Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Friday!

Bradley was our child of the day and he read TJ's Tree. What a GREAT job he did to get our day started off with a book!

Since the kids will probably only remember the party....this morning we looked again at the pumpkin seeds. Yesterday, we estimated that there were 336 pumpkin seeds. We reevaluated our estimate after actually seeing the seeds. We revised our estimate to 166. Then we counted! Here are a few pictures:

The actual count was 512 pumpkin seeds. We discovered that the best way to count such a large number was to put them in groups of ten. As I was walking around, I loved hearing the math language: "Put them in groups!" "Let's count by two's...five's...ten's."

I'm working on the video to post with our online pumpkin project, so look on the blog later tonight or tomorrow. I'll include the halloween party, but here are a few pictures:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Thursday!

Anna was our child of the day and she did a GREAT job reading The Boogly. It was a great start for our day!

It was all about the pumpkin today. We read non fiction books about pumpkins and learned about the lifecycle of a pumpkin and created our own diagrams. We had pumpkin word work....pumpkin reading...and pumpkin writing.

In the afternoon we worked on estimation and measurment as we weighed and measured our pumpkin. Tomorrow we will look again at our pumpkin seed estimates and decide if we want to stay with it, increase it, or decrease it and then begin counting. All morning we will read Halloween books and work some more on our pumpkin reading and writing.

In the afternoon we will have our party where we will decorate a pumpkin and have a fashion show. This is part of our pumpkin online project. Here are just a few pictures to give you a taste of what we have been doing:

Kendall brought in an orange slice for our butterflies...they loved it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Wonders

Giorgio was our child of the day and he read Baby Bear Goes Fishing. He chose this book because it reminds him of the times he goes fishing with his dad. Good Job, Giorgio!

We read the book Big Mama's by Donald Crews and saw how the author focused in on one experience (a trip to his grandparents) and stretched a small moment out: the anticipation of going and what they will do. Tomorrow we will read Shortcut by Donald Crews and look at how he stretched out an event that took place.

We also created a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting The Memory String and Something to Remember Me By. We looked how where the books are the same to make our Text to Text Connections.

In math workshop we began by working on place value:

We took digits and made 2 digit, 3 digit, and 4 digit numbers. I would ask the group to make either the biggest or the smallest number they could with their digits and explain why. We also looked at even and odd numbers and the comma for 4 digit numbers.

Then they worked on more number sense activities by playing "15" (I'll let them explain it to you!" and geometry with Pumpkin Nim. In this game, they have a pumpkin with hexagon shapes inside. They may use 1 hexagon pattern block and any other pattern block to fill the shapes. The winner is the person who fills the last open space. Its also a game of strategy....getting them to think and understand how shapes can be manipulated.

We had a viewer from Seoul South Korea look at our blog. We look up Korea on the map and where the city was located. We then used Google Earth to zoom in on the city. Fun!

Tomorrow we have PE and music. Be sure and wear the appropriate shoes or have a pair here.

We will also begin working on our next worldwide project: Pumpkins! We will be measuring, weighing, estimating, writing, counting pumpkins and pumpkin seeds! At the party they will "dress up" up a pumpkin for a fashion show that we will take pictures of and include in our posting for the world to see!

Just a reminder: no costumes on Friday!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Volunteers Needed!

We have an urgent need for a parent to volunteer a half hour on Thursday from 11:15-11:45 to be a part of our parent retelling club. We provide the book and all the parent has to do is read it and facilitate a book discussion with 1st and 2nd graders. The group would consist of one student each from my classroom, Mrs. Sieglar, Mrs. Perrone, Mrs. Karsbaek, Mrs. Teesdale, Ms. Fishkin and Mrs. Amarathithada's classroom.

If you are interested, let me know! We really need your help! If you are interested in helping out, but can't commit to every Thursday or would like to help on other me. We need substitutes as well!

Tuesday Tales!

Our child of the day, Aayush, read Goodbye Gabby. A very sad, slice of life story. He chose this book because it reminded him of when his dog died. He did a GREAT job reading!!!

