Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finally!!!! Gavin Reading

At Long Last...Gavin reading The Flying Fish. Enjoy!

Mia...I will upload yours tomorrow!

Wednesday Wonders

We had our last mystery reader for September today: Nisha's mother.

Enjoy a video of all our readers:

Tomorrow is Nisha's last day as they are moving out of state. We will MISS you! Keep in touch through the blog. We would love to know how school is going for you in your new city!

Mia read The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza:

I have a video of Mia reading, but I have to upload that from home. I will post that later this week. My video camera was having issues with the memory card when Gavin read so I used my camera to videotape. That one is being difficult to upload, but I'll get it this weekend too!

Tomorrow we have art. Have a GREAT night!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tales

Elsa was our child of the day and did a wonderful job reading.


We learned today that readers keep track of their reading growth. We each have a reading response journal that record what we read by genre and write a response. We will be able to track our reading and our reading growth throughout the year.

We read the book Melissa Sweeps Up and we were reminded that writers write from left to right, and have a "return sweep" to begin writing the next line.

Klara and Bela each have a story published and you can listen to them read by clicking on the link to the right, student writing. It will take you to the wiki where you can listen. Chris will record his tomorrow and time permitting, Neha will also. I can't wait till everyone has a story published!

In math workshop, 1st graders learned about subtraction using money. 2nd graders used the number grid to solve problems. Each student also has a Math Journal we use to keep track of our problem solving growth.

Here are some pictures of students working on problem solving, number sense and math facts during math workshop:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Marvelous Monday!

We began the day with a wonderful surprise: Jefferson's mother was a Mystery Reader and read the book Scarlett Angelina Wolverton-Manning. The kids LOVED it and Jefferson was VERY surprised!

Then, our child of the day, Gavin, read a wonderful book to the class: The Flying Fish! I have it on video and I will try and load it later tonight or tomorrow so you can listen to his wonderful reading! I hope you checked out his story, Call of Duty, on the wiki!

During our Reading lesson, we learned about Listen to reading. We have 3 ways to read during readers' workshop: Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Listen to reading. We can listen to stories on the computer or on the CD player.

In writers' workshop we learned about leaving spaces between our words. Klara, Chris, and Bela illustrated stories today, so hopefully, tomorrow we can record them using PhotoStory and you will be able to see and hear them. Elsa and Neha finished a story each and we shared them using the ELMO. Here's Elsa reading and sharing her story:

After lunch recess, we began the book Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry. It's a great book to read aloud to children. We then worked on the calendar and our daily math station activity. Today we worked on algebra and problem solving.

After we returned from the library, we learned another doubles fact: 3+3=6 and practiced adding and subtracting using one more/one less, and the doubles facts we have learned so far: 2+2, 5+5, and 3+3.

When suddenly.....(something Gooney Bird writes in her stories all the time!)we had another mystery reader: Sahithi's cousin, aunt, and Grandmother who were in visiting from Florida:

Sahithi's aunt read one of Sahithi's favorite stories: Cinderella. I asked her why it was her favorite book and she said, "I like traditional tales!" Way to go, Sahithi!!! was a busy day! Have a GREAT night and read a GREAT book!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fabulous Friday!

We practiced reading to someone (buddy reading) again today. We learned 3 different ways to read and that we are working on comprehension and fluency when we read with a partner. Gavin published his story, Call to Duty. If you click on the link to the right, Student Writing, it will take you to the Wiki where you can hear and see his story. I had to click on an add on to get it to run on my computer at school and home, but once you do that, you will be able to see it. Enjoy. Haley was our child of the day. Listen as she reads her story:

Take a moment to enjoy our time with Nature Dan as we learned about insects:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Thrills

It was jam-packed today! First, Mayor Mike Kelly of Bartlett came into visit our class and the 2nd grade classrooms today. He read a Non Fiction book about mayors then compared and contrasted it with his position in town.

Thank you so much for helping our kids learn about their community!

When we came back to the classroom, we finished up some writing we were working on then went outside for our bus evacuation drill. The afternoon was spent in art and enrichment time with our ELL classmates.

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Wonders!

