Friday, December 17, 2010

Snowball Fight!

We surprised our students at the end of the day with a "Florida-style" Snowball Fight.

Reading Partners

Partnering up proves to be super FUN! Students meet with their reading partner to share their books and ask each other questions about their book. This allows students to show their "thinking" about the book.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Our adorable crew of reindeer are wishing you a Happy and safe Holiday! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


We made snowflakes to decorate our classroom. Each one is as unique as the child who made it!

Auntie Clause

Today as a special treat, students anxiously waited in the Media Center for Auntie Clause. She explained that she is Santa Clause's sister and was sent to read a story to all of the children at Chets Creek. The students sat so still and hung on her every word as she read the story, Auntie Clause. Then she invited them to have a cookie and milk or juice. What a special treat!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Season for Giving

It is so important to teach kids about helping others. Our class has participated in a few different service projects so far this year. We collected sweaters for the Mr. Rogers Sweater Drive, we collected a lot of personal care items and cookies to provide to The Homeless at The City Rescue Mission, and we are currently making cards and a holiday banner to deliver to individuals at a nursing home. I think that our students are definitely seeing that although they may be small, they can help change something for the better! Thank you for helping us teach and model these important life lessons!

Thanksgiving Breakfast

We were so glad to have so many parents, step-parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents at our Thanksgiving Breakfast. We hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break! We are so thankful for having the opportunity to be your child's teacher. We just love those little cuties! We had the opportunity to learn about life on a submarine from Mr. Danny who answered all sorts of questions from the kids.

Keeping up with Math

Our Standard Based Bulletin Board this month features our daily work in Calendar Math. We keep a tally of how many days we have been in school. We use this number in many different ways: we count how many groups of tens and how many ones, we talk about the number that comes before and after, we draw this number with tally marks, show this number using different coins, and show this number on the clock in reference to how many hours and minutes. We also have daily story problems in which students have to show their strategies and solve some problems in more than one way or use more than one strategy. Calendar Math teaches and reinforces so many math skills!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spelling City!

Test out to practice your weekly sight words during Skills Centers and for extra practice at home! There are lots of fun activities that are sure to get your brains excited. Look under our 'Websites to Visit' and SpellingCity is at the top of the list.

Once you get to the site, scroll down to 'Spelling and Vocabulary Lists' and click on Weekly Words. We will be sure to add the words each week so you can be super readers and writers! :)

quick link: SpellingCity

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Literacy Character Parade & Fall Party!

After the parade we celebrated Fall with different stations around the room, yummy Fall snacks, and some good Fall fun! Our friends have worked super hard the first nine weeks and deserved to have an awesome day! :)
They create their very own Scarecrow

made some scary monsters

created a mosaic of an acorn

painted fall leaves and finger-painted trees

and created their own necklace and searched for spooky words

Exploring Quadrilaterals with Geboards

Quad-ri-lat-er-al is a pretty biiig word for a First Grade student, but a pretty easy concept to understand. A quadrilateral is simply a polygon with 4 sides. This means any 2-D shape such as the ones pictured below. The table below shows the quadrilaterals we know from exploring with our pattern blocks. Just like when we explored with triangles, the main goal for this lesson was to make sure students understand what a quadrilateral is and to create different types of quadrilaterals on their Geoboards. Our friends totally blew this exploration out of the water!

Exploring Triangles with Geoboards

This week in math we had a blast exploring triangles. It is important for students to understand that triangles are 2-D closed figures (meaning all lines connect) that have 3 straight sides and 3 vertices (our fancy word for corners). Our friends did a fantastic job creating different types of triangles on their Geoboards. Geoboards are plastic and have small pegs on them which hold rubber bands. Students manipulate the rubber bands to make different shapes--and in this case, we created triangles. The main goal of this lesson was to make sure students understand that there are different types of triangles. Not all triangles have equal sides, they can be large or small, and can be positioned many ways. They exercised their brains together and learned a lot from this activity!

First Grade Skype Session

First Grade had the awesome opportunity to Skype with a teacher in Australia as part of our Mem Fox celebration! In case you are wondering what 'Skype' is, it is a software that enables people from all over the world to communicate with one another. It is a free program that allows you to make voice and video phone calls, send instant messages, and share files with people all over the world. It is an amazing piece of software, and thanks to Mrs. Holtsman, we were able to learn some more interesting facts about Australia and Mem Fox. We had a Skype session with a teacher from Australia. She taught us some interesting facts about Mem Fox, about the school she works at, and about some of the food that was in the books that we read. A special friend from each First Grade class even got to ask her a question! It was such a memorable experience. Thanks to all who made it possible!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reader's Theater

Here is a short clip from our Reader's Theater production of Mem Fox's, Hattie and the Fox!

Mem Fox Celebration

We completed our Mem Fox author study and celebrated in a BIG way! We began last Friday morning by bringing the students in the cafeteria to SKYPE a teacher who lives in Australia. She shared some information about living in Australia and meeting Mem Fox. Students asked some questions to learn more about Australia and how it is similar or different to where we live. We learned that kids go to school in Australia for the same about of time that we do and they have the same subjects. We also learned that they wear uniforms to school. We continued our day by presenting a "Reader's Theater" version of Mem Fox's book, Hattie and the Fox. Students practiced reading with intonation and remembering their parts. They participated in fun crafts and activities centered around Australian animals.

Mmm... Delicious Dirt :)

We have wrapped up part one of our study on the Earth's surface. Over the past couple of weeks, we studied the different layers of soil, different types of soil and different uses for soil. It's always important to extend our learning. In this case, extending our learning turned out to be quite fun! Mrs. Alvarado and Miss Donofrio thought it would be a great idea to have our friends make their own soil and eat it! As we made the soil, we discussed the different layers we were putting into our cups. First, we added the bedrock (crushed vanilla wafers). Next, we added the subsoil layer (crushed oreos). Finally, we added the humus (chocolate pudding and gummy worms). We learned that the humus is very rich in nutrients and is great for growing plants! Take a look at some of our friends who volunteered to show off how they fill their tummys with our homemade dirt cups!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We are "digging" science!

Students really are "digging" science as they collected soil samples last week. We are beginning a new science unit all about The Earth's Surface. They collected their sample and then came back to the classroom to examine it closer with their magnifying glasses. They discussed their observations with their partners. They also watched a video clip that posed different questions for them to think about. This week we observe and compare sand, humus, and clay. Students will be thinking about the different types of solid materials that are found on Earth. They will observe the likenesses and differences between different types of soil and rocks. They will try to explain the different changes that take place on the Earth's surface. Don't be surprised if your First Grader comes home sounding like an expert scientist!

Pattern-Blocks: Learning About Relationships Among Shapes!

We're diving deep into shapes for our second unit in math. Our friends have become quite that pattern-block enthusiasts! We will focus on 3 investigations for this unit:

Investigation 1: composing and decomposing shapes--making shapes from smaller shapes

Investigation 2: describing and sorting shapes--describing and constructing quadrilaterals and triangles

Investigation 3: quilt patterns--combining triangles and squares to make various patterns

Last week we focused on describing and sorting shapes and will wrap up investigation 1 this week with a quiz on Friday. Our friends have learned all about: describing shapes, filling in patterns with the different shapes, creating their own patterns, exploring the many ways to fill a hexagon and other pattern blocks, and filling in the same pattern different ways. We even worked together to create an awesome chart that shows us all the relationships among the pattern-block shapes! This week we will learn more about filling in the same pattern with more shapes and fewer shapes. Take a look at some photos of our explorations...