Monday, January 30, 2017

Vocabulary Fun: Similarities

What are similarities?  What better way to learn and understand new vocabulary than identifying characteristics of yourself and your favorites and then roam the room and find others that enjoy those same things.  Students loved this hands on approach to vocabulary and every one of the students could tell something that was similar in the follow up activity with me about a variety of objects,.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Math talk about place value

All year students have been working on developing their math talk skills by explaining their thinking, listening to their peers and responding appropriately.  Here is a snip it of a math talk that organically came about when students were comparing what they knew about 2 numbers.  

The part of the conversation we missed recording was a student saying that we only need to look at the tens when talking about numbers and comparing them, her partner told her that she disagreed because you can't just not care about the ones, they matter.  I got my phone out to hear the first student respond to the second student that disagreed.  So many fabulous norms are present here:  students use their visuals to support their idea, students listen to the speaker and make eye contact, use math terminology, respond when it is their turn without interrupting and respect each other's opinion.  

Three world religions

Students love learning about religion.  We have studied Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  In addition to learning about these religions, the students have learned about looking at charts, inferring information, finding similarities and differences with the information on the chart.  We have been practicing making statements true or false for our peers and using the chart to decide if they are in fact true or false.  They love trying to trick their peers.


Math workshop

Math workshop has been full of new activities based around place value, base 10 and reviewing fact families.  Students love the independent activities, the partner games and the small group teacher instruction.   How can you extend this learning at home?  Ask you child to write random numbers 0-100, ask them to represent that number in tens and ones, ask them to write the expanded notation of that number, you can extend it further by asking them to add a ten to that number and what number do they have now and how do they know, minus 10 to the original number and what number do they have now and how do they know.

Parent:  Write 54
Kid:  l l l l l . . . . (they count 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54)
Parent:  Can you write the expanded notation equation to represent those tens and ones?
Kid:  50+4=54
Parent:  What number would you have if you added one more group of ten 
Kid: (the process to figure this out will look a variety of ways)
Parent:  How do you know?
Kid: Explains their work
Parent:  Can you write the equation to match?


chess club


Chess Club on Mondays has been a hit for about 60 first graders.  They are learning the names of the pieces and the moves they can make.  The conversation during this learning is priceless, students sharing their ideas and understanding in a non threatening situation. This game is new for most students so, it is a level playing field for all players and some new leaders are arising in this group of novice chess players.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Math Clue Cards

Students have been exploring math clue cards to help them explore several strategies for solving addition problems.  Currently we are working on the strategies of making a ten and using doubles (doubles +/- 1 or 2 for some).  The students are not meant to master each strategy but rather be exposed, try out and see what works best for them as an efficient mathematician.  Copies of these cards come home as we explore the strategy in class.  I have sent ziplock baggies along to store them in, this is an easy way for your child to show you what they are working on in the classroom and practice as well.      

Jigsaw on ancient Egypt

In CKLA Listening and Learning the students have been learning about civilization in ancient Egypt.  Today students explored image cards from our readings and as a group brainstormed what the image was, how was it important to civilization in ancient Egypt and what could they teach someone using that image card.  It was awesome to see these 23 brains use their new knowledge to work together to apply that knowledge to the image to teach their peers.  The concept of civilization has been a tricky one but these image cards helped the students see many of the components and how and why each was important to civilization.  

Group work is ever evolving, each member is responsible for being a thinker, a contributor and a speaker.  Students are learning how to disagree appropriately and how to use evidence to support their thinking.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

If I were president

If I were president was a fun activity where the students practiced their phonics skills by recording their ideas and reading them to others.  It was exciting to hear what they would do if they were president and hilarious to hear their thoughts about the toughest part of the job.  Hope you enjoyed reading these at home.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MLK Jr. exploration

  Students loved watching videos of Dr. King's speeches, marches and peaceful adventures for civil rights.  We added a poem to our poem book and shared our feelings about the way things were before Dr. King.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

CKLA note taking on Ancient Egypt

Students take notes daily in reading.  Sometimes, it's a quick stretch, a quick sketch and a few words or a sentence or two about what we are learning.  They love their interactive notebooks and use them as a record of their learning.  Note taking is not only essential later in their education but also it is a fun way to share your learning with others and compare thinking through pictures and words.  According to a lead researcher in education John Hatti, note taking is a high yield strategy that directly impacts student learning and achievement.  We are starting this skill at the foundational level where students can do so in a way that is non threatening and makes sense to them while being fun.  Sometimes this skill is practices independently, with a partner or in a small group.  Students love these interactive journals where they note take daily on their learning.


Sing a long fun

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the sing a long before break.  The students loved singing holiday songs with their family and friends!


Saying goodbye to Tukkah

Mrs. Bank took Tukkah, her leader dog in training, to the next stage of his career before break.  The students loved learning about the great challenges Tukkah will help some lucky person overcome.  We sure miss reading to that sweet face and feeling that slobbery tongue on our hand as he combed the room for snacks.  Each student will receive a picture of them with Tukkah in the next few weeks.