It was another busy, busy, day! We began the day MAKING WORDS. This is a systematic approach to phonics to help kids learn to spell. Then I introduced Read to Someone or Buddy Reading to them. We learned that we sit EEKK (Elbow to Elbow, Knee to Knee) and how to listen and read to each other. Here are some great pictures of them practicing and developing their stamina:

We learned that writers help each other to develop their ideas before they write. We met with our writing partners and talked over ideas, then we wrote. At the end of the writers' workshop time, we met again with our writing partners if we needed more help.

Here's the beginning of a GREAT story by Gavin:

"Take Cover! Attack!"
" the left!"

That was my dream.

Isn't that a GREAT beginning that made you want to read more? It was written with the reader in mine. Gavin will be publishing the completed story and I'll post it on the blog and wiki using PhotoStory, so in addition to seeing his writing, you can hear him read as well. GREAT JOB, Gavin! You're glowing today!

In the afternoon Nature Dan from the Bartlett Nature Center visited our room. I have some GREAT photos that I'll put together in a montage and get it posted as soon as I can.

We finished up the day working on number sense in math.

Tomorrow, we have another busy day planned. Mayor Mike Kelly of Bartlett will visit early in the morning. Later, we will have our bus evacuation drill. In the afternoon, we will go to art and our ELL enrichment time.

Have a GREAT night!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thrills from Tuesday!

2nd graders started the morning right off by taking their Math MAP test. I'm sure they did GREAT! While they were out of the room I worked with the 1st graders on this weeks word wall words and handwriting. They also completed a closed sort.

When the 2nd graders returned we finished up our introduction to different genres. We learned that poetry can be fiction or non fiction. We also learned that when we read we read with fluency: we make it exciting. It's a smooth read, not choppy.

In Writers' Workshop, we learned that we help each other with our writing. We have a writing partner that we begin the time with, helping each other with our stories. Then we write independently. At the end of the time, we share what we have written.

We learned our new vocabulary words today. Check out the WIKI for the words and the definitions. Please use them in your conversations.

We worked on number sense and math facts today. We also reviewed our academic vocabulary words in math and social studies. We watched a video about Rules and Laws.

Tomorrow Nature Dan will be here to introduce our science unit on insects. I sent reminders home to those who still need to pay for the field trips. Please send that in by tomorrow.

Have a GREAT night!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Marvelous Monday

We had our 1st Mystery Reader today!! Mia's mother surprised us and read the book Just Like My Mom! We really enjoyed it. Thank you VERY much for the donation of the book to our classroom. We can enjoy it for years to come!

Today we focused on non fiction and read a biography of George Washington and an autobiography, I Dreamed I was a Ballerina, by Anna Pavlova. We learned that a biography is the TRUE story of a person written by ANOTHER person and that an autobiography is the TRUE story of a person that they wrote themselves.

We also read the book, Something to Tell the Grandcows and learned that authors write for their readers and they share their stories. We share at the end of writers' workshop; sometimes when our writing is done or when we need help.

We reviewed odd and even numbers today and number sense. After library, we read Miss Nelson is Missing and talked about why we have rules and laws. We read about how laws are made. On Thursday, the mayor of Bartlett will visit our classroom as well as the rooms of Mrs. Karsbaek and Mrs. Breitfuss. We will learn more about laws this week before his visit on Thursday morning.

Tomorrow, 2nd graders will take the Math MAP test. Just get a good nights sleep and eat a healthy breakfast, and you will be fine!

Have a GREAT evening!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Fun!

What a BUSY day! We began by reviewing this week's word wall words. Their and which seem to be the most challenging. Spellingcity would be a GREAT place to practice these words.

We talked about being voracious readers and how that helps us. One important reason is that it builds vocabulary. Each student has a "Word Jar" book where they write interesting words they find during their reading. We shared them after readers workshop. Here are some pictures of kids during readers' workshop:

More students learned how to use the wiki today. Remember, if you didn't get directions, it is because your child has not been shown yet. We have 8 more students to go. If you have the directions, please begin using the wiki for the reading log.

After students went to P.E. and music, we returned to the room and read our "bucket-fillers". Listen in to Liberty Live today from the school website and hear one that was read about Mia to the whole school! We also ate our Oreo cookies that I promised from our O.R.E.O. stacking project.

