Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Party and Crafts 2016

 
 After our holiday brunch, we started on crafts. This is a sock snowman whereby the children filled the sock up with beans, tied it in 3 sections and decorated it with pom poms, googly eyes, and other miscellaneous craft items.
They turned out adorable and the kids have a great keepsake to share with their families.
 All of them together make a great snowman community!
 Another craft was a snowman doily that was decorated and is now ready to display!
Merry Christmas and Happy 2017 from The Mall-ards!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Polar Express and Hot Chocolate Treats


Today we took a walking field trip to see the movie The Polar Express at Chet Creek Church next door from our school. When we returned, we had Matt and Jami Michaud waiting for us with hot chocolate and snowman cookies from Starbucks. Thank you to the Michaud family for the wonderful refreshments after the movie!!
To thank Matt, the class made a holiday quilt - it may be hanging up in our local Starbucks right now!!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Book of the Month - The Gingerbread Man- Loose at Christmas

Our book of the month is The Gingerbread Man - Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray. It's about The Season of Giving - to look around at our Community Helpers and see how we can thank them for all they do for us all year. They can make something sweet, say something kind or write a thoughtful thank you card.This is a great book to read to children so that they realize that even the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference.  Below is a note to one of our dining room assistants who help the children everyday with lunch room duties.
Dear Lunch Lady,
Thank you for helping me and cleaning up and
giving me a spoon and coming to help me
when I need help.
Thank you for everything.
You are the best,
Love, Brishell


Roll 3 for 20 OR Bust!




During the Skills Block segment of Math, students learned the game of "Roll 3 for 20 or Bust". The purpose of this game is to get to 20 or as close to the number 20 as possible. They roll 3 die (each color is specific to a number) - blue (0-5), green (2-7), and red (4-9). Then they add the sum of the 3 dice and decide if they want to hold or roll again (one die). If they chose to roll again, they choose the color. This game builds computational fluency and enhances estimating skills.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Opinion Writing About Our Collections

 
This week we started our unit on opinion writing. Students were invited to bring in one of their favorite collections. Items ranged from rocks to Pokemon cards to stuffed animals. Children rated which one was "Best in Show" (1st Place) and on down the line. They wrote the reasons why they rated their items the way they did using the word "because".  
 Today,students visited their friend's collections to see how their items were rated and they wrote about how they would change 1st, 2nd, etc. place. They also gave reasons why they felt that way.
They enjoyed rating the items and expressing their views on why they think the collections should be changed. Students are learning how to disagree politely and write their reasons why.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Word Family Word Wall - Learning more words

A portion of our Skills Block time is devoted to learning spelling patterns and one of the best ways is our work with Word Families.  Each week two new word families are our focus. These word patterns are chosen because of the Primary Spelling Inventory Assessment students took the first week of school. These special sounds and letter combinations are where they had the most difficulty. We review the previous ones by playing word and guessing games. For instance, "Find the word in the "ight" family that is the opposite of day."  Students will then write the word on their white board. Keeping the work on our walls useful and meaningful is important in our classroom laboratory! 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pictures to help say more about writing

 Students were invited to bring in pictures that matched their informational writing. In this way, they can write more about their pictures via a caption or labeling.
Studying the image helps students to notice more about their subject, in this case butterflies.
 Working with partners, they talked about their pictures and then added more in their "All About" book. Adding this layer of research was a great way to enhance our Writer's Workshop.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Literary Character Parade

 A favorite tradition for kindergarten and first grade students is to get dressed as a favorite book character and parade around the school in costume with the book.
 We had everyone from Pinkalicious to Ninja warriors represented in our class.
 The children loved getting dressed as their favorite book character.
This is always a great memory and fun day for the children.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Literary Pumpkin Time - Adventures of Little Bird

One of our favorite books this year is "Adventures of Little Bird" by Johnathan Hillstrand the Captain of  the "Time Bandit" (Deadliest Catch). He wrote and illustrated this book about a parrot "Little Bird" who wants to be a pirate; however, everyone he meets discourages his dream. Fortunately, he was bound and determined to be one and his dream finally came true. We decided to make this book into our class pumpkin display for the front lobby for all to enjoy!

Students worked on painting the boat to get it "ship-shape" for our literacy pumpkin display.









