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Friday, April 28, 2017

Group Thumb Wrestling

Our daily morning meetings consist of several regular features: a greeting, sharing time, a morning message, the Pledge of Allegiance and an activity. The activity could be a team building game, a game that promotes something we are learning in one of the content areas or something that supports our character traits. We recently tried a fun team building activity - thumb wrestling. We began with regular thumb wrestling but then tried to work together as a crew and have all of us thumb wrestle in one big group. It was loads of fun. Ask your child to tell you all about it. The idea for the activity came from the short TED talk below called Massively Multi-Player...Thumb Wrestling. If you get this post by email, you will need to go directly to the blog to view this 5 minute video.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Transplanting Our Seedlings

Some of our seedlings were beginning to outgrow their seedling tray. We decided to transplant them into small pots to give them more room to grow. Hopefully they will be happy with their new, temporary home and will grow and grow. Our current plan is to plant them in the garden during the last week of school. We were too busy during planting time to take pictures of us actually planting the plants but here are some before and after photos.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lulu and the Brontosaurus

Lulu and the Brotosaurus is our current read aloud. Lulu wants a brontosaurus for her birthday but her parents say that she can't have one. She decides to go off and find one for herself in the woods behind her house and this is the beginning of her adventure. There is a repeated refrain in the book that the crew loves to join in on. Ask your child to chant it for you. There are several more books in this series if you would like to try one for an at-home read aloud.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Looking for a Good Read Aloud?

If you are looking for a good book to read aloud to your child, you should take a look at the Gooney Bird Greene series by Lois Lowry. I recently read the first book, Gooney Bird Greene, to the crew. They loved it. Gooney Bird is a quirky little girl who teaches her second grade class how to tell good stories.  The books in the series are funny and the chapters are just the right length for a good bedtime (or anytime) read aloud. Gooney Bird teaches other concepts in the other books in the series - things like poetry, vocabulary, geography, fables, etc. She teaches all of this while the reader is laughing and doesn't even notice that they are learning. This series is written at the end of 3rd grade or beginning of 4th grade level so it would not really be appropriate as a "on my own" book for anyone in our crew yet. Children are developmentally ready and able to listen to books that are about 2 grade levels above their current reading level so this series is just perfect for reading aloud to students in our crew.  Ask your child about Gooney Bird Greene.

Important Dates
5/3 Student-Led Showcase of Learning Conferences for First Grade
5/10 Third Grade Showcase of Learning Presentations
5/15 - 5/19 Book Fair
5/24 Sixth Grade Showcase of Learning Presentation
6/1 Last Day of School - All School Drum Circle at 9 am

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring Voyage

We had a fantastic day of hiking and climbing in Castlewood Canyon. Ask your child to tell you all about it as you look through the photos below and the photos in the photo album at the link below.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Scholastic Branches Book Series

Many students in our crew are ready for the books in the Scholastic Branches series. These books are very appealing to readers in our crew. Click here for the link to the Scholastic Branches site for more details about each book series. I have included photos of the site below to pique your interest. Ask your child which books they are interested in.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Requests

We are becoming avid readers. We all read and read during independent reading. We have favorite books and authors. We ask our friends for book recommendations. We have book series that we enjoy. Ask your child what books he or she enjoys.

An example of this developing interest in reading is that I will find little notes on my table that have lists of books that kids from our crew want me to pick up the next time I go to the public library. They also search our classroom library and school library for specific books that they want to read. Below are two examples of little notes from 2 different students that I found on my table recently. I do my best to fill these requests - we want to nurture this passion for reading.

Mid-week library visit tomorrow!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Measuring Worms/Guest Speaker - A Bee Keeper

Last Friday we did some more close observations of our worms. We were trying to learn how they actually move forward. Then we tried to measure them. Ask your child to explain or demonstrate how worms move. Ask them why it was challenging to measure the worms.

4/20 Spring Voyage  -  Climbing and Hiking in Castlewood Canyon.
4/21 No School
5/3 Student-Led Conferences for First Grade
5/10 Third Grade Showcase of Learning Presentations
5/15 - 5/19 Book Fair
5/24 Sixth Grade Showcase of Learning Presentation
6/1 Last Day of School - All School Drum Circle at 9 am

We also had Mr. Leo come in to speak to us about bees and their part in the garden system. Ask your child to tell you all about it.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Showcase of Learning and Other Thoughts

Our Showcase of Learning conferences will be coming up at the beginning of May. We are just starting to gather work samples and ideas to share with you during those conferences. These are some of the questions we are thinking about as we prepare.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

We Are Readers and Writers!

We have come a long way and we really are readers and writers. Click on the link below to view the short video of our classroom during independent reading and then enjoy the photos of us reading the nonfiction books about animals that we wrote to Ms. Dana's crew. We loved having an audience and teaching them some new facts about animals. Thanks for visiting us, Ms. Dana and crew!

We are readers video 

Library tomorrow!