On Wednesday after Spanish the second grade came to visit Room 10. Our very special visitors shared their end of unit books from writers workshop. The learners in Room 10 were excited to see so many of their old pals reading their amazing stories. It was certainly a special writers workshop celebration.
On Thursday afternoon Cheryl Gianna and Preston’s grandmother came to read a special story to the 1st graders after lunch. She read them a fun and interactive story about the old lady who swallowed a fly. Thank you Cheryl!
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Today we began a large class project, making a Kindness Quilt. This project was introduced to me by Mia’s mom Deena who will also be doing the project with her 3/4 class. We started by talking about kindness and reading the wonderful book The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. Our discussion dovetailed nicely with what they recently had learned about Martin Luther King. The learners were then given “homework” for the next few days to think about acts of kindness that they do (or have done) in their everyday lives. On Friday we will gather to share one example of a kind act. (It can be something as simple as reading to a little sibling, picking up some trash outside the classroom or helping your parent do the dishes without being asked.) We will then create individual quilt squares about our act of kindness, and finally assemble them together to make a large quilt. Finally, we will then “pass it on” by sharing our project with another class, hoping that they too will be thinking of kindness and make their own squares to add to our creation.
In art last week we talked about Chinese calligraphy scrolls and made some winter landscapes in this style. We learned that for over 2,000 years artists have made this type of art, using a red stamp to mark their work as their own. Learners were given a variety of stamps to individualize their work, many choosing the rooster, this year’s Chinese horoscope sign.
Math has been focused on subtraction, talking about the different strategies you can use and doing hands-on activities to make subtraction equations. For example, we “bowled” with marbles and markers as bowling pins, then wrote equations based on what happened. For example: I had 10 pins, 4 fell down, 6 are left standing. 10-4=6.
In Writer’s Workshop we are still working on our small moments stories. We are learning how to edit our work. Yesterday I introduced how to use a checklist to prepare our work to be “published”.
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. (these are their exact words)
Martin Luther King:
- he wanted everyone to be treated equally
- he gave a speech and in his speech he said – I have a dream that all children around the world will not be treated by the color of their skin but treated by who they are as a person
- he made the world a better place
- he stood up for himself
- He wanted black and white people to get along
- he helped black and white people come together
- he helped to change the laws about how black people were treated
- he brought peace to the world
- he told everyone to be peaceful
- he shared his dream
Writers Workshop Unit of Study for the month of January:
In Writer’s Workshop we are continuing with our current unit of study – writing small moment stories. We will spend the next few weeks learning how to edit and revise our small moments as we prepare for our publishing celebration on February 2. Here are a few upcoming lessons:
– Reviewing all we have learned about small moments – ( story zooms in to one moment, is it true, does it have lots of details, and a clear beginning, middle, and end, does it shows feelings, is it about 1 place and 1 time, and does it include craft moves)
– Using all we know to revise (supporting writers with different types of revision)
– Editing with a checklist – (supporting students in their editing work: spelling and conventions)
– Making books ready for the library – ( providing specific support with publication preparation)
Science Unit of Study – Five Senses – January to March
– There are five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.
– We use our senses to navigate the world around us.
– Every person’s senses are different.
– What are our senses?
– How do your senses inform your understanding of the world?
Learners will know and understand:
– How does each sense work?
– What happens when a sense does not work?
– What does it mean to have a disability?
Learners will be able to:
– Distinguish between senses.
– Demonstrate the use of senses
– Identify all five senses.
Unit of Study for Math – January
During the month of January we will begin learning about subtraction. The learners will learn about the operation of subtraction by playing subtraction games and solving story problems. Then we will work on deepening their understanding of the operations of addition and subtraction.
Our lessons and activities will cover:
– introducing subtraction
– solving subtraction story problems
– learning different subtraction strategies
– adding and subtracting story problems and games
Readers Workshop Unit of Study: 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
– read with fluency
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)
– Noticing Vowels in Words
– Learning Common Short Vowel Patterns: a,( i, o, u)
– Learning Common Short Vowels Patterns: e, (a, i, o, u)
– Learning Phonograms: -at, and -an
– 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
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