Thursday, December 13, 2012

FUN Friday Treats!

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, Nicholas and his mom provided a Fun Friday snack for our class that had a little assembly required! The kids had a blast painting their ice cream cone Christmas tree with green icing and decorating their "tree" with lots of edible goodies. Thanks for making their treat so fun and delicious!

Sharing Talents

Our class was fortunate to have Mason's big brother, Jake come to our class and share his talent with us. He brought in his saxophone and played some Christmas songs for the kids. They got to sing along and then ask him questions about learning to play an instrument. Thanks so much Jake!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Morning Readers!

I feel so fortunate to have parents who are willing to come read to my students 15 minutes before our school day officially begins. It is usually a hectic, crazy time for me getting last minute preparations ready for the day. What a wonderful gift for my students to have a morning reader begin their day with a book! These readers are simply parents who want to share their gift of reading, interacting with students, and sometimes making them laugh and surprising them! Below is Mason's dad reading a holiday book to the students. Before he read the book, he pulled out his Santa costume and beard and hat from his bag and put it all on for the students. They were so excited! Thank you Mr. Owens and thank you to all of the parents who have volunteered as a morning reader for our class!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kevin Henkes Centers

The students had an incredible day last Friday dressing up as their favorite Kevin Henkes character and rotating through fun centers. They played Kevin Henkes bingo and showed off their knowledge about Kevin Henkes as an author, his characters, and his books. They watched an animated version of his books and enjoyed some "cheesy" snacks. They went to the "Lightbulb Lab" and used their imagination and creativity to create letters, puppets, and much more. They made purple purses and wallets, decorated ties, and made movie-star sunglasses (inspired from Kevin Henkes' book-Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse). The students had a blast and it was so nice to see the students being so creative! We ended the day with students performing their scripts of a Kevin Henkes book in front of our class. They practiced turn taking, using loud reading voice, using intonation, and taking on the role of the character. It was a super "mousey" day! Kevin Henkes Centers on PhotoPeach

Kevin Henkes Celebration Day-Dress as your favorite character

Kevin Henkes Celebration Day on PhotoPeach

Amazing Awards!

Each Nine Weeks, we celebrate the efforts of all of our students by holding an awards ceremony. The school prints out awards for Perfect Attendance, E Honor Roll, and Soaring Eagles. Students who receive excellent behavior receive a red, white, and blue ribbon! I print out an additional award for each student and their own academic achievements, whether they are exceeding the standard, working above the standard, working at the standard, or working towards the standard. Because our class has read and practiced "Filling Buckets" from (Have you filled a bucket today?), I decided to present our two top "bucket-fillers." I love Award Ceremony time! I was the most excited I have ever been about handing out awards this time because of a special project that Jett's mom helped me with. My class has been "obsessed" (in a great way) about math clubs and learning clubs. A HUGE thanks to Mrs. Turner for designing, printing, and cutting out over 300 pins. The students felt so special to have these one-of-a-kind pins that uniquely represented each learning club that they are in. They also motivated students to try to get into new clubs for the next nine weeks. I have already heard students say, "I'm going to practice counting by 2's so I can get that pin next time." I am so excited that they are so eager to be active participants in their own learning and so encouraging to the other students in our class for their achievements as well! Amazing Awards! on PhotoPeach

Fall Celebration Centers

We had a blast at the end of October celebrating with Fun Fall Centers! A huge thanks to Mrs. Owens and Mrs. Riley for organizing the crafts, games,and centers! Fall Celebration Centers! on PhotoPeach

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Computer Time!

Our class got to see the inside of a computer and learn all about how computers work including learning about computer code language! Thanks to Mr.Owens for sharing this learning opportunity with our class!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mismatched Socks!

I read the students the story, Bullies Never Win! After reading the story, I showed the kids a big red paper heart. I asked the kids to tell me some of the mean and hurtful things that the bully in the book said. Each time they shared something mean, I folded the heart a little bit. I used this folded heart to illustrate that bullies can say mean things and they hurt but their words don't break your heart. You can stand strong and unfold those hurtful words and still be YOU!

Make a Difference Day

Our class wore mismatched socks last week to take a stand against bullying and to make a difference. I held an assembly and talked to first graders and Kindergarteners about how special and unique each of them are. They also learned about standing up for themselves and others who are in a bullying situation. I talked to them about how we are all different but that doesn't mean that we are not to accept each other. I know the value of this lesson will last beyond one day. A sweet little Kindergartener told me on the playground the day after I presented the assembly, "I remember you...You told me Bullies Never Win!" That is an awesome feeling to know that these life lessons are laying the foundation for what type of person these young students will become later in life and how they will treat others for the rest of their life.

Literary Character Parade

Literary Parade on PhotoPeach

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Planting radish seeds

Our class planted some radish seeds a week and a half ago. Each student got to plant a few seeds. We'll be anxiously awaiting their harvest!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our Literary Pumpkin

Here's a picture of our Literary Pumpkin. Our class is in love with Kevin Henkes books and characters from our current author study! The students chose to make our pumpkins into Chrysanthemum the character and the flower. You can see all of the creative literary pumpkins on display in our front lobby this week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Math Journals

Math journals are used to build a student's number fluency. By the end of first grade, we want students to be able to take a number and be able to identify how to represent the number using tally marks, place value (groups of hundreds, tens, and ones), greater than/less than, money, use the number in story problems, as well as addition and subtraction equations. The pictures below show a chart that outlines what the student's should do for the number of the day in their math journal. Also, you will see a hands-on tool that students use to help them with creating addition and subtraction equations ( 20 linking cubes strung together-10 of one color, 10 of another color).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Different ways to fill in pattern blocks!

