On Wednesday morning it felt so wonderful to be back with the children in our classroom. We had an extra long morning meeting to re-connect. The learners had so many wonderful stories to share with me. They were also so proud to share the beautiful tissue paper flowers and card that they had made to welcome me back.
After our morning meeting we worked in our magic books about our letter of the week “i.” We made a list of every word we could think of that started with the letter i. Then the learners had PE and Spanish. We ended our day with Families. The families activity for this month was making valentines for the veterans. It was very sweet to see the thought and care that each child put into making cards for the veterans.
On Thursday we had our regular center time activities. This week the kinders made healthy grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. The children also had math tiles and writing time with Colleen. After recesss Ron came for a visit with our precious dog Hazel. The children were so excited to Ron and Hazel. Ron also read them the wonderful story “Snowflake Bentley.”
For first grade math time we played a fun math game about place value. The learners had to roll a dice, write down the number, build it with base ten blocks, and then turn it into a number sentences. After lunch we had our regular language arts stations.
I’ve been enjoying having consistent days with the learners while Colleen continues to rest and heal. Her procedure went well. She really misses the kids and is really looking forward to being back with the learners next week!
In math we have been focusing on probability. Learners did activities with dice, flipping coins and using spinners to see the likelihood of flipping heads or tails, rolling a certain number, or a certain color on a wheel. We explored questions such as when rolling two dice and adding them together, why are you more likely to get certain numbers like 7 and 8 vs. numbers other numbers like 2 and 12.
For Language Arts we have been focusing on habits good readers do, most specifically making connections. The class learned special hand motions for the three main types of connections: Text to Text, Text to Self and Text to World.
For the community unit we started a multi-step project. First we did an interactive writing exercise in which we wrote about our favorite part of the school community. Then we graphed which areas we like the best. Lastly we made a “mural” mapping our community, paying special attention to our favorite spots: the library, forest, side yard, old gym and of course Room 10.
In art we recently completed a project inspired by the class’s study of Martin Luther King. We talked about our dreams for the world and how the new year is often a time of reflection and also discussed our hopes and wishes for ourselves and our families. Here are some examples: “I’d like all the bad guys in the world to become good guys.” “”I hope to do lots of fun outings with my family this year.” Lastly we made an art project capturing their wishes and an image of each learner reaching for their dreams. Please come by and check them out on the bulletin board.
During first grade time, we continued with phonics, Guided Reading and the listening center. For math time we have been working on story problems. We’ve been working off pictures similar to the example below. Each learner has comes up with their own story problems and the corresponding equation. They’ve easily been doing multiplication and division without even knowing it 🙂 Some sample questions from this beach scene were: If there are three bows on each kite and three kites, how many bows altogether? There are two people on each of the 4 blankets. How many people would there be total if one more person joined each blanket?
Lastly, please don’t forget the Strategic Planning town-hall meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. Educare will be open! (Details in Stacy’s email earlier this week.)
This gallery contains 50 photos.
We had a wonderful field trip on Monday to the San Carlos Fire Station. I just posted the photos to our blog. Amy did an amazing job capturing the special moments during our visit at the fire station. The children learned about the daily life of a fire fighter. They also had a tour of the fire station and learned all about the fire truck. Lastly they had the opportunity to see Colleen dressed-up in the complete fire fighter uniform including the oxygen tank. It was a very fun and informative field trip!
Then we walked over to the Taqueria for lunch. We all enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Taqueria. Each child ordered his/her lunch and then sat patiently and quietly as we all waited for our lunches to be served.
Monday was certainly a fun-filled day in Room 10!
This morning we had another wonderful lesson about Martin Luther King. I read the children the book “March On! The day my brother changed the world” by Christine King Farris. This is a wonderful book written by MLK’s sister. She tells the story from her perspective about the day MLK gave his “I have a dream” speech. I have the CD that goes along with the book which has Christine King Farris reading the book out loud. It is a very moving story and it is even more moving to hear the story read out loud by Christine King Farris.
