated the book to the class! Melanie H. was the Cajun Red Riding Hood complete with the costume and accent. She read "Petite Rouge" by Mike Artell. Crystal C. came in with "Frosty the Snowman" and Carmen D. read one of her favorite books "Piggie Pie" by Margie Palatini. Each Mystery Reader brought her special love of reading and showed the students what fun reading can be. We appreciate our Mystery Readers taking time out of their busy day to spend some moments with first graders who are just starting to understand how fascinating books can be.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Procedural Writing - How to's in First Grade


How To Trap a Mouse by Lexie
Need: cheese, string, wood, mouse, fly paper
1. First you check if you have a mouse hole. Then put fly
2. paper by its hole. Then to catch t, tie a string
3. to wood then the string to the cheese. Then get ready.
4. Put the cheese by the fly paper and the mouse's feet are stuck to the fly paper.

Writing "How to" papers is one of our classes' favorite genres to write about in Writer's Workshop. Learning that they are all experts in something makes this writing a fun type of writing that they look forward to. They have written "How to" papers on "Getting Ready for School", "Washing the Car", and "Going on a Plane". They have also put their "How to" books together and made one big "Book of How To's" which includes a title page and table of contents. They have also learned that Procedural Writing includes: recipes, directions to locations and rules for board games. So, if you would like to learn how to trap a mouse or grow a flower these two papers may help you. Each paper provides a clear title, what you will need, and pictures with captions. "How to Grow a Flower" includes where to go to find out more information on growing a flower. These are great examples of the writing we are doing now in Writer's Workshop.

How to Grow a Flower by Sarah
Need: seeds, water, dirt, sun, flower pot
1. First you get a pot and put dirt in it. Then you plant a seed.
2. Put water in the pot. But not too much - just middle size.
3. Put your plant in a sunny spot.
4. Just wait and wait and wait.
For more information, go to a plant store.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

SBBB: Pigs in a Blanket


In Math, we completed a unit called, "Making Shapes and Designing Quilts" (2D Geometry) in our Investigations Curriculum. This included students designing their own quilt pattern and repeating it over several times. In this way, they can see different shapes in their quilt patterns.

As a culminating project, this bulletin board called "Pigs in a Blanket" involved the entire class in its creation. By copying a design, each child made a piece of the quilt and together we made a blanket. When the blanket was formed, the students noticed the different shapes that appeared. The repeating squares made combinations of triangles and rhombi. Because we are "hog heaven", we thought it appropriate to have our pigs in a blanket. The students wrote their own commentary on each blanket demonstrating their understanding of the assignment. The kids just love this bulletin board and so do we!

Hanukkah Traditions and Story 2010


We are so fortunate to have a previous student S. come to our room each year and share the story and traditions of Hanukkah. Her brother J. was also assisting in explaining the history of Hanukkah to the class. Most of the students were very familiar with it because of her visit last year. However, this year they understood it better and were very ready to play the dreidel game.

S. & J. explained the story as follows: After three years of fighting, the Jews defeated the Syrians and, to celebrate, they restored the Temple of Jerusalem. As part of the celebrations they lit an oil lamp which should have been kept burning all the time, even though they could only find enough oil to keep it burning for one night. However, the oil lamp stayed lit for eight days, which was the time it took to make new oil for the lamp. This was the Miracle of the Oil.

Following the story, the fun of playing dreidel began. Everyone received their own with chocolate kisses to use as gelt (coins). The game was explained again and the children had a wonderful time learning the story and traditions of Hanukkah. Next year S. will be moving on to sixth grade, so J. will visiting us from second grade to keep our tradition going!!