Sunday, September 30, 2012
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 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
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.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
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.
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
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.
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