Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Grinchmas continues

Random acts of kindness continue through “Grinchmas.”

  • Give someone a compliment
  • Hold the door for someone
  • Tell someone in your family you love them just because
  • Make a card for a local nursing home
  • Make food for those brave birds that do not fly south
  • Write a kind note to a classmate 

Where do you learn best?

Students love choice in everything they do, that is for sure.  We are learning about making seating choices that best help us learn and work independently, work in a group, and with a partner.  Students are able to select their seats and their neighbors throughout the day.  Most students make a choice of where to sit and it works for them.  There have been a few recommendations based on output and time on task to help guide students throughout the day.  All students get to choose first, a learning reminder will be given and if there is not a shift in output or task completion, it becomes teacher recommendation for the remainder of that work time.  Students are able to make a choice each time on their seating even after teacher recommendation.  

It is amazing to see these fabulous kids get to know themselves as learners.  


Today we practiced being authors to a photographer’s pictures.  Each day we do activities to support each child’s development in writing, sometimes on paper with pencil, with markers in a card or on whiteboards on the rug.  As writers we have been working on stretching out all the sounds we hear in words and recording them, as well as adding detail to our sentences to give the reader more information. 

The students loved the three silly pictures for our quick practice.  

  • A black lab running in the grass
  • An orange kitten laying in balls of yarn
  • A skunk and a puppy head to head inside a house

It is awesome to see how far these sweet kids have come in such a short time. Using white boards as authors gave every child an opportunity to write their idea and share where ever they are at in their writing development without the pressure of an end product.  

Where is your child in their development?  Where did they start the year?  Look back through the blog and see if you can find the post on writing develop stages, prepare to be amazed at how many your children have already moved through in this complex process.  

P.S.  white boards are an amazing Christmas gift that all of the children love, magnetic ones are a bonus too!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A bug and a wish

Our peace lesson focused on “a bug and a wish.”  Students practiced takin care of medium size problems by using the statement “it bugs me when you ________, I wish you would _______.   Mrs.  Sulecki helped students brainstorm medium size problems that they could try using this strategy on.  The students practiced many examples of items that “bug”them.  

Here are a few great examples:

It bugs me when you talk when I am talking, I wish I could listen to my words.  

It bugs me when you say mean things, I wish you would say nice things to people. 

It bugs me when you talk during rug time, I wish you would tell me at recess. 

Shared drawings

Today we reread the book David’s Drawing, Davis share his drawing with his classmates and it becomes their drawing.  Students tried this idea with a partner today.  What a great way to work on: negotiating, flexibility, patience, problem solving and many other fabulous life skills.  The dialogue was awesome among partners, filled with specific compliments.  

Sight word fun

Today we add a little pizazz to our sight word practice.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hand drums

The drum is a powerful instrument. Indigenous people refer to it as the heartbeat of Mother Earth. It is used in many spiritual and sacred ceremonial practices. Some say the beat of the drum has the power to change natural elements, including the weather. It is believed to have the power to heal sickness, and some believe it has the power to send messages both to the animal world and to the spirit world.

The drum is broadly considered to be the first musical instrument used by humans. Historians and music ethnologists alike point out that the drum has been utilized by virtually every culture known to mankind for a multitude of purposes. In ancient times, the earliest drums were used for religious rituals, social dances, sporting events, feasts, special ceremonies, in preparation for hunting, and as a prelude to war. However, it is virtually a universally held belief that the original purpose of the drum was to communicate, many times over long distances as a warning or signal.

Students loved making their own drum to share a little bit about Native American culture with their families and friends.  They created designs that were important to them and their family to honor the importance of those things.

Thankful Pumpkin

The month of November we have been talking about
gratitude:  the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful 
in our classroom.  Every opportunity we had to reflect on our day, we recorded our ideas on our thankful pumpkin.  Students loved adding their ideas and hearing of all of the ideas.  We giggled lots as we added items and beamed with pride as we added others.  This pumpkin evolved over time and here are a few photos from along the way!

Thankful Turkeys

Students brainstormed what they were thankful for and recorded their thinking on the feathers of their turkey.  They were proud to share their ideas and writing with their peers.  I hope you enjoyed this decor over the holidays and chuckle as you take it out to decorate each year.