Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Marvels!

Be sure and check out the U-46 district website homepage. Our resident hero, Joshua, has been featured throughout the Thanksgiving break.

Hayden was our child of the day. We enjoyed listening to Dr. Suess's ABC's. Thanks, Hayden!

Bradley shared some seashells that he picked up from the beach in Cocoa Beach, FL. He shared about his trip to Cape Kennedy and meeting an astronaut. Tomorrow I will be able to share an autographed postcard by the same astronaut, Winston Scott. Bradley sent it to us and it came in today's mail. Thanks for sharing, sounded exciting!

We learned our new word wall words today: made, down, my, did, over. Practice spelling them by using the SpellingCity link.

We began our new reading comprehension strategy today of visualizing. Visualizing is creating a mental image or a movie in our mind as we read. It is an educational fact that there is no comprehension without attaching new information to existing schema and creating a mental image as we read. This is an important strategy to help us remember what we are reading.

In writing, we reviewed leads and then we read the book, Shortcut. We looked at how the author left an echo with the reader by ending the story with a decision being made. We will work on endings all this week.

In math, 1st graders learned about frames and arrows...which is looking at patterns. 2nd graders reviewed frames and arrows with two patterns and then worked on making change by counting up.

We also went to the library.

Have a GREAT night and don't forget to READ, READ, READ!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thrills

Our child of the day, Bradley, read a non fiction narrative about the Survivors of the Titanic. It was wonderful! Such fluency! He is also writing a report about the Titanic that I can't wait until he finishes. It's great so far, and he is working on the ending right now. GREAT JOB, Bradley!

Today we worked more on making meaningful connections. I read There is a Nightmare in my Closet and we shared our connections. We discussed which ones were coincidences and which ones helped us to understand the book.

In writing we learned about setting leads. For example, here is the lead sentence in Stellaluna:

In a warm and sultry forest, far, far, away, there once lived a mother fruit bat and her new baby.

We reviewed the leads we have learned about this week and then went back to our writing to give it a try.

We had art and our ELL enrichment time this afternoon. Tomorrow we have P.E. and music.

Tomorrow we will have a substitute teacher. Students will work on a Thanksgiving activity. There will be no blog posting on Friday.

Have a GREAT night and a wonderful Thanksgiving break. Don't forget to READ, READ, READ, READ......and then READ some more!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Wonders!

Our Child of the Day, Shivam, helped us build our schema about spiders. We enjoyed learning about Daddy LongLeg Spiders....Thanks, Shiv!

Today we did a new phonics activity, making and writing words. This was followed up by learning that when we read we make meaningful connections. I read Hazel's Amazing Mother and we talked about our connections. We learned that saying things such as, "I have a blue dress, too" or "It reminds me when I went on a picnic" are the reminders that help us...those are coincidences. We have to tell our brain to stop thinking about that and get back to the book. We then looked at the meaningful connections and how they helped us understand the character, the setting, or what was happening in the story.

In writing we learned about quotation leads. Sometimes to hook the reader, the writing has someone speak first. As an example, Grandpa's Teeth begins with: "Help! I've been robbed!" We then went back to our writing and tried to change our leads to make our stories more exciting.

After lunch and recess, 1st graders worked on adding using the number line. 2nd graders worked on telling time. During the independent time they played math games. During our whole group time, we worked on problem solving, probability, and number sense.

Tomorrow we have art.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Tales

Welcome back to school, Neha! We missed you and what a wonderful day to return because you are the CHILD OF THE DAY! We really enjoyed listening to Miss Nelson is missing.

The BIG event was the long anticipated Life in a TeePee. I will put all the pictures together in a video or slide show, but here is a short video of a dance the students learned:

I'm unable to post pictures for some unknown reason tonight, so I will get those out as soon as I'm able.

In reading today we learned that we need to use the word because when we make a connections....we have to explain why our connection helps us understand the book. In writing we learned about using voice when we write and about character leads. Tomorrow we will go on a "lead" hunt. We want our stories to hook the reader so they will read our writing.

Have a GREAT night! And, don't forget to READ, READ, READ, READ!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Marvelous Monday!

The BIG event of the day: a surprise visit from the superintendent of schools: Dr. Torres! As promised, he stopped in to visit our resident hero, Joshua. Josh was very surprised and could hardly say a word! We are all so proud of what you did, Josh!

