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Friday, January 19, 2018

Photos From Our Week

This is what happens when you tell one student that they can go clean the mud off of their shoes.

The newest Jan Thomas books that were published this week have been added to our classroom library. You will probably see them coming home in your child's book bag soon as we take turns borrowing them.

We  have been researching the animals we have selected to write a book about this week. Earlier in the week we began our research in books. Yesterday and today we used the Epic app on our ipads and several online encyclopedias on our Chromebooks. We are learning so many cool facts.

Class in the cafeteria this morning while they were working on our heat. They will be back again this afternoon.

Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story or play a math game.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


 As I mentioned earlier, we have begun a study of nonfiction in our Reader's Workshop and Writer's Workshop. We are reading lots of nonfiction books and learning about the different features of nonfiction text - see the photos below for examples of these features. Also we have all selected an animal to research and learn more about so that we can write our own nonfiction books about the animal we chose. Ask your child to tell you what animal they are researching.

Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story or play a math game

Library Tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Word Work

We are learning about the many ways that long vowel sounds are spelled in words. We are taking an Expeditionary Learning approach to this study rather than a teacher directed approach. This means that we are searching all of our reading materials and noticing different ways that a sound might be spelled. Then we write out these words on sticky notes and sort them by type on a chart. We have had some amazing discussions about words and how they work. The crew is becoming very good at noticing and finding a wide variety of spellings for the different vowel sounds we have focused on so far. That is the goal of this study - to notice how words work and begin to make connections between words, letters, sounds and spellings. We are not trying to learn to spell all of these words perfectly. That comes later after we have a better understanding of how words work and are put together. Since we are taking an Expeditionary Learning type of approach to our word work that also means that we follow the lead of the students and study the things that they notice, find and have meaning for them. For example, I would not normally introduce the "eigh" spelling of the long "a" sound in first grade but since Creighton is in our crew, it came up quite naturally. The crew was surprised to notice that while it sounds like there is a letter "a" in Creighton's name, there isn't an "a" in his name. This led us to notice the spelling of the number eight in math and the word weigh as we were reading a nonfiction book about turtles. The crew loves to find more words throughout our days that follow some of these patterns and it is truly the best way to learn. Be sure to have discussions with your child when they notice things like this as they are reading roads signs in the car or books with you in the evenings.

Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story or play a math game.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Starting Our Days

The first bell rings at our school at 8:30 am each day. This is when students can enter the building and come to the classroom to get ready for the day. Since the second bell doesn't ring until 8:40 am when school starts, that gives us some time each morning to come in and read some good books. Lately I have been sitting on the floor with the crew during this 10 minute time instead of greeting them out in the hallway. I am enjoying this time with the crew so much. Last Thursday, I decided to get out some blocks and build with the crew instead of just chatting and reading books. The crew loved this idea so we have decided to have one morning each week be a building day while saving the other days for reading - which we also love.

Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story or play a math game.

Important Dates

2/16 No School - Professional Development Day for Teachers

2/19 No School - President's Day

2/22 First Grade Winter Voyage (Day trip - no day of rest)

3/6 Life is Art Fundraiser

3/19 - 4/2 Spring Break