Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine Fun in First Grade

 Valentine mailboxes come in all different shapes and sizes. There was excitement in the air delivering and receiving Valentine wishes.  This is a sampling of the creative boxes.
We celebrated with an Ice Cream Social in the afternoon. The children picked their toppings and had a special ice cream treat to mark the occasion. Thanks to our wonderful parent volunteers and parents who sent in all of the special treats.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fluency of Thought in First Grade

Our "Book of the Month" for January is "If...A Mind Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers" by David J. Smith.  This book scales down everything from timelines to the universe in kid-friendly terms and pictures. An exercise we used in Reader's Workshop today was to use a strategy that helps to make more meaning of what the students are hearing during a read aloud. We taught students how to keep their brains on fire, capture their thinking, and connect it altogether in order to make meaning of what they are hearing and reading. Students were asked to write the entire time they were listening to the book being read. This was not easy for first graders but we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
The goal is that students will do this thinking while reading, listening, and discussing books. The students write the entire time they are listening to the text.  They continually grabbed thoughts and wrote to add and revise as they grew new ideas.  The following are the results of our first exercise in getting our brains on fire.
Grabbing thoughts and writing them using numbers to separate thoughts.
Asking "How old is/are the planets?"
Some students are not ready for such extensive writing, but they experience the magic in their own way.  Brains are on fire...

Monday, February 2, 2015

100th Day of School - First Grade 2015

Celebrating the 100th day of school has really turned into a memorable day for our students. The room was full of 100 balloons, students brought in an empty water bottle filled with 100 items, and we also made a 100 item snack mix. It was an out-of-the-ordinary day but a milestone in their first grade year.  Looking forward to the next 80 days -- it goes by so quickly!

 
Celebrating the 100th day.
 

Water bottles filled with 100 items.

100 day glasses...loads of fun for the 100th day!!