Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Readers Theater

The Polar Express
Holiday Lights
Holiday HiJinks
Arthurs Christmas
The Gingerbread Boy

See you next week!
Click to play Holiday Readers Theater
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day Happy Holidays!

Enjoy your time off. Here are two of the videos we taped Thursday: The Polar Express and Holiday Lights!

See you next year!

Click to play Happy Holidays!
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's a Gingerbread Life!

We had a GREAT time on our gingerbread hunt and making our houses! Join in the fun!

You can also see this on our wiki (click to the right and then on online projects)

Gingerbread Thursday!

Kaitlyn read Sally's Beans today and she did a GREAT job! Keep reading!

In anticipation of a possible snow day (NO!!!!) I was able to film all the readers' theater performances today. I will post them as soon as I can over break if the sound quality is good.

The rest of the day...well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few pictures of our gingerbread hunt and then making our gingerbread houses:


Keep checking the blog over the break. I'll put together a montage of all their fun...I mean hard work!!!

If we do have a snow day tomorrow, please, over break: Read to your child....Listen to your child read...and Talk to your child about their reading. It is the SINGLE best thing you can do to help your child succeed.

Hope to see everyone tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Wonders

Isabella did a WONDERFUL job reading We Like Fish! Thanks, Isabella, we really enjoyed it!

We worked on vocabulary today and then moved into practicing our readers' theater scripts. We also finished up some of our projects (surprise!) In math we worked on data analysis and measurement.

I also wanted to thank everyone who came out for the 1st grade musical Monday night! And a special thank you to Mashal (a 2nd grader) who came out to support her friends. Bradley (who came to the 2nd grade musical in Nov.) and Mashal really showed the 4C's (Caring for others) as they supported their fellow classmates. I'll work on a video combining the two performances over break.

Both Natalie and Alisha have added stories to the wiki. Click on student writing to the right on this blog and take a look. You will really enjoy their stories.

Tomorrow we go on a Gingerbread Hunt and make our gingerbread houses. Make sure your child has a shoe sized box to make and carry their houses in.

Just a reminder: if your child wears boots to school, please make sure they have shoes here to change into. If they have shoes for P.E. here, they can change into those.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Tales

Kylie was our child of the day and she read Blackbird's Nest. What great fluency! Keep up the GREAT reading!

We continued to work on our Gingerbread Stories in addition to reading several more versions of the gingerbread tale. We also work on our readers' theater performances. Bradley, Simi, Alisha, Grier, and Natalie performed The Polar Express for us today. I video taped it and I'll get it posted over the winter break. (Depending on the sound quality, we may do it again). Unless we have a snow day, I hope we will have time to perform them all..if not..after break.

We did some gingerbread problem solving in math plus played the game: Roll for a gingerbread man.

If you have not sent in your permission slips for teacher tube, please do so by tomorrow. I put an extra slip in your child's mail if I needed one. On Thursday, we will be building gingerbread houses, so send in the candy/graham crakers or icing by then. Make sure your child has a shoe-sized box also to carry their house home in.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold...Cold.. Monday Marvels!

Natalie, our Child of the Day, read a WONDERFUL non fiction book: CATS! Cats Rule...Dogs Drool!

We began reading Gingerbread books today. We began with Jim Aylesworth's book, The Gingerbread Man. Then we listened to Jan Brett read The Gingerbread Baby. You can go to and listen if you want. It's a GREAT website. We did a VENN diagram to compare and contrast the two books. We also began a wall chart of all the gingerbread books we will read this week. In addiiton to these two, we have read Gingerbread Friends, Gingerbread Cowboy, and Stop That Pickle!

We are also writing gingerbread poems and our own version of the gingerbread stories.

This afternoon we went to the gym as the 1st graders had a dress rehearsal for tonights performance. Be here, in the room, by 6:10. Everyone is welcome!

Be sure and DRESS WARM!!!! Many kids are still coming to school without hats/gloves/mittens and even though we don't have outdoor recess when it is below 20 degrees, the classroom is still chilly. Please dress warm!

Tomorrow we have library so be sure and return your books.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Fun!

Bradley did such a GREAT job reading Buffy's Tricks, that the class wanted to hear it again! Great reading, Bradley!

We finished up our holiday traditions unit, although, we will still do some work next week. We went to Mexico (Las Posadas and Poinsettia Day), to Australia and to New Zealand. As we read Gingerbread Books next week, we will visit some more countries.

We began working on some readers' theater plays today. Although we won't have parents in to watch, they will be videotaped once we are ready. We have Holiday Lights, The Polar Express, The Gingerbread Man and a couple of others. We will work on this again next week.

We played the Dreidl game today:

They each brought a dreidl home today as well.

