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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

First Grade Memories 2014

As a crew we created this 30 Hands video of our memories of first grade. If you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view the video.

You may also click on the link below to view a larger version of the video.

First Grade Memories 2014

It truly has been a great year and I am so happy with how much the crew has grown and how much they have learned. They are really ready for 2nd grade. Enjoy the summer and I will see you in the fall.

Then and Now

We have all grown in so many ways this year. You can get a glimpse of just how much in the slideshow below that has pictures of us from both the beginning and the end of the year (be sure to notice the changes in our teeth). You can use the arrows on the sides of the pages to move through the slideshow if you would like to go faster or slower. If you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view the slideshow.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Learning

Some of you have asked for ideas of things to do over the summer to continue the learning and my top request for summer learning would be to read, to visit lots of great places and spend lots of time enjoying nature. If you still have time for more learning, then here are a few more ideas for summer learning that are in line with our school philosophy:


Along with continuing to practice basic addition and subtraction facts, I would recommend Bedtime Math. It is available as a website and as an app. The idea behind this site is that just like you might read a bedtime story to your child each night, you can also do a math problem at bedtime each night. There is a short story about a new topic each night and then three problems at various levels that go along with it. Story topics from the past have included geckos, constellations, firefighters, clothing made out of reused items, ice cubes, trampolines and much more. Click on the picture below to visit the site.


Expedition - Science and Social Studies

Wonderopolis is also available as a website and as an app. This site posts a "wonder" a day with a huge variety of topics and then gives the answer to the question. Answers usually include text to read along with either photographs or a short video clip to help explain the topic more in-depth. Past wonders include:
Why are pandas rare?
Who was Annie Oakley?
Does hand sanitizer really work?
Why are people different colors?
How do you get allergies?
How many bees can a flower pollinate?
Why do we need trees?
Do fish sleep with their eyes open?

To visit Wonderopolis, click on the picture below.



Have your child keep a journal. Things to write about include:
  • their own list of wonders
  • build a Lego structure, a block structure, a fairy garden, a fort or other cool thing and then write a story about the people or creatures who live there
  • a list of books they have read or want to read
  • a few sentences about what they do each day
  • fiction stories about some of their favorite characters
  • research about a topic that they are especially interested in
  • lists of things they love
  • lists of things they dislike  
  • create your own ideas

Our Kidblog page will still be open and available to anyone who would like to write a blog post about their summer adventures. I would also love to receive emails from the crew telling me about their summer activities.


Last but definitely not least is reading. My best suggestion for this is to read a good book or two every day.  If your child wants to do his or her reading online, visit the Resources page of our crew blogs for links to some great online books. If you are looking for a good book, I have some great lists for you below.

Also there is an Elephant and Piggie party at the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch on June 5th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. This might be a fun way to kick off your summer reading. For more information, click on the link below:

Elephant and Piggie Party

Graphic by Melissa Taylor of Imagination Soup
Book Lists
Read, Kiddo, Read

Guys Read

Guy Read Jr.

Girls Read Jr.

Kid Links Grades 1-3

Starwalk Kids Online ebooks - free for the month of July (including authors like Seymour Simon)

Top 10 Best Old Fashioned Easy Readers

Bookhive Non-Fiction for Grades K-3

Geisel Awards Winners for 2014 (Award for books for beginning readers)

Past Winners of the Geisel Award

My Pinterest Boards with Book Lists

Link to blog posts on our crew blog about reading

Articles for Parents About Reading

Read, Kids, Read

Four Guidelines for Summer Reading

Reading Experience May Change the Brains of Dyslexic Students 

The bottom line for summer learning is to have fun and follow your child's interests. It also helps if you are excited about whatever they choose to do - excitement is contagious. I hope your summer is full of wonderful learning experiences.