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Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Recently, I read through all of the stories in each child's writing folder. I left them some notes and I found some great stories I thought I would share with you. You will see more great stories written by your child tomorrow at Student-Led Conferences. Below each writing sample, I try to "translate" what each child has written. You will see a wide range of writing skills in a first grade class and that is very normal. Enjoy the stories.

The Thirteen Things I Love About My Mom
1. She is a good cook.
2. She plays games with us.
3. She is really nice.
4. She teaches me stuff.
5. After school she lets me watch TV.
6. She reads me stories before bed.
7. She bought me a desk.
8. She lets us do fun things.
9. She takes care of me.
10. She buys me stuff.

 I went on a bike ride. I saw two snakes. I saw a dead beetle. Ezra screamed. We left. I went to go get a drink. Then I went to get a popsicle.

 Try and Try and Perseverance (a book about one of our character traits)

 I saw a snake at my grandma's house. It was a garden snake. It was medium sized.

 The Broncos won the Broncos game on Sunday 24 to 17. The Broncos are winning almost all year.

 One day I saw a snake on the road. It was a rattlesnake. And the snake didn't get run over by a car.

 It was a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. We were very close to it.

 Today I went to Ms. Zina's garden. We saw a ladybug. I holded it in my hands. I let it go.

 Ten Things I Love About Hayden
1. You are funny.
2. You are a good friend.
3. You are a good athlete.
4. You are a good athlete.

 Gavin is so excited to be the teacher's helper.

 What do you think? What did you like about the story? (These questions were at the end of a story asking for reader feedback.)

 I went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I had so much fun. I fed lettuce to the giraffe and there was a baby giraffe, too.

A hummingbird can flap its wings 100 times per second. A hummingbird needs nectar from flowers every 10 minutes.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.2 Odd and Even Numbers
Student-Led Conferences tomorrow

Monday, September 29, 2014


We will use technology in a variety of ways throughout the year. One way we are currently using it is with the ShowMe app on our iPads. This is a presentation app that allows students to record their voice while writing, drawing or sharing a picture. We use this to share our learning with each other. I also use it to assess what student know and can do. It is so valuable to me to be able to listen to a child explain his or her thinking while watching them write or draw. To help this process along, I give the students a Learning Target Checklist. As they create a ShowMe demonstrating that they know a topic, they can check off that target on their list. They can always go above and beyond and do ShowMes on topics that aren't on the list. Periodically throughout the year, I give them new checklists to use as we learn new things. Here are some of the things on our current checklist:

______ Reading: I can retell the story of a book that I have read.
______ Reading: I can recommend good books that I have read.
______ Writing: I can spell some sight words correctly: and, for, like, her, day, want, going, of, little, saw
______ Math: I can make tally marks for numbers.
______ Math: I can count by 2s.
______ Math: I can count by 5s.
______ Math: I can use a number grid to count.
______ Math: I can tell time to the hour.
______ Math: I can count a collection of pennies and nickels.

We add the ShowMes to our Kidblogs so you can visit those to see any ShowMes that your child has created so far. Below are a few samples for you to enjoy, too. (If you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view the ShowMes.)

Simeon shows us how to count a collection of nickels and pennies.

 Lexi shows us how to tell time to the half hour. (A skill that is coming up soon in first grade.)

Eizaiah shows us how to count using tally marks.

Gavin shows us how to count by 5s on a Hundreds Chart.

Taylor shows us how to count by 2s.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.1 Patterns

Important Dates
10/1 Student-Led Conferences
10/3 Boot Camp
10/20 No School for Students - Teacher Work Day
10/21 First Day back after Fall Break

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Service Learning

Today we visited Bonaventure Senior Living Center and visited the Memory Care Unit. We sang three songs for them: She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain, This Land is Your Land and The Star Spangled Banner. After we sang we each visited with a resident. There were smiles all around. We know that our service today was making others happy and bringing back some good memories for them. The learning part of our visit is that we learned that people can have issues with their memory and how to talk with people who do have memory issues. Before we went read a great book about a little boy who helps a woman with memory issues remember things. It was called Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.  The crew was proud to share all of the memories that the residents shared with them. Ask your child to tell you all about it. (To view the short video clip below, you will need to go directly to the crew blog if you get this post by email.)