Next week will be a busy week as we have the 1st grade musical (hope to see EVERYONE there!), our holiday party, making gingerbread houses and we are going on a gingerbread hunt.

Get plenty of rest and stay warm.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Tales

Anna read one of my favorite books: Jessica in the Dark! We were able to look at the authors craft of building suspense. She did a GREAT job reading! Thanks, Anna!

We visited the countries of Thailand, South Korea, Japan, and India. We also finished up our conversaton about Diwali. Yesterday, after learning about Eid, we began learning about Diwali and finished up today. We also read a book about Hanukkah and Nathan shared shared a bit with us, too. We also read The Runaway Latkes and compared it to The Gingerbread Man. Next week, we will be reading quite a few Gingerbread stories.

We made a menorah and then finished up some of our projects. Tomorrow we will play the Driedl game as well as learn about Las Posadas.

Tomorrow we have art.

Be sure and take a look at the mystery reader video I posted last night. You can watch it here or click on the link to the right, under mystery reader. We ran out of time to watch it today, so we will try and get it in tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

November and December Mystery Readers


Wonderful Wednesday

Giorgio, our child of the day, read Look Up, Look Down. Thanks for sharing such a GREAT book!

We continued our whirlwind tour of Europe as visited Latvia, Russia, Denmark, and Sweden. We updated our passports and then landed back in Bartlett!

We received cards today from York, PA; Redmond, OR; and from Maui!!!!

We read their card and then took a look at the map and where Hawaii is located. We learned what an island is: Land completely surrounded by water. We learned a little about how the islands were formed and even learned that our school friends, Kula Elementary School, is located on the slope of a volcano.

We zoomed in on the islands using Google Earth. Lots of WATER!!! Then we pulled up the school's website and looked at their school activities. We wrote them an email and asked questions about their school. We are hoping they write us back soon!

We took our vision and hearing tests today. 2nd Graders took MAP for math.

In math, we created tally charts, pictographs, and bar graphs and then analyzed the data. We also worked on coordinate grids.

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tales of Tuesday

Aayush was our child of the day and he read A Spider Under My Bed. He did a FANTASTIC job!!!

We began the day with our vocabulary words then moved into learning about Kwanzaa. We made our own Kwanzaa Kinara. Then we opened some cards from our friends in schools in New York, Ohio, IA, and Virginia Beach, VA. We found where they were located on the globe and on the map, the we used Google Earth to zoom in on the school in Iowa. We even took a look at the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Independence, IA, where our friends live. What a fun way to learn geography!

We then "flew" to New York and off to Europe, landing in Austria to learn about Holiday Traditions across the world. We visited Austria (where we learned Silent Night was first heard in 1818), to Germany, (where we learned that trees and wreaths originated here) and then to Poland (where we learned about the legend of why spider webs on a tree mean good fortune).

To help us visualize and remember what we learned we made a wreath. We also learned about non standard measurement and measured using a gingerbread man.

We ran out of time to learn about Eid and Divali...but we can't wait to hear more about these celebrations tomorrow.

We also have vision and hearing screening tomorrow. 2nd graders will take the Math MAP test tomorrow as well. Get a good nights sleep!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday Musings!

A.J. was our child of the day and he did a wonderful job reading Kitten Chased a Fly! Thanks, A.J.!

We are on our way for our whirlwind tour of Holiday Traditions Around the World. Our passports are ready as we take off for "Europe" tomorrow. Today we learned about St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) and St. Lucia Day (Dec. 13). We wrote about traditions we celebrate and we began our book, The Important Thing About...More on that later.

Tomorrow we will learn about Kwanzaa and take off across the world! We'll also talk about Eid (Dec. 8)

We also had a mystery read: Chris' mom and his little sisters. She read The Mitten by Jan of our FAVORITES!!!! Thanks for sharing...Chris was really surprised!!

Tomorrow is library day; be sure and return your books. We will also have vision and hearing testing on Wednesday.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Fun!

We really enjoyed listening to Simi read Porkenstein!! Very funny! What a GREAT job you did reading, too!

2nd grade students took their Reading MAP today. They will take Math MAP next Wednesday.

We finished our Holiday Card Project today and sent it out. We look forward to hearing from our new friends.

Next week we begin our Holiday Traditions project. A note went home today in the Liberty Folder. Please take a few moments to complete it and send it back. We want to include everyone as we look at traditions around the world.

We really enjoyed listening to Alisha, Simi, Natalie, and Aayush as they presented their science experiments. Grier was able to help out, even though she was sick this week. We look forward to hearing about her experiment on Monday.

