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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Crew News April 30, 2013

Today we used our dried bees to see how bees gather pollen from flowers. They have fuzzy bodies so the pollen sticks right to them. You can see how we learned this in the photos below.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Practice basic addition and subtraction facts or counting coins.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Crew News April 29, 2013

Reading Aloud
Our crew loves a good read aloud. We have read many, many books aloud this year - over 320 - as you can see here on our crew bookshelf. Reading aloud has many benefits including promoting reading for enjoyment, increasing vocabulary, improving both listening and reading comprehension, expanding attention spans, developing imaginations, exposing readers to new books that they might not try on their own and creating a bond between reader and listener.

We have definitely bonded over many books this year. I love having the crew relate new books to older books we have read or to experiences we are having. An example of this happened on our recent Voyage. A couple of girls made "bologna glasses" out of their circle shaped pieces of turkey in their lunches just like Clementine did using bologna in the book we were reading at the time. All of the kids in the area got the joke and were able to be part of the fun. I love when this happens and it ends up happening a lot.

If you are looking for some great books to read aloud to your child, I would suggest chapter books that are just a little above their current reading ability. This allows them to hear those books that they can't read yet themselves and to have books to look forward to reading in the future. Below are some books that we have read aloud at school. These books are all part of a series so you could always start with another book in the series of your choice. All are funny and appeal to first graders on many levels.

Up next will be:

Reading ~ Read a good book or two
Math ~ Home Link 8.10 Unit 9 Family Letter: Place Value and Fractions

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Crew News April 25, 2013

What a great day! This is my favorite Voyage day of the year - no contest. It is such a great trip. We hiked a beautiful trail that includes a couple of caves and did some rock climbing. Every child in our crew climbed and all had a great time. Thanks to Ms. Jodie and Ms. Kristin for being chaperones and for all of their help with the photos. (I forgot my camera.) Thanks to Ms. Wendy for leading one patrol and special thanks to Mr. Cody and Mr. Ashton for planning and arranging this trip (and being so flexible with all of our date changes due to bad weather). If you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view the Haiku Deck.
No homework for the long weekend. There is no school tomorrow because it is a Comp Day for teachers. Enjoy a few good books with your child.

Our IA next week is Music.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Crew News April 24, 2013

Yesterday in math we did several different activities where we worked like mathematicians.

We used geoboards to create and explore fractions.

We also explored fractions using pattern blocks.

Finally, we sorted our fact triangles into groups. The groups were doubles, near doubles and 10 sums. This type of sorting helps us organize the facts in our brain so that we can recall them more quickly and accurately.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Practice basic addition and subtraction facts.

Pack gear for the Voyage tomorrow. Your child will need a daypack, a full water bottle, a sack lunch, two snacks and clothing that is appropriate for the weather. Please apply sunscreen before coming to school.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Crew News April 23, 2013

Below is a glimpse of a couple of our "All About" books. We are all working hard to create detailed, informative and beautiful books. Stop by any time to take a look at your child's book.
All About Chimpanzees

All About Horses

All About Tigers

All About Tasmanian Devils

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 8.9 Facts Practice

Since we will be on our Voyage on Thursday, we will not have library. Please have your child return his or her books as they finish with them and we will have library again next week.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Crew News April 22, 2013

New Books for Our Browsing Bin
We have some browsing bins in our classroom that I keep stocked with books from the public library that I think the crew will enjoy. I try to find series books so that they will have titles and authors that they know they enjoy when they make their own trips to the library. We still have books from the Fluffy the Guinea Pig series and Weird But True series in our bins. Below are some photos of books that I added to the bins today.

Cork and Fuzz series - about the adventures of a muskrat and a possum

A few more Weird But True books

Since Earth Day is today, I thought these books might be fun to browse.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 8.8 Sharing Sets of Objects

Friday, April 19, 2013

Crew News April 19, 2013

First Grade Fashion

Here is a quick peek at a few of the fashion statements that we made today. I must say that this crew always brings a smile to my face with their choices. Enjoy!
Dark blue -  camouflage pants for a boy and a sparkly skirt for a girl

Boots - I can't wear most of these looks but I would love to wear these boots.

