Monday, February 22, 2010

Storyteller: Toni Simmons

The students were priveleged today to hear from an amazing storyteller and author, Toni Simmons. Ms. Tricoli, the school's librarian, arranged for Ms. Simmons to tell her stories to all of the Moseley students. The storytime was filled with singing, dancing, and more. To find out more about Toni Simmons and her books you can visit her webpage.

Valentine's Day

A snow day did not keep us from enjoying our Valentine's Day Party...even if it was a week later than planned. The students had a great time passing out and opening their Valentine's from one another. And, of course, they loved all of the sweet treats! Enjoy a quick slideshow of pictures from the party.

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Where Does the Brown Bear Go?

Last week we read Where Does the Brown Bear Go? by Nicki Weiss to learn about adjectives. As a part of our study of adjectives the students brainstormed at least six words to describe one of the many animals from the story. They then used those adjectives to write string poems about their animals. Below are a few samples of their quality work:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cinderella Tales

Over the last several weeks we have been reading and comparing several versions of Cinderella. We read the classic version and two more modern versions, Prince Cinders and Bubba the Cowboy Prince. Prince Cinders is about a skinny, young man who wants to be big and hairy like his step-brothers so he can go to the Palace Disco. With the help of a "dirty fairy" he definitely becomes big and hairy - a big and hairy monkey, that is! Bubba the Cowboy Prince is a Cinderella story with a Texas twist. Bubba is tired of being bossed around by his step-father and step-brothers on the ranch so, with the help of a "fairy god-cow" he hatches a plan to get Miz Lurleen, a local ranch owner, to fall in love with him. To retell the story of Bubba's adventures, the students created Story Maps to indicate the characters, setting, problem, and solution. After reading the classic Cinderella and Prince Cinders, the students worked together to create a Double Bubble Map comparing and constrasting the two stories. They then used the Thinking Map to help them write comparitive sentences about the stories. Along with their sentences, the students illustrated the main characters of the stories. During our end of day read aloud time, we are currently working our way through a collection of Cinderella stories from around the world. Below are a few samples of the students quality work:

Measuring Up!

This week in math we are studying measurement. In first grade we measure with nonstandard units such as lima beans, cubes, linking chains, paper clips, and more. You can have your child practice measuring at home by using things like paper clips, lima beans, small blocks, pieces of evenly cut string or ribbon, etc.

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Last week we had D.E.A.R. time in our classroom, as did all classes in Grand Prairie ISD. D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything And Read. The students had a great time relaxing with their favorite books. D.E.A.R time is a period of silent sustained reading where students read just for fun. Recreational reading has a proven positive correlation with a student's reading ability. As Dr. Seuss said, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." I encourage you to have your child read at home every day for at least twenty minutes outside of their guided reading homework book. In class, the students read a book of their choice silently for the first fifteen minutes of class. After reading, three volunteers share information about their book including the title, author, and their favorite part of the story. After sharing, the students answer three questions about the book from their classmates.

Patterns Everywhere!

Over the last few weeks we have been reviewing repeating patterns and learning about a special type of patterns, additive patterns. Enjoy the quick slideshow below of your children having fun while discovering patterns in many hands-on ways!
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Friday, February 5, 2010

Pattern Detectives

This week we reviewed repeating patterns and learned a new kind of pattern, additive patterns. Additive patterns are patterns that grow. As a refresher on repeating patterns, have your child visit the Beacon Learning Center's page to become Pattern Detectives.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

100th Day Fun

Today our countdown to the 100th day of school officially ended! To celebrate this special day of school, we began with our 100th day project presentations during our reading block. The students made creative projects including 100 piece puzzles, addition problems out of beans, Valentine hearts, a toy box, eyeball hats and shirts, and much more. During math, the students traced their shoes, cut them out, and created rows of ten until they had a total of 100 shoe patterns. We counted the ten longs as a class and then took them into the hallway to see how far 100 steps would be. The students made predictions to see if our set of footprints would go farther down the hallway than the other first grade classes. The students predicted that our steps would go further because our classroom was closer to the other hallways...they were right! Below you can enjoy a collage of some of our 100 day fun! To enlarge the pictures, click on the magnifying glass.

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Making Words

One of our favorite activities in class is to make words from a combination of set letters. When all the letters are used they make a mystery word. This activity helps with their spelling, reading, and writing. The students are given a set of letters that they cut out and move around to make new words. The letters are color coded so they can easily see that every word needs a vowel. The students take notes on their paper about words they created and then share their lists at group time. Words that are correct are added to the white board for the other students to write down. Words that are not true words we call "Dr. Seuss" made-up words and discuss why they are not correct. The students love to be the first one to come up with the mystery word. We also talk about letters we can add or take away to create new words. Last week we played the game using the word "kitchens" and the students came up with 57 words on their own which set a new class record!

A great way to practice this at home is to give your child plastic letters (can be found in the dollar areas of Wal-Mart or Target) to move around. You can also have your child write down a specific word (longer words work best) and then have them brainstorm a list of words that can be made using on the letters in that word. You can also visit the website Wordle to visit their Words in Words page which will generate a list of words that can be made using specific letters.

Groundhog Day Read Aloud

Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit the library for a great read aloud time with Ms. Tricoli. In honor of Groundhod Day she read Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub. The students had a great time listening to the story, comparing real groundhogs to the groundhogs in the story, and learning some interesting facts about how groundhogs live. Questions you could ask your children about groundhogs include: Do they live in Texas? How many feet do they dig per day? Do they live in one room in their tunnel? They really enjoyed the story including the Groundhog Weather School quiz at the end!

Dominoe Doubles

During Math Tubbing time, the students practiced identifying Addition Doubles and their Doubles +1 partners using dominoes. Dominoes are a great, inexpensive math manipulative that you can use at home. Many families already have a set of dominoes at home. The dominoes can be used for addition practice, for quick number recognition, and to identify Doubles and Doubles +1 or -1 as we did in class.
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