Friday, September 30, 2016

Fair News for September 26th to September 30th

Welcome Autumn and all things apple and pumpkin:)!  I shared with my little "firsties" that the beginning of the year starts out slow because of having to learn the rules and expectations for first grade but, as the year went on, it would go by very quickly.  Well, it has!  I can't believe that tomorrow is October 1st!  We have a lot to share with you about our week so sit back, relax and enjoy our blog posting.

Highlights of the Week:
Word Study - Our class focus has been on /sh/ but we began our individual word
                    studies this week as well.  Based upon an assessment I gave at 
                    the beginning of the year, each child received a study based upon 
                    what he/she needed.  This ranged from beginning/ending conson-
                    ants to long vowel patterns.  
Writer's Workshop - I conferenced with each child to talk about what their first
                     "small moment" would be about and we talked about some of the
                      details that they could use in their story.  We made "heart maps"
                      to remind us of the great stories that live in our hearts and
                      minds that we could write about.
Social Studies - We spent this week learning about John Chapman and his
                      contribution to our country.
Math Workshop - We began our first big study by taking a pre-assessment so 
                       that I could see what prior knowledge each child had.  They
                       really showed the thinking habit of perseverance as it wasn't an
                       easy assessment.  During this study, your child will be using
                      addition and subtraction to solve word problems, solving for the
                      missing part in a problem and learning multiple strategies to 
                      help them solve problems.
Readers Workshop - We have learned four of the Daily 5 parts.  Four of the five
                       are Read-to-Self, Listening to Reading, Read-to-Someone and
                       Work on Writing.  I have also begun to work with small groups
                       on the multiple reading strategies they can use to help 

A letter is going home today to those parents of children that haven't logged into and set up their Progress Book account.  We will no longer be sending home hardcopies of progress reports.  They will all be on Progress Book.  I've already begun inputting grades for various activities.  Take a look and if you have any questions please let me know.

You still have one more week to order books from Scholastic if you like.

Specials Schedule next week:
Monday - Library 
Tuesday - Art
Wednesday - Music
Thursday - P.E.
Friday - Library
These girls are reading a chapter book and they are sitting elbow to elbow, knee to knee, book in the  middle so they both can see.  This means EEKK.  This is Read-to-Someone.  

These boys are reading a book together.  It is a pirate book.  EEKK!!

It was hard to find the right book but that was the easiest one.  This girl says she still hasn't found the right book yet.

These girls are sitting on the bench reading a book.  EEKK!

This boy is reading a book quietly.  He got comfortable.  Mrs. McNeal find a good place to get comfortable to build his stamina.  You can choose to read to someone or read-to-self.  Stay in one spot and don't move around the room.

This girl is reading on a laptop.  She is trying to read quietly and she was on PebbleGo.  For some reason, PebbleGo has such a big password but a small username.  

She is working on writing during Readers Workshop.  She is drawing a picture for her play.  She needs people to vote to be in it.  She drew the characters and people will vote.  She was trying to make a book with her picture.

They were listening to a book during Reader's Workshop.  We were reading Gingerbread Lost in School.  This page that you see here is a picture of when the gingerbread was being made.

It was Flexible Friday today and he is sharing about Minecraft.  We share our projects when we are done.   

These people are sharing their lightning poster.  

She was sharing her great white sharks poster.  It took her a long time to finish it.  Sharks keep producing teeth and they swim close to shore.  They have more than 3,000 teeth and they have five rows of teeth.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

News for September 19th to 23rd

Ahoy me hearties! (Pirate-speak for Hello my friends:)
We had so much fun on Monday when we did all things "pirate" for the day.  Yes, we still strengthened our skills as writers, readers, spellers and mathematicians but we did it pirate-style.  I had the sound of AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH ringing in my ears long after school was over:)  Each week, I will give a short overview of what we're learning in each subject area and I've begun to post a few things in Progress Book.  Let me know if you have any difficulty logging on.

Word Study - We are doing one more round of learning the word study work routines using the same words for the whole class.  Once routines are established then differentiation will occur.  Right now we are all working on /an/ and /ad/.
Writer's Workshop - Next week, we will begin work on the first of the three styles of writing learned in first grade which is personal narrative.  We call them "small moment" stories and we started by making heart maps.  Ask your child about this.
Social Studies - We began a study of Johnny Appleseed and all things apple and fall:)
Math - I'm continuing to work with the children on thinking like mathematicians and finding multiple ways to show the answer and their thinking.
Readers Workshop - We are launching our Daily 4 which is Read-to-self, read-to-someone, word work, and work on writing.  During this part of our day, the students will have a choice of which of the four they'd like to engage in to strengthen their reading/writing skills.

Specials Schedule for next week:
Monday - P.E. (remember tennis shoes)
Tuesday - Library (remember library books)
Wednesday - Art
Thursday - Music
Friday - P.E. again (remember tennis shoes)

These boys are playing a word study game and coloring a pirate.  It is National Talk Like a Pirate Day and everything was pirate-style.

This day is National Dress Up As A Pirate day.  This boy and this girl are dressed up as pirates but the boy pirates thought that girls on the ship would be bad luck.

