Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sorry I haven"t posted yet...

As you know last week Ms. Harbour hurt her arm. Typing has not been easy left handed. I know you are all waiting for your voicethreads. I hope to be able to post all our great stuff soon!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It was a Great Night!

Thank you to all the parents who joined us for Open House this evening. We really enjoyed getting to see with your child. We hope that the evening was informational and rewarding as you learned about their day and the work that takes place in our classroom.

Just a couple reminders:
* Send in any tabs for Ronald McDonald House. Also save all your ink cartridges, box tops, and cell phones.
* Don't forget to read with your child every night.
* Check out the blog frequently. You can set it up to automatically update you when a post is made. You can also set it on Google reader if you are following multiple blogs from school.
* If you would like to make a donation to fund our project - you can check it out on donors choose (The Eagles Want to Soar in Science). You can connect directly through our blog.
* Chet and Chelsea are ready to travel around the world. Chelsea is leaving to go to Canada this week. We can't wait to see what she does.
* Don't forget that beginning in Oct. you will be able to find out about the Book of the Month on our blog.
* If you are available to help in the classroom we would appreciate it. Especially on Monday's and Friday's.

Once again, thank you for giving us your time. I know the kids enjoyed showing you how smart they are. It is going to be a fabulous year!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Aussie Adventure #1

Last week your task was to name three of the seven states or territories of Australia. Here are the answers to that question:
1. Western Australia
2. Northern Territory
3. Queensland
4. New South Whales
5. South Australia
6. Victoria
7. Tasmania

Chet & Chelsea

Met the newest additions to our class ~ Chet and Chelsea. These twins are our class bears (They are cousins to the other Chet Bears from our school). They love to travel around the world and are intersted in any destinations we have this year. Please let us know if you will be going somewhere and would be willing to take Chets or Chelsea with you. All you would need to do is e-mail or write down about your trip with Chet or Chelsea and take a few pictures if possible. We will put it on their blog for you at Traveling Chet. The kids will get to enjoy their adventures and learn from them all year. If you have any family members that live or travel in interesting destinations, Chet or Chelsea are welcome to travel to them for a visit.

Please let us know if you would be willing to take Chet or Chelsea on a travel with you! We are excited to see all the great places they can see.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vocabulary, Vocabulary, Vocabulary!

Last year our class learned so many new vocabulary words through our Star Book units. As with anything we teach our students, we hope they are able to retain that information to use throughout their lives. Little did I realize that those words would become such an integral part of them. As first graders they continue to get excited by hearing a vocabulary word in a book. They continue to use those words in their writing and can't wait to share it with everyone. They are thrilled to find words they know when they are reading a new book on their own. As we learn new words from our Mem Fox unit, I can see the kids still excited by the thought of being able to use them in their writing and oral language. How great is it that we are Bringing Words To Life. Ask your child how many words he/she can remember from last year. Post me a comment to let me know!

Open House

When I see parents outside of the classroom they always ask "How is my child doing?". Of course I understand this considering I too am a parent. The best way to know how your child is doing is to ask them questions about their day each and every day. Can your child tell you what happened in each workshop? Can he/she tell you what the mini-lesson was about in Writer's Workshop? Can he/she tell you what word family and vowel combination was practiced in Skills Block? These types of questions will help you to know how your child is doing.

On Tuesday, September 23rd we will have Open House. I highly encourage all of our families to join us this evening to get a glimpse into their child's day. I promise we will not talk the whole time and you will have an opportunity to see what your child is doing each day. We would love to see all of you for this very informative night.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mathematician of the Day

What is Mathematician of the Day?

Each day we have a mathematician that is our special helper for Math Counts. Each child's name is put into a cup and a new name is drawn. This child gets a sticker first thing in the morning to show his/her special job for the day.
Our mathematician is responsible for coming in and adding in our new date for the calendar.

The mathematician also changes the day of the week signs.

Once we return from lunch we begin our math workshop. We start with our Math Counts activities. The mathematician of the day joins Mrs. VanAlstyne or Mrs. Harbour to complete each activity. Below are some of the activities for September.

Daily Clock: Each day we add a minute to our clock. Then we count to see how many minutes after the hour it shows.

Number Builder: Each day we make the number 5 this month. The Mathematician of the Day makes a story problem for the number 5. When he/she is done, we choose which dot cards would go along with the story problem. Then a chip is added to each pouch to represent each number in the equation.

Counting Tape and Tens Grid: Each day we add another colored sticky note to represent our days in school. These sticky notes make a pattern. Then we color a dot on the tens grid to show the number of days that are shown on the counting tape. As you can see there is one set of ten and five ones on the picture.

In our class, we are all mathematicians!

What's the Matter?

This week we have been talking about matter. What is matter, what forms does matter take, and how can matter change. We decided that we wanted to find different ways to make water change from a liquid into a solid. After much discussion, the kids decided they wanted to put one bag of water in the room, one bag in the fridge, and one bag in the freezer. So early in the day, we filled up our bags and put them into their assigned place. The kids went to their seats and made predictions in their science journals. We waited all day ~ the kids were so excited!! We came back together and made our predictions as a class. The students not only had to make the prediction but also give an explanation as to their thinking (just like he/she did in the journal).

Then it was time to find out if our predictions were correct. First we looked at our room bag. The kids were happy to find that most of them did not vote for the room.

Next was the bag from the fridge. was cold...but it wasn't frozen! Some kids wondered if we left it in there until Monday that it would eventually turn to ice so we decided we would do it just to see what happens.

Finally we pulled out the freezer bag. The kids cheered when they saw the bag had frozen into a solid block.

When we were done making our observations, the kids had to make some conclusions as to why the water in the room and the water in the fridge had not frozen. We added this to our chart.

The kids finally returned to their seats and wrote their individual conclusions in their journals. At the end of the workshop, we decided we would think about how we could change our liquid to another type of matter. Make sure you talk to your child about the three forms of matter.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Look into Great Writing

This week we have been working on narrative writing. We couldn't wait to show you some great stories we have done. (Don't forget that you can click on the image to increase the size of the work.)





Mem Fox

This week we started our first author study - Mem Fox. Each day we will be reading books by her and using her work to become better writers. If your child has a Mem Fox book at home, he/she is more than welcome to bring it in for Reader's Workshop. Ask your child about the books we have already heard. We can't wait to share all our great work over the next couple weeks.

Kindergarten Vocabulary Never Leaves Us

Last year we realized how important vocabulary became to our students. They were excited every day to learn new words and be able to use them in their writing and speaking. They were thrilled when they found a word in a book! This year as we begin our narrative writing, I was pleased to find that those words are still being used in their writing. Here is an example of work from Matthew that includes one of our kindergarten vocabulary words.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WOW...we hit 3000

Today when I got on our blog site I noticed our counter hit 3000! Can you believe that in one year people have read and continue to check out what our great class is doing every week? We have people all over the world read our blog - North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and even Asia. I hope they are excited to see all the learning that you do and share in your successes. I know that I am always proud to post how smart you all are!