In writing we continued our slice of life stories. I read A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams. We looked at how the author first focused on why the character in the book was saving money. Then we looked at how the author zoomed in on a small moment about the cause of why she was saving money (her apt. burned in a fire...she was saving money for a new chair) and how the author stretched that small moment out. We will continue with small moments and how to stretch them out as we move forward.

In reading I read Something to Remember Me By and how we could make T-S connections with our grandparents. Tomorrow we will read The Memory String and create T-T connections.

In math we worked on place value: 1st graders to the hundreds place and 2nd graders to the thousands place. We manipulated the digits in the numbers around to create different numbers by focusing on what the value of each place value meant.

We also went to the library.

I will be sending out conference reminders shortly. Watch the Liberty folder for a confirmation slip.

Have a GREAT night!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Musings!

A.J. did a GREAT job reading The Walk! We really enjoyed it. It was a very, very, busy day. We celebrated Bela's birthday (Happy Birthday!!!) and had a mystery reader: Natalie's mother:

She read two GREAT Halloween stories and we loved them both! Thank you for coming in and reading to us.

We also went to an assembly to kick off Red Ribbon Week. We all wore our new Liberty shirts and then after the assembly, we went outside to tie a red ribbon around "our" tree. This is the tree we stand in front of every month for our Room With a View pictures:

We also continued working on our slice of life stories. We read the book Trouble on the Tracks as we looked at how authors narrow or zoom in on their topics.

We also read Giggle, Giggle, Quack and created a Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting the book with Cows That Type. We are working on Text to Text Connections.

In math, 2nd graders worked on their unit two math assessment and 1st graders worked on counting pennies and nickels.

Tomorrow we have library, so don't forget your books.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Naper Settlement Field Trip

Thank you to Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Madura for supplying some of the pictures. And thanks also to the rest of our parent chaperones: Mr. Llewellyn, Mrs. Marchosky, Mrs. Scaminaci, Mrs. Broderick.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fun

Another busy busy Friday! After our art and enrichment time we listened to our child of the day, Simi, read Skippy John Jones in Mummy Trouble! She chose the book because she loves Skippy John Jones! He's a siamese cat who wants to be a chihuahua. We have to thank Griers dad for introducing Skippy John Jones to us last year when he read the first book in the series. Thanks, Grier and Great Job, Simi!

I then read the book Paperboy by Dav Pilkey. We have been reading slice of life books and have lots of ideas of things we can write about from our life stories. The Paperboy zooms in on a small moment in a paperboys life: how he gets his newspapers and delivers them one morning. We are going to look at various authors and how they write a small moment, slice of life story as we move forward.

In reading time I read Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type. We each made our own storyboards/storymap of the book. Monday I'll read another book in the series as we learn about making Text to Text connections and how schema about books helps us as readers.

In math, we finished up some work from yesterday and then made a pumpkin glyph. We have been collecting data from our scarecrow glyphs from last week and will be able to work on interpreting the data Monday.

Have a GREAT weekend and don't forget to visit the library this weekend. Sign up for a library card if you haven't already....and READ!!! READ!!!! READ!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Tales

Grier read a Halloween story today: Cinderhazel! We all loved it! It was so funny and she did a GREAT job!

In writing we read But Names Will Never Hurt Me by Bernard Waber. It was about a young girl named Alison Wonderland and how she got her name. We learned that we could write stories about how we got our names. Take a moment and talk to your child about the origin of their name.

We also worked on our word wall words and word menu's.

We had an early lunch today because the all-day kindergarten classes were on a field trip and needed to have the later lunch. So we switched. We spent the afternoon on math.

And....we went to music and P.E.

Tomorrow is art.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Wonders!

What a fun (and cold!) day! We went to Naper Settlement in Naperville, IL. Here's the link if you want to learn more:

I have pictures and I will work on uploading those this weekend. We did decide that we would have a new set of class rules:

1. Obey thy elders.
2. Speak only when spoken to.
3. Idleness is sinful.
4. Busy hands maketh a quiet mouth.
5. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
6. Stand thy body tall to recite.
7. Hold thy tongue when others speak.
8. Honor thy father and mother.
9. Be thankful for life's blessings.
10. Children should be seen and not heard.

