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Friday, May 30, 2014

Soil Experiments

We have been taking some time to learn a little more about soil. We have gathered some samples (thanks to all of you) and have begun to take a closer look at soil, what it actually is and what it can do. We are learning so much as you can see in the pictures below.


Comparing Soil Colors
Is it brown, black, gray, red, greenish-gray, etc.?

Comparing Soil Textures
Is it soft, hard, sticky, clay-like, gritty, rocky, sandy, etc.?





Soil Drainage
Which soils allow water to drain through quickly?





Soil as a Filter
Is soil a filter? Will it clean water?
Ready?

Pouring in concentrated Kool-Aid
Hmm...Some samples did seem to "clean" the Kool-Aid out of the water.
Settling Soil
What are the parts of soil?
Today we shook jars of soil and water and then let them settle. They settled into layers. We could see silt, sand, clay, humus as the layers in our samples.



The settling has begun and will continue over the weekend.


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

IA
Our IA next week is PE. Please help your child remember to dress appropriately.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Geisel Award Winning Books

The last collection of books that we will enjoy for this year will be Geisel Award winning books. The Geisel Award is for the best books for beginning readers and is named for Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss). Most are new to us but some of them are old favorites. They will help us reminisce about our reading time in first grade. These would be great additions to a summer reading list (ideas for summer reading will be coming next week).


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

Your Feedback is Wanted
I would love to have your feedback on how this year went for your child (and you). If you have a few minutes that you can spare to provide me with some feedback, please visit the link below - (Grandparents and other family members are invited to do the survey, too.)

Feedback for Jill

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Painting Handprints on Our Drums

Last week in Art, we painted hand prints on our drum. This is a yearly tradition at Renaissance -at the end of the school year we add our hand print to our drum. Below is a series of photos that will show the process of putting a hand print on a drum. It certainly looked like messy fun.




Thank You!
What a wonderful gift you all gave me yesterday! Below is a picture of the beautiful picture that the crew made for me. It is perfect! I love it. I also love the Tattered Cover gift card, too. Thanks! You know I will use it.




Homework
Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 10.8 End-of-Year Family Letter

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Meeting the Second Grade Teachers

Today we went down to meet the second grade teachers to help us prepare to move on to second grade. The second grade teachers' names are Ms. Hanni and Ms. Amanda. We got to ask them questions we had about what second grade will be like. It made us all feel excited and much more relaxed about moving on.
Ms. Amanda and Ms. Hanni




Homework
Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math Home Link 10.7 More Number Grid Puzzles

Important Dates
6/4 Last Day of School 


Friday, May 23, 2014

Last Visit from the Storyteller

We had our last visit from our Spellbinder storyteller. She left us spellbound. Enjoy the photos below.




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

IA
Our IA next week is Music.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Read Alouds

Recently we finished reading aloud, Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry and we are currently reading Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst. Both of these are great books that we have all really enjoyed. They are also part of a series of books so look for other books in the series to have for your family read aloud time. Your whole family will enjoy them.


Check out the video below of the crew doing the chant from Lulu and the Brontosaurus. They love to join in when that chant comes up. (If you get this post by email you will need to go directly to the blog to view this 25 second video. It is pretty cute so it is worth it.)
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Homework
Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 10.6 Comparing Temperatures

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Page to Stage

The Douglas County Library Page to Stage performers came to Renaissance today. They performed Jack and the Beanstalk. We all enjoyed it!






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

Library
All library books were due last Thursday. Please help your child find and return and library books.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thank you Mrs. Price's Class

We were so excited today to receive a package from Mrs. Price's class in Australia. We wanted to thank them for all of the gifts inside so we made a few videos for them. You can see the great gifts in the videos below. We want to say a special thanks to Regina for the very nice puzzle of Australia included in the package. We are so lucky to have connected with their class. Enjoy the videos. (Remember that if you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view the videos.)

Note: In the video we call the package a "parcel" because we learned that word from Mrs. Price's class when they received the parcel from us. This was very important to the crew.

Note #2: The crew has asked that we put our Australia station back into our station rotation so that they can spend more time looking through all of these gifts. We will do that tomorrow.

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Book Fair

We visited the Book Fair today. We saw lots of great books. This Book Fair is "buy one get one free" to help your child stock up on books for summer reading. The Book Fair only runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Be sure to stop by.