Students also had a chance to observe the tadpoles for change:

Today was academic vocabulary day as well. We have spent time in the last 17 days working on these words within context of their use:
tally marks

Today we did review work on these. You can see a list of all the academic vocabulary words on the U-46 website. (Link on the right). Although I teach all the 1st/2nd grade words, I hold first graders responsible for 1st grade words and 2nd graders responsible for 2nd grade words for assessment purposes. I would expect a 2nd grader to be familiar with and understand K, 1st, 2nd grade words by the end of the year, and 1st graders to be familiar with and understand K and 1st grade words.

If you have not turned in your field trip permission slips and money, we HAVE to have it Monday. Nature Dan will be here next week as part of our science unit on insects.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thrills from Thursday!

We are gradually showing students, one at a time, how to write their reading response on the classroom wiki. If we met with your child, instructions went home with them today. Those instructions include their user ID and password. Keep this in the STAR binder where it can be easily accessed when at home or if you have a safer place, that is fine,too. I showed the whole class how the wiki works, but I'm not sending the information or passwords home until we've met with them one on one. Only 3 went home today, more tomorrow, and more next week.

Please let them type in their response. It doesn't have to be much and yes, they may hunt and peck and spell things incorrectly, but that's ok. The goal is for students to develop as readers as well as see that the computer is a tool for learning. It doesn't have to be entered the same day as you read. You can help them the next day if you want. The important thing is that they are reading and that they are trying to use the WIKI as a learning tool.

We learned about Mysteries today as a genre. We will go into depth with all the fiction/non fiction genre's this year, so this is just an introduction. We also learned about the reading strategy of chunking letters and sounds together. (c--an--can).

I'm introducing all the decoding strategies right now, but we will continue to talk about them and use them as the year progresses. With some children, when we begin guided reading, that's where I will help them the most. So if you are wondering if I only talk about the strategy one time....NO! It will be ALL year, based on student need, when and how.

We read the book, Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon and learned that when we write we write for the READER! It may all be in our brain what happened, but we have to show it with our words on paper.

In the afternoon, we went to art and our enrichment time with the ELL students.

Tomorrow is P.E. and music. Be sure and wear appropriate shoes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Wonders!

2nd graders took their Reading MAP test today, which allowed me to conference with 1st graders in reading and writing.

Before 2nd graders left, we worked on word wall words and vocabulary words. We also learned a reading strategy called "Flip the Sound!" Basically, if the word doesn't sound right with the LONG vowel sound, flip the sound to the SHORT vowel sound.

The highlight of the day was our O.R.E.O. Cookie Project. This is the first of many online projects we will do this year. We had an opportunity to practice using tally marks, as we stacked OREO cookies. We each had two attempts to stack the cookies as high as we could, one at a time, as another student kept track of the count with tally marks.

After we were all done, we polled our results:

MODE: 15
MEAN: 16
Tallest: 20

We'll be sharing our results with schools across the country. We are a room with a worldwide view!

Here's a video of our activity:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tales from Tuesday!

The highlight of course was the library field trip. Here are a few pictures:

Tomorrow, 2nd graders will take the reading MAP test. As I told the students, just get a good night's rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and you'll do fine!

Have a GREAT night!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Marvels!

Tonight in the STAR binder, students received their first Homefun assignment of the year. They are to go to the Everyday Math Games website and play math games. Each grade level was assigned specific games to play, but you can always play more. Attached to the homefun is their user id and password. Please keep this in the STAR binder with the important papers so it is not lost. You will use this again and again. If you prefer, you may keep it at home in a safe, secure spot, but again, don't lose it!

Anytime students want to practice their math skills this is a PERFECT place to go. Don't wait for me to assign it as homefun...just do it! I can pull a report here to see if they are practicing and using the site as requested.

They also have homefun, plus 2 worksheets. All homefun is due back to school by Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. Don't do it all at once...spread the fun out!

Our tadpoles arrived today but we could not do any observations as they were getting acclimated to the water temperature. We will begin that tomorrow.

We also have our library field trip tomorrow. Also in the Liberty folder tonight is the permission slip for the remaining field trips for the year. We need you to prepay for these as we as teachers have to pay for this in advance and need to pay off those charge balances!!!! Please send the money in by Friday, Sept. 18. If this is a financial hardship, please let me know.

