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!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy March!

Well, here we are welcoming a new month after winter break and we get quite the snow storm and TWO snow days! Wow! I hope that everyone is enjoying the glittery snow and spending some extra time with your fabulous first graders!

The first week back was a busy one, with the continuation of the penguin unit in math, forming new reading groups, and celebrating one of our favorite author/illustrator's birthday. In math, the students have been working diligently learning about different penguins, comparing their heights and weights, discussing charts and organizing data, phew! The week began with creating twin mini penguins to later make into a graph. The penguins came out marvelously-the Little Blue was the big hit this time! We then worked to create the graph that has the two twin penguins on an ice floe and each row adds another pair of penguins. The students made excellent observations about the graph and were even able to come up with a generalization!This was the word that we added to our math vocabulary this week. We discussed that it means making a math rule, in this case it was that the number of penguins in a row was always a double of the row number. We also discussed that making generalizations is the highest level of math thinking. This was quite an exciting moment and is one of the next things that we will be focusing after we master justifying our thinking!

We have some new and exciting things taking place during Readers Workshop as well. New reading groups have been made and students are getting a chance to meet and read with different peers. We will continue to go "book shopping" on Mondays for just right books and do classroom book return on Thursdays. In more book news, we began our first classroom chapter book! One of my favorites from elementary school, Ramona the Pest, by Beverly Cleary. The students are loving it and are doing a great job using their imagination to make the pictures for the story in their heads. It's pretty interesting when we do come to a picture how they imagined the characters either similarly or very differently, especially the character Susan with the curls that go "boing" or the teacher Ms. Binney! I encourage you to ask your students about their favorite part in the book or what is happening in the story. I will keep you posted as to when we begin our next book!

Last week was also our first Synergy Spirit Day as well as Dr. Seuss' birthday. We were so excited when we learned that PJ day and the birthday celebration were on the same day that we made green eggs and ham! It was quite a sight to see the students be rather apprehensive to begin with and then mostly dive right in and try it. To their surprise they liked them--just like in the story! I have added Dr. Seuss' website to the list of links on the right hand side of the blog. It's quite a fun site, with both online games and printable ones, have fun!

Coming up this week, we will be making life size penguins in math, so if you are available to come in I could certainly keep you busy! We also will be starting a new social studies unit at the end of the month with Ms. St. John's class on Community. There are fun activities that will be going along with that and extra help would be wonderful if you would like to come in. I will add those times to the volunteer sign up sheet.

Thanks for reading!

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