Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bike Ride Field Trip

There will be MUCH more information to come, but I wanted to let everyone know that our annual first grade bike field trip is coming up soon! The date for the trip is Thursday, June 2nd, and our class and Mrs. Hughes' class will go in the morning and will then eat lunch at Airport Park. We will need volunteers to transport bikes to and from Airport Park, and everyone will have to bring their child's bike and helmet to school before the trip (unless you can attend and can transport your own child's bike). We will bike from Airport Park, through the neighborhood across to the street, through the Delta Park bike path, and then over the Winooski River bike bridge to the Burlington bike path. This trip was originally planned around a school-wide theme of Community, and it was a great way to show students a part of our community that many have not explored. Now, it's become a first grade icon, along with hatching chicks. :-)

Students can ride on two wheels or with training wheels--all ability levels are welcome and everyone has fun no matter how fast or slow. Since the weather is getting nice, it's a good time for your child to get out and practice! If anyone needs to borrow a bike/helmet, let me know. We have many people who can loan these things without any problem.

Watch for a note about this trip in your child's folder on Friday. And if you can volunteer, please do! We NEED volunteers to make this happen. 

Welcome, eggs! :-)

The excitement was obvious this morning as students walked into school--the eggs had arrived! Students automatically went to the incubator to see the eggs, but they weren't there...yet! Before placing the eggs in the incubator, Mrs. Kelly (our lovely school nurse) came to teach children about the importance of washing our hands both before and after handling the eggs. Students will take turns turning the eggs during the 20-21 days they are in the incubator. We will turn the eggs three times each day. After Mrs. Kelly washed the eggs and I marked each egg with an X and O and a number (ask your child why...), we placed them in the incubator. The incubator will keep them at a toasty 100.5 degrees. 

Tomorrow, students will start a journal to document the development of the chicks inside the eggs. I have many great websites to use to give students a glimpse into what is happening in the egg each day. It truly is amazing! More information about this EXCITING science unit to come! 

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A peek into math time today...

Math time is always busy, active, and fun! Math stations allow students to work on many different skills during our hour-long math block. Students work in small groups, which allows for more individualized instruction. There are always one or two "independent stations," which is where children can choose games and other activities to practice various math skills. 

These telling time puzzles have been popular. Telling time to the hour, half-hour, and quarter hour are skills that are expected to be secure by the end of first grade.
We work on knowing math facts "in a snap" in many ways. This game has children match a math fact on one side of the egg to the correct sum on the other side of the egg. 
Students designed kites with 25 colored squares and are writing sentences that use fractions to describe how the kite is colored. (For example, the kite about is 16/25 green, 8/25 magenta, and 1/25 yellow.)
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Library books due TOMORROW (Wednesday)

Please have your child bring his/her library book to school TOMORROW if possible. Students can exchange their books tomorrow (Wednesday) since we won't have a regular library class on Friday due to author/illustrator Jason Chin's visit. Students will meet Jason Chin on Friday afternoon and will hear more about his book, Redwoods.

New date for Observatory visit!!!

We are very fortunate to be able to reschedule our trip to the Saint Michael's College Observatory.  We will be visiting the observatory on Wednesday, May 11th.  Due to the small size of the observatory we have blocked out 15 minutes for each of the first grade classes.  Our class is scheduled from 7:00-7:15 p.m.  For directions or to see a map of the Saint Michael's College campus please check your child's home/school folder.

The arrival of the eggs!

There is a lot of excitement in first grade this week as we begin to prepare for the arrival of our chick eggs!  Our incubator is set up and we are monitoring its temperature.  The eggs will be placed in the incubator Wednesday morning after Nurse Kelly visits to teach us how to keep ourselves and the eggs healthy.  I am sure that you will be hearing a lot about our visitors as the days go by.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recent happenings...

Mrs. McCleary's Guidance lesson on Tuesday was about everyone having "Go-to People," meaning people who your child feels comfortable talking to about big problems--the type of problem that an adult needs to know about, not just friends. Everyone created a web diagram of their "go-to" people. Children offered many suggestions of people they trust to go to with their problems--mom, dad, Mrs. McCleary, me, Mr. Antonicci, Mrs. Kelly, and many more. 

