Monday, October 24, 2011

A photo update!

You should have received the official update in printed newsletter form today--The First Grade Free Press was sent home in your child's green home-school folder. I hope you had a great weekend and a happy Monday. Here are some photos of a few happenings last week. Enjoy!

Many students choose to make a candy corn person at the Art Station during literacy stations this week. This was a follow-the-directions activity. The directions are always posted at the Art station on a chart.
Here's the candy corn person!
The Writing Station is almost always full when it's open. I have been encouraging students to hang writing they are proud of--there are thumbtacks for students to use right there. Many students are into book making right now, and one student is really into writing comics. It's great to see eager writers!
Mrs. McCleary came in last week to teach her Tuesday guidance lesson. The focus was knowing the difference between big and small problems. Students learned about how to tell if a problem is big (they need an adult to help them solve it) and small (they could take care of it on their own or with a friend). 
I love Mrs. McCleary's use of visual aides in this lesson--the heavy basket represented big problems--a child couldn't carry those on his/her own. The very lightweight paper bag was easy to carry--this represents a problem that a child can solve without help.
Here's a glimpse into the "Shoe Greeting" at Morning Meeting. Students all take off one shoe and put it on the middle of our circle. Students then take turns coming to the middle, picking a shoe, and find it's owner. When they find the owner of the shoe they say, "Good Morning, _______. How do you do? I think I found your shoe for you."
We are exploring patterns galore in math--visual patterns with shapes, designs, colors, etc.; odd/even number patterns; patterns on the number grid (as in the picture above) when we count by 2s, 5s, and 10s. We even talked about patterns in books/words can help us when reading.
It's the time of the year to do seasonal math activities! Last week students did Leaf Math they  measured with candy corn. They even got a small packet of candy corn as a reward for their hard work. It's a pretty good life in first grade! :-) Tomorrow we'll begin our Pumpkin Exploration Book...with a real pumpkin!
Our read aloud today (Monday) was called Spookley the Square Pumpkin. It's a great story about a pumpkin who's different from the rest in the patch since he's square! His square-ness ends up saving the day and his unusual seeds are saved and planted for the next harvest. The result--a patch full of unusually pumpkins of all sizes and shapes. Students make their own "Spookley" to hang in our classroom pumpkin patch. See some of their very unusual (and creative) Spookley's below...

And, last (for today) but not least--book bags. Your child has been reading regularly with our volunteer reading program. Those books come home in the colored fabric book bag. Our classroom book bags are falling apart (already!!!) so I have not been sending our classroom books from Reading Workshop. I decided to get the inexpensive alternative--plastic gallon-size ziploc baggies. Your child will bring this bag home this week with the following items in it: a book, a bookmark, a reading log, and a packet of sight word cards (when possible...we still have volunteers working hard to make class sets for the Fry sight word lists beyond List F). A quick note about book bags--if your child brings home more than one book bag, please don't feel as if you have to read all/both books the same evening. Send them back within a day or two if possible.

Sight Words--the goal at the end of first grade is that all students know the first 100 Fry words. We recently assessed students on their sight word knowledge, so that sight word ring in your child's reading bag reflects the next list your child should practice to mastery. Thank you!

The book bag, reading log, and sight word ring.
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