Finally all the characters are ready and reporting for duty. It turned out great. Thanks to Captain Jonathan for such a wonderful children's book!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mrs. Jackson - Character Education

Every month we are treated with a visit from Mrs. Jackson. She comes with her basket of books and treats for the children. Mrs. Jackson also comes with a focus on the character trait of the month, for instance, respect, cooperation, patriotism, and diversity. The students love to hear her animated read alouds and answer her many questions about the books.
In addition to the lollipop treats, Mrs. Jackson (who happens to be our Vice Principal's mother) gives each class a book for their classroom library. We are very fortunate to have such a delightful volunteer visit our children each month!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Strategies for Solving Math Stories

Since the beginning of the school year, students have been learning math strategies to help them solve a variety of math story problems.  These strategies are useful in solving both addition and subtraction story problems. While building on these strategies, students will get better at choosing the most efficient strategy for their math problem.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Writing About Our Writing Celebration

The day after the writing celebration, students were invited to write one more narrative piece. This writing was used as the end assessment piece for the Narrative Unit. This is Leland's piece and in it he writes about what led up to our writing celebration and the celebration itself. We really liked his piece and wanted to share it.
 One Thursday, me and my class had a PARTY! for Writer's Workshop
because tomorrow is the LAST  Small Moment story. The song was called
"Celebration Time Come On! It's Funke.
 But, before the shabangalanga we put(ted) our writing out. I mean
the ones we were working on. It had letters, pictures, blurbs and title. The 
one's that are good.
This is kind of (cindav) a How To but it's not in order.
First you set out your writing.
Second the party.
And third is the museum.
And the fun begin(s).

Friday, September 23, 2016

Writing Celebration - Celebrating Good Times!


It is time to celebrate. We are finished revising and editing our writing our favorite piece of writing from the Small Moments Unit of Study. The children were SO excited to dance to "Celebrate Good Times" from Kool and the Gang. We use that song at the end of each unit because it is just the best to get the kids excited.
Each student put their revised and edited piece at their seat. Our writers were invited to visit each table and read what their classmates have written.
Some traveled in pairs and read together.
They gave compliments to their fellow classmates about their writing.
Afterwards, each shared the back of his/her book "blurb" about what their story is about and then put it in a bin with everyone's writing.  It was a great way to celebrate all the hard work they have done since the beginning of first grade!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reading Partners Add Some Spark

 Partner reading is one of the components of our Reader's Workshop. Students have the chance to share their book bin books with their partners and use their reading strategies to help each other. They learn how to work as a team and build good reading habits together.
 Sometimes partners work in groups of three when the other partner is on the computer or absent.
Partners enjoy sharing their books and strategies. They learn so much from each other.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Visiting 5th Grade Science Teacher


We were very fortunate to have Mrs.Shannon, a fifth grade science teacher, visit us with some science magic tricks that had the children all excited. They learned that a bucket of water will not spill out if you swing it around really fast. They experimented with a tube that used human electricity to light up and she conducted experiments using straws and cups. Thank you Mrs. Shannon for engaging our first graders with such interesting science experiments!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Asking Questions and Using Tools


Today is Science, students were given a tray of white liquid with food dye and asked to use their questioning skills to try and figure out what was in front of them. Four different colors were added to whole milk and detergent. They were then asked to put a Q-tip into the food coloring and chart and record what they saw using their five senses.  This was a simple experiment where children had chance to use the skills they have acquired so far in Science.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Scooping Up Words

We are scooping up words a few at a time in order to gain fluency and comprehension in reading. Students are using a plastic spoon as a visual scoop in order to read more than one word at a time. Before given their spoons children were told: "Just like you don't eat one Cheerio at a time for breakfast - you don't read one word at a time."  They have been scooping up a few words on their spoons and then going back for more!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Power of Ten Using a Rekenrek

Today students used a rekenrek (calculating frame) to see how many combinations of ten they could make with their partner.  These young learners used this tool as a visual model which helped them not only discover number relationships but also aided in developing automaticity especially with the landmark number 10. This is a great way to provide hands on learning and develop basic facts by using patterns and relationships.  Using the rekenrek is one of our classes favorite activities.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Writing Partners Spice Up the Work

 Students were very excited to share their writing with their writing partners today. This partnership gives children a chance to read and revise their stories with a partner's recommendations. When a sentence doesn't make sense, the partner may say, "Can you say that again?" "I didn't understand it." Or a partner may ask questions that gives the writer more to write. This partner time always spices up Writer's Workshop which we always like to see.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Visiting Our School Rabbits

Let the questioning begin! Students were amazed to see our school rabbits. They are in a pen behind the school and are well taken care of with lots of food and love. The children are encouraged to ask lots of questions about them. So far we have had: Why does one have long hair?  Why do some have brown eyes and some have blue eyes?
They will get to hold and/or pet them if they wish on our next visit.
The rabbits are very friendly and run to their visitors to greet them.