Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Polar Express: All Aboard!

The Polar Express arrived at Moseley this morning for all of the students to enjoy. As soon as we heard the train whistle, we jumped on board to be the first ones to experience the magic of the Polar Express. We enjoyed a special story time in the library with Mrs. Oliver. After listening to The Polar Express, we enjoyed a special treat of hot chocolate prepared for us by Mrs. Cato and Mrs. Fredd. In class, we graphed pictures from the story and answered questions. We also sang along to the music from the motion picture version of the book as we worked like busy little elves.

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Adding It All Up

We have been practicing addition and subtraction all year but this six weeks we have an increased focus on math facts. The students are expected to become fluent in their facts by answering addition facts within three seconds. Currently we are working on sums up to 10; by the end of the year we will be practicing sums up to 18. You can help your child practice their addition facts online at Math Fact Practice. Through this site, you can set timed goals for your child as well as track their progress.

You can also help by pointing out addition and subtraction situations in the real world. Examples include:

  • There are five chicken nuggets on your plate. If you eat three, how many will be left? 5-3=2
  • There are three people in the blue car. There are four people in the green car. How many people are there in all? 3+4=7
  • I have six buttons on my shirt. You have four buttons on your shirt. How many more buttons do I have on my shirt than you? 6-4=2

Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree

When the weather outside is frightful, the classroom sure seems delightful! When the weather outside is too cold, we stay inside for indoor recess. Typically we play board games, but on one special day, we decorated our classroom Christmas tree. The students chose book cover ornaments for their favorite picture books to hang on the tree. We topped it all off with snowball ornaments and a snowflake on top. The students worked hard to space out the ornaments to ensure that everyone had enough room for their ornaments!

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We Rock!

December has been a busy month for us all so I am a little behind on my posts. A few weeks ago we visited the science lab to experiment with the properties of rocks. We found the mass and circumference of our rock, observed their colors when wet and dry, if they sink or float, and if they can be scratched by various objects. We also explored different types of soil by smelling, touching, and observing sand, clay, and loam. Enjoy a quick slideshow of our lab experience.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Playing to Learn

Each day I meet with several small groups for guided reading. These groups are need based groups that target specific skills the students are working on. While I am meeting with small groups, the rest of the class is actively involved in independent learning. In our class we accomplish this through Literacy Stations. Literacy Stations are fun centers filled with age-appropriate learning materials targeted to reinforce reading and writing concepts previously taught in class. The students rotate to two stations per day with a partner. Students independently choose their own activity within their station. Station choices include ABC/Word Study, Big Books, Listening, Drama, Poetry, Writing and Handwriting, Pocket Chart, Classroom Library, Creation Station, Buddy Reading, and Computers. Enjoy a short video below of the students working in their various stations.

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Parent Communication

Our Parent Communication Resource Board has been updated. The board is located in the first grade common area. Here you will find our most current newsletter which is full of first grade activities as well as what we are learning. You will also find additional "Jet to Success Reading Logs" for your child to fill out as they read just for fun. As a reminder, the more your child reads, the better reader they will become. Our class gets to move our jet to a new cloud for every fifty books that are read. The "Jet to Success" reading contest is meant to encourage the love of reading. The contest's purpose is only successful with encouragement from home as well as school. On the board you will also find the first grade "wish list" which has specific items that are needed in our classes each day. If you are able to donate any items, they would be greatly appreciated. Donated items may be given to your child's teacher or placed in the donation bin on the Parent Communication Work Station shelves. Thank you for your continued support of our classroom and the entire first grade!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Giving Thanks

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We ended our week of Thanksgiving festitivities with a small celebration. Instead of having traditional turkey and dressing, we had turkey sandwiches and sweet treats. Thank you to all the parents who generously donated items for the feast. Also, thank you to Mrs. Gardner for sharing her photos from our special day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Handy Turkey

This isn’t just a turkey,
As anyone can see.
I made it with my hand,
Which is a part of me.
It’s made with lots of love
Especially to say,
Hope you have a very
Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Place Value: Numbers to 60

