Saturday, May 31, 2008

Piggie Pie!

Starring: Meghan, Ryan, Alisha, Francis, Aayush, Anjali, Alexis and Sofia

Around the Water Cycle

Starring: Sofia, Neel, Aayush, Anjali, Alyssa, Jake, Antonio, Nicole and Francis.

The Art Lesson

Starring: Grier, Ryan, Nicole, Blake, Neel, Alisha, Alyssa, Sofia, Anjali, Francis, Isabella, Nick, Kyle, Gabrielle, Meghan and Natalie.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Readers Theater

Here's the 1st video from our presentations today: I Am the Dog, I am the Cat Starring: Simi and Nicholas

You can also find the video on the website under Readers Theater, then Readers' Theater, May 30. I'll post more later in the weekend. Enjoy!

Fantastic Friday

Simi was our child of the day on this very special Friday. She read Skippy John Jones in the Dog House and did fantastic job on this very funny book. The class has become hooked on the Skippy John Jones books ever since Grier's Dad read one to the class. Enjoy Simi's reading later tonight or this weekend by clicking on the website and then on child of the day 2.

What a fun afternoon performing for our parents, grandparents, and friends. I have some video footage that I took of our dress rehearsals until my memory card in my camera was filled. I'll load these this weekend and then on Monday I'll film the remaining readers' theaters so everyone could enjoy the performances.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thrilling Thursday!

Grier read Shrek by William Steig to us today. She did a GREAT job and you can year her read later tonight on the website.

Between music, art, and Junior Achievement, we practiced our Readers' Theater scripts. I hope you will come tomorrow at 11:45. They are really excited!

I've posted a video, Year in Review, for your enjoyment. (Below) In the mail your child brought home tonight is a way you can purchase this video or any others that you might want of your child.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

As the year ends....

I hope you will enjoy this video of our year. 2007-2008...what a GREAT year! I'll miss all of you!

Wednesday Wonders

Isabella read The New House to the class today. It reminded her of when she moved. Listen later tonight on the website as she reads. Great Job, Isabella!

This afternoon we went outside for math games with our friends in the other classrooms. We measured our standing long jump, How far we could run in 10 seconds, Watermelon Seed Spitting (measuring distance) and the Pirate Game (following north, south, east, west, directions). Tomorrow we will go in and analyze our data, looking for the range and the median for our data.

We have music, art, and our last Junior Achievement lesson tomorrow. Have a GREAT night!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

May Mystery Readers

Thanks for being mystery readers this year!

Thrills from Tuesday!

Nicole read The Computer Teacher from the Black Lagoon to the class today. She did a GREAT job reading this latest edition to our classroom library! Listen later tonight as she reads by clicking on the classroom website: Community of Learners.

Nicole's mother surprised us as our Mystery Reader today. She read a book called Charming Opal that was near and dear to Nicole's heart as she has a loose tooth, just like the character in the book.

We practiced our readers' theater scripts this morning and in the afternoon both juniors and seniors took end of year math assestments.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will go outside with the other 2nd grade classrooms to play some outdoor math games. I hope it warms up!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

At the Beach and the Country Fair

Enjoy these two videos of your wonderful children as they learn about different countries at the Country Fair and then enjoying their afternoon "at the beach!"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beach Blanket Friday!

The weather didn't cooperate, but we still went to the "beach!" After lunch, we had our ice cream in the hallway with our first and second grade friends. Then we read 2 chapters from the Tale of Despereux. Then we "hit" the beach and read the whole afternoon. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. I'll have pictures up later this weekend. Keep checking the blog!

This morning we went to a Country Fair! The 3rd/4th grade ELL students had done reports on their countries and we went to see their final work. We had our questions and we learned a lot. After the visit, we came back into the room and shared our new learning. I'll have those pictures up later this weekend too!

Antonio was our child of the day and he read the traditional tale: The Elves and the Shoemaker. Great job...and his video will ALSO be up later this weekend.

We did manage to get in some writing and what great poets they are becoming.

Have a GREAT three day weekend and don't forget to READ!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Trip to the Stars!

Enjoy the video of our trip to the Elgin Planetarium! I couldn't take pictures inside because there was no light, but we had a GREAT time and learned a lot!

Tales from Thursday

Neel was our child of the day and read a Robert Munsch book: Alligator Baby. They all enjoyed hearing him read. Listen later tonight on the website.

It was a very busy day. We joined the other 1st grade classes in the lunchroom for a presentation by the Bartlett Lions about our Flag. The 2nd graders came, as we are a community, and supported their friends. They all commented how they learned even more this year. 1st graders got a flag to take home.

