Sunday, December 15, 2013

This Week in First Grade (12-9-13)

Here are some highlights from this week!

A special visitor...
  • First graders have been learning about the different types of teeth and what they do, so our visitor this week came at the perfect time. Students at Star Academy got to learn about how to take care of their own teeth!

  • On Friday, we learned to Read for Meaning at an assembly with Phil Tulga. Through music, we learned about three reading strategies: sequence, inference, and prediction. We were grooving and dancing and learning all about reading! So fun! See the blog post about the assembly with pictures, video, and more on the Star Academy blog
  • We heard a story called The Snow Deer, and there are 10 pictures to help us remember the sequence of the story. After hearing the story a few times throughout the week, we talked about some important elements of the story(author, title, setting, characters, problem, solution). You can talk about these same story elements in the books you read at home with your child!
Science/Social Studies:
  • This week we learned about a new animal  in the woodland habitat in Europe... the fallow deer! The fallow deer is an example of an ungulate and it also a quadriped! Ask your child to tell you what that means. :)
Team Tasks:
  • This week, we focused a lot on cooperation. At the beginning of the week, we brainstormed what cooperation looks and sounds like, and we continued to add to the list throughout the week. Teams earned bonus points during team tasks for doing the things we put on the chart.
One team working on the Immigrants from Europe World Map Team Task

  • We read the book Written Anything Good Lately? by Susan Allen and Jane Lindaman and talked about all of the things that writers write. Writers write more than just books! Writing is so important and useful, and best of all, FUN! We made lists of what writers write in our notebooks and here are some things that we came up with...
    • books
    • emails
    • text messages
    • shopping lists
    • stories
    • thank you notes
    • Christmas cards
    • letters
    • songs
    • poems
    • chants
    • non fiction books
    • comics
    • reminders on sticky notes
  • We wrote letters to Miss Kloczko... (I LOVED reading these!)
  • We listened to the story Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen and made lists in our writers notebooks of all of the words that we liked in the story as we listened. Then, in the computer lab, we typed the words from our notebooks into a google form. See the word cloud below with all of the words that we wrote. The bigger a word is, the more first graders there are that wrote it!

Monday, December 9, 2013

This Week in First Grade (12-2-13)

What happened at school this week?
Miss Kloczko was out of the classroom in GLAD training Tuesday-Thursday, with 25 other teachers (yes, 25!) watching two experts teach Mrs. Luhrsen's first grade class, and she learned a ton! Due to the fact that Miss Kloczko didn't get to teach this week, this post will be a short one...

Here are a few things we learned this week:

  • Telling time to the half hour
  • Making tens to make counting big groups of objects easier.
    • For example, if you have ALL of these hedgehogs, you can make groups of 10 to help you count them. Because there are so many, it's easy to make a mistake if you simply count, even if you use one of the strategies we learned earlier in the year (such as crossing out each hedgehog as you go).
Some things we wrote about this week:
  • Thanksgiving Break
  • hedgehogs
  • google accounts
  • the woodland habitat in Europe and what we have learned so far
  • our favorite Disney characters
A is for America
We added two new pages to our A is for America books about important American symbols: G is for Gold, and I is for Immigrant.

Science/Social Studies
  • We learned about what an immigrant is and that over the years, many people have immigrated to America from many different places. Many of our ancestors came from Europe long ago, and many of our ancestors came from other places more recently. Maybe you can talk with your child about how your family ended up in America!
  • We also learned a new chant about the Statue of Liberty!
  • JUST FOR FUN... Ask your child to give you the definitions of a few of our signal words!
    • woodland
    • carnivore
    • operation (a math signal word!)
    • immigrant

Monday, December 2, 2013

What are you reading?

In first grade, we LOVE books! Leave a comment and tell us:
  • the title and author of a book that you recently read
  • the title and author of a book that you are reading now
  • the title and author of a book you plan to read next
You can also reply to someone's comment by clicking the "reply" button below their comment! If you have read or plan to read the same book as someone else, reply to their comment and tell them!
What is Miss Kloczko reading?
I just started a book this weekend that my mom recommended to me, called Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. It's about a girl, not much older than me, who impulsively decides to hike over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail... alone! The best part of this story? It's a TRUE story! So far, it is very interesting! I have been on parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, but I can't imagine hiking for months and months in a row on it. Did you know that the Pacific Crest Trail stretches all the way from Mexico to Canada? 

