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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winter Break Fun

Owen made dumplings at his Grandma's house. His whole family loved them. What are you doing during break?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thank you!

I wanted you all to be able to see the wonderful tree that the crew made for me. It is actually a rosemary plant (complete with recipes that use fresh rosemary) that is trimmed to look like a Christmas tree. The crew made the ornaments ~ a string of lights. Each light has a child's fingerprint on the front and their name on the back. It also had some very nice gift cards attached. I have it sitting on the island in my kitchen. Every time I walk in the kitchen I think of my crew and it makes me smile. Thanks to everyone for all of the thoughtful gifts. Have a fantastic holiday.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Crew News December 21, 2012

Fieldwork to Pacific Ocean Market and King's Land Restaurant
What a great day! We saw so many interesting things during our fieldwork today and had a wonderful time experiencing a dim sum restaurant. Check out the pictures below for some scenes from our day.

Winter Party
This afternoon after our fieldwork, we had a relaxing time with our families. We had hot chocolate and a cookie and then we cuddled up with our guests and read some great books. Thanks to all who helped organize and run this warm and wonderful event.


No homework for the break. Read some great books with your child. See you when we return on January 8th.

Our IA after break will be PE. Please help your child remember to dress appropriately.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Crew News December 20, 2012

Math Exchanges
To complement the previous posts on math, I thought I would share some work samples from our most recent math exchanges sessions. This problem produces so much out of the box thinking. Take a look at these samples.

Four children are sharing 10 brownies so that each one will get the same amount. How much can each child have?

This is what students are able to do after we get through all of their suggestions of sharing the "extra" brownies with teachers or parents or putting them away or selling them and so on. Once we get past this original wish to get rid of those problem brownies, we begin to think about how to share them equally among the 4 students. We are capable of some great thinking. (Click on the pictures to see a larger version.)

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ No Home Link today. Try one of the math practice ideas in yesterday's blog post.

Report Cards
Report cards are in your child's Thursday folder. If you child did not get a report card that means that there are fees owed and it is being held in the office until the fees are paid. You can pick it up there after the fees have been paid.

Remember to check out Ms. Deborah's post about the new report card and how to interpret it at her blog, Ponderings of a Principal. We also sent home an email on Tuesday with the link to this post and an attachment that helps explain the new system.

This morning we turned our classroom into a workshop. We made snowflakes using a process that was similar to how we did our paper cutting at the Joyous Chinese Cultural Center. Then we had a bit of time to create whatever we wanted using construction paper, snowflakes, glue, scissors and more. What a fun morning!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crew News December 19, 2012

Math Practice
A few of you have asked for ways to practice math concepts at home with your child. I decided to gather a few of the resources I can share with you here in this post. Please use what you like and remember to keep any practice that you do at home light and fun.

Math page - On our crew blog, there is a page with games (both online and off line) that will help your child practice basic math skills. For the offline games, there are step by step directions. At the bottom of this page there are links for parents that have curriculum links, frequently asked questions and more.

Resources page - Also on our crew blog is the Resources page of online games and activities. There is a section of math games here that are directly related to the content we learn in first grade.

Home Links -  At the top of each Home Link is a short paragraph explaining what we learned in class that day. They often have tips and strategies for how to help your child at home.

Family Letters - At the end of each unit, a letter comes home that tells all about the upcoming unit. It will have games, activities and things to do with your child at home to support or extend their math learning. It also has the answers to the problems on the daily Home Links. (This might not be important to you now but it might come in handy when your child is in the upper grades.)

Bedtime Math - I wrote about this site in an earlier post. This site has a daily problem (with several levels) that you can do with your child each night along with their bedtime story.

Hopefully one of these will be just what some of you are looking for and will be a fun way to help your child work on math skills.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 5.6 Relation Symbols

We have library tomorrow. Please help your child remember to bring back his or her books.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crew News December 18, 2012

We have been noticing the work of some illustrators of the books we have been reading. We noticed that David Shannon uses very simple lines to draw the face of David in the No David! series of books. We feel like we could make drawings that look like his.

We noticed that Tedd Arnold uses little squiggly lines to fill in the colored areas of his books. This makes his pictures seem more detailed. This is another strategy that we thought we could try.

We noticed that Jim LaMarche creates soft, warm pictures for the books he illustrates. We think this is because of the colors he uses. His pictures seem to glow.

We noticed that Grade Lin usually uses bright colors and that her illustrations are of things from China most of the time. She also uses simple lines.

We can usually tell which books might be illustrated by David Shannon, Tedd Arnold and Jim LaMarche and Grace Lin. We are learning to notice things about writing and illustrating books. We are also beginning to know who some of our favorite authors and illustrators are.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 5.5 Domino Addition

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crew News December 17, 2012

Math Explorations
Once during each unit in math, we do something called Explorations. Today was our day to do some exploration for this unit. We explored surface area, comparing weights using a pan balance and strategies to count large numbers of items.

Special Treat
Owen will be having his tonsils out later in the week so he won't be able to go with us when we do our fieldwork. His family went to the market and restaurant over the weekend so he could still have the experience. He brought us a special treat. Dried plums with sugar and salt. The were gluten and nut free so we got to have a taste. Ask your child what he or she thought about it.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 5.4 Counting Coins

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crew News December 14, 2012

Math Exchanges
I previously wrote about how we spend our math time on Fridays doing Math Exchanges here. I thought I would share some pictures of what it looks like when we are doing Math Exchanges in our room.

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

Our IA next week is Music.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crew News December 13, 2012

Sweet Spot
We are now in what I call the "sweet spot" of the first grade year. This is the time when the crew reaches the point where they work well together as a crew and they are no longer "kindergarteners". They understand how school works and what they need to do to learn. This is the time when huge growth spurts happen and I can barely keep up with them. This is my favorite time of the year and it just keeps getting better for the remainder of the year. Hang on and enjoy the ride ~ this is going to be fun.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 5.3 Relation Symbols

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Crew News December 12, 2012

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 5.2 Frames-and-Arrows Diagrams

We have library tomorrow. Please help your children remember to return their library books.

We do have school on December 21st. (We will be going out on our last fieldwork experience for our current Expedition that day.) We do not have school on January 7th.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crew News December 11, 2012

Learning to Use Chopsticks
Today as part of our study of families in China, we learned how to use chopsticks. Ms. Krista came again to help us learn this cool skill. She also brought us some chopsticks and chopstick "trainers" that we can use (kind of like training wheels on a bike). We still will need lots of practice but now we know the basics.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Play a math game - either an online game on our Resources page or have your child teach you a game that we play in class.

Renaissance Art Blog
If you haven't checked out Ms. Pam's blog lately, you should take a look. She has a main page with general Art blog posts and then there are Pages for each grade level project. It is fascinating!

Renaissance Art ~ The Practice and Ponders of an Art Teacher