We practiced our readers theater programs and then went to music. After music, we read some more poems and wrote some of our own.

In the afternoon we had Junior Achievement, where the students learned about voting and making informed decisions. We had some more from their absolute favorite book: The Tale of Despereux...and called it a day!

Be sure and bring a blanket tomorrow as we will be outside reading. Also bring sunscreen. They can also bring their own book to read, as long as they write their name inside it.

Have a GREAT night.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday Wonders

Jake was our child of the day and read a very funny book: What are Purple Elephants Good For? Listen to him read later tonight on the website.

The highlight of the day for the students had to be the planetarium. They had a GREAT time. I did take LOTS of pictures and as soon as my battery recharges (!) I'll be able to get those up for you to see. Maybe later tonight, but probably tomorrow. There aren't many from inside the facility because of light, but the important thing is the kids learned a lot. Myself, I learned there are 11 planets. I had thought that scientists no longer considered Pluto a planet. We learned today that there are 3 Dwarf Planets: Series (spelling), Pluto, and Eeries (spelling) We have 4 Midget Rocky Planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) 4 Gas Giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus)plus the 3 Dwarf planets and that makes 11. Learn something new everyday!

The highlight of the day for ME was this mornings reading lesson on synthesis and then responding to text. We were being observed by teachers from the North Shore and they were amazed at the deep thinking the students could do. I read the book Gleam and Glow by Eve Bunting and they were making connections to The Lotus Seed and How Many Days to America. (T-T and Author schema) They were inferring...making predicctions/then confirming or denying; Asking questions and using their strategies to answer their questions. Everything you want students to be able to do....they did it. They then wrote their response to the book with a restatement, a GIST answer, 3 supporting details, and then a conclusion. Not only were the teachers blown away..but I was too! Once again....where is my video camera when I need it!

Tomorrow we will go the gym for a Flag Presentation. 1st graders will receive a flag of their own. 2nd graders received theirs last year, but they are excited about learning more and supporting their friends. We also have Junior Achievement, music and art.

Have a GREAT night!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Marvelous Monday and Thrilling Tuesday!

Due to technical difficulties yesterday, I was unable to to bring you up to date:

Blake was child of the day Monday and read us a great book by Mem Fox: Kaola Lou
Alisha was child of the day today and read us a book that is a twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Somebody and the Three Blairs! Both did a GREAT job and their videos will be up tonight!

Tomorrow we will go to the Planetarium in Elgin. We will leave at 10:30 and return in time for the 2nd lunch at 11:50.

Be sure and have your student vote on the survey. This is part of their homework.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Field Day Fun!

We had a GREAT time at Field Day! Thanks to all the parent volunteers who made it special for the students. Enjoy!

Field Day Friday!

Natalie was child of the day and read a wonderful book: The Fawn. She did a fantastic job and you will be able to hear her later tonight on the video. We all loved listening to her!

The big highlight of the day was FIELD DAY!!!! I took lots of pictures and I will get them up over the weekend so you can enjoy right along with you kids! It was a very bright day...I hope I didn't cut anyone's "head off" in the was hard to see my screen! Keep checking the blog to see the video.

They did manage, in the midst of all the excitement, to do some writing! Here are just a few of the poems that were written today:

by Grier

Crickets chirp...
Owls hoot....
Dark sleeping...
Silently, quietly, sleep.

Thunder and Lightening
by: Aayush

When thunder and lightening comes,
the lights go off,
the candles go on.

by: Nick

Jellybeans are colorful
with so many colors and flavors
Every different color
is a different flavor
Jellybeans are good
with so many colorful

Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Thrills

Kyle was our child of the day and he read a very funny book by Robert Munsch: I'm Embarrassed. Great job, Kyle! His video will be up later tonight on the website.

We worked on reading extended responses and then on our study packet for the continents. Then, if the student didn't finish their non fiction report yet, they worked on that or they read.

We had junior achievement this afternoon where the children learned about taxes and how a portion of our salaries goes toward taxes, and then what those taxes help to pay. After that we went to art.

Tomorrow is field day. Be sure and check the weather and dress accordingly. Layers would probably be best. Be sure and send a water bottle, labeled with their name, and sunscreen they can use.

Have a GREAT night!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday WOW!

Meghan was our child of the day and she read a realistic fiction book: Good-bye Gabby. What a GREAT job she did and the book lead to a lot of discussion. Listen later on the video to hear her read.

We began the morning writing our reading responses to Little Red Riding Hood. We are using a piece that they are VERY familiar with as we learn to write an extended response. Today, they had to restate the question and write a GIST answer. The question was: How did the wolf fool Little Red Riding Hood? A restatement and GIST answer would be something like this: The wolf fooled Little Red Riding Hood by acting like her grandmother.

