Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Tales

This was a very busy day! Kaitlyn started us off by reading We Eat Dinner in the Bathroom...a VERY, funny book! She did a WONDERFUL job leading us through the classroom promise and calendar.

During math workshop, 1st graders worked on digital time as well as their math menu. 2nd graders worked on fractions and then their math menu.

During readers' workshop, we began by reading the book Miss Rumphius. We learned that authors often write with a message in mind for the reader. We were interrupted during the independent reading time to have our school pictures taken. GREAT smiles!
We also went to the library!

One of the readers' theaters performances we are working on his about Orville and Wilbur Wright. We have read biographies about them, but today we watched a video from United Streaming about their 1st flight, to help build our background knowledge (schema). We then continued by working on our biography reports.

Have a GREAT night!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy 200th Birthday, President Lincoln!

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See if you can find our birthday cards!

Welcome Back, Monday!

Isabella welcomed us back by reading The Country Race. Great job, Isabella: reading with fluency and leading us through the calendar and classroom pledge!

We began working on several readers' theaters today from our biography unit of study. In addition to repeated readings of our books, readers' theater is a research proven method of improving fluency. Fluency is the bridge between docoding (reading words) and comprehension (REAL reading). We also began working on the comprehension strategy of determining importance. We learned that readers look and listen for "trigger" words (such as: the reason)and readers connect reading on one page with the reading on a previous page.

In writing, we continued working on our biographies. During math workshop, 2nd graders took a "checking progress" assessment and 1st graders worked on math facts and time. We also learned 5 new word wall words.

Tomorrow is picture day, so wear your BEST smiles! We also have library, so be sure to bring your books.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

We enjoyed listening to our child of the day yesterday, Mia, and today's, Kylie. We really enjoyed your reading!

Today we worked on our biographies. Klara has finished her poster and report on President Lincoln:

Natalie has finished her poster, but is currently creating a PowerPoint presentation:

Many others are done as well. We will finished up the 1st week we return.

I'm thinking of April 9th or 17th for our final presentations. We will be working on some readers' theater presentations as well, so that may delay it till the 17th. I'll know better the first week of April where we stand.

Have a fun, safe, spring break!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Bradley did a GREAT job reading Ruby the Copycat! He chose it because it is funny and it is! Thanks, Bradley, you did a FANTASTIC job!

In Math Workshop, 1st graders worked on math facts and 2nd graders worked on a halves. We also had a St. Patrick's Day addition/subtraction activity.

In reading we learned about cause and effect. During writers' workshop we continued to work on our biographies. Students also went to the library.

I will not be at school tomorrow. I will be at the ESC packing my national board entries to be mailed in. It was an arduous process that is DONE!!! Except for a test that I will take in June...but that's another story!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Marvels

Anna did a great job leading us through the calendar and reading the book The Missing Keys. We enjoyed the story and Anna was able to answer a lot of our questions afterwards. Great READING, Anna!

We also had a mystery reader, Natalie's mother! Natalie was very surprised! We listened to a story about the Easter Beagle from the Peanuts Gang! Maybe next time...Natalie's Dad????? Thanks for was wonderful!

Math Workshop: 1st graders learned more about math fact families and used their fact triangles to play Beat the Calculator. 2nd graders played Basketball Addition.

In reading, we read the book It Could Always be Worse and learned how to analyze and evaluate a text.

In writing, we continued to write our biographies. They are really coming along. Some students are still doing research and some on creating posters about their subject. We brainstormed ways to present our findings and we have such ideas as Readers' Theater, poems, narrative non fiction, posters, PowerPoint's, reports and more! They have really taken on their subjects, learned a GREAT deal about them, and how to write biographies. Students have realized that we don't have to write a biography from birth to death, but can also focus in on just one aspect of their subjects life. Truly authentic learning and authentic writing!

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

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Fun!

Thanks Giorgio for reading the fun book, Six Silly Foxes. You did a GREAT job as child of the day!

We also had a mystery reader: Klara's Mom!

Klara was in 7th heaven! Her mom read one of her favorite books and you could tell Klara really loved it! Thank you...and thanks for the chocolate!

After art and enrichment time with the 1st graders from the ELL classroom, we began math workshop. 1st graders worked on fact families and 2nd graders worked on the trade first subtraction algorithm.