This week we are learning about genre. Today we talked about fiction versus non fiction and the characteristics of each. We will learn about realistic fiction, science fiction, traditional literature and more this week.

We finished our ideas anchor chart for writing and began one that we can keep in our writing folder. Whenever you do something together as a family, or you see something interesting....remind your child what a GREAT story it would make!

We went to the school library today and we are back on our regular schedule. All books are due next Monday. They can be renewed, but bring them in.

During math we worked on time.

Have a great night!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Fun!

We were so busy today we ran out of time and couldn't read our bucket filler notes, so we will do that 1st thing Monday morning. We'll start our day out on a high note.

We began our anchor chart on what readers do to construct meaning and decode words. We focused today on decoding strategies. See if your child remembers what to do as you listen to them read:

1. Go back, reread.
2. Look at the picture: think of a word that looks right and sounds right. Cross check.
3. Reread: try a word
4. Point and slide: say the 1st sounds, finger point and say the sounds quickly.
5. Look for chunks and little words inside big words. Break it apart.

Did you notice it does not say "sound it out"? When we focus on sounding out words we begin to lose comprehension. Please do not use that term with your child, but follow the steps above.

We began to build an anchor chart in writing of ideas by sorting the ME box special mementos. We are creating categories of writing ideas.

After P.E. and music, 2nd graders played Addition cross out and 1st graders worked on tally marks.

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

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursday Tales

We learned a new academic vocabulary word today: responsibility. Here is the poem we read and discussed: Responsibility (source: gingerelli/poem.htm)

I am responsible for all that I do,
from turning in work, to making friends, too.

I choose if my room will be messy or clean,
I make the choice to be kind or mean.

It is up to me just how much I will learn,
the grades that I get will be the grades that I earn.

I make the choice to be happy or sad,
to have a good day or have one that is bad.

So now I will choose what is best for me,
I am responsible, I hold the key!

We also worked on our word wall words. Yesterday I sent home directions to Keep these directions in your important papers from school part of the STAR book. You can also access spelling city by clicking on the icon on the right of this post.

In readers' workshop we learned a new strategy of back up and reread. When we get to a tricky word, we reread the sentence first. Or if we don't understand, we go back and reread. We also learned about how to discuss our thinking by turning Knee to Knee and Eye to Eye and talking with a partner.

During our share time we discussed what we learned about ourselves as readers:

As you can see from the pictures we sit in a circle and have a conversation. We are learning from each other.

Students were also given their math tool boxes today. They know they are responsible for their tools. Then, after library, we played addition top it and Domino One More/One Less.

Tomorrow we have P.E. and music, so wear appropriate shoes or have a pair here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Wonders!

Today we learned a new reading strategy: Try It Again! When we get to a tricky word (an unknown word) we reread the sentence, then try a word that looks right and sounds right,and makes sense. (words and pictures match!) We also worked on Expanded Vocabulary and added words to our classroom Word Jar. In expanded vocabulary (E from our CAFE menu) we are looking for words that interest us in our reading. We read a Fancy Nancy book and learned the words: papillion, ecstatic, delicate, ensemble, groom, refreshments, responsible, unique, and posh. Some of the words we learned from our reading: gleaming, miscellaneous, spectacular, fracas, and miniature. Don't take for granted your child knows and understands these words. Use them in context so they hear and see what they mean.

During Writers Workshop we talked more about our responsibilities in writing. The number one responsibility is we write. We are quiet when we WRITE so we don't disturb others. We are quiet when we WRITE so we can think. We find a comfortable spot so we can WRITE. We get started on our WRITING right away. We WRITE the whole time, and when you think you're've just begun. Even something that has been published can be rewritten. Everything can be revised. We are always WRITING.

Here are some pictures of kids in Math Workshop. While I am teaching a small group of students, others are either working in their journals or playing a math game. Today we learned Domino Top It (number sense) and the 2nd graders played Odd and Even Butterfly Hunt. (number sense). Tomorrow they will partner with a 1st grader and explain how to play the game to them.

In small group, 2nd graders reviewed time and money. 1st graders received their math journals and practiced number writing.

Today all students brought home their HomeLinks book. There is no homework (homefun) other than for parents to sign the letter that is enclosed within the book from me. Return this to school tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a Monday Switch Day, so we will go the library. Make sure all books are returned.