Because of the Veteran’s Day holiday, I had the pleasure of teaching the children for two consecutive “Katie Days”. On Friday we started our day with centers. One was called Domino Parking Lot in which learners take a domino add the number of dots and then “park” the domino in the correct space on a recording sheet according to the sum. Dominoes are a great tool in our classroom because they simultaneously model decomposition of numbers and build on learner’s addition fact knowledge. They also are a nice continuation of the math we have been doing with dice. The other center was a follow-up on last week’s symmetry and pattern work, in which we learned about and created quilt square designs.

For art we worked a bit on our Starry Night piece and looked at van Gogh’s sunflower paintings. We examined real sunflowers — noting their imperfections and their position in how are sitting in the vase — and then sketched them in pencil. We broke out the tempera paints to create our own sunflower masterpieces, making sure to work on scale and perspective (very challenging concepts for K/1!).

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After lunch we worked on our phonics, introducing the letter L. We did an activity where we focused on the ending sounds in words.

On Tuesday, we enjoyed our last special of this cycle. There will now be a break with specials until after the holidays. After recess we went to the book fair, where learners browsed the selections and some made purchases with their money from home. First graders worked on their phonics program after lunch. So far we have mastered R, M, S, B, L, T, C, L and A. We reviewed the letters and put our knowledge to the test, perfectly spelling such words as rams, blat, slams, scram, blast, cram.

And lastly, after many sessions of sorting the SCRAP materials and hot-glue-gunning, we finally finished our Starry Night mixed media collage! Here’s a picture of the final product: