Welcome back! Our second year together has had an amazing start and the students and I are excited to share our learning and experiences with you. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us as well. Enjoy exploring!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Field Trip, Harvest Fest and more!

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A fun-filled week!

This week may have been a short week, but boy was it an eventful and exciting one! To start off the week we had our first "Success Celebration". The students have been working really hard on cooperation and team work to be successful throughout the day. Each time I see an opportunity that became a success, I move a colorful stick into the success jar and it becomes a "success stick". Last Friday we earned the last of 10, so that meant a surprise on Monday! We celebrated our hard work by having a cookie at snack time and have now started again with 10 opportunities to work towards another surprise.

Not long after our treat, we left on Synergy's first field trip to The Flynn to see Harold and the Purple Crayon. The students were an amazing audience and really enjoyed the show! It was great to see the looks on their faces and hear their laughter at different parts of the play. Harold was very creative and used his imagination constantly throughout the show, so when we got back we reflected on what we had seen and wrote about our favorite parts. I was very impressed with the reflection writing and using the word, because, to support our explanations. You will see this writing piece in their folders this weekend! Look at the links to find a new

The events continued on Tuesday with the Harvest Festival. For lunch time the students got to go out to the garden to get their "Stone Soup" and bring it back to the classroom. The soup was a hit, most everyone that ate it, loved it! I even heard, "This is the best soup I have ever had!".

For a kick-off activity for our Families Unit today, the students learned about families from around the world and what they may eat and do together. We then thought about what we eat and like to do with our families and created these things out of Play Dough. The students were wonderful sculptures! Take a peek at the slide show to see what they made.

Have a great long weekend!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Photos finally!

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Eating Healthy and Keeping Active

We have just finished our first science unit about the Human Body! The students and I have been busy learning about the Five Senses and then we wrapped up with learning about how important it is to eat healthy and stay active. We took a class walk around the school to open up a discussion about fun activities to do to stay healthy and get exercise. The students came up with a long list of things they like to do, there were activities from jogging to luge.

A show called Food Play came, hosted by Hannaford, to teach the kids about how our bodies need something from every food group to stay healthy. The two characters were athletes, and very talented jugglers, and taught us sayings such as, "Read it, before you eat it". The students loved it!

The students also learned how to navigate the blog and find the healthy food games that are there. We played one together as a whole class and tried to get to Planet Power by making smart and healthy choices for meals throughout the day. The students did a great job looking at the different categories and filling up on energizing foods. This past week we started with our morning computer schedule for Ease-In time and each student was playing a healthy food game!

This week we will be beginning our first Social Studies unit about families and how families now are similar and different to families from long ago. In the next couple of weeks we will be having discussions and doing activities about the many kinds of families, family members and different family traditions. It will be all about family, family, family!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our first month!

We have just finished our first month of first grade, if you can even believe it, and boy have we been busy doing a lot of fun learning and activities!

The past couple of weeks math time has been filled with learning about patterns, sorting things in many different ways, creating designs and shapes, and racing numbers. Last week the students worked in pairs to sort different math materials that they have been working with such as bugs, sea creatures, buttons, and frogs. I was astonished at how many ways everyone came up with to sort...71 the first day and 82 ways the second day! We decided that this is a class of master sorters.

We have also been hard at work learning about being respectful learners. This means we are doing really good listening when others are speaking and we are respecting everyone's ability to do their own thinking. This means as well, that we are giving everyone time to think and not yelling out answers. Boy, do we have a lot of respectful learners in this class, which is great because every time we see respect happen during math we get a sticker on our poster and once we've reached our goal a surprise will follow!

Writers Workshop has been going wonderfully. We have been really working on writing stories about things that we have done so that we can add a lot of details since it is something that actually happened. I shared with them a cooking fiasco story, I will let them fill you in on what happened, so that we could start brainstorming some ideas and talk about how our illustrations match the writing. We have also introduced two types of Author's Share; one is where we share in front of the whole class and the second is a "pair share". I was amazed at how well the students did reading their pieces to the class and explaining their work, they are naturals. Also, as audience members, the kids did wonderfully listening to the speaker and making positive comments or asking interesting questions. They also did great working with a partner and listening closely to what the other person had written (some pictures of this can be found in the slide show that will be following shortly).

For Readers Workshop the students are doing well using their book bins and making smart sitting choices for reading in their own space. The students also came up with a great list of reading strategies and what to do if you get "stuck". We are just starting to learn how to find "just right" books and Guided Reading lessons began today! You will start to see books coming home with them that we have read together and for them to read to you. We have talked about how becoming expert readers takes a lot of practice, but that they are well on their way already!

Lastly, we just completed our final Senses Workshop on Friday where the students mixed with the rest of Synergy and learned about the last sense, which was the sense of sight. We played a game of coseeki (they really love this one) and used tiny dots of sand paper to write our names in braille. The challenge if they finished early was to close their eyes and see if they could feel how many dots were in each letter, I was blown away by how they could feel the different dots. It was really great to see the first and second graders help each other throughout the activity--they did so well!

Stay tuned for the accompanying slide show, working out a tiny glitch and it should be up soon!