Patriotic, sparkly fingerless gloves

Raccoon hat (with a tail down the back) and cowboy boots

Red hair

Fuzzy, neon socks and colorful shoes (Worn by the same girl who wore the patriotic gloves on the same day)

Gold stars on a white shirt, white stars (very light) on pink pants and colorful stars on the socks

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

Our IA next week is Art.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Crew News April 18, 2013

Tech Skills
The first grade has paused our Expedition so that we can prepare for All School Meetings (both first grade crews host  this month) and Voyages. We do have days here and there that aren't filled with preparation for those things so we are taking some time to learn a few new tech skills. We started today with learning to take screen shots on the iPads. This will allow us to import photos of things we are working on and learning about into ShowMe or other tools so that we can share our learning. Be on the lookout for some new things in our Kidblog blog posts. We will resume our Expedition right after our Voyage. Below are some random screen shots of things we are doing on our iPads. These are just some examples of things you may see on our Kidblog posts in the future. We will import these photos into ShowMe and other new apps to use the audio feature to explain what you are looking at.

Using Base 10 blocks to add and subtract

Identifying fractions

Our Scholastic Storia e-reader bookshelf
Inside pages of one of our non-fiction e-books

Inside pages of a Ready Freddy e-book

Our Kidblog Page

Marble Math Jr. - a math game that requires problem solving
Hungry Fish - a way to practice basic math facts that also uses problem solving skills

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 8.7 Equal Parts

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crew News April 17, 2013

All School Meeting
We did an amazing job at our All School Meeting this morning. One thing that we all noticed was how quickly that time went by. I told them that this was because we had practiced so hard and everyone knew their part so it all went quickly and smoothly. Wendy was able to get a few photos this morning but I am sure that you all have your own photos this time.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 8.6 Exploring Halves and Fourths

We have library tomorrow. Please help your child remember to return his or her library books so that more can be checked out.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crew News April 16, 2013

Last week we worked on a problem using a calculator. In the problem, we had to pretend that the number 4 was broken on our calculators but we had to enter the number 14. We came up with some very creative ways to make 14 as you can see in the picture below. As we were working, we noticed that our list looked a lot like a name collection box for the number 14.

This week we are working on making change when buying an item at a store and we will begin working on fractions. You can help by pointing out to your child times when you need change or when you use fractions in your everyday life.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 8.5 Making Change

All School Meeting
We lead the All School Meeting tomorrow. You are all invited to attend if you would like. It begins at 9:00 am in the gym.

We are on our last box of kleenex. If you could send one in we would so appreciate it. It will help us get through spring allergy and cold season. Thanks.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Crew News April 15, 2013

Indoor Recess
We had to have indoor recess this afternoon. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often and the crew really enjoys it as you can see in the photo below.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 8.4 A Shopping Story - this Home Link asks your child to glue or tape pictures from a newspaper or magazine on the back. Your child may also simply draw their own pictures instead.

You will find a copy of your child's assessment from Expedition in his or her homework folder today. Last week was too short to get it in the folder and sent home.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Crew News April 12, 2013

You may remember that in an earlier post I mentioned how excited the crew was about researching information for our "All About" books. I was wondering if the excitement would continue after Spring Break. Well, let me ease your minds - the excitement is back. We spent a wonderful afternoon reading about and researching our animals. It was so busy in our room and each child had so many interesting facts to share. Take a look at the photos below to get an idea of just what it was like in our room.

I loved that most of the kids just had to share the fun facts that they were finding as they were reading. They just had to tell Wendy and I about all of the cool things that they were learning. And that is what this is all about - learning how to learn and be so excited that you just have to share.

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

Our IA next week is PE. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear.