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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Bonus Blog Post - Recess at Renaissance

Arts Festival

Our annual Arts Festival is tomorrow. Please view the short video below for inspiration and all of the event details.

Mid-week library day is tomorrow.

This morning, Mr. Forrest, Maddie's dad, came in and talked to us about life in Louisiana. We learned so much. One of the things we learned is that today is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. Maddie gave us all necklaces to celebrate Mardi Gras. We also got to see some cool alligator heads. Thanks, Mr. Forrest, for coming in to share this with us.

Update to Yesterday's Post: West made the graph with the data that he collected. Check it out to see what times our crew goes to bed. Lovely graph, West. Thanks!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Independence ~ Revisited

One of the things that will help your child most at school is a growing sense of independence. Being able to do things on their own gives children confidence to try other new things and to take risks. This is a good thing in many areas. If a child will take a risk, they will be more willing to try to figure out an unknown word or to try solve a more complicated math problem. They become what we call self-extenders which means that they begin to learn on their own and this makes them feel great. You can help your child with this by asking them to do things that they are capable of doing on their own. I know that it can take way more time and patience on your part (believe me, I know) but it really does pay off in the long run.  So ask your child to do those little things that they are capable of doing on their own.

Some suggestions might be:
  • learn to write their full name - first, middle and last names
  • learn their address
  • learn a parent's phone number
  • tie their own shoes
  • zip their coat
  • turn their coat right-side out
  • put on their own band-aids
  • make their own sandwich or bowl of cerealsort laundry

These little things will help them become more independent and feel more confident and this will carry over to their academic growth as well.

At school, Ms. Meghan and I try very hard not to do anything for a child that he or she can do on their own. We also ask them to find a friend who can help them because seeing another child do a task independently inspires the child to try it for themselves.

Examples of this at school include:
  • classroom jobs
  • asking students who ask us to tie their shoes to find a friend who can do it for them
  • having them clean out their desks once a week
  • teaching them how to fill water bottles (yes, there are specific steps to teach to make them successful with this)
  • allowing them to have say in how things are organized in our room
  • giving them choices
  • asking them to work out problems with their friends while we are nearby but not interfering
  • asking them to write us a note to remind us of something
  • asking them to try something on their own first before asking for help (spelling a word, reading a word, solving a math problem)  
Calvin, Kalyn and Nikelle devised a system to organize the 94 books we had checked out from the public library.

Max and Michael wrote down information that they would need to have a play date.
Connor invented a new station and created the tag for it.
Michael practices filling up his own water bottle before Morning Meeting starts.
In addition to being inspired by Ms. Meghan to carry a writer's notebook, some kids have been inspired by the second graders to gather data to use to create a bar graph. West is collecting bedtimes of crew members and Lis is collecting the number of teeth crew members have lost.

Important Dates
3/20 - 4/3 Spring Break

Friday, February 24, 2017

Visiting Second Grade

Today we visited second grade so that we could provide an audience for their writing. They wrote out book awards so it was fun to see their writing and to get some great new book recommendations! Thanks, second grade!

Many more photos are in our crew photo album: Crew Photo Album for Second Semester

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Winter Voyage

The crew had a great day. We had a Winter Voyage! Below are a few pictures and a link to the album with all of the pictures from the day.  Ask your child to tell you all about them. We do have school tomorrow. See you there!

Things We Did Today
  • Scavenger Hunt/Map Skills
  • Nature Hike/Plant Naming
  • Art in Nature Sculpture
  • Team Building Games and Activities 
Library tomorrow!


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Service Learning - Teaching Seesaw to Ms. Mary Beth's Crew

Today we taught Ms. Mary Beth's crew how to sign in to Seesaw and add a post. We loved being the experts and sharing what we have learned.

We also went on a walk with the whole school during The Beat this morning. It was perfect weather. It would be great to have this weather again tomorrow for the Voyage.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


We have been very busy researching the animals that we each chose. We are using books, magazines, ipads and computers to gather facts and information about our animals. We are taking notes on a chart that will help us write the book about our animal later. We are learning many fascinating facts.

Library - Our mid-week library visit is tomorrow.

Important Dates
2/23 Winter Voyage for 1st grade - one day only, not an overnight trip, no day of rest needed
3/20 - 4/3 Spring Break

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Random (But Great!) Pictures and Videos

Below are a few random pictures and videos. If you get this post by email, you need to click through to the blog to watch the short little videos - they are worth the click. Enjoy.
Connor shares his tally chart about how many students in the crew wear glasses and how many don't

Calvin using his writer's notebook to keep track of his good ideas.

Climbing on the bouldering wall in the gym.
Kalyn was so excited about this game that she ran to tell Ms. Meghan all about it. Ms. Meghan asked if she could tell the story again on video to share with all of you.

Lis is also using her notebook to keep track of great words and ideas. The crew is seeing Ms. Meghan carrying around a notebook and they want to be writers just like her.

So many cool things happened today and I am running out of steam so I won't be adding notes and captions to the videos below except to say that the crew is so inspired to keep a notebook. This is so good for them - any type of writing practice is fantastic. If they ask for a notebook at home, I would jump at the chance. Drawing, writing, making lists - everything helps. They are so worth your time to view and see.