We worked on our own pirates.  There was no whistling on the ship because pirates thought that if you whistled you might "whistle up a storm."

These four boys were making pirates.  Pirates always slept with one eye open just in case.  

These people were making a pirate and some pirates hid their treasures and the good pirates were called privateers.  

These are paper pirates with peg legs, hooks, swords, parrots, earrings, scars, scratches...  Pirates thought that earrings would help them to see better in the dark.

Pirates have an eye patch because at night they can see better if they flip it up. Your eye is in the dark and used to the dark and the pupil gets big so your eyes can see in the darkness.

We were imagining we were working in a bike shop and Mrs. McNeal gave us eight wheels and we had to make a unicycle, tricycle or a bicycle.

This is a picture of our newest friend that joined our class on Wednesday!  This was also a boy's birthday in our class and he felt like it was a birthday present to him.

This book is about Ollie's Odyssey.  Everyone likes the book in our class.  It's one of the best books!  You can find it at any library or bookstore.  We clapped for Ollie's Odyssey because it was the best book.  

Friday, September 16, 2016

News for September 12 to September 16

This year is going way too fast!!  I can't believe that we are already a month into school and, I have to say, I'm enjoying every minute with your little ones!  I want to apologize ahead of time for how picture-heavy this post is.  It's nearly impossible for me to edit the great learning that is happening each and every day:)  The children have enjoyed helping me to add the captions for the pictures to the blog and understand that what they say will always be in green.

Monday is National Talk Like A Pirate day and I thought it would be fun if we dressed as pirates just for that day.  It could be as simple as an eye patch or as elaborate as you and your child want to get.  I have many fun things planned for Monday.

I sent Scholastic Book order forms home this week.  This is purely optional but a great way to supplement the reading your are doing at home with your child.  I plan to send the orders in on the weekend of October 8th.

Specials Schedule for next week:
Monday - C Day - Music
Tuesday - D Day - P.E.  (remember tennis shoes)
Wednesday - A Day - Library (remember library books)
Thursday - B Day - Art
Friday - C Day again - Music
This girl is drawing a picture in Writer's Workshop.  In Writer's Workshop, some people are challenging themselves so that they can write stories.  It is where it is quiet and Mrs. McNeal turns on music and we use it to write stories.  

This boy is reading a book during Reader's Workshop.  Reader's Workshop is very quiet and respectful.  There are three ways to read a book.  First, is to read the words.  Second, is read the pictures.  Last is retell a story if you know it.  

It's called the "5 Finger Rule."  Mrs. McNeal did an example that she put on this girl's shoe and this girl put on her shoe.  Their shoes didn't fit each other.  This taught us that it's just like a book.  If a book is really hard for you then it doesn't fit.  You have to look for books that are a good fit.

They are trying out the "5 Finger Rule."

We are trying to be mathematicians.  We are doing the fifth math task.  It was the hardest one.  

This boy is showing his work and thinking.

We were learning about space and we put the moon picture with the space picture.  He painted outer space and a rainbow moon.  

This girl is showing the teacher what she wrote.  

This girl is drawing pictures and making a book about her dog and how she is going to get a new one.  

These girls are thinking flexibly and they built a tower.

On Flexible Friday, these people were learning about lightning.  We worked HARD!  You can do whatever you want to learn more about.  

These boys are all learning about planets.

These boys are showing their hard work and they are showing the whole class a poster about Minecraft.  Minecraft is a video game.  They made it on Flexible Friday.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

News for September 5th to 9th

Happy Friday!  It has been a busy week even though it's been a short one.  Isn't that the way it always is?  We are finally into a learning routine and the children are feeling confident about themselves as learners.  They will be helping me with the blog today.  They will be dictating to me what they feel the caption should be for each photograph.  Their addition to our blog will be in green.  Enjoy!

Monday is Constitution Day.  To celebrate this day, you can dress your child in red, white and blue.  Our classroom is already dressed for this special occasion:)

Related Arts schedule:
Monday - B Day - Art
Tuesday - C Day - Music
Wednesday - D Day - P.E.  **It is very important that your child wear tennis
                                       shoes on this day.**
Thursday - A Day - Library (remember library books)
Friday - B Day - Art
We talked about the moon.  We were pretending that the balls were asteroids and meteors.  They made the craters on the moon.  We used flour and also used cocoa powder to make the moon and then we smashed the asteroids and made craters on it.

We are going to make a black space painting and we don't need to make a moon.  We painted first and then we glued circles to make craters and then we will have to put the moon next week.  We pretended that was space.  We used glitter for the stars.  We made the paint.

If  you scroll back up to the top picture then it's the experiment that we did but her mom sent the video of the asteroids.

We are making a book with Mrs. Elfers.  

We are doing math.  This boy is looking at what they are doing.  

We made a picture of our faces so Mrs. McNeal could put them on the wall so she wouldn't feel alone when she is here by herself.  

We did a test with our partners to check our /at/ words.

We tried out Flexible Friday for the first time today.  Some people made a big poster.  

On  Flexible Friday, this boy is reading a book about body parts.

On Flexible Friday, I was the only one in my class that was studying about great white sharks.  I like researching about great white sharks.