Just kidding...but those were the classroom rules in 1893 at the one room schoolhouse we visted.

Grier was our child of the day, but since we were gone, she will be child of the day again tomorrow and will read a book to the class.

We have P.E. and Music tomorrow. Be sure and wear gym shoes or have a pair here to wear.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Tales

Nathan read The Lion and the Mouse to the class today. He did a wonderful job! Keep reading, Nathan!

We read our text talk book, Magna's Magnets, and talked about our vocabulary words. (see link on sidebar). It was about a girl who collected magnets. We connected this to our slice of life writing and learned that we could write about our own collections.

I want to share a little bit of Grier's slice of life writing. She is writing about summer and listening to sounds around us. She has a brief introduction, but then she gets into the story:

It was a hot summer afternoon. I was sweating in the summer heat. Suddenly, I heard a zipping noise. It came closer until...
Splash! A toad jumped in a mud puddle. Mud flew threw the air like an airplane, but it didn't land at an airport! Instead, it landed on my shoe!

Then she goes on...After that moment of chaos....

We'll save it for later! What a GREAT story Grier!

In reading we made our own connections to the book Birthday Presents. We talked about the difference between a coincidence and a deep connection. We talked about how a deep connection reminds us of our lifestories...something to share.

We went to the library today as well.

We spent most of the afternoon talking about our field trip tomorrow and working on our academic vocabulary words: timeline, ancestor, relative, and responsibility.

The field trip is tomorrow. Watch the weather report and dress accordingly. Be sure and wear gym shoes/sneakers; no sandals. Lunch is to be packed in a paper bag labeled with the child's name. Do not pack anything you want back as it will all be thrown away after lunch.

Have a GREAT night...and don't forget to read!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Marvels

Sahithi was our Child of the Day and did a wonderful job reading The Little Red Hen. She chose this book because she thought we could learn a lesson about selfishness as we listened to her read. Great reading, Sahithi!

We also had a Mystery Reader today. Bradley's mom read two books to us, Halloweiner and The Journal of Oliver K. Wood. Bradley was VERY surprised to see his mom. Thanks for reading to our class!

We also went to get our pictures taken. What beautiful smiles! I know you'll enjoy your pictures when they come in.

In writing we continued working on our Slice of Life stories. I read Ira Says Good-bye and we talked about how we can write stories about when WE moved or had friends that moved away. We also looked at how the author (Bernard Waber) included in the story things that friends do together. We can also write stories about fun times with our friends.

In reading we learned how we make connections to the character, the pictures, the feelings in a book, and/or the words in the story. I modeled my thinking and showed them my Text to Self Connections. Tomorrow, the students will write their connections and put them on a chart showing where they made their connection.

In math we learned how to complete a number sense activity: Climb the Ladder. The students are given a specific number (today it was 11) and they have to write equivilent names: 6+5; 11 tally marks; 1 dime, 1 penny; etc. We then began analyzing our glyphs from Friday. It was a very, very busy day.

Tomorrow we have library, so don't forget to bring your library book!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Fun!'s the promised picture of Chris (SORRY!!!) He read The Little Red Hen and did a great job reading with fluency and with comprehension. He chose this book because he thought we could all learn from it. And we did!!!! Thanks, Chris!

Kendall was our Child of the Day today and she read Sally and the Daisy. She did a great job reading with fluency and using inflection in her voice. Keep up the GREAT reading!

We continued to work on our Slice of Life Stories. I read A Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow. We were able to make connections to the main characters dream of what he would like his father to be like and to our own fathers. We realized we could write stories about our fathers and mothers.

In reading we continue to work on schema and making deep connections. I read, Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild by Mem Fox, modeling where I made connections. We discussed how it was when my thinking really became "loud" was when I made the deepest connections. We'll continue with this next week.