Sahithi did a wonderful job as our child of the day! We really enjoyed the book she read:

Although we were sadden to hear that Chris' sister needed stitches from a fall, we were excited that Chris was able to share a real X-Ray with us of his sisters head. Thankfully, she will be alright, but what a learning opportunity.

Today in reading we learned more about making meaning connections as we read the book Amazing Grace. In writing we did a quick Thanksgiving project (but more about that later in the week) and then we learned more about telling more in our stories.

After library, 1st graders worked on patterns in the number grid and 2nd graders worked on equivalences. Together we worked on number sense activities and problem solving.

Tomorrow we really, truly, will have Nature Dan here with us for Life in a TeePee. Have a GREAT night and don't forget to READ....READ.....READ.....READ!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Fun!

We had two wonderful readers today: Jefferson and Chris! GREAT reading, guys!!!

We began the day learning more about nouns, adjectives and verbs. After we did a word sort, be began our reading lesson. We learned that using our schema to make connections as we read is like spinning a web. Our connections all "connect" to each other.

We learned more about telling more about our characters in our writing. We created an anchor chart: Questioning the Character. We learned that in our writing we have to show the answer to the questions we asked.

This afternoon after P.E. and music, we went to the book fair to make our purchases. When we returned we worked on problem solving, patterns, and math facts.

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

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thrills!

We had a mystery reader today: Haley's mother! She read My Lucky Day! We LOVED it and Haley was very surprised!

We were so busy today that we didn't get a chance for our child of the day, Jefferson, to read. So tomorrow we will listen to Jefferson and Chris!

In reading we learned that when we make connections, they are tied to our hearts. Our feelings help us to understand the story. In writing we continued working on telling more. We read Shiela Rae the Brave and looked at how the author showed how the character was brave.

In the afternoon we had our ELL enrichment time and art. Tomorrow we have P.E. and Music, so wear appropriate shoes.

Have a GREAT night and don't forget to READ, READ, READ......

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tales of Tuesday

Jason read Super Pig Adventures to the class today. Thanks, Jason...we enjoyed it!

In case you haven't heard yet....I made a BIG mistake. Everywhere I have it down that Nature Dan will be here next Tuesday for Life in a TeePee. But for some reason, when I did my plans for this week, I kept thinking he would be here today! make the long story IS next Tuesday!!!! I don't know what I was thinking...too much going on I guess. But as I told the we have it to look forward to again! And since we had one student out sick today, let's hope everyone is here next week. And it IS next Tuesday afternoon!!! I'm so sorry!!!!

We learned in reading how to keep track of our connections on sticky notes and then record them as tracks of our thinking in our response logs. In writing we worked more on telling more by adding details that show...not tell. Take a look at a story Hayden wrote. It's on the WIKI...just click on the wiki link or the student writing link. Once you get to the WIKI it is under STUDENT WRITING. It is called I Like Trains.

We also learned our new vocabulary words. So while you on the WIKI, take a look at those as well.

1st graders worked on odd and even numbers today in math. 2nd graders worked on place value. As a whole class we worked on data analysis, problem solving and measurement. Here are a few pictures of students working today on their math goals. Some are working on money, some on time, some on number sense and more.

Have a GREAT night and day off and don't forget to READ...READ....READ....READ!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Marvels!

Matthew read one of our favorites: The Gingerbread Boy! Great reading, Matthew!

We began the day by brainstorming a list of November words that we could add to our word wall and use in our writing. There are no new word wall words this week because of the short week.

Today we learned how making Text to Self (T-S) connections help us as we read. In the book we read today, Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, we learned how connections can help us understand a character.

In writing we continue to write small moment stories but stretching out that small moment by telling more.

We had a change in plans in that we went to preview the book fair today. The book fair is open tomorrow to 7:00 if you would like to come in and purchase books with your child. We will go as a class on Friday.

1st graders worked on visual patterns and 2nd graders reviewed the function machine. We worked as a class on math addition strategies, problem solving and number sense.

Nature Dan will be with us all afternoon tomorrow for Life in a Teepee. Should be a LOT of fun....and a LOT of learning!

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

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Fun!

Branden did an outstanding job reading We Eat Dinner in the Bathtub! It was very funny! And Branden helped us hear how funny it was when he changed his rate of reading and his tone of voice. That's fluency! Great reading, Branden!

We learned about adjectives and verbs this morning in our morning message. We know that all sentences have to have a verb (action). We then did a word sort about time words.