Believe it or not, it's hard for kids to restate a question and then write a short, to the point, answer. That's why we've worked on it awhile. Tomorrow, I will model for them how to begin truly answering the question with details, staying on topic, and proper conventions. The last step will be adding a conclusion.

After they finished their above activity, they either read or worked on their non fiction piece, or both. Quite a few are finished writing and are just adding pictures, etc.

In math, Juniors worked on mental math and seniors worked on place value to ten thousand.

Have a good night.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tales from Tuesday

Alyssa did a great job reading MMMM, Cookies by Robert Munsch. She chose this book because it's funny and it certainly was! The video may not be up until tomorrow night, but you will be able to listen then to hear this great reading!

We also had a mystery reader: Sofia's mom. She read a poem about Casey BACK at Bat! This fit right in with our study of poetry.

Here are few poems the kids have written. These are just their first tries at them and they are ALL off to a GREAT start! I can only imagine what their writing will be like as we learn more about poetry!

Sequoia Trees
by: Ryan

Tall, wide
Big from all the years alive.
Black spots from scalding fires.
Big, big, Seguoia Trees

Rain and Hail
by: Isabella

Drip, drop, drip, drop
I can hear the rain
Drip, drop.
It sounds like marbles hitting the ground
Drip, drop
In comes the hail...Boom! Boom!
It sounds like thunder...almost like the rain..
all together, it makes a loud sound.

by: Grier

So soft,
so quiet,
tap, tap, tap,
softly on your window.
Tap, tap, tap...softly

by: Nicole

Icky, Icky,
Stickey, Sticky,
I come in a bottle
and sticks, too!
You might not like me,
But I sure do help you!

Number Grid
by: Natalie

123, 321,
The number grid helps you count
by two's,
by ten's,
15, 10, 5....5, 10, 15
I'm a number grid.

by: Neel
Lightening is light
from the shadows of the night.
From the might of lightening
You might fight.

What GREAT poets they are becoming!

Have a GREAT night!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Marvelous Monday!

Ryan was our child of the day and read a wonderful book by Robert Munsch, More Pies! He chose it because it reminded him of when he is hungry. He must love pies!

We began our study of writing reading exdended reponses. We begin my restating the question: What did you do last night when you got home from school? Restated: When I got home from school last night, I....

Then we write a GIST answer. A gist answer is a quick, short answer. When I got home from school last night, I went for a walk.

Next, we begin to add details to support our answer and lastly, we end with a concluding statement that restates the question again.

We will spend more time tomorrow on restating the question and the GIST answer before moving on to the details.

We practiced our readers' theater scripts and then read some more poetry books. We wrote our first poems, looking at the world through poets eyes.

In math, seniors worked on place value and juniors reviewed time.

Have a great night!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Who Has....Place Value!

Before we begin math workshop time, we learn together as a class: working on number sense, problem solving, or whatever our needs might be. One of the activities the kids LOVE to do is play the "Who Has...." Games. These are cooperative learning activities that really help kids learn, whether it be math facts, time, money, or in this video: place value. Enjoy as you listen to the kids solidify their skills!

Fabulous Friday!

Our Child of the Day, Nicholas, read Oliver Button is a Sissy. He chose this book because he does not like it when people call others names. That's the way to be, Nick! Listen later tonight or tomorrow when I load his video reading the book. He did a great job!

We finished our synthesis of Jabberwocky. We listened to music from Through the Looking Glass, where in the song of Jabberwocky, it's asked: Do You Comprehend? Yes we did! Great Job everyone, but the most important thing they learned is that reading is about making meaning, not just sounding good when you read or reading all the words. A real reader understands.

We spent the rest of the morning finishing up our non fiction reports. I look forward to reading them this weekend.

In math, I filmed the class as they practiced their understanding of place value. Look for that later tonight or tomorrow on this blog! They were great!

Juniors took a Unit 9 checking progress and seniors worked on area and geometry.

Have a great weekend and Happy Mothers Day! I hope you enjoy their gifts.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday Thrills

Francis was our child of the day and read Father Bear Comes Home...a real favorite! Listen to him later tonight on the website as he did a GREAT job! We all really enjoyed listening to him.

What a BUSY, BUSY day! We went to the book fair first thing this morning, then came back into the room to finish our work on Jabberwocky. Then we went outside to hear the South Elgin High School Marching Band (Go STORM!). They were wonderful!!!! When your students are older I hope you will take advantage of the district musical instrument program. You will never, never, regret it!

