Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lessons from a Master

On Friday we were lucky to have a demo presented by Karate America. They came to talk about different techniques they teach and what is important rules to learn in order to be successful and meet our goals in life. One of our own students takes lessons here and was proud to be an assistant during the presentation. Here are some picture highlight from our morning.

Our Holiday Feast

Thank you to all the families that joined us on Friday for our Holiday Feast. It was so nice to see so many moms, dads, siblings, and grandparents join us. We appreciate all your continued support.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Grade Contraction Action

Over the last couple weeks we have been working very hard on learning lots of contractions. Here is a quick video of the kids singing "Contraction Action". Have them sing along as you watch!

Drop us a comment and let us know what you think.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cookies with Auntie Claus

On Friday we were treated to a special event - cookies and a story with Auntie Claus. We began by coming into the media center and getting to sing Christmas songs. The kids actually know a lot of the words! Then students sat and listened as "Auntie Claus" read her book Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas. The kids were thrilled to listen to the story and watch it on the big screen as she read. When she was done, they received cookies and milk. We sat by the Christmas tree in the front lobby and enjoyed our special treat. Here are some pictures of our afternoon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What are you thankful for?

During this time of year, we can't help but think about all the blessings that we have to be thankful for. Many times, we get caught up in our busy schedules and we don't take the time to slow down and think about all that we do have. We are thankful everyday to get to share in your child's lives and to watch them grow. We hope that this holiday weekend you are able to enjoy your family and all your blessings. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inferring in First Grade

This week our reading strategy is inferring. We have been listening to different scenarios and inferring what information is not given to us. Here are some examples of scenarios we have been working with:

In the morning, we noticed that the trees were uprooted and homes were missing their rooftops
1.What can you infer from this?
2.What words helped you to infer?
3.What do you know in your head that helped you to infer?

The boys poked holes in the lids of the jars. They went outside to look around the yard. “There’s one!” said Bobby. “Now let’s find one for you!”
1.What can you infer from this?
2.What words helped you to infer?
3. What do you know in your head that helped you to infer?

Mom gave Matt and Josh lunch money and walked them to the bus. When the bus came they got on with all the other children and waved goodbye to Mom.
1.What can you infer from this?
2.What words helped you to infer?
3. What do you know in your head that helped you to infer?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Skills Stations

This week we have made some new changes to our schedule. To begin we will now be doing Skills Stations on Wednesdays for about 20 minutes. Today was our first day and what a fabulous job they did. Each group will have a set of activities they will be working on that is a review of skills we have done in class. All students in each group will be working on the same activity. Each week they will rotate and complete a different skill. Here were the skills we focused on today.

Blends Match

Synonym Concentration

Rhyming Concentration

Short Vowel Bingo

Rhyming Concentration

Synonym Bingo

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reader's Workshop

This week we began working on inferring as a reading strategy. Today the kids learned that in order to be a good reader, we need to know how to infer the information that is not directly given to us in the text. As they become better readers, they will need to learn how to use what they know to understand what is not directly stated. Today we practiced basic sentences to help us understand what it means to infer. Here is a couple samples from our lesson today:

My sister and I share a room. We are twins. Sometimes we wear each other’s clothes.
The speaker is ________________.

My son has two children. They visit me every summer. I bake them cookies and take them to the zoo. We have a great time!
The speaker is _________________.

This divides my yard from the yard next door. It is made of wood. I cannot see over it.
The object is ________________________.

I wear these when it is cold. I have a red one and a blue one. My mom has one for the sun.
The object is _______________________.

Each day we will look at text and learn how to infer what the sentence/passage is about. Ask your child how we are learning about inference as a reader.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Literacy Parade and Fall party

Friday was such a busy day. We had a great time dressing up as our favorite characters. We did some fun crafts and enjoyed some yummy treats. Here are some of the pictures from our day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Earth's Surface

The great thing about having a blog is that you can post all the wonderful things kids are doing and learning in the class. Leave it to the students to anticipate the posting of an activity that was done today because they are so excited to show it off. I was so happy to see a blog comment asking why our science projects weren't posted yet that we completed today. So Jennifer and you go. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

In class we have been learning about the Earth's surface. We have discussed how water and land make up our planet Earth and that water makes up most of the Earth. While discussing land we learned about different types of soil, mountains, volcanoes, hills, rocks, and how these all form the land we live on. As an extend project, students were asked to work as a group and decide how they would like to illustrate their section of the Earth. They were given dirt, sand, clay, pebble, and molding clay. Once they determined what they were going to do, they were sent back to their seats to create what they had envisioned. It was a messy project but a fun one as well. The kids really had to work together and be able to explain what was on the surface. Here are the pictures from our day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mem Fox Celebration

What a busy day we had Friday. We began with a live skype to Australian to talk to a 2nd grade teacher. That was really neat. It was midnight her time. Then we went back to the class and made lamington with cake, chocolate and coconut. Yummy! Next we listened to Mem Fox read some stories off her website. After lunch we came back and made some crafts. It was fun making a platypus puppet, a kangaroo, and a pirate hat (just like Tough Boris'). Finally we ended with a Mem Fox Memory Book. It was great to think about all the neat stories we read during the last couple weeks. Here are the highlights from the day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What is our Earth made of?

