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Friday, January 29, 2016

Ready Freddy

I am trying to create a bit of book buzz in our classroom. I have begun reading chapter books aloud to the crew. Reading aloud is fun and builds comprehension skills and vocabulary. We are currently reading Ready Freddy: Tooth Trouble by Abby Klein, the first book in a large series of books. The books in this series are so appealing to first graders. In Tooth Trouble, Freddy is the only one in his class who hasn't yet lost a tooth. He is so distraught about this that he creates and carries out several plans to try to make one of his teeth fall out. First graders can really identify with this theme. This illustrator also provides readers with the challenge of finding the word "fin" in every illustration. (Freddy is a shark lover so "fin" is one of his favorite words.) While this book is a "chapter book", it is written at a level that would be "just right" for about half of the students in our crew. So, many will be able to read the books in the Ready Freddy series on their own. Others will enjoy them as a read aloud. After this book, we will start Roscoe Riley Rules #1: Never Glue Your Friends to a Chair by Katherine Applegate.   The books in this series are all tales of how Roscoe ended up in the timeout chair - nothing outlandish, just his mishaps and mistakes that will feel familiar to most first graders. All of these books are available at the Douglas County Public Library so check some out on your next visit. Happy Reading!

MinM (Minds in Motion)
Our MinM class next week is Art.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Patriotic Symbols and Famous Americans

While we are in between Expeditions, we spent last week exploring some financial literacy concepts like goods, services, income, jobs, and financial goals. For the next couple of weeks we are going to be exploring patriotic symbols and a few famous Americans. At the end of this exploration time, we will create a ShowMe with a partner about a symbol or person of our choice. After that it will be time to dive into our Science Expedition. Below are some of the resources we have that we can use to learn about patriotic symbols and famous Americans.

Homework ~ Read a good book or two. Check out a Bedtime Math story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Current Book Collection from the Public Library

Sadly we had to return our Henry and Mudge and Annie and Snowball books to the library. We certainly loved both of those series. So we decided to try some other books and series by Cynthia Rylant - she is a very prolific writer. Below you will see some of the books and series that we will be exploring over the next few weeks. We have already found some new favorites!

Homework ~ Read a good book or two. Check out a Bedtime Math story.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kindness Jar

Ms. Wendy made a Kindness Jar for our crew. It is beautiful. Yesterday at recess we each collected a very small rock to put in the jar. As we put in our rock we said how we would show kindness to others. The rocks and the jar are our reminder to be kind to each other. Ask your child how he or she is planning to show kindness to others.

Homework ~ Read a good book or two. Check out a Bedtime Math story.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Choice, Access, Ownership and Comfort

So today the crew got to use all of our new items. The shelves allow me to keep all of the building sets and exploration materials out so that the crew can choose what they want to work with and they can get it out on their own. This allows them to feel much more ownership over their time and their learning. Previously, we had to rotate through these items because they had to be stored inside or on top of our cabinets. Now the crew is in charge of taking care of these items and using them as needed. We also added some stools and comfy chairs to increase our comfort while working on computers or reading books. As you can see, the crew knew just what to do with all of these items and enjoyed having choice and access to any thing that they might want or need to use. (On a side note, I think it all looks more organized and attractive this way, too.)

Important Dates
2/5 Vision and Hearing Screening
2/25 Winter Voyage ~ day trip only
3/2 Life is Art Artists Edition 4 pm
3/5 Life is Art ~ Adult Event 6 pm Kirk Hall
3/19 - 4/3 Spring Break
4/4 No School ~ Teacher Work Day

Homework ~ Read a good book or two. Check out a Bedtime Math story.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sneak Peek

Below is a sneak peek at our new shelves and chairs. I will have more photos tomorrow that will show more items and will include kids using the new items. Thanks to all of you with your Life is Art donations for making this possible. Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped assemble the new furniture and thanks to my husband, my daughter and Wendy and her husband for coming to school to help put away all of the rearranged items in our room so we can have a normal day tomorrow. The crew is going to be very excited about this change because it is going to give them more access to items, more choice in what they do in class and more control over their time. I am looking forward to a great week!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Venn Diagrams

Now that we have been exposed to how Venn diagrams work, we tried to fill one out on our own. Earlier we had completed a Venn diagram comparing the United States and China and another one comparing our class to Mrs. Price's class. We worked on these together as a whole crew. Yesterday, was the first time we tried to complete one on our own. We compared the book characters of Henry and Annie. Take a look at some examples below.

Homework ~ Read a good book or two. Check out a Bedtime Math story.

MinM ~ Minds in Motion
Our MinM next week is PE.

Our volunteers today are Mr. David and Ms. Shauna. Mr. David came in and put together all of our new shelves and they look fantastic. They are empty but they will soon be filled. I can't thank Mr. David enough for doing this job. It was a big one!

Our classroom was a bit jumbled today but some students got to try out our new chairs. They are so comfy for reading! I will send pictures of some of our new items next week after some sorting and organizing this weekend. Thanks so much to all of you and the Life is Art fundraiser for making this possible.

Ms. Shauna comes in on Fridays during math to help us out. Most of the time she works with small groups but she also walks around and helps all of us, too. Thanks Ms. Shauna for all of your help!

Truth in Advertising: We staged this photo because we forgot to take pictures during math. It was a busy day!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Different Perspectives

In our current study of Henry and Mudge books, we began talking about the character's different perspective on the same event. It is interesting to notice that different characters see things in different ways. We are extending those ideas to our crew members and trying to notice when we have different perspectives on the same events or issues.

Homework ~ Read a good book or two. Check out a Bedtime Math story.

Pause Buttons
Ms. Wendy, Marley's mom, came in yesterday and taught us all about taking a break when we get frustrated, worried or upset. She helped us all make pause buttons for our desks that we can push to remind ourselves to pause and take a deep breath and think for a moment when we are feeling those hard to handle feelings. The crew loved making the buttons. Everyone, especially Ms. Wendy, was very flexible during that time because we found out that the Cup Stacking Tournament was that morning so we had to do all of this before 9:05. It was tricky but we did it! Thanks, Ms. Wendy!

Our volunteer today is Ms. Peg. Ms. Peg (Jackson12's grandma) came in to help put together some chairs for us today. So between Ms. Ellen, Ms. Peg and Ms. Wendy, our chairs are assembled. Thanks to all of you for your help! I can't wait to get all of the new things set up. Thanks Ms. Peg!

Bonus photo of Ms. Martha working with a small group today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Two-Digit Addition and Place Value

In math last week, we introduced the concept of two-digit addition. We did this by using our base-10 blocks. We created silly stories about animals and how much they would weigh together. Then we represented the weight of each animals with base-10 blocks and added the blocks together. We did not focus on the regular math notation for this yet but. We are working on building a deep understanding of place value and how addition works and then we will learn how to write it in symbols (25 + 36 = 61) at a later time. (I did write some problems using that notation so some children may begin using the symbols now. It just depends on how ready they are for that step.) Check out the pictures below for some examples.

This is a way that you can draw the blocks to use this system at home.

Homework ~ Read a good book or two. Check out a Bedtime Math story.

Our volunteer today is Ms. Ellen. Ms. Ellen comes in on Friday afternoons and helps us with our writing. She is also willing to jump in on other special projects, too. The photo below shows her assembling some of our new stools and chairs. She is a jack of all trades - and keeps Wendy and I nicely supplied with fresh eggs.