Saturday, November 10, 2018

Silent "e" Practice: is it "bossy"or "magic"?

So many good ideas come from Pinterest. I was looking for some new ways to reinforce silent "e". I came across this chart and it's now one that we practice a few times a week. Say it without the "e" hop and then add the "e" and make it hope. Sometimes we call it "bossy" e and other times it's "magic" e.  Whatever way the children remember that the "e" makes the vowel say its own name is a good way.
After chanting the chart, students get to enhance their learning by playing a game that features "silent e" words. (Thanks to TPT for this game.)

Science: How can objects move?

 Children had the opportunity to discover how objects move and log their findings in their Science Journals. They were given a bag of objects and then they were asked how can they make these objects move.  This child explored using the Rekenrek and said to move the balls you can slide them. For the pencil, she blew on it and it rolled.
(Once the camera came out, everyone wanted to share!)
J practiced moving the Rekenrek and a marble.
K had a top that spins to move it and a can that he used his arms to move it,
M rolled the marble and twisted the wind up toy.

Partner Reading - Sharing the Learning

The best part about partner reading is sharing the learning. After 15 minutes of reading their books independently, students will have the opportunity to share the books with their partner for the next 15 minutes. They may use Post-It notes to highlight parts of their books that they want to share with their partner. It could be anything from an interesting fact to an unknown word. During this time, we pull small groups for guided reading. Our focus this year in Reader's Workshop is to build strong partner readers that like to share the learning and become comfortable talking about books.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Literary Character Parade and Centers

 A favorite time of year is the Literacy Character Parade for Kindergarten and First Grade students. Children get to dress up in their favorite costume and parade around the first floor of our school for the older students and parents to watch and cheer on. They also have a book that matches their character. When they return to the classroom, centers included mummy making, pumpkin decorating, paper bag bats, and a few games to play. Another fond memory for our first graders.

Writing Partners Working Together

One of the students's favorite writing activities is working with a partner. During this time,they get to share their writing, ask for ideas, and give/receive compliments on their work. Children are writing "All About" books in whatever subject they are an expert in which includes hiking, sports, theme parks, and dance. Their reports include an Introduction, Table of Contents, How To page, Information and Conclusions. Writing with a partner helps children to build relationships and trust with their first grade friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Math Centers - Working with Numbers

Math Center time is when students have the opportunity practice and apply the skills and strategies they have learned in the classroom. These skills concentrate on building number sense, fluency and practice. The first center on the computer is called Reflex Math which is a game-based math fact fluency site. It is individualized whereby each student is building basic math facts to ten.
 Math Center #2: Students are using the 100's chart to play (+1) (-1)  (+10) (-10). This game is used to help build number sense.
Math Center #3: Students are doing Number Sprints. There is a timer and they are challenging themselves to see how many math facts they can complete in one minute.
Math Center #4: By using a number line as a tool to solve equations, students are playing Start With - Get To.  All of these games are used to enhance student's learning and to build number sense.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Letter Combinations and Blend Charts

Once again, we have had several requests for the above "Letter Combinations" chart. We alternate this chart with the below "Blends" chart every day during Skills Block. Students chant it as "ay, ey, ai See kids play, etc." They see these letter combinations in their reading and use them in their writing. These two charts are also kept in easy eye-sight for students to refer to as needed. Smaller charts are also put into their writing folders and reading bins earlier in the year to use as reference tools and chant during partner reading.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Literary Pumpkin - Mummies in the Morning

This year the children chose "Mummies in the Morning" by Mary Pope Osborne for their entry into the Literacy Pumpkin display in the front lobby. It is #3 in the Magic Tree House series. They love the adventures of brother and sister Jack and Annie in the magic tree house. In this book, they take a trip to ancient Egypt and meet up with a 1000 year old queen and help return her belongings. The trip takes us to pyramids, a burial chamber and, of course, the mummy queen. The students enjoy their daily read alouds when we read them two chapters a day of their favorite characters' escapades. Parent volunteers helped the children paint the pumpkins and they did an awesome job!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall Festival - Lollipop Tree

One of our favorite times of the year is the annual Fall Festival and Literary Parade. Each class has a booth and our tried-and-true each year is the Lollipop Tree. Costing only two tickets, children get to pick a lollipop. If it has a red tip on it they win the lollipop and a prize. If it is not colored, they get the lollipop. That's why we say,  "Everyone is a winner at the Lollipop Tree!"

Monday, October 8, 2018

Field trip - IMAX - Great Barrier Reef

What is more exciting than a field trip to a six year old? Our first field trip this year was to the IMAX Theater to see the Great Barrier Reef: An IMAX 3D Experience.  Students grabbed their snorkel gear and skillfully mastered a trip through the awesome and bizarre living world of the reef. They experienced the 3D movie with the focus on preserving and protecting the habitat of giant mantas, sea turtles, sharks and Minke whales. Seeing the children reach out and trying to touch the sea creatures was very entertaining. This was a wonderful field trip that compliments our school theme this year of "Love All - Live Big - Learn Deep!"

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Math Journals

Math journals are a tool that we use every day.  It started in Kindergarten when children may start with writing their numbers and making representations to now when they are writing number bonds and figuring out word problems. It is a way to start Math time and focus on either a review or enrichment activity. The assignment is read before students start and are given a few minutes to focus and get their answers written. It is then reviewed with the whole class and students get to share their answers and model the thinking behind their answers with the class.

Interactive Skills Block

Skills Block is a favorite part of the children's morning. Each day they have an activity that enhances their learning and helps them in some way make sense of their word wall words and word families. Today the students worked in teams to find the letters and make the words that they have been learning with all week. On the back they will build the word families by just changing the beginning sound. For instance, they make say, "If I can spell -ake, I can spell make, cake, bake, take, wake, and fake."  By learning the word families, they have the opportunity to learn so much more about how words work.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Love All. Live Big. Learn Deep 18-19 from Once Upon a Teacher on Vimeo.
We are very excited about our new theme for this 2018-2019 school year. Looping our Kindergarten students to first grade is always a pleasure. We begin our learning on the first day of school and it is also great to see familiar family and friend's faces after the summer. We will keep you posted as to the events in our classroom and school. It's so much fun being a Chets Creek student!

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 ...