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!

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Christmas Tree
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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!

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