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Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011

Halloween Parade and Breakfast
Here are a few photos from the Halloween festivities this morning. We want to thank Ms. Paulette for organizing such a nice party. Thanks also to everyone who sent in food.

Math ~ Home Link 3.9 Find the Rule

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crew News October 28, 2011

 Gifts from Ms. Deborah
Ms. Deborah has been visiting our crew and she noticed how much we all love Elephant and Piggie books and Pete the Cat books. So she surprised us with new books for our classroom. She gave us copies of Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat Rocking in my School Shoes and the newest Elephant and Piggie book called Happy Pig Day. We love these books and could read them over and over again. Many of us are also writing books about these characters during Writer's Workshop. Thank you, Ms. Deborah!

No homework for the weekend. Enjoy a few good books with your child.

Our IA next week is PE. Remember to wear appropriate shoes. It is our week to climb!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crew News October 27, 2011

Halloween Costume Parade and Breakfast
Our annual Halloween Costume Parade and Breakfast will be on Monday. Students are invited to wear their costumes to school. We will have a morning meeting and then we will watch the costume parade proceed through our classroom. We will join the parade at the end of the line and parade through other classrooms as well. When return to our classroom, we will have a small breakfast and an activity. These are being planned by Ms. Paulette. You are welcome to join us or to find a great spot in the halls to watch the parade go by. After the festivities, we will take off our costumes and put them in our backpacks to bring home. Please keep any toy weapons that are parts of a costume at home. These can be used for neighborhood trick-or-treating but should not be brought to school. I will be in costume, too, and would love to see some of you come in costume as well. It should be a fun morning.

More New Books for our Classroom Library
During our last Scholastic Book ordering session, we earned some free books. Ms. Kerry recently used our free book certificates and ordered some great new books for our classroom library. Check out the great titles in the photo below. Thanks, Ms. Kerry for handling this. We will really enjoy these books. I haven't shared these books with the crew yet because I have been out for the last two days. That will be one of the first things do tomorrow when I return. We have some avid readers and I need to get these books into their hands.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.8 Frames and Arrows Diagrams

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crew News October 26, 2011

Additions to our Classroom Library
Just before Fall Break, Dillen and his brother and sister cleaned off their bookshelves. They found many books that they thought our crew would like. Dillen brought them in to add to our library. We were all very interested in the new books. Thanks for sharing, Dillen.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.7 Telling Time to the Half-Hour

We have library tomorrow. Please help your child remember to return their library books if they haven't already done so.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crew New October 25, 2011

Fall Break Birthdays
We had several crew members celebrate a birthday during Fall Break. Happy Birthday to Darrell, Tori and Will.

Letter Building
Look what Peyton made using our letter building set.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.6 More Number Line Hops

Friday, October 7, 2011

Crew News October 7, 2011

Then and Now
Below is our first Voice Thread of the year that includes our own voices. It is a collection of the things we learned when we interviewed our parents and grandparents about what life was like for them when they were our age. If you subscribe to the blog and get this by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to watch this Voice Thread. Be sure the sound is up on your computer so that you can hear our voices. Enjoy!

Great Discussion This Week
We had several great discussions this week. I will share two of them with you here. One was in math. We were sorting dominoes into piles by the numbers of dots on them. The piles we were creating were both numbers even, both numbers odd and one odd and one even number. Some of the dominoes were blank or had zero dots. This led to a great discussion about whether zero was even or odd. We used patterns on our number grid to decide that zero in even. (In later years they will learn about even numbers being divisible by 2.)

Another great discussion was during Expedition. We were finding China on a map and I mentioned that when it was daytime here that it was nighttime in China. This led to a long discussion of day and night, the Earth's rotation around the sun and how the Earth rotates on it's axis. We acted out what happens with Morgan playing the sun while I spun and rotated our globe around her. We also ended up talking about continents and the equator. They were fascinated and really enjoyed the discussion. I love when things just develop like this out of pure interest.

No homework over Fall Break. Enjoy lots of great books with your child.

Our IA after Fall Break will be Music.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crew News October 6, 2011

We Are All Experts
One of my goals as a teacher is to help each child find the things that they are passionate about and to know their own strengths. To get us started thinking about this we talked about the words “passionate” and “expert” during a recent morning meeting. Then we thought for a couple of days about what our passions and strengths might be. Finally, we created the charts shown here. We use these charts to help us remember that we are all good at something. This helps on those days when something might seem particularly challenging. We also use them to get to know our crew members better. We know who to ask if we need help or have a question about something. We can also use the charts to help us recommend good books that we find to others. They are also great conversation starters and have led to some wonderful sharing. We are all really starting to appreciate our differences and similarities and how these change over time. It is so exciting to me to see the crew really show a deeper understanding of each others and our strengths. Click on the picture to see a larger version of it.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.5 Number Lines and Counting Patterns

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Crew News October 5, 2011

In reading we are learning all about the things we should think about when we are choosing a "just right" book. So far we have talked about how what books are "just right" for us will change as we grow and become better readers and how what is "just right" for one person might not be "just right" for another. We are now taking a look at some specific things that can help us choose a "just right" book such as the size of the print, how many words and lines there are on a page, if a book has pictures or not and if there are many words that we do not know yet. Choosing our own books is such an important skill but it can be challenging because there are so many things to think about when choosing a new book.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Go to the Resources page on our crew blog. Have your child show you how to do some of the counting by 2s or counting by 5s dot-to-dot puzzles.

We will not have library tomorrow because Ms. Diana is going out on some field work with another crew. Your child can still return any books that they have out. All books will be due on the first day back after Fall Break.

Exciting Blog Posts Coming
Be sure to check out the blog tomorrow and Friday. We have a couple of exciting blog posts coming up before we go on Fall Break. Okay, I am very excited about them and I am hoping you will enjoy them, too. We have been working on them in class for the last few days which kind of explains the sort of ordinary (but informative) posts of the last few days.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crew News October 4, 2011

We have started the second case study in our social studies expedition, We Are Family. This case study will be an in-depth look at families in China. We will be learning all about families in China and then comparing and contrasting them with our own families. We have so many exciting things coming up in this case study - lots of wonderful field work. We began the case study with a gallery walk of artifacts from China (see last Friday's blog post for more). Our school district library has several wonderful collections of items that we borrow and explore. We will spend a few days this week looking closely at many of the items in the collection and talking about what they are. I am sure that you will be hearing all about it at home because the students always love this case study.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.4 More Odd and Even Numbers

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crew News October 3, 2011

New Genre Study in Writing
Today we started a new genre study in writing. We will be learning about non-fiction question and answer books. This type of book has many similarities to pattern books because they have a repetitive structure - question, answer, question, answer. The big difference will be that we will looking at non-fiction books this time. Non-fiction books can be highly motivating to first graders. They love to find books about topics that they are interested in. I hope that we can take this interest and use it to inspire the students to write some great non-fiction question and answer books themselves. I can't wait to see what the next few weeks hold for us.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.3 Number-Line Hops