We also started learning about Fractions this week. The interactive whiteboard was a fun way to explore how to divide shapes into equal shares. Can you tell it's orange/yellow day in the photos below? Students also were able to sample some delicious yellow/orange healthy foods from Mrs. Hughes' class! Thanks!

Dividing rectangles into equal shares.
Delicious and nutritious! (I know it's sideways...looking for a fix!)

Smoothies: Part I

Thank you to everyone who sent ingredients for our SMOOTHIES on Monday! I made one smoothie on Monday and will make one on Friday too (and perhaps tomorrow--Thursday--as well). As you can see in the photos below, we were celebrating healthy food choices on Monday by wearing red or pink and the smoothie was color coordinated. :-) It was a raspberry banana smoothie and everyone loved it! Tomorrow is green food day and Friday is purple/blue day. I am not entirely sure how to do a tasty green smoothie, but I have Friday's tasty treat covered. Let me know if you have GREEN smoothie ideas! :-)This has been a great concrete topic for how-to writing and for thinking about solids and liquids (our current science unit). 



Last week's D.A.R.E. was about saying "NO!" to drugs. Officer Bressler wore her full uniform in front of the class for the first time. The boys and girls had a lot to offer to the discussion about how to say no if offered something that is harmful to their health. Way to go, everyone!

The Musical

The musical was a great success. THANK YOU to Ms. Mutz for all her hard work preparing everyone for the show, and to all the parents who got your children to the extra rehearsal (for those with speaking parts), and to the people who stepped up to do face painting! And, of course, thank you to family and friends for coming to the show! It was a big night for everyone!

I was able to get some pictures at the dress rehearsal yesterday afternoon and from side stage last night at the show (a few show photos are here...more are to come). Congratulations to the students for a wonderful performance!

Have you filled a bucket today?

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is a GREAT book for teaching children about how our actions and words can affect each other. Last week, we had some troubles with kindness, especially at lunch and outside on the playground. I decided it was the perfect time to go back to the "bucket book," as we had not read it since the Fall. The basic premise is that we all have invisible buckets that we take along with us every day. We can fill each others' buckets through kind acts and deeds,  but we can also dip into others' buckets by being unkind. After we read the book, students brainstormed things they can do to fill each other's buckets. They came up with LOTS of wonderful ideas!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

5-a-day the Colorful Way!

Next week, the Colchester School District will celebrate "5-A-Day the Color Way" Week! This is sponsored by the district's wellness committee. A flyer was sent home today with details. There will be healthy fruit and vegetable samples for breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria to correspond with each day's color. Students are encouraged to wear the day's designated color each day.

Click on the picture to see the district's flyer about this special week:
5 A Day

Finally, I hope to concoct delicious, healthy smoothies three times next week to go along with the red/pink, blue/purple, and orange/yellow days. This will be fun and yummy, but will also be a great connection to our solids/liquids unit in science and our 'how-to' unit in writing!

To make this happen, I will need your help in providing the delicious and nutritious ingredients. I have created an online sign-up form:

Thank you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Class rewards=great fun!

Last week, those with four or five stickers on their sticker chart from the previous week were invited to be a part of the Lunch Bunch and ate lunch in the classroom. This week's Lunch Bunch is for those who earned FIVE stickers on their chart, which means they kept their heart at the top of the tree all week last week. Quite an accomplishment!

The whole class celebrated filling our marble jar for the second time last week! Hooray! They voted to have a popsicle/movie party. Wednesday, they ate popsicles and watched an episode of The Magic School Bus on the Smartboard. We are well on our way to filling the marble jar again! I am hoping for some nicer weather so we can have some sort of outdoor-related award. 

Last week's Lunch Bunch
I still have the Magic School Bus theme song in my head...but boy, that show sure is packed with information!
Congrats, class!