Friday, September 26, 2014

Curriculum Connections to the Community

Today we read about apples and we all had an apple to eat from Gallagher Farms.  Students talked about their favorite types of apples, what they know about apples and things that are made from apples.  It will be fun to revisit apples as we look into life cycles later in Science.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guest Writing Teacher

Mrs. Johnson was a guest writer today helping the students learn about small moments.  The students enjoyed her enthusiasm about writing and thanked her for her support.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Writers take risks

Students in our classroom take risks daily.  They analyze their own work, take it apart and add to it, all with a smile.  These writers are learning to look critically at their work and adjust it to be more interesting and more detailed for their audience.  Students also use their peers for feedback by sharing in the author's chair.    This is an opportunity for students to think about what makes a story interesting, formulate questions about the story being read, and cheer on their peers for all of their hard work.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Collecting data on our Mystery Boxes

Students counted objects in their Mystery bags, recorded their quantities on a post-it note.  We graphed our recordings to compare the results others recorded in the classroom.  The Habit of Mind we are focused in math right now is "striving for accuracy."  Students are learning why mathematicians double check their work by noticing discrepancies on the classroom graph. Tomorrow students will problem solve how to know who is right, how can we avoid that from happening and share other wonderments they may have about this fun activity.    

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday partner reading

Students make predictions about what they think they might learn in the text if it's nonfiction and predict what could happen in the story if it's fiction.  Again, partner work is a great opportunity to working on speaking and listening skills as well as cooperation and turn taking.

Partner Fun

Fridays include "pick your own partner" day for Reading Workshop.  Students share the text by listening, echo reading or choral reading.  Partner work is a great opportunity for students to fine tune their listening skills, cooperation skills and coaching skills, if their partner needs support.  

Phonics Fun

Students worked on word families today.  We practiced "at" word family and created all rhyming words we know.  We brainstormed quite the list and even created a few Dr. Seuss words as well.  The goal for this activity was to help students see that if they know cat, they know: bat, rat, sat, that, mat, hat, pat, fat, flat, etc, in both reading and writing.  Rhyming words is a great "in the car" activity when you are running errands, driving to school, or going to grandma's.  Have fun with words and sounds and help your child make those connections.   

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Math Workshop

Students engage in a variety of activities daily during Math Workshop.  This week students worked on the following skills: 
I can compare numbers (quantities) and see which is larger. 
I can order numbers 1 to 12.
I can count to 20 forward and back.
I can collect data and make a representation of my data.
I can use math vocabulary when describing data such as data points, more, less and the same.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Getting a nudge for the next level of learning

Writing Conference
Students conference one on one at least once a week where they are complimented on something they have done well and also given "a little nudge" that helps them know what they can work on to move to their next level of learning as a writer.  Students share their writing with the class if they choose on the author's chair and their peers are encouraged to give compliments and ask questions about the writing.  Our classroom is a safe place and the students are doing an amazing job at supporting their peers when our brave friends share their writing.

Revising small moments

Learning to revise our work
We follow a specific writing process every single time we write:  Think about something that already happened, touch and plan on each page, quick sketch all 3 pages, write your words on all 3 pages and then go back and revise your story or make it fancy by adding to the picture with details and colors and add to your words.  Be sure to check: who, what, when, where and why to see if you can create a clearer picture in the readers mind.

In addition to using the writing process every day, students are asked to write small moment stories. What is a small moment?  They ZOOM in on one moment that the author has big feelings about, they are true stories, they have lots of details, they have a beginning, middle and an end.  

What a big job!  Way to go first graders, I am proud of you and all of your hard work each day!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Author's Share

Author's share
Each day we take the time to close our Writing Workshop with an author share.  Students practice listening skills and they are learning to give feedback to their peers about their writing, what they liked, what they wondered or what could make that writing more interesting to their peers.  Each child is give an opportunity to share each week, if they chose.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Data Collecting in Action

Not only were students given the task of collecting data but they also worked on turn taking, speaking skills, listening skills and recording responses.  Not an easy task but these students accepted the challenge with a smile and did a fantastic job all around.

Collecting data for our own questions

Students created a question for their peers to get to know more about their friends.

Students brainstormed questions they wondered about their friends, created a plan for collecting data, assigned roles to each other for tasks such as recorder and questioner.  They used a check off list to make sure they asked everyone in the class and created a unique symbol or letter for recording their peers' responses.  Tomorrow students will analyze their data and make a representation of what they learned from that data.  Pairs will present their findings to the class and share what surprised them ;) 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Providing evidence of your thinking

Providing evidence
Students collected data about the number of girls and boys we have in our classroom by answering the question "Who is in our classroom?"  The first time we collected this data, we used a pictorial graph with an illustration of our heads.  We analyzed the pictorial graph and made a hypothesis about what our second graph would tell us if we asked the same question but used a t-graph to organize our data.  Students shared their findings with their rug partners and supported their claim through evidence and explanation.

Analyzing data

Students analyzing data collected during math about the number of boys and girls in the class.
What did we learn?  We have 9 boys and 13 girls and 22 students total in our classroom.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Building stamina as independent readers

Building Stamina as Readers
We have started this year by practicing good reading habits.  Students can read 3 ways: Read the pictures, Read the words or Retell the Story.  Each day we time ourselves as we work on creating good reading habits as well as build stamina as independent readers.  Stay tuned for a graph of our progress.

Learning about graphs by sharing our opinions in math

"If you could only eat one food for a week, would you eat Pizza or Hot Dogs?"
Students answered a survey question "If you could only eat one food for a week, would you eat Pizza or Hot Dogs?"  As a class we graphed the data, students analyzed the data and share with a partner what they learned from the data.  Are you wondering what we learned?  Fourteen students would rather eat Pizza for a week and only 8 would prefer Hot Dogs.  The practiced using statements with the mathematical terms, more, less, and greater.  Our focus for the year will be on providing evidence for your thinking and today we practiced that.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Exploring attributes of math materials

Students explored Pattern Blocks, Geo Blocks, Interlocking cubes and Power Polygons today. Our learning goals were to notice attributes of materials and describe similarities and differences and to use the materials properly.  They loved the exploration time and lots of great math conversation took place describing their designs.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcoming friends back to school

This is our class sharing our summer fun!  We had to listen and respond to our friend's fun stories from their summer.  Speaking and listening skills can be a challenge for 1st graders, daily practice with peers and our 4th/5th grade buddies provide us with opportunities to refine these skills and have fun!