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Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween! Thanks to Kristen for organizing our celebration and to all who came and helped and sent in items. The crew really enjoyed it.

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

IA (Integrated Arts)
Our IA next week is PE.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


We are hitting that time of year when students become more aware of what other students around them are doing and not doing. Up to this point, they haven't really noticed when some students are doing different things than they are.

There are two reasons for this:
  1. The differentiations that I have been using have not been very easy for a first grader to spot but they are becoming a bit more obvious.
  2. They are becoming more aware of themselves and those around them and how they are the same and different.

I wanted to share with you how I deal with this so you it could help you in your discussions with your child at home. One day I began a crew discussion by asking what day they all lost their first tooth. They looked at me with confusion and explained that they didn't all lose their first tooth on the same day and that some of them hadn't lost a tooth yet. I nodded and then asked them what day they all learned to ride a two-wheeled bike. This time a few of the crew figured out that I was making a point but others still needed to straighten me out and explain things to me. Just to be sure I asked one more question about what day they all learned to walk. Now they all laughed and decided that I was being silly. This is when I talked to them about how we all do things at different times and in different ways and that this is completely normal. I then began to talk about how this relates to learning to read, write and do math. I explained that we were all going to learn to do those things well but probably not on the exact same day. At the time, they seemed to understand - but understanding and feeling okay about that are two different things. We will continue to talk about this and how we all have different strengths and weaknesses but that we all continue to learn. You can help by reiterating this at home.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.11 Coin Exchanges

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Digital Books

We use a variety of resources to find good ebooks - both iPad apps and computer websites. I thought I would share some of those with you in case your child would like to read a digital book from home. In the future, I will share some of the math tools and apps that we use online, too. (Click on the pictures below to see a larger version.)

The picture below shows the home screen of each child's iPad. The top two rows feature mainly the creation apps that we will learn and use throughout the school year. We have learned two of these apps so far - Kidblog and ShowMe. A button to our crew blog is also included on these rows to provide students with easy access to our blog but it is not a creation app.

The newest digital book app that we have is called, Epic - Books for Kids. We have left it out on the home screen so that the crew will remember to take a minute to visit it. It has many, many great books that the crew can read and some that can be read to them. They recognized many of the titles from our school and classroom library on here.

The pictures below show some of the apps that are in our Books folder on our iPads. Ask your child which apps are his or her favorite.

On the Resources page on our crew blog (see the tabs at the top of the blog page), you will also find several reading websites that the crew uses. Tumblebooks is a subscription service that our school district subscribes to so this one won't work at home unless you access it through the Douglas County Public Library and enter your library card number. The rest will work just fine. While most of the sites are just books to read or listen to, Starfall also has some other reading (and Math) activities that the crew enjoys.

Students can also access their blog at home by going to the Resources page of our blog and clicking on the Kidblog button under Writing. If they can't remember their blog password, send me an email and I will email the password to you.

Hopefully these sites will give you and your child some more resources to use for reading at home.

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.10 Dimes

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Independent Reading

Every day we have an independent reading time. This is the time that we practice all of the reading skills that we have learned. If you were to come into our room during this time you might see a few students reading with a fourth grade buddy, a few students reading ebooks on their iPads, a few students conferring with Ms. Jill or reading with Ms. Wendy and a few students reading quietly at their desks. We change up who does which activity every day. This is a very important time of our day. We know that reading is fun and that it is important to read every day so that we will become better readers. Thankfully, we have lots and lots of books to read!

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 3.9 Find the Rule

Group Pictures and Re-Takes are tomorrow. Please help your child remember his or her order form if they are ordering pictures. If they are getting pictures re-taken, they will need their old package of photographs or a new order form.