In math we made a scarecrow glyph. Next week we will anazlye them and create a graph.

But the ABSOLUTELY BEST PART of the day for me as a teacher was when I sat in with a literature circle comprised of Natalie, Grier, Alisha and Simi. They had read the book The Pain and The Great One and had their post its with their connections. I facilitated (didn't do much!) their conversation. They were piggybacking on each other, helping each other....everything you want to hear as a teacher. Just like I taught them! They did such a GREAT job, I had them model their thinking and conversation for the class. They sat in the middle of our circle and duplicated their discussion. It was FANTASTIC!

I asked the class what they noticed about their thinking...their language. Mashal caught on first that Grier had said she was "confused by" one particular part and that Natalie, Alisha, and Simi, said in turn, "I can help you with that...". They were making DEEP connections and truly comprehending the book. I only wish I had my video camera, but here are some pictures:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Thrills!

In my rush to get to a meeting at district office, I left my camera at school. Chris was our child of the day, so I'll post his picture tomorrow! Sorry!!!!! He did a WONDERFUL job reading!

We continued our Slice of Life writing unit. I read the book Cleversticks and made lots of connections that we could also write about. We also noted the repeating pattern in the book and the authors use of words to move the story along.

In reading, I read the book Ira Sleeps Over. The students noticed that when I made connections from my life to the book, that I connected to feelings, the character or to a picture and my connections helped me to understand. They also noticed that when I was reminded of something from the book, I quickly returned to the book and didn't let my memory distract me. We will continue working on schema and making connections tomorrow and upcoming weeks.

In math we worked on problem solving and how drawing a picture can help.

We also went to music and P.E. Tomorrow we have art.

Don't forget HomeFun is due tomorrow.

Have a GREAT night!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October Room With a View!

BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

We will post this to our Wiki. We are creating a bulletin board outside our classroom where we can track changes in weather across the world.

Wednesday Wonders!

Francis did a GREAT job reading The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse. Such GREAT fluency! Keep up the GREAT reading!

We began our new writing unit: Slice of Life Writing. Students will be writing personal narratives but we will be looking at the books of authors and how they have taken something from their life and either written a personal narrative (true) or realistic fiction. This connects well our study of schema in reading. Today we read The Best Time to Visit Grandmother and Grandfather in writing and in reading we read Rondo in C. We learned that our life stories influence our reading and understanding of a book.

We also worked on our word wall walls. (See wiki) During independent time I met with one group to facilitate their spelling instruction.

During math, 2nd graders worked on easy math facts: +/-1, +/-0 and doubles facts. 1st graders worked on algebra in their pattern packets.

Tomorrow we have P.E. and music. Be sure and wear appropriate shoes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tales from Tuesday

Josh was our Child of the Day and he did a great job reading Can You See the Eggs? Keep reading, Josh!

Today we finished up our vocabulary work on the words regret, redeem, heroic, calamity, impressed, precious, and insist. We'll start a new unit next week.

We also read about Christopher Columbus. First, to activate our schema, we wrote down what we knew. Then, we read a little about him, followed by our burning question of what did we each still want to know. Then, we read more about him and wrote what the most important thing about Columbus was to each of us and three facts we learned.

In math, second graders finished up learning about number stories and first graders learned about numbers all around.

We also went to the library. Tomorrow is a switch day. We will follow a Monday schedule. For us, Monday and Wednesday are the same: no specials!

Don't forget to get your library card!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Fun!

Mashal was our Child of the Day and did a FANTASTIC job reading I Want to be A Clown! She chose this book for several reasons, but one of the reasons was because there was a Raggedy Ann Doll in the book. It was like the one her Mom had (and me too!) and now Mashal has it. Way to go, Mashal!!!!

It was a very busy day. After our art time, we finished up our ABC books. I'm taking them home this weekend to read them, prepare lessons from what I see each child is doing and where we need to go next. We will begin writing our Slice of Life Stories (personal narratives) next week, connecting it to our reading strategy of schema. We will dig deeper into schema next week as we learn about connections.