As we continue our study of place value, we are increasing our numbers to 60. The students rotated through various stations to build numbers ranging from 40 to 60. From buttons to macaroni to marbles, the students had hands on experience in building, drawing, and writing numbers using tens and ones. This helps students have a more concrete number recognition.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Google Earth

During Social Studies this week we are studying the physical characteristics of Earth. As we compare maps and globes, the students will compare various landforms such as hills, plains, and mountains as well as discovering that the Earth is mostly covered in water. Google Earth is a great tool to use at home to give the students a concrete view of the Earth as well as its landforms and bodies of water. Google Earth is a downloadable tool that we use in class which can not only show pictures of Earth from space but can pinpoint all the way down to your street address. The students love exploring their world using this tool.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Be a Friend to Trees: Ways We Use Plants

As a part of our plant studies, we read about and brainstormed ways that we use plants in our everyday lives. From the air we breathe to paper to even chocolate, we could not live without plants.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring Veterans

To honor local Veterans, we made a poster for a local restaurant showing our support for all of the men and women who have helped protect our country. Our poster said, "Veterans, thank you for lending a hand. We are proud of you." Each student traced their handprints and we worked together to put them on the poster.

This six weeks in Social Studies, we have been learning about rules for the community, state, and nation as well as our public officials. This week we are studying symbols of both Texas and The United States.

Exploring Plants

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Telling Time

This week we are practicing telling time on the hour and half hour. For additional practice at home, visit Kids Online Resources . On this site, your children will be able to identify time on the hour using an analog clock. The digital time will be displayed at the bottom. Your child can also practice skip counting by fives in the last section by moving the minute hand clockwise.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Literary Character Parade

For the conclusion of Red Ribbon Week, the students participated in a Literary Character Parade. The slogan was "Show your character. Don't do drugs." Below is a slideshow of some of the students who dressed up. The students who did not dress up enjoyed being the audience and cheering on their friends.

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Fraction Action

This week we have been studying parts of a whole, or fractions. We divided candy bars and pizzas as a group then made our own fraction puzzles. The students are expected to know that fractions must be equal pieces of a whole and be able to describe a fraction in terms such as two out of three parts are shaded. To help your child practice fractions, check out the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives for interactive, self-checking lessons.

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Pumpkin Patch Counting

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Neighborhood Nouns

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Pattern Fruit Kabobs

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Place Value: Tens and Ones

This week we are working on place value by using tens and ones blocks. The students have been using linking cubes to help them represent numbers in terms of tens and ones. For example, 24 could be represented as 2 tens and 4 ones. We have also been working on comparing their created numbers using the vocabulary of greater than/less than. 40 is greater than 32 because 40 has 4 tens and 32 only has 3 tens. A great way to help your child practice this concept at home is by visiting The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. On this particular place value activity, your child will be presented various two digit numbers to create by clicking on the tens and ones pictures. Note, on the right side of the screen, set the template to two columns so your child is only practicing two digit numbers. If you have time, explore the rest of the website for additional interactive math manipulatives.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sorting by Properties

In science we have been studying different ways to sort objects. The four properties that we are focusing on are color, shape, size, and texture. The students have been creating bubble maps together describing the properties of various objects. They have also been enjoying hands-on sorting activities in cooperative learning groups. Enjoy the quick video of the students sorting objects according to properties!
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tongue Twisters

This week we are studying the various elements of poems such as the rhythm, rhyming words, and alliteration. Our focus poem in class is "Miss Mary Mack." To help your child at home, visit Starfall to have your child practice a few tongue twisters.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Word Work

This week we worked on the word wall words this, get, and all. We are also working on words with the sh sound. To help your child continue practicing these words and all other words we have learned this year, please visit SpellingCity and click on Find a List. Under Find a List, search for Moseley First and you will see our current list of words. Through this site, your child can practice their weekly words by hearing the words in isolation and in sentences. Your child can also play games and be tested using the features of this site. Is an engaging and exciting way for your children to practice their words.

Welcome to the Classroom Blog

Welcome to our classroom blog. Visit our blog frequently to find out what is happening in our class. Through this blog we will be sharing exciting news from our class, pictures, and helpful tips.
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