When we came back in we went right to music class. When the students returned, they worked on their mental images for Jabberwocky. We will share those tomorrow.

Returning from lunch we had our Junior Achievement representative here. The class learned about unit production and assembly production. They made "donuts" in a unit production scenario and then in an assembly line scenerio. They learned that although they didn't make as many donuts on the assembly line, they had few defects. There was a lot of waste in the unit production line. A great lesson!

We follwed this up with art class, listened to Francis read, and then went home. Phew!

Remember Homefun is due tomorrow. We also have gym, so be sure and wear appropriate shoes or have them here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Practicing our Doubles Facts

Take a look at one of the ways we practice our math facts. Here we are practicing our doubles facts. We're pretty fast!

Wednesday Wonders

Our child of the day, Sofia, read Thank You, Amelia Bedelia. She chose this book because during readers' workshop she read it and thought it was funny. We certainly did enjoy it! Listen later to her video off the website!

I love how a few of the kids are writing to each other on the BLOG!!!! That's fantastic....and that's literacy in the 21st century! Part of our job as teachers is to prepare today's students for tomorrows technology. This is the first step: the blog! This summer I will be working on a wiki to use so that kids can actually communicate to each other through the wiki site. They will also be able to post homework on the site instead of bringing in papers. All perfectly safe as I control who can access it and who can communicate.

We continued to synthesize the poem Jabberwocky today. Tomorrow we will finish up with inferring and then take a look at our mental images. We also began a poetry writing unit today as we looked at how poets write.

We also had a visit from our new (finalist) superintendent: Dr. Torres. What an honor to have him visit our school and classroom.

Tomorrow will be a very, very, very busy day. We have the book fair at 8:30. We will go outside to listen to the South Elgin High School Band at 9:15, then music at 9:40. We have our Junior Achievement representative in right after lunch, followed by art. Phew....that's a lot!

Have a great night!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday Tales

Anjali was our Child of the Day and she read Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping. We've certainly created MORE Amelia Bedelia Fans in the classroom. Listen later as she reads to the class.

We also had another mystery reader: Grier's Mom! She read Lost in the Woods which had beautiful photos and then GRIER read Wild Child! Both were wonderful!

We went to the bookfair 1st thing this morning. The bookfair is open to all parents and students on Thursday, May 8 from 2:00-7:00 if you would like to purchase books then. We will be returning on Thursday morning at 8:30 to purchase books if you would prefer to send money with your child.

We began inferring, visualizing, using our schema and MORE with the poem Jabberwocky. What GREAT, GREAT discussions!

The students are mostly done taking notes for their weather report and some are even finished writing. I will be looking at them tonight and tomorrow to begin the publishing phase.

In math, juniors worked on symmetry and fractions. Seniors worked more on estimating and calculating with money.

Have a GREAT night!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Marvelous Monday!

Aayush was our child of the day and he read the book Nelson, the Baby Elephant. He chose this book because it reminded him of when he was a baby and learning to walk. Listen later tonight on the website for him reading this book.

We also had a mystery reader: Antonio's mom! He was very surprised! We enjoyed listening to The Selfish Crocodile.

We began our weeklong interpretation of the poem Jabberwocky today. When we are done, we will have inferred, used our schema, visualized, looked at what was important, asked questions and answered them, and synthisized this poem! When we leave on Friday I want kids to understand that we used all our strategies and that we aren't reading if we don't understand. Reading is thinking!

We had an assembly where we listened to the author: Mr. W. Nikola-Lisa. We enjoyed listening to his books as he read and brought them alive. Everyone had a great time. He reminded kids to be a great WRITER you have to be a great READER!!! Read, read, read, read, read, read.......

In math, juniors worked on fractions and seniors worked on calculating differences in costs.

Tomorrow we will go to the book fair and preview the books. Thursday at 8:30 we will make our purchases.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tales from Thursday

Alexis was our child of the day and she did a great job reading The Little Work Plane. The other kids really enjoyed listening to her. Listen later tonight on the website.

We looked over many, many non fiction books, but this time, really looking at how the author wrote it. Were the facts presented as a question and answer? Or were the facts presented in a narrative style? A lot of the students are beginning to take their notes and write their reports. They know there are many ways they can write their report so that it is interesting to the reader.

We also watched a video on the seasons to add to our study of weather. In the afternoon we had our first Junior Achievement Lesson. The representative will be here every Thursday right after lunch to talk to us about community. We then began our math, first as a whole group working on place value, then as they worked on their math menu, I taught the juniors more about the hundreds chart and how to use it and the seniors, more about money notation and how to enter money into the calculator.

Have a wonderful day off. See you Monday!