In math, 1st graders worked on the number grid and their math menu. Second graders learned about number stories, as well as working in their math menu.

Chris brought in a newspaper article about Dr. Torres' Library Card Challenge. The school that has 100% of their students with a library card can have a pizza party! And....the school will earn some FREE BOOKS! But...the BEST part...think of all the books you can read with a library card! So stop by the library this weekend and if you don't have a card...sign up! And, if you do...check out some GREAT books and then READ, READ, READ, READ, READ, READ.....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday Tales

Matthew was our Child of the Day and did a GREAT job reading It's Football Time! He chose the book because he likes football! Wonderful reading, Matthew!

Again...we're finishing up our ABC books. Tomorrow will be the last day. I'll work on digital publishing some and we will be hanging them up in the hall way as well. You'll be able to see their digital stories on the wiki once they are done. Digital stories are GREAT keepsakes as you not only see your childs pictures and writing, you can hear them read the story as well. You'll be able to link to the wiki from the blog or the website. I'll let you know when they are ready.

In reading we talked about how through experiences readers grow schema. Another way is through conversatons with others. Tomorrow we will continue with why schema is important. At this point in time I am using lots of concrete examples for them before we delve into using schema to make connections (T-T, T-S, or T-W) and what author schema or text type schema is. Through using concrete examples, I'm working on thinking/metacognition. Reading is ALL about thinking!

In math, we worked on geometry, algebra, and measurement with our pattern blocks. First graders also worked on counting on the number grid. I'll finish that lesson with them tomorrow.

Tomorrow we have art. Have a GREAT night! And...don't forget to sign up for a library card!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday Wonders!

What a GREAT job Branden did reading Clmbing to the class today! Such fluency! Great Job, Branden!!!

We are finishing up our ABC books during our writers' workshop time. In reading, we are learning how schema (what we know) helps us understand what we are reading. We learned that if don't have schema for a book or subject, listening to the experiences of others can help build our schema.

In math we worked on geometry and algebra with pattern blocks.

Tomorrow we have P.E. and music. Be sure and wear appropriate shoes or have shoes here.

I want to encourage all parents to take their child to the Bartlett Library this weekend and sign up for a library card, if you don't already have one! Dr. Torres is encouraging 100% of our students have a library card. It's free and an easy way to encourage reading. We will also be visiting the library later in the school year.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Tales

Monday, with all the excitement, I lost track of time, and Bela did not get a chance to read to the class. She read Green Eyes to us this morning and did a FANTASTIC job. Klara, our child of the day for today, read Fun with Mo and Toots, and also did a GREAT job.

We also sang Happy Birthday to Kendall today. She passed out treats for everyone to take home! Happy Birthday, Kendall!

We are finishing up our ABC books and they are looking great. I'm looking forward to publishing them all. In reading, as part of our learning about how schema helps us as readers, how our experiences contribute to our understanding of books, we each wrote two post its of experiences we have had with our grandparents. Tomorrow, I will read the book Hello Goodbye Window, and we will look at these experiences and decide which ones help us and which ones won't...and what do we do with those "reminders"!

In math, both 1st and 2nd graders completed unit 1 checking progress activities. These will be coming home shortly with the first math progress report.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Musings!

Two exciting events today:

First, Branden's Dad was our Mystery Reader today! He read to us, The Web Files. But, he also told us all about being a police officer! Thanks for stopping in!

We also had a performance by the ESO (Elgin Symphony Orchestra) String Quartet! What an honor it was to listen to this wonderful group perform music from some American composers: Copeland, Gershwin, Sousa, Bernstein, and more!

Thank you!!!

We are beginning a unit on schema (what you know) and how it helps us as a reader. We also wrote in our ABC books. This is the last week for ABC books, although, as we move forward, if they wish to write their topic as an ABC book, and it works, that's GREAT...we are authors!

In math 1st graders reviewed temperature and 2nd graders reviewed the <.>.= signs.

Tomorrow is library. Please be sure and bring your books!