Students have been using triangles, trapezoids, rhombuses, and hexagons to fill in outlined shapes. The goal is to try to fill the shapes many different ways!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Open House

We had an awesome Open House! Students were their parents tour guides and showed them around the classroom. They had a checklist of items that they had to explain to their parents, including showing them their morning journal, explaining calendar math, showing and explaining the Common Core Standards, showing and explaining their vocabulary journals and math journals, and reading one of their leveled books. Students were MOST excited about the test that their parents had to take. It was titled, "Are you smarter than a First Grader?" When parents weren't sure of some of the answers, they were told to call on their first grader. Some parents were attempting strategies (good job), some parents were "googling" answers (resourceful-but still cheating!) Ha! It was a great way for parents to see just how much first grade has changed since they were in school. Students really do work really hard, have a lot of fun with hands-on activities, and learn a lot of difficult concepts! It was a great night for me as a teacher to see and hear students really doing a wonderful job explaining the different learning tasks that they do each day. The students were so excited and full of pride to show their parents all of their hard work! Open House on PhotoPeach

We are Scientists!

Here are a few science journal entries about how students see themselves as scientists!

Super Skills

Here are a few pictures of some of the games that we play to practice our weekly skills!

Making Homemade Juice with Madeline's Dad

We were so honored to have a special guest come in last week, Madeline's Dad. Mr. Riley came in to our class with a cooler and a jar of pizza sauce. He asked the kids what he thought we were going to make. Of course, the kids saw the pizza sauce and said "pizza!" That was just a diversion! He brought out a juicer and a whole bunch of fruits and vegetables. Each student got a chance to put some fruit or vegetables in the juicer. Each student also tried the homemade healthy juice! The kids had such a blast!! Thanks Mad's Dad! Making Homemade Juice! on PhotoPeach More Juice! on PhotoPeach

Monday, September 17, 2012

Reading/Math Buddies

Students met with their awesome fourth grade buddies again today. This time, students practiced math games with their buddies. After reviewing and modeling the game, students played On/Off and recorded their answers. Several students shared how they played the game, how they recorded their answers, and how they came up with their combinations. Then, students played the game "Compare." Students each have a set of number cards 0-9. They each turn over one card at a time and then compare the numbers on each. The person with the highest number says "me" or "more." The fourth graders really helped challenge our first graders by asking them to explain their answers and their strategy. Students also tried to explain how many more (or the difference) between the two cards. Ex: 8 is 6 more than 2.

Fuel Up to Play 60

On Friday, every student ran two laps around the big track for Fuel Up to Play 60. This program emphasizes the importance of kids being healthy and active by participating in any type of physical activity for 60 minutes a day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Celebrating Our Country

We began our morning with a moment of silence for all of the heroic Americans who risked and/or lost their lives on September 11th. We also celebrated all of the people who worked together to save lives and help each other on this unexpected day. After reading the book, September 12th- We Knew Everything Would Be All Right, students wrote about what "FREEDOM" means to them. The book is an amazing resource because it is written and illustrated by first graders. We worked together to make our own hand-made American flag, which is proudly displayed outside of our classroom.

Reading/Math Buddies

One of the things that I am most excited about this year for my students is providing them with opportunities that will extend beyond the classroom. One of these awesome opportunities is to be partnered up with a fourth grade class as our reading/math buddies. It is so important for students to learn to communicate and connect with others. This year-long partnership will allow my students to be partnered with an older student who will actively listen to them, encourage them, laugh with them, and help them. Today students partnered up and asked each other a few fun questions to help them get to know each other better. Students were quickly seen laughing and smiling together. First graders then had the chance to "show off" their individual reading skills by sitting knee-to-knee with their fourth grade buddy. As Mrs. Nash and I walked around the room, the students were actively reading, intently listening, and redirecting students. At the end of our time together, it was so great to hear fourth graders share compliments about things they noticed about their reading buddy. It was so sweet to see the first graders face light up when they heard these encouraging words! The first graders also got to share some of the fourth graders answers to some of the "getting to know you" questions, such as their hidden talent or the funniest thing that they ever did. What a great way to start a budding relationship and what a beautiful thing to have another person who will be there to believe in your child and his/her abilities and help them continue to grow!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Using Twenty Frames

Last week students played a game utilizing "twenty frames," which is a mat that has twenty boxes on it. Students work together in pairs to roll a dice. Whatever number the dice lands on is how many colored tiles the student puts on the "twenty frame." Once they are done putting their colored tiles on the mat, they ask their partner to look at the "twenty frame" and decide how many tiles are still left without a tile. Students come up with multiple strategies for quickly recognizing how many tiles are left. Some students were able to recognize that the tiles were in rows of five. So if there were fourteen tiles filled in, a student may recognize that one row is still empty (and that would be five) and then one more from the previous row (and that would make six altogether). Once students rolled the dice, put the tiles on the "twenty frame" and asked their partner to count how many tiles were left, they switched turns and the pattern continued. The more students play this game, the more practice they get at discovering more efficient strategies.

Morning Message

A morning message is a daily tool that we use during our Skills Block portion of the day. Students work to edit and correct the morning message. The message is written so that is has missing letters, blends, and letter combinations. Students need to correct the punctuation and know where to capitalize words. This process helps students apply their editing skills.
Last week we spent some time in our school garden. Students split into two different groups. The first group planted seeds and beans, while the other group picked weeds in another section of the garden. Then the groups switched jobs. Who ever knew kids would have so much fun pulling weeds? Look at the smiles on their faces! We are so grateful to Mrs. Brenda for working so hard to sustain our school garden and for inviting us to take part in taking care of the garden. Gardening Time! on PhotoPeach

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Students were asked to fill out an inquiry sheet that reflected on something they are good at, something they need help with, and something they want to learn about in first grade. Then students rated how well they liked reading and math. It was really interesting to see how well students knew themselves.