They did a great job talking about what they learned and it helped us understand the scientific process. GREAT JOB!!! I videotaped some of it (until my battery died!) and I'll post it as soon as I can.

Stay warm!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Chills....Thrills!

What a COLD, COLD, Day!!!!!

Grier warmed us up though when she read The TRUE Story of the Three Little Pigs! What a funny story! We really enjoyed it!

We are beginning to receive some holiday cards from schools around the country. So far, we have cards from Atlanta, GA; Yorba Linda, CA; Glendale, AZ and one from a school in central New Jersey. Today, we used Google Earth to zoom in on the school in Glendale, AZ.

Our card is ready except for one absentee student. Hopefully he will be feeling better tomorrow and we can send our cards out.

We read the book Thesaurus Rex and made of list of words that we are just plain tired of writing and then created a list of juicy words to replace them. No more "nice, good, stuff, things..." We're "juicing it up!"

Be sure and take a look at the student writing pages (link on the right)! Mashal, Gavin, and Christopher added their stories today. More to come!

We read the book If the Moon Could Talk and shared our mental images. We've connected our reading and writing and understand that our words have to create a mental image in the minds of OUR readers as well.

In math, 2nd graders played Addition Spinner Games (different levels of ability) and 1st graders completed their Unit 3 checking progress. Then they played domino top it.

Homefun is due tomorrow!!!! DRESS WARM!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snowy Wednesday!

Nathan read Househunting to us today and did a wonderful job! He helped us find clues in the pictures as to what was happening. Great reading, Nathan!

We read the book The Three Pigs by David Wiesner today. We listened to hear when he wrote "I like..." and guess what! He didn't!!!! This was a lesson on moving away from I like stories and getting rid of tired, old, words and phrases. We now have 4 rules for Writers' Workshop:
1. No Talking! Great writers need to concentration. (We will write an ammendment when we get to PEER Review!)
2. When you think you're done, you've just begun! (You can change your story and make it better or write a new one.)
3. No erasing! (They have a special writing pen and if you make a mistake, you have to cross it off.)
4. No more "I like..."

Several students finished stories today so I will be getting those up on the wiki soon. Aayush added one yesterday. Click on student writing and take a look!

We are working on our Holiday Card Projet as well. I've uploaded all the pictures and they have each recorded a voice over. We have one more student who was absent today to record, then we can send it to our friends.

We read the book Atlantic and talked about when our mental images first appear. We then recorded in our Thinking Journals when we read independently when our mental images first appeared...what struck us the most!

In math, first graders worked on part/part/total. (Review the readers' theater video) and 2nd graders worked on measuring temperature.

Enjoy the snow!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tales of Tuesday

Sahithi was our child of the day and read the book The Lion and the Mouse. We learned that no matter how small you may be, you can still do BIG things! Thanks for reading this great book to us, Sahithi!

Today was NOT an ordinary day. We took time out for our Holiday Card Project, an online project that we are participating in. We each made a holiday card (part of our letter writing and card writing unit of study) that will be sent to 24 different schools across the country. We will also receive cards from the same 24 schools. For the majority of the schools that can accept the cards via email, we will be uploading the cards to be sent. My plan is to add a voice over from each child sending holiday greetings. For those that cannot accept email, we will send the cards through the mail.

As we receive our cards, we will track locations on a map and through GoogleEarth. (Geography)

We did have time for readers' workshop where we continued learning about visualzing.

In math, 1st graders worked on counting coins and 2nd graders worked on the Part/Part/total diagram. Take a look at the readers' theater video that Simi, Natalie, Grier and Alisha created to get an idea of what we mean about part/part/total.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Marvels!

Kendall was our child of the day and she did a GREAT job reading Along Comes Jake! It was very funny! Great Reading, Kendall!

Alisha shared some of her writing that she did over break. She wrote two non fiction pieces: one about bears and one about Golden Retrievers. Thanks for sharing and helping us to build our schema!

In writing, we read Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats and saw how the author wrote feelings for his character to help add to the story and help the reader visualize.

In reading, we read Snug in Mama's Arms. They listened to my thinking, my little voice inside my head (metacognition) and saw how I could visualize what the author was trying to write.

We began our new vocabulary unit by reading The Three Little Wolves and the Big, Bad, Pig. There is a letter in your child's mail explaining the new words. We also added to our word wall words. Check out Spelling City and practice your new words.

First graders learned about money today in math and 2nd graders learned about changing numbers with number stories. They also worked on a special holiday project...but that's a secret!!!!

They had indoor recess today because of the weather. I'm noticing quite a few are coming to school without hats, gloves/mittens or warm coats. Please make sure students are dressed for the weather.

Second Grade students will take their winter reading MAP test on Friday. 1st graders will take it in January.