Im reading we talked about how asking questions helps the reader understand their books and in writers' workshop, students continued with their biographies.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Thrills!

Aayush helped build our background knowledge (schema) about weather as he read to the class today. Thanks, Aayush! We enjoyed listening to you and talking about tornadoes and hurricanes!

Math Workshop: 1st graders worked on equivalent names today. Introducing the concept plus name collection boxes was snap as students were quick to make the connection with Climb the Ladder. I also used the balance scale as a way to model addition (each side of the = sign has to balance) so making the leap to how equivalent means the same was very smooth. 2nd graders worked on visualizing the hundreds chart and how we use it for mental math.

Readers' Workshop: We finished reading Dandelions by Eve Bunting and wrote out our lingering questions. Tomorrow we will go back to answer them and discuss how asking questions helps the reader.

Writers' Workshop: We continued to work on our biographies.

And...we went to P.E. and Music! Tomorrow we have art.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Wonders!

We listened to some GREAT reading yesterday and today with Simi and A.J. reading two wonderful books. We really enjoyed them!

In math workshop, 1st graders are working on the addition and subtraction table as a tool to help them with their math facts. 2nd graders are working on patterns. They also took their Unit 6 checking progress assessment.

In readers' workshop we reviewed how turn and talk looks and sounds. We also did a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting thick and thin questions. Today we began reading the book Dandelions by Eve Bunting. We are focusing on asking thick questions: questions that require MORE than a yes or no answer and ones that really make us think. We have to use our strategies to answer and have conversations in order to really understand the book.

In writers' workshop we continued to work on our biographies. I'll will let you know if we reschedule the biography tea.

We also learned about our new vocabulary words. Be sure and check out the Wiki for those words, plus a letter went home on Monday with the definitions.

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

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Marvels!

Our child of the day, Grier, read The Princess and the Pizza. Thanks, Grier, for reading such a wonderful book with GREAT fluency!

We welcomed Miss Ahrends as our student teacher from Northern. She will be here until the end of the year. Welcome!

In math, 1st graders took a "test": checking progress on unit 5. This is NOT a test in the usual sense of the word, but, truly, a checking progress on their understanding of the concepts so far. I'll send home results soon, but it really gives me an idea where to focus teaching. 2nd graders worked on division number stories.

In reading, we looking at our questions from Amelia's Road. We learned that the THICK questions are the ones that we use our reading strategies (schema, visualizing, inferring) to answer or a combination of our strategies, plus a discussion with others.

We also worked on the /s/ sound: does it start with a S or C? We learned that words that have the vowels: a,o,u, begin with S. (say, some, sum). If the vowel is i or y, it begins with c,(cycle, cylinder, circle) unless the vowel is at the end, then it starts with s. (sly, shy) If the vowel is e, the word begins with c (cent, center).

We also worked on our new word wall words.

In writing we continued on our biographies. The March 19 Biography Tea is being postponed. We will do this after break. We have had too many interruptions lately and I don't want to rush the students.

Tomorrow is library, so be sure and bring your books!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A New Week!

Last week was a very busy week. We ended with our "Sick Day" as we learned about how our body works. On Friday, we learned about germs. Here are a few picture highlights of the week, including our new student, Mia!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thrills from Tuesday!!!

Francis was our child of the day on Monday and Chris took over duties today! Great reading, guys!

We also want to welcome our new student, Mia, to our classroom! We were excited to hear you were coming and love having you in our class! Welcome!

It certainly wasn't a typical Tuesday! By now I'm sure you have all heard that we went into lockdown at 11:50'ish today and stayed in lockdown till 2:55. At no time was your child in danger and we want to thank the Bartlett P.D. for their handling of the situation. Mr. Burger called all parents to inform them of the situation.

Math Workshop: 1st graders learned about the function machine today! See if your student can explain how it works! 2nd graders worked on multiplication arrays.

Readers' Workshop: We read the book Amelia's Road writing down all our I Wonders. Tomorrow we will go back and look at those questions to see what we notice.

We had just started reading about Harriet Tubman when we went into lockdown. To keep students calm we looked at books and I read several books to them. Hot lunch was brought to the room and students ate in the classroom.

Let's hope tomorrow is not as eventful!