In reading we read Aunt Flossies Hats and learned that when we are making connections we are using our memories...our schema.

We used what we learned about adjectives in the morning message and reread our stories to tell more using sensory details. We added descriptive words from our senses: smell, taste, touch, hear, see.

After lunch and recess we went right to P.E. and music. When we returned we took an interactive voyage on the Mayflower using the computer. We learned that life on the Mayflower was not very good!!!!

The book fair is next week, so there is no library on Monday. Check upcoming events on the right to see when we preview the book fair and when we can purchase books as a class.

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

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday Thrills

Our resident hero, Joshua,as child of the day,did a WONDERFUL job reading ICE CREAM to the class today! We really enjoyed listening to this tale and his fluent reading...thanks, Joshua!!!

The BIG BIG event of the day was going to South Elgin High School to see the play, James and the Giant Peach. It was GREAT! The students really enjoyed it. If you have a chance to see it, the SEHS students are performing this weekend. Check the school website for details. Here are a few pictures of our smiling friends on the bus as we travel down the road!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Wonders!

We have a REAL LIVE HERO in our classroom!!!! After school on Monday, Joshua's grandfather collapsed at home. It was just Joshua and his grandfather. Josh heard his cry, ran to see what happened and called 911. They arrived in time to save his grandfather!!! We are soooo proud of you Joshua!!!!

We really enjoyed listening to Mia read an Arthur Story today! She read with fluency and we all were wondering what would happen next! Great reading, Mia!

During word work time, we finished up our unit on our Text Talk Words and will begin a new unit next week.

As readers, today we learned that schema is the bridge between reading words and comprehension. Our next topic will be how making Text to Self connections help the reader.

In writing, we made lists of foods we didn't like and foods we liked. We wrote them in our Daily Pages and then chose one to write a story about. I'm anxious to hear Chris' story about the creamy, smooth chocolate.

After lunch, we celebrated Joshua's heroism, and then began reading a Magic Tree House book: Thanksgiving on Thursday. We are using the research guide that accompanies the book to help us as we learn about the Pilgrims.

1st graders completed a "checking progress" for unit 2. 2nd graders worked on data analysis and problem solving. Here are a few pictures of students working on their math goals during workshop time:

Tomorrow we will go to South Elgin High School for the play James and the Giant Peach. We will have art in the afternoon.

Have a GREAT night and don't forget to READ....READ....READ....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Tales

We really enjoyed listening to Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus as read by Klara. She read with such fluency we were all enthralled!

We worked on our new word wall words. Go to the Wiki to see what they are and practice spelling using spellingcity.

Our reading lesson was a visual of how schema is the foundation for all our reading (and writing....and math....and....) That's why it is soooo important that we read to our kids. Especially now at this age when they are reading on their own, they need to hear fluent readers reading books that are above their reading level but students can still comprehend what is happening. Build that background knowledge! Robert Munsch....Eve Bunting....Cynthia Rylant...Mem Fox....Pat Huthcins....Helen Lester...all GREAT authors.

In writing we learned about adding descriptive words to our writing. We read the book That's My Dog and then brainstormed words we could use. We also did (during our morning message) a word exchange chart for "went": ambled, trudged, trekked, hiked, waddled, etc. We also read as our read aloud today, Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant and looked at all the wonderful descriptive words she used to bring the story alive.

During math, we worked whole group on number sense and problem solving. Then as students worked independently on their Daily Number Review and Problem Solving Log I worked with first graders on subtraction number stories using money and 2nd graders on fact families and subtraction.

Have a great night and don't forget to READ....READ....READ!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Marvels

Bela did a wonderful job reading with fluency today! Such expression!

We went to an assembly first thing this morning and learned about the Power of One! Each of us has it in us to STOP bullying. Ask your child what they learned.

We learned in reading that schema makes all the difference. We made a T-Chart and listed on one side all the things we knew about 6-Flags, Great America. There was a LOT!!! Then, on the other side we made a list of what knew about Milry, Al. (it's where my mother is from) The students had no schema. It made the point that schema makes all the difference and helps us to understand characters and their feelings. It helps us to get into the book.

In writing we learned that writers savor the moment. They zoom in and stretch it out...savoring the moment. Just like we savor those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies...making it last.

After lunch and library, we reviewed our math goals, and then learned a few more games to help us achieve those goals. 1st graders worked on subtraction number stories and 2nd graders worked on fact families.

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

Sunday, November 1, 2009