After the story we had a class meeting about MLK. Here is the list of what the children shared during our class meeting.
Martin Luther King –
– He changed the world
– he knew how to be peaceful
– he wanted us to treat all people equally
– he knew that everyone had the right to do what they wanted to do
– he worked all night on his “I have a dream” speech
– his dream was that all people would be treated equally
At the end of our discussion one of the learners raised his hand and said, he wished he could have been in Washington DC on that very special day that MLK gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.
The first graders are working hard each afternoon during our language arts time. Last week we re-assessed all of the first graders in reading. I am happy to share that they have all made amazing progress in reading. Today we started our new guided reading groups. Here are some photos of the five stations that the learners rotate through each afternoon.
Writers Workshop Unit of Study for the month of January: Punctuation/Revision/Publishing
First I will read the children many books and spend time talking about the different types of punctuation in the stories that we read. Then I will have the children experiment with different forms of punctuation during writers workshop. Then we will move onto revision/editing. As a class we will practice editing and revising simple books.
Towards the end of January, we will begin our next unit of study on opinion writing. During this unit the learners will be learning how to write an opinion piece about a book or a specific topic. At the end of the unit the learners will publish their own book that expresses an opinion about a book or specific topic.
Science Unit of Study – Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle – January to March
• Every person has a responsibility to limit the amount of garbage they produce
• We can reduce the amount of garbage that goes to landfill by reducing, re-using, and recycling
• How can we care for the world?
• How can we reduce, reuse, and recycle?
Learners will know and understand:
• What is personal and shared space?
• How do we care for shared space?
• What is litter?
• What is landfill?
• Why is it important to reduce what we send to the landfill?
• How can we reduce landfill?
• What can we reuse that is going to the landfill?
• What can we recycle instead of sending to the landfill?
Learners will be able to:
• Distinguish between which items go to landfill, compost, and recycling
• Identify items that can be re-used
• Identify items that can be recycled
• Construct ways to reduce waste
Readers Workshop Unit of Study: December-January – Readers think and talk about books to develop ideas
Readers will learn:
– how to retell story
– how to envision, predict, and make connections with books
– how to monitor comprehension
– how to work on comprehension challenges
Phonics Lessons from Pinnell and Fountas for January
These lessons are taught each afternoon during our first grade language arts time. The lessons are taught in a systematic order to support the children in reading and writing through-out the school year.
The topics that will be covered during January are: (although this a rough schedule depending on how the lessons go each week, sometimes we may need more/less time for a certain lesson)
– Hearing Middle Sounds
– Hearing and Changing Ending Sounds
– Hearing and Changing First and Last Sounds
– Identifying Consonants and Vowels
– Introducing Consonant Clusters
– Learning about Beginning Consonant Clusters
– Learning About Names and Initials
Unit of Study in Math – January: Number and Operations in Base Ten – First Grade
We will continue learning how to add within 100 including two-digit numbers. We will also learn how to mentally find 10 more or 10 less than a number without having to count. Then we will move onto subtraction using multiples of 10 in the range of 10 to 90.
Unit of Study in Math – January: Number and Operations in Base Ten – Kindergarten
We will continue learning how to count to 100 by ones and tens. Then we will begin working with numbers from 11 to 19 to lay the foundations for place value. This will involve composing and decomposing numbers from 11 to 19.
During the month of January I will continue teaching the children to learn how to quiet their minds and being more aware of the constant “chatter” in their brains.
We spent the month of December learning about anchor breathing and when we reviewed what anchor breathing is this week, I felt they had begun to understand the concept of anchoring breathing and why it is important. For the month of January I will be focusing our lessons on Mindful Listening.
The information below is from “The Way of Mindful Education” this is the book that I am using as my guide for our daily mindfulness lessons.
The learning objectives for mindful listening are:
– Cultivating focused, present-moment awareness
– Relaxing the mind and body
– Becoming aware of thoughts and working with distractions