Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sharing Writing

At the end of each workshop, Reader's, Writer' and Math,  it is very important to close with sharing some of  the work that has been completed. It varies in what exactly will be shared. In Writer's Workshop, sometimes the share may be what was taught in the mini lesson, sometimes something interesting a child added to his/her writing, it could be the teacher sharing, or it could be a completed piece that a student would love for classmates to hear. In this case, it was a completed piece of nonfiction writing about gardening. It's just amazing to see how fast our writers are learning and growing much like the gardening book "L" wrote and read to the class.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting Ready for Turkey Day

Yes, that is glitter on our turkeys.  We call them our "Las Vegas Turkeys" and students were invited to dress them up in whatever way they wanted.  They were shown a sample, given the paper and then free-drew what they saw. We think they look amazing and help add to our excitement that the Thanksgiving holiday is just one week away!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Publix Field Trip

 "Publix isn't a field trip," one of our students said as we announced our field trip destination. But his mind was changed after this visit to our local Publix supermarket. We walked (about a mile) to the store where we were greeted by Ms. Marilyn, our tour guide. She explained the different sections of the store and we visited the bakery, deli counter, fruits/vegetables, dairy and meat departments. Students were treated to fresh turkey and wheat bread and also gifted with a frisbee and book about Publix. 
 Children learned how to properly eat a mango (island style) and the difference between a plantain and a banana.
 Keeping your hands clean is very important in all sections of the store but especially the meat department. Children were told that it is not a good idea to touch the meat packaging because germs can easily transfer.
Afterwards, the same child was asked, "Well, is Publix a field trip?"  He answered, "Oh yes - I can't wait to go back and show my mom and dad."  I'm taking a guess, but I think they already know!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Writer of the Week

 Our writing mentor, Lucy Calkins, tells us to treat our writing like gold. How better to treat it like gold than to put the writing in a gold frame? We have now started our "Writer of the Week".  Our featured writer this week is "A" and she wrote "All About Dogs".  She told us all about the different colors a dog can be, their sizes and whiskers. "A" labeled her drawing and told even more about dogs through pages 2 and 3. All this week her writing will be in front of the classroom for all to admire. Our young writer is well on her way to author several more "All About Books".  Congratulations...and keep up the super job!! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sorting Objects by Weight

 Our young scientists have been sorting observable properties of objects this week. Today they used the balance to see if an object was heavier, lighter or equal to the object being weighed.  After this "experiment", they jotted their findings in their Science Journals.
It takes lots of thought and decision making to be a scientist.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Literary Pumpkin: The Night of the Veggie Monster

During our Narrative Unit of Study (Lucy Calkins), we used a mentor text called "Night of the Veggie Monster" by George McClements.  The children just love this book and have heard it several times so it proved to be an excellent choice for our Literary Pumpkin.  On Friday, students were invited to paint the pumpkin and three peas that go with the book. Our masterpiece will be on display this week in the school lobby. These are pictures leading up to the completed piece. Thank you to our volunteer moms: Susan, Dawn and Bobbie for all of your help. Stay tuned for "The Night of the Veggie Monster" in pumpkin form...
 Everyone gets to paint a piece of the pumpkin...
We need those dreadful tasting peas painted too!
Thanks moms for all of your help and creating new memories for our first graders!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Writing Celebration: Completing the Unit of Study for Narrative Writing

"Celebrating our Writer's and Their Writing" was the theme of the day.  We have concluded the first writing Unit of Study for Narrative Writing (Small Moments) and it was time to celebrate. Students were greeted with balloons, cookies, juice and brand new pencils. Thank you to our room mom - Mrs. Long for all of the treats.
 Students picked their best piece and polished it up for this special day. The stories were put at their table to share with their table partners.
 Each child came up to the front, stated the title of their book and placed it in the "Small Moments" bin. This bin will now be available for all to look at and read in the classroom.
 Afterwards students enjoyed cookies and juice and talked about how "This is the best day ever..."

