Wednesday, November 26, 2014

PolyCom Fun with Pennsylvania

Students shared their Turkeys in Disguise with a 1st grade class in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  Students loved using this technology to interact with students in another state.

Students read their writing and showed their new friends their awesome decorated turkeys.  We saw Recycling bins, dancers, santa, snowmen, peacocks, flamingos, seals, American Girls dolls and so many other creative ideas.
We practiced listening and speaking skills as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Writers plan their Nonfiction writing

Students practice being an expert by telling about a subject/topic they know a lot about across their fingers.  This is the beginning stage of planning our writing.  If we knew 5 things about a subject, we recorded that subject on a brainstorming sheet to use later when we are ready to start making our own nonfiction books!  Ask your child to tell you something they are an expert on and watch their eyes light up as they teach you!

Phonics Fun

Students practice Phonic skills daily in the classroom in a variety of ways.  On this day, students refined their skills on short vowels by using Ipads.  Thank you Westwoods PTO for making this possible with the purchase of these Ipads over the last few years.  We LOVE them!

Representing Math Problems using pictures and number sentences to support our thinking.

Students explore a variety of strategies to solve story problems in the classroom for both addition and subtraction.  Students were grouped, given a problem, individually they solved the problem, then shared their thinking with their group.  Activities like these, give the students opportunity to revise their thinking after talking with their group!  Revising one's thinking is a life skill that students practice daily in the classroom by talking about what they know, listening to their peers, reflecting on what their peer said, then they decide to revise their thinking or help coach their peer to revise their thinking.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Nonfiction comes alive!

Students shop for Nonfiction books to learn something new.  Be sure to ask your child what they have learned about in their reading today!

Writing Celebration

Students listened to their peers small moments.  It was amazing to hear the detail in their stories, the thinking, feelings, movement and itsy bitsy steps.  Hats off to this fantastic group of 1st graders writers who all took a risk and pushed themselves as learners.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Reading Celebration

CHEERS! Wednesday we celebrated the stamina we have worked so hard at building in our independent reading time. Students saluted their peers and congratulated each other on all of their hard work.  What does stamina look like in our room?  Eyes on the book, stay in one spot, students read the whole time, bathroom and drinks are closed, protecting out reading time by not interacting with others even when they try.  Can you believe that all 22 students can do that for more than 25 minutes?  Cheers to hard work and major accomplishments!

Our Learning is Messing

We launched our new reading unit today and the students worked together to sort a large amount of books into self created non-fiction categories.  Many problem solving skills were necessary by the participants to successfully create the task.  Students were faced with peers that didn't agree with their decision and they had to state their claim and provide their evidence for their thinking.  Listening to their peers, thinking about what they heard and responding appropriately were all skills orchestrated beautifully to support this enormous task to completion. 

We will explore text features this week, reasons to use non-fiction books in our everyday life, and how to adjust your voice when reading non-fiction text to sound like a narrator.