Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just thinking...

1.  Tomorrow (10/31) is BLUE day!  We will be taking a photo of the kids in the shape of "WCS."

2.  With tomorrow being Halloween, I just wanted to mention that I will not allow students to have candy at snack time.  If they'd like to pack a piece with their lunch, great, but not at snack time.  Thanks.

3.  We now have four laptops in our classroom.  Very exciting.  We are currently using them with Sumdog during our math game time.  I'd like to add a literacy site during our open library time.  I was hoping you could send in a pair of headphones or earbuds, to be used only by your child to support the audio portion of this and other programs.  Thank you.

4.  We have been working on using this checklist of expected components with our narrative writing.
Ask your child what they do well, and what they are working on...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Amazing Mystery Readers!

Here are a few snippets from our last two mystery readers...
A flashlight is a useful tool on an officer's belt.
Reflective gear helps officers be seen.

There's a first time for everything!
Thank you Officer Todd!

Thank you Kay for reading We're Going on a Ghost Hunt!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mr. Mo Willems

We have really been enjoying the works of author/illustrator Mo Willems.
Mo is the creator of Knuffle Bunny, Pigeon, and Elephant & Piggie (to name a few).

Here's a link to his site.

Here's a YouTube video we watched. 
It is entitled Don't Let the Pigeon be the Principal.

What's New?

Here's what's going on in our first grade class...

1.  In math, we have started unit 2.  Here are the targets for the end of the unit.
     a.  write numbers 7, 8, 9, 0.
     b.  solve number stories.
     c.  count pennies.
     d.  count nickels.
     e.  tell time to the hour.
     f.  read a tally chart.

2.  The class has chosen and voted on their first reward!  Ask them about our marble jar and how we earn marbles.  The reward is PAJAMA DAY with a stuffie!  I'll keep you posted on the date.  We are awfully close to filling the jar.

3.  Generating writing topics is one of the most difficult steps of writing for most.  As you go through your daily routine and events happen for your family, please help them by "feeding" them topics.  Say, "Oh!  You could write about this!"  "How would it go?"  (and rehearse it orally) I like to say we catch ideas and put them in our pockets to write about later.

4.  I am aware that there is lice in other classrooms here at school.  Please remind your children to not share hats, combs, coats, etc.  Other fabulous preventative measures are to put hair UP and do head checks.  I know my hair is up!

5.  Oh, and have you heard any details about the Hoboken Chicken Emergency that we are reading?

Happy October!  (already?)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Math, Unit ONE Skills

Here are the expected skills at the end of unit one.
1.  Count by 1's
2.  Count by 2's
3.  Count by 5's
4.  Make tally marks
5.  Find numbers before and after
6.  Count on a number line

Counting by 2 and 5 could use some practice.  I am soliciting for your help.
Maybe driving in the car, waiting for dinner to cook, skipping down the driveway... (???)

See you Wednesday for the Ice Cream Social. 
6:15-6:45 in the classroom. 
6:45-7:15 on the playground for ICE CREAM!  (yum!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Busy Beavers

Here's the skinny...

Each reading/writing workshop is comprised of a mini-lesson each day.  Within the mini-lesson there is a teaching point that we discuss and try to put into practice. Here's what the class has heard thus far...

- Writers get started right away, stay in 1 spot, do their best and keep on going, write the whole time.
- Writers write true stories (small moments) from their lives. 
  They rewind the event like a movie to help them retell what happened.
- Writers walk around the world catching stories from their lives, to write about.
- Writers include action, talk and feelings in their stories.
- Writers use pictures and words to tell the story.  Labels, thought bubbles, speech bubbles help.
- Writers know the saying "When you're done, you've just begun."  (ask them...)
- Writers PLAN their story, then SKETCH the pictures, then WRITE the that order.

- Readers get started right away, stay in 1 spot, do their best and keep on going, read the whole time.
- Readers warm up before they read (cover, back, think what it's about and what words we'll see)
- Readers choose just-right books for their book boxes.
- Readers make a plan (stack up the books we want to read)...they set goal and work hard to reach it.
- Readers know when they've stopped thinking about the book and pull themselves together!
- Readers reread (like we listen to favorite songs) to try our storytelling voice, notice things we didn't the first time, and focus on the story.

We've read a TON of books.  Some of which are... 
(Many messages about being yourself and it's okay to be different.)
Big Mean Mike                                   Oliver Button is a Sissy                     The Big Orange Splot
The Sandwich Swap                           Charlie the Caterpillar
Dex: The Heart of a Hero                   Bad Case of the Stripes
Odd Velvet                                          Elmer

Hope this helps you ENVISION our recent discussions.  :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Let's Get Started!

Greetings New Families,
Here is our special schedule!

Monday         Learning Commons
Tuesday         (pack sneakers...just in case)  No special
Wednesday    Art
Thursday       PE (sneaker day)
Friday            Music

We have been...
...reviewing letter formation.
...settling into classroom expectations and routines.
...writing small moment stories during writing workshop.
...working on establishing good reading habits & building our reading stamina.
...having math choice time.
...reviewing whole body listening.
...exploring the new playground equipment.
...learning about one another.