It's great to celebrate writing!!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Math Centers - Giving time to work with numbers

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. 
Albert Einstein
 Math Centers is the time when children are invited to work on varying math games. Students use this time to practice math skills and concepts. These skills may include: Math fact fluency (sorting - equal to, less than or greater than 10); (Number sprints- How many math facts in a minute?); Addition/subtraction bingo; Addition facts; Reflex Math (computer); Combo's of numbers from 5 to 10; and "Start with Get To" using a number line. Giving students time to work with numbers helps greatly in acquiring the Number Sense they need for a strong foundation. This is also a time when children pulled for small group instruction either on remediation and/or enrichment activities.
 Is the equation more than, less than, or equal to 10?
 Plus or minus one bingo.
 Number combinations - finding 10.
Number sprints - how many in a minute?  Can you improve on your next game?
Start with - get to...using a number line.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Making Writing Special

With space at a premium in our classroom, we felt it very important to devote one small round table for writing supplies. At this table, students can find anything they may need to "fancy up" their writing. There are sharpened colored pencils, editing pens, a date stamp, stapler, tape, editing strips, post it notes, crayons and freshly run writing booklets for all of our young authors. With such an inviting table, who wouldn't want to be writing during Writer's Workshop...or for any other subject during the day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Literacy Centers Make It All Come Together

Our weekly hands on experiences with letters, words, digraphs and punctuation take the Skills Block lessons from the week full circle. Children use this time to make sense of all that was taught throughout the week. It is time when they get to share what they have learned with each other and have the opportunity to show us what they now understand..
 In this center, students are recognizing capital letters and ending punctuation by trying to rewrite the sentence correctly.
More practice with digraphs (sh, wh, th and ch).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Partner Reading is Everyone's Favorite

Partner reading is when children are invited to share their books with a friend.  Students are paired up with a child who can read on the same general level. There are a few rules for a successful partner reading session. They have to be sitting side by side (or if on the floor - knee to knee) . They can take turns reading a page or one person can read a book, then the other.  They are there to support each other on their reading journey. Asking questions is very important and serves as a great way to get conversations started about the books that are read. For example, questions that start with "Why do you think..?"; "What is happening ...?"; "Do you think the characters...?" may be used. It is also a time to make predictions, learn new vocabulary and become a more fluent reader. Partner reading is a time to share new learning through the simple pleasure of reading a book with a friend.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Writer's Museum - Rounding the First Bend

Today we celebrated as writers for completing the first bend in our "Small Moments" Lucy Calkins' writing series. Children were invited to put their best piece of writing on top of their folder at their table so that other students could admire their work. They moved around in our "Writing Museum" and read other students work. Afterwards, we came back as a group and listed what we noticed about the writing and what they want to bring back and use in their pieces. It was the perfect time to reflect and grow in our writing community.
Students were surprised to see how much each has grown as a writer since the first day of school.

By reading other children's writing, students got lots of ideas on how to make their writing even better.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Class Promise - Our classroom rules

Our Class Promise is very important in how our classroom runs. It is recited every day so that the children know what is expected of them. It is also important that they help create the promise so that they have ownership in it. They know that if they follow these rules, they will be a good school citizen. Each child was invited to be their favorite Wizard of Oz character so we have Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion represented. What a great way to have classroom rules displayed and followed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Science Notebooks/Journals

 Science notebooks are frequently used to record student thoughts and discoveries in Science.The lessons of  "What is a Scientist?" and "What do Scientists look like?" were brainstormed with the class. They soon found out that a scientist looks just like do and a scientist is each one them.  In their notebooks, they attached a smock and added various tools and instruments.  Inside the pocket, they wrote what a scientist can do and what tools a scientist uses. 
"I can investigate."  "I can make volcanoes."
"I use a ruler."     "I use goggles."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Welcome Back Bulletin Board

 Our "Welcome Back" bulletin board boasts the Wizard of Oz characters, a hot air balloon, and welcome back messages to each of our students. Thanks to Kim (Libby's mom) for the great dolls and hot air balloon. It is Oz-some indeed!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day Art Work

What is first grade without some art work?  Children chose the character from "The Wizard of Oz" that they wanted to make. These are hanging in our classroom for all to enjoy. What an Oz-some job!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Day of First Grade 2014

This is the first day of First Grade and how happy everyone is to be back with old friends and meeting new ones.  We started the day with a word search but it was mostly about talking about their summer and getting to know each other.
 Seems like yesterday they were Kindergarten students. Look how grown up and relaxed they are ...there is no place like home!!
 What a difference a year makes!!
There was way more to come on this special first day of first grade.  At 9:30, we were invited to the playground for a BIG surprise. Mrs Phillips (our principal) arranged for a hot air balloon for all the students to see. It was amazing and something they are still talking about...what a great first day!!

 Waiting for the man to get to the hot air balloon.

 It was a little hot and sunny.

Mrs. Phillips and Dorothy in the hot air balloon!  It was a great first day!!

Kindergarten Pow Wow 2019

Our tribe this year was the Inuit. Our students learned about the Inuit culture which included their food, housing and shelter. They sang ...