Homework
Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 10.5 Geometry Review

Monday, May 19, 2014

Planting the Garden

We planted our garden! We hope that our little plants will do well. We planted pumpkins, zucchini, beans, carrots and zinnias. We will keep a close watch on them as they grow. Enjoy the few I have photos below - it was so busy that we didn't get many pictures.




Homework
Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 10.4 Comparing Costs

Important Dates
5/20, 5/21 and 5/22 Book Fair in the Library

5/21 6th Grade Portfolio Showcase (For more information, click here.)

5/26 No School - Memorial Day

6/4 Last Day of School 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Creating ShowMes to Share Our Learning

On Friday afternoon, we had a ShowMe creation time where we all worked on ShowMes at the same time. We spread ourselves out around the room and spoke very quietly into our ipads so that we could all record at the same time.

Mr. Doug had given us some of the crew's P.E. assessments that he wanted to go into the student's portfolios. Since we are using our blogs as our portfolios, we created some ShowMes to tell about our P.E. assessments. We also used that time to catch up on other ShowMes that we needed to have in our portfolios as well. The videos below will give you a peek at what it looked and sounded like while we were creating our ShowMes. (Remember that videos on this blog will not play on some mobile devices and you may have to go to a computer to view them. Also, if you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view the two videos below.)

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After a small group of students finished, they came and sat on the floor with me and we read a book about Mercy Watson while others finished their ShowMes. We still needed to be quiet so we squeezed together in the corner so that we could all hear and see the book.






To view all of these new ShowMes, please visit our Kidblogs page.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Thank You

I am so amazed at what a fantastic group of parents you all are. I need to thank each and every one of you for stepping up and jumping in and volunteering to do so many thankless tasks this year. I have been so lucky this year to have all of your support and help that was given so cheerfully. It has made a huge impact on me and on our whole crew of students. The following list is far from complete but shows you just how much you have all done for our crew this year.

Thank you for:
  • Chaperoning Voyages – which includes so many things from being responsible for kids, carrying gear, being role models, helping kids with gear, helping with meals, giving up some sleep to tend to sick kids and/or homesick kids, bonding with the kids and providing emotional support to kids, teachers and other chaperones
  • Helping with the gear check at home
  • Helping load gear
  • Chaperoning other field work experiences
  • Being a crew parent and handling all of that communication and the organizational tasks involved in that job
  • Being an expert (guest speaker) and sharing your knowledge
  • Filing books in our book room and making it look fabulous
  • Running classroom parties
  • Sending in supplies to help make the parties a success
  • Doing clerical work for me – tearing Math Home links out of their original book, cutting out math tools, sorting and organizing all of these things
  • Sending in items as needed (trowels, soil samples, flowers, tissues, etc.)
  • Commenting on blog posts
  • Coming in to help with students in class
  • Being an audience for students during Writer’s Workshop
  • Doing paperwork or other organizing jobs for me from your own home
  • Belaying for the climbing wall
  • Attending all of the various trainings and meetings
  • Being generally supportive of me (and the crew) by checking in to see how things are going 
  • Keeping up with all of the many communications sent home
  • Doing homework with your child and sending them to school each day well prepared and ready to learn
I am sure that this list is not complete but I do want you to know that I am aware of how hard you all work and how much time you put in to make our crew and our school a better place. It has such a positive impact on all of the students and all of us as a crew. Thank you.
We are crew, not passengers.   - Kurt Hahn

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

IA
Our IA next week is Art.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Guess My Word

We have learned a new word game during our morning meeting activity time. It is called Guess My Word. The crew enjoys it so I wanted to share the rules with you. This is another great game to play in the car.

Guess My Word

You need: a partner

One player thinks of a three-letter word for the other to guess. Whenever the person guesses, the player who thought of the word tells whether the guess comes before or after the word in alphabetical order. (Currently, we use an alphabet strip to mark off what letters we have guessed so we don't have to keep track mentally. As we get better, we will no longer need the strip.)

Homework
Reading ~ Read a good book or two.
Math ~ Home Link 10.3 Solving Number Stories

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Garden Plan

We met with Ms. Mary Beth's class yesterday to work on our plan for planting our garden. We worked to decide where to plant each type of plant and to decide how we were going to divide up the work among all 52 first graders. We had a lot to discuss. We hope to plant next week - weather permitting.




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

Library
Tomorrow will be our last chance to visit the school library. All library books are due tomorrow and we won't be checking out any new books during this visit. Now is the time to start making trips to the public library to find great books to read.