Showing posts from September, 2012

Open House: A Self-Directed Tour

First Grade Open House was last Thursday. We thought it would be a good idea to have the children show their parents around the classroom. Outside the room, the children made a replica of themselves as chefs holding a recipe card that states what they like best about First Grade.  They were handed the above "menu" and a highlighter. After each station was visited (the calendar, word wall, book bins, Common Core Standards board, etc.) they highlighted the menu and received a treat when they handed it in. They also played a math game with their parents at their seats after looking through their various journals and folders.
 Students loved showing their parents around the room. It was a relaxing and enjoyable Open House.

Cooking Wednesday - A Popular Subject

All day long we were reminded that today was "Cooking Wednesday."  Every other Wednesday we will be making a new menu item that students can also make at home. Today we made "Banana Roll Ups". It consisted of tortillas, cream cheese and bananas. The children spread the cream cheese on their tortilla, sliced up a banana, and rolled it up for a delicious healthy snack tha could also be a breakfast sandwich. They had lots of fun making and eating them. As we move through the school year, our recipes will get a little more involved. But for now, this was a winner. Thank you to the Hancock and Yoon families for the ingredients.
 Step One: Spread cream cheese on the tortilla.
 Carefully making sure that the cream cheese is spread evenly.
 Such concentration!!
Enjoying the fruits of their labor!

Fire Safety with Fireman Chris

Today our friend, Fireman Chris, stopped by to give the children a few lessons on fire safety.  He prepared a slideshow with pictures from real fires, diagrams of escape routes, and fire engines and other equipment. The children were taught the serious nature of a home fire. He reviewed the importance of getting out of the house if there is a fire, having a family meeting place, and making sure that all fire detectors are working properly.  Fireman Chris showed the class how fast he has to put on his uniform because a fire doubles in size every minute. He taught students to stay low to the ground because smoke rises and to crawl along the floor. Also it is important to touch a door with the back of your hand to feel if it is hot (there are more nerve endings on the back). In this way, they can tell if the fire may be behind the door.
 The kids had a great time getting to see all of the fire equipment up close and learn about fire safety. Thanks Fireman Chris - the students really…

Word Sorts in Skills Block

Skills Block is about thirty minutes at the beginning of each day when we teach the nuts and bolts of the English Language. In this block of time,  students may be learning about punctuation, capital letters, vowels, blends, parts of speech, antonyms, synonyms, spelling patterns, and/or special sounds including various letter combinations. This is everything not taught explicitly in Reader's or Writer's Workshops. This unit of time was found necessary for children to understand some of the mechanics of reading and writing and in turn, supplement reading and writing activities. We usually have a "Word Sort" that goes with our focus of the week. This week was "wh" and  "th".  These activities come from the book Words Their Waywhich is a developmental spelling program. Students work on word sorts daily in order to improve their understanding of the written language.

Teaming Up with NFL PLAY 60

Our class ran a few laps around the field today and will be doing so every Friday this fall. The NFL PLAY 60 and United Way are back for Back to Football Friday. The campaign is to advance youth health and wellness as a national priority. They are encouraging fans of all ages to show their NFL team pride at work and at school in celebration of the start of the NFL season and to join their efforts to end childhood obesity.

Cooking Wednesdays at the Diner

Today was our first "Cooking Wednesday".  We decided to make "Fruit Nachos". This was a recipe sent in by one of our mom's Kelly K. The children enjoyed cutting their apple or pear and arranging their toppings. It was a wonderful "first recipe" and a healthy one too!  Thank you to Price's mom and Roberto's mom for furnishing the ingredients this week.  If you would like to make this at home, see the "How To" video below.

Writing Small Moments: Personal Narratives in First Grade

Looping with a class has so many advantages. Having most of these children in Kindergarten, we already know what was taught, where we need to go, and how we plan to get there. Writing Small Moments (also known as Personal Narratives) is how we started Writer's Workshop this school year. Years ago, the prompt may have been to write "What I did on my summer vacation..."  Now we write about specifically what happened in the story you want to tell. It may be the super hot day at the beach when you got a sunburn or the day you caught a gecko in your house...not so much that you went to Disney World and had fun -- unless it was about a specific incident at Disney World. We teach the students to set the scene, let readers create pictures in their minds, have a great beginning and stay close to the moment when ending the story (not "I went home" or "I went to bed.")
The following story was written by Sofia. She couldn't wait to share this particular highl…

Reading Partners - Fifth Grade

Thursdays are a lot more fun for our first grade students. For about a half hour during Readers's Workshop, a class of fifth grade students come in our classroom to partner with our first graders. Our children use their book bin books to share their new friends. The older students are very kind and patient with our young readers. They make predictions, ask questions and reinforce reading strategies with our class. This is the second Thursday that we have partnered with fifth grade and both grade levels are learning so much!