Friday, November 22, 2013

This Week in First Grade (11-18-13)

What did we do at school this week?
Look at all of the things we are thankful for! It looks like family and friends are pretty important in the eyes of a first grader! (Also check out our last blog post and see what first graders, family, and friends are thankful for!)

Writer's Workshop
  • On Monday, we learned all about a feature of non-fiction books, labels! Sometimes pictures or photographs are labeled to help us understand what we are looking at. We brainstormed some important parts of Miss Kloczko and got to label her with sticky notes! (The picture is a little blurry... first grade photographer!)

    This hedgehog was independently labeled by a first grader!

  • We have had opportunities to write letters a few times this year, but on Tuesday, we got to see some examples of letters in The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt. We learned that all letters have:
    • a greeting (Dear            ,)
    • a closing (Your friend, )
    • a signature (our name)
  • And we learned that most letters have the date at the top, too!
  • Then we got to try out our new letter-writing skills... we wrote letters to our dads in our writer's notebooks.
  • On Wednesday, we got to "publish" our letters to our dads, and write them on "fancy Thanksgiving paper."
  • We wrote letters to our friends on Thursday, recommending books that we like! Miss Kloczko has a whole bunch of new books to check out, because her first graders recommended a lot of awesome books!
  • On Friday, we learned that one of the best places to find "Wow words" is... books! We read a new book, Bear Says "Thanks," by Karma Wilson, and we got to stand up every time we heard a  "Wow word!" 
  • We learned about ordinal numbers this week! Ordinal numbers are numbers such as first, second, third, and even eighty-eighth! They tell us where something comes in a series. We learned that ordinal numbers can be written in two ways. For example, when writing, we can say first or 1st.

  • Now that we are becoming addition and subtraction masters, we added a little challenge. Instead of being given a math equation to solve, we were given an equation that was already solved, and we had to decide which operation was missing in the problem. An operation is something you do to numbers, like add or subtract.
Science/Social Studies:
  • We continued to talk about hedgehogs and tawny owls, but we have started to focus more on teeth and what they do.
  • Did you know that we can tell a lot about what an animal eats by looking at the shape of its teeth? Look at these animals' teeth and see if you can tell if they are herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores!
Fun Friday:
  • Friday was full of fun this week!
    • Those of us who read 250 months in the month of November got to wear our pajamas to school... so cute and cozy!
    • Author Erin Dealey came to visit our school. She talked to us about how she used to be a teacher and how she never wanted to be or thought she would become an author, and now she is. She talked to us about the writing process, her new book Deck the Walls, and how we are all authors!
    • We made turkey feather Thanksgiving headbands! 

      My favorite photo of the day... first graders reading their new Erin Dealey books while waiting to be picked up! :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What are you thankful for?

Check out our padlet page! Leave a comment and tell us what you are thankful for!

Friday, November 15, 2013

This Week in First Grade (11-11-13)

What did we do at school this week?

We had no school on Monday in honor of Veterans Day. Thank you veterans!

We have been talking about what we are thankful for, since Thanksgiving is getting close! Bring in a photo or clippings from magazines to contribute to our bulletin board next week!

Writer's Workshop:

  • On Tuesday, we finished our class book that we started last week, inspired by Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Dog a Donut. Check out the photopeach version of our book! 
  • If You Give a First Grader an Animal... on PhotoPeach
  • Wednesday, for Wow Word Wednesday, we read One Winter's Day, by M. Christina Butler, which had some great examples of interesting words describing weather. Then we each made lists of "Wow Weather Words" in our writer's notebooks. When we shared our ideas, some favorites were:
    • stormy
    • gust of wind
    • the wind howled
    • burning hot
    • the wind whistled
    • blizzard
    • snowstorm
    • hailing
    • foggy
  • On Friday, we discussed and wrote about why we are thankful... for our moms.
  • We introduced some probability vocabulary last week, and went a little more in depth this week. Check out this week's homework padlet page where we wrote sentences using one of the probability words we learned about: certain, impossible, likely, and unlikely.
  • Every child got a ruler to keep in his or her desk, after we learned how to measure in inches. It makes much more sense to measure things using inches than using sticky notes or paperclips!
  • We continue to practice addition and subtraction, telling time by the hour, counting coins (pennies, nickels, and dimes), and of course, doing these things independently!
Social Studies/Science:
  • Last week we learned about the tawny owl, and this week we learned about a new animal... the hedgehog! 