Grandparent Interview - due on Monday

Our IA next week is PE.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Beat

Our All School Meetings have taken on a new look this year. They are now called, The Beat. They are no longer led by whole crews. This year 13 ambassadors are chosen from various crews and grade levels to set up and run each meeting. When we meet we sit in a circle with an elevated stage in the center of the large group. Today was the first day that first graders were chosen to be ambassadors. Lexi and Keane represented us well. More of our crew will be chosen to lead as we progress through the year. You will be notified by Ms. Chelsea when your child is chosen. As always, you are invited to attend any meeting. The Beat happens every Wednesday at 9:00 am.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.

  • Math Test including: reading a chart, counting tally marks, counting collections of nickels and pennies, telling time to the hour, counting by 2s and 5s and basic addition and subtraction problems (8+1=?) 
  • Service Learning Fieldwork to Bonaventure Senior Living Center
  • No library tomorrow because we will be at Bonaventure. Your child can still return his or her books.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sight Words

Our new sight words are: want, going, of, little, saw
Previous words include: and, for, like, day, her

We are working on learning to spell these words correctly. We can read them, now we must learn to write them. These are great words to point out to your child when they are reading or to have them practice spelling at home, too. 

Ask your child to explain how we practice these words at school using the Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check method.

New Book Collections from the Public Library
Grumpy Bird series, Max and Milo series, Brownie and Pearl series and books by Jan Thomas

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 2.13 Counting Money
Bring in canned/boxed items for our Boot Camp food drive

Math Test coming up on Thursday including: reading a chart, counting tally marks, counting collections of nickels and pennies, telling time to the hour, counting by 2s and 5s and basic addition and subtraction problems (8+1=?) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Family Dinner Graph

As we continue to explore the ways that our families are similar and different, we took a look at the favorite meals of our families. We each drew our family's favorite dinner on a plate and then we began to work at finding the similarities. We made a graph on the floor of our classroom to see what dinners we had in common. Pasta dinners and pizza were the most common dinners in our crew. You will be able to see the graph below (now on our wall) when you come in for Student-Led Conferences.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 2.12 Telling Time
Bring in canned/boxed food items for our Boot Camp Food Drive

Math Test coming up on Thursday including: reading a chart, counting tally marks, counting collections of nickels and pennies, telling time to the hour, counting by 2s and 5s and basic addition and subtraction problems (8+1=?)

Important Dates
9/25/14 Service Learning to Bonaventure Senior Center - back at school for lunch
9/26/14 No school - professional development for teachers
10/1/14 Student-Led Conferences
10/3/14 Boot Camp

Our official 'Pupil/Student Count Day' is Wednesday, September 24th.  Please make sure all students are in attendance on this day!  Our 'Count Window' is September 17th to October 1st.  It is VERY important you are not absent 4 or more days during this window.  Schools receive their state funding based on attendance during this enrollment window.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ms. Zina's Garden

Today we were able to go and visit Ms. Zina's garden. It was lovely and the weather was great. We learned so much that we will use when we get ready to work on the school garden later in the year as part of our second Expedition on Science topics. The zucchini bread and honey were great! Thanks to Mr. Leo and Ms. Zina for inviting to visit their garden.

The Bee Hives - we looked from a distance

Just a few of the things Mr. Leo picked as we toured the garden.

Our IA next week is Music.

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Family Pictures

As part of our Expedition on Families we all drew a picture of the members of our families. They are now displayed out in the hall. I love to see all of the smiling faces out there as I walk in and out of our classroom. Feel free to stop by and check them out for yourself.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 2.11 Nickels and Pennies

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Current Book Collection

Our current book collection from the public library includes many books by Mo Willems. He is a favorite author of all first graders. While adults don't always remember the childhood issues that the characters face in the books, first graders really relate to them. They also think that they are very funny - a great side benefit. If you are looking for some great books to read with your child, check out a few books by Mo Willems.


Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 2.10 Pennies and Nickels

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Learning Targets

Learning targets are similar to goals or objectives. They are sentences that tell us what we are learning during a particular lesson or unit. They can be short term or long term. Recently we spent some time identifying the learning targets we are currently working on. We each wrote at least one learning target and posted it near the work it was related to in our room. We enjoyed doing this and we each now can really explain learning targets - especially the one we wrote ourselves. (As always, you can click on each picture to see a larger view.)

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 2.9 Counting by 5s