Post Office and Writers Workshop

The learners have truly enjoyed the Post Office Project for the past few days. Today was day three and our post office was running smoothly. 

Here are some photos of Station One. The learners figure out how much money they need to purchase stamps and then they fill out the withdrawal slip. 

Station Two – They take their withdrawal slip to the bank and withdraw money to purchase their stamps. 

Station Three – they purchase stamps from the stamp seller and then they place their stamp on each letter. 

Station Four – this is where the mail is processed!  We have the face-up person, date  stamper, and cancel stamper. Lots of fun at this station. 

Station Five – this is the final stop at the Room 10 Post Office! The mail is delivered to each mailbox. 

For writers workshop we had a fun lesson about how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The children learned in a very  tangible way that it is very important to include lots of details in our “how-to” books. As you can see from our notes below – step 1 to 3 needed more details. 

They also learned how to add diagrams to their books. 

Post Office and 100th Day

We have had some very exciting last few days in Room 10. Today we kicked off our Post Office, with learners filling out withdrawal slips, getting money from the bank, buying stamps, mailing Valentines and working as bankers, mail carriers, postal workers and much more!

Friday was the 100th day of school. We enjoyed many activities including learning about a 100 chart, making individual bags of trail mix out of exactly 100 pieces of snack food (10 groups of 10), writing about the number 100 (100 things we can and can’t hold, 100 things we’d like and not like to eat, etc…), and reading a story about 100 baby chicks then finding 100 numbered chicks hidden throughout the room and matching them up on the 100 chart.

In math first graders have been working hard on their number scrolls, giant rolls of paper in which they are practicing writing their numbers using place value knowledge. We also have been playing “guess the missing number” on the 100 chart.

In writer’s workshop we kicked off a new unit: How To Books. The learners were very enthusiastic about this topic as they are all experts in many different topics. So far we have books on how to plant a flower, how to sew a pillow, how to draw a cute porcupine, how to feed a fish and many more!

In art we learned about Chinese New Year and made roosters, painting with FORKS! We also learned about artist Jim Dine and make heart paintings imitating his heart compositions.

Post Office, Writers Workshop, and Cooking 

This week we had several lessons about money in preparation for our Post Office to open on Monday 2/13. We played a fun math game called “race to 20.” As you can tell from the photos fun was had by all. 

On Wednesday we decorated and turned our shoe boxes into fancy homemade mailboxes. The children had lots of fun! 

This week we began our new unit of study for writers workshop. We will spend the next two months learning how to write  informational  / how-to books. 

For cooking this week the kinders made delicious homemade salsa – yum!!!

February Curriculum update

Writers Workshop Unit of Study for the month of February:
In Writer’s Workshop we will begin our next unit of study – How To Books: Writing to Teach Others
We will spend the next two months learning how to write “How To Books.” Here are a few upcoming lessons:

– Writers will study and understand the kind of writing they plan to make (writing how to books, step by step)

– Writers will use what they already know: Touching and Telling the steps across the pages

– Writers will learn how to label their diagrams to teach even more information (they will also be learning how build their vocabulary and language within their how to books)

– Writers will reflect and set goals to create their best informational pieces


Science Unit of Study – Five Senses – January to March

Enduring understandings:
– 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.

Essential Questions:
– 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
• Smell
• Sight
• Hearing
• Taste
• Touch
– Identify all five senses.


Unit of Study for Math – February
During the month of February we will be learning about money in preparation for our Post Office Unit. The learners will also be learning how to count and compare larger quantities. They will practice oral counting sequence as they work on various activities.

Our lessons and activities will cover:
– learning about money and the different values of coins – penny, nickel, dime, and quarter

– counting to higher numbers

– counting to 100

– Several 100’s chart activities


Readers Workshop Unit of Study: February to May – Readers pursue their interest in books and other text
Readers will study:

• Genre studies non-fiction, fiction, and fairy tales
• Individual author studies
• Character studies
• Learn how to infer within the text

Phonics Lessons from Pinnell and Fountas for February
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 February 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 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
– Recognizing consonant clusters: s family
– Recognizing consonant clusters: r family
– summarizing easy spelling patterns
– Learning phonograms – ate, – are, – ike,


During the month of February we will be learning how to incorporate gratitude and heartfulness into our mindfulness practice each day. Since we are celebrating Valentine’s Day in February, I thought this was a good month to incorporate this into our mindfulness lessons.

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 heartfulness are:
– Cultivating care and compassion for self and others
– Focusing on positive states and emotions
– Creating an empathic classroom

Post Office Curriculum Update for February

Curriculum information about the Post Office Project:

Enduring Understandings:
Post offices organize and deliver mail
We can work together to accomplish large tasks that we could not otherwise do on our own
We can send items through the mail
Mail is a form of communication
Banks can hold our money until we need it
We use money to buy items we need
All mail needs postage

Essential Questions:
How can we communicate with people who live far away?
Where can we keep our money?
How do we get our money when we need it?
How do you mail a letter?
How is mail organized and delivered?
How can we work together to make a bank and post office?

Learners will know and understand:
What are the different values of the coins?
How are post offices organized?
How do you send mail?
How is mail delivered?
How are banks organized?
How do you take money out of a bank?
How do you work with others?
How do you use alphabetical order?

Learners will be able to:
Calculate how many coins
Discriminate between the different coins and their amounts
Explain how to use the mail system
Categorize names alphabetically
Monitor their own role in a group project

Cooking, Second Grade Visits Room 10, Mr. Ed, and Math 

We had a fun week of learning in Room 10. On Wednesday the first graders made delicious homemade salsa. As you can see from the photos fun was had by all. 

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.

This morning Ron and Mr. Ed came for a special visit. Ron read a special book to the children. Then Ron shared how our precious Mr. Ed is learning how to dance. It was a very fun and lively visit! 

During first grade math time today we figured out all the ways to make 12. We had a wonderful discussion on the different ways to make sure we found every combination.

For writers workshop this week we continued with more lessons on how the edit our books. 

Cooking, Writers Workshop, and a Special Visitor

On Wednesday the kinders made delicious homemade granola with Deena and Jenee. A special thank you to Deena and Jenee for planning such healthy and yummy cooking projects each week. 

For writers workshop this week we learned how to edit our small moment. These lessons are preparing the learners for our publishing celebration in a few weeks. 

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! 

Kindness, Calligraphy and More

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”.


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