  • Just for fun, say one of our new signal words to your child this weekend, and see what happens!
    • Nocturnal
    • Woodland
    • Carnivores
    • Adaptation
  • These are the chants we are doing each day!
  • As a class, we completed a Sentence Patterning Chart for the animal we are studying, hedgehogs. The kids came up with the words for each category themselves! Choose 3 adjectives, 1 verb, and one prepositional phrase, and ask your child to sing the song to you! 

In addition to doing yoga with a parent from Mrs. Luhrsen's class on Monday and Friday, we learned some new speed and agility moves this week, high knees, power skips, and squat jumps, and practiced some old exercises, like line hops and long-armed planks. We even got to listen to music during PE this week, because we did such a great job of following directions!

Fun Friday:
  • First grade had a guest speaker, Sensei Wong from Kovars Karate Academy, talk to us about respect and discipline! He was so funny, too! What did the first graders learn at the mini-assembly and during the discussion afterwards?
    • Teachers in Japan are called "sensei."
    • Focus and the "focus clap!" Focus takes discipline and practice!
    • Focus, peace, and humility
    • Part of humility is "keeping your karate covered," or only using it when you need to protect yourself or someone else from danger.
    • Do as your parent or teacher/sensei asks the first time (or without even being asked)!
    • Just because there is no sign at the grocery store that says "Please do not throw grapes onto the floor and stomp on them," does not mean that you should. :)
      Playing "Sensei Says..." 
      We learned the symbol for peace.
      We learned how to do a "focus clap!"
  • We played "Signal Word Basketball" to practice all of the signal words we have learned this year. 

    All in all, another fun-filled week of learning and smiles in first grade... I am so thankful for my students and all of the things they are teaching ME this year! Have a great weekend!

Families, ask your first graders to tell you about their favorite experience at school this week and leave a comment below!

We are thankful for... our moms.

Today during our Writer's Workshop time, we read The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn and we discussed how thankful we are for our moms! We talked a little bit about the different things we call our moms, and all of the things that they do to help us and show us that they love us.
  • My mom helps me set up my bed. -Kobe
  • My mom helps me clean my room. -Annie
  • My mom makes me cookies. -Sophia
  • My mom goes to the store with me. -Colin
  • My mom helps me get ready for school. -Angela
  • My mom helps me when I get hurt. -Emily J.
  • My mom makes the best dinner. -Aekas
  • My mom goes to church with me. -Emily M.
  • My mom goes to the pool with me. -Ashlyn
  • My mom helps me clean. -Kelvin
  • My mom cleans up my messes. -Tony
We made a special surprise for our moms today (check your child's Friday Folder!) and Miss Kloczko was so excited about how well the first graders were writing independently. Here are some things she was especially impressed with:
  • Trying to spell hard words by ourselves (and writing "sp" above, so that we know to ask for help before we publish)
  • Stamina... writing for a long time without stopping! 

Families, friends, first graders... post a comment below telling us why you are thankful for your mom! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We are thankful for... clean, safe homes.

Today, for our Countdown to Thanksgiving, we talked about how we are thankful for clean, safe homes. We discussed ways that we can help out at home and show that we are thankful! 

Here are some of the ideas that we came up with:

  • Pick up 20 things. 
  • Do the dishes.
  • Make your bed.
  • Pick up Kara's toys (or your brother/sister's toys).
  • Clean up your toys.
  • Clean the whole house.
  • Help cook dinner.
  • Feed your pets.
  • Set the table.
  • Clean the table after dinner.
  • Clean your room.
Post a comment below telling us how you helped at home tonight!