Over the last week we have been talking about the Earth's surface. We have been learning about the different types of soil, finding samples around our school and home, and looking at the different types and making observations. The kids have been learning that our Earth's surface is not only made up of soil but of water as well. We will be looking at different maps and how water and land make up the surface. Near the end of the unit we will be completing a tinkering activity as the kids in the class will be making their own map that includes land and water surfaces. Ask your child about what they have learned about soil.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Growing Writer's

One of the things I love about first grade is that the students start to realize what they love about school. Some start to become independent readers (always looking for a book), some really like math, and some start to write stories on their own because they like writing. Here is a story from one of our students who wrote this at home.

I Don't Want a Bath by Taylor F.

Tom, time for a bath said his mom.
Why he said to his mom. Because I want to play said Tom.
How did you get all dirty said his mom?
Then Tom ran to make some friends.
Tom met a snake. What is your name said Tom? My name is May said May. Hi May said Tom.
Then Tom met a lion cub. What is your name said Tom? My name is Tay said Tay. Hi Tay said Tom.
Then Tom met a hyena. What is your name said Tom? My name is Stella said Stella. Hi Stella said Tom.
Then Tom met a cub bear. What is your name said Tom? My name is Trey said Trey. Hi Trey said Tom.
Then Tom met a duck. what is your name said Tom? My name is Lacy said Lacy. Hi Lacy said Tom.
Then Tom met a jaguar. What is your name said Tom? My name is Cinderella said Cinderella. Hi Cinderella said Tom.
Then Tom met a cheetah. What is your name said Tom? My name is Tiger said Tiger. Hi Tiger said Tom.
Then Tom met a leopard. What is your name said Tom? My name is Isabella said Isabella. His Isabella said Tom.
Then Tom went to find his mom. Tom found his mom. His mom asked Tom if he wanted a bath. Yes said Tom. I am tired and dirty from meeting all those new friends. Then Tom took a bath and went to bed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's time for School by Mrs. Harbour & Mrs. Wright's class

During our author study we read the book Time for Bed. It is a great pattern book that was nice to hear after our pattern book unit of study. As a class we decided to write our own pattern book that mimics Time for Bed.

It's time for school brown dog, brown dog
Are you going to catch a frog?

It's time for school jumping bunny, jumping bunny
You will eat some honey.

It's time for school big fish, big fish
Are you going to bake me in a dish?

It's time for school nice cricket, nice cricket
Or else you're going to get a ticket.

It's time for school little cat, little cat
Are you going to pretend with a hat?

It's time for school little lion, little lion
Are you going to gonna eat a bun?

It's time for school huge zebra, huge zebra
Will you say abracadabra?

It's time for school big duck, big duck
Are you going to drive a truck?

It's time for school pretty frog, pretty frog
Are you going to bring in a fake hog?

It's time for school pink pig, pink pig
Are you going to wear your wig?

It's time for school soft sheep, soft sheep?
Are you going to sleep in a jeep?

It's time for school tiny snail, tiny snail
If you don't go to school you might fail.

It's time for school crazy giraffe, crazy giraffe
I hope you go on a plastic raft.

It's time for school super bat, super bat
How about that!

It's time for school big tiger, big tiger
Don't forget to break the tire.

It's time for school little penguin, little penguin
Are you going to play with your pretend twin?

It's time for school tiny mouse, tiny mouse
Don't forget to bring your house.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Sometimes the newsletter seems to be filled and there are still so many things I would like to share with you. Here are a couple quick notes:

Tomorrow will be our Open House for 1st grade. The students are very excited to show you all the great things we have been doing in class. Please try to join us ~ we will begin at 6:30.

Last week we began our Mem Fox author study. If your child has a book by her, he/she is welcome to bring it in and keep it in their reading bag.

Our Literacy Parade and fall party will be quickly approaching us....please make sure you are keeping an eye open for information coming home. Our homeroom parents will be contacting you as well about volunteers needed for the carnival on the 29th.

Keep practicing handwriting at home....we will be having our assessment next week.

Please make sure you sign and return your child's tests when they are sent home. It is always helpful to review them with your child to discuss what mistakes he/she made. Many parents like to use these to make similar practice problems at home. Please note that all quizzes are made directly from what has been taught in class.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Sensory Field Trip

After a long week I was finally able to find the time to upload our field trip pictures. The kids had a great time (even with the walk). Here are some highlights from the animals that we saw and learned about.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Busy Week

Well it has been a busy week in the classroom. We have been working hard on learning new reading strategies in Reader's Workshop. This week our focus was on "Does this make sense?" and "Get your mouth ready." Ask your child while he/she is reading his/her book to show you how to effectively use these strategies. In Writing, we have been working on pattern books. They are really cute. If you are at the school, feel free to come by and see our work posted outside the room. Encourage your child to write you a pattern book this weekend. Look for our new Standards Based Bulletin Board that will be up by the end of the week. In Math we have been working on comparing numbers and finding numbers that are greater than and less than as we play Staircases and Compare. We finished our first Science unit on Properties of Matter. Ask your child to describe what matter is and what properties we use to compare matter.

Don't forget we will be having our first field trip on Monday. We will be walking to J. Allen Axson so please make sure that your child is dressed appropriately - green Chets shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes. We will provide water for the students once we reach our destination. We will leave promptly at 9:00 so please make sure your child is on time - we prefer everyone is there by 8:45 at the latest.

Next week we will reach the middle of the first grading period. Please remember that we will not be sending out formal progress reports any longer. All parents can access grades through on-course. The log in will be the same as last year. On Monday I will be sending home the tests and quizzes we have taken recently. Please make sure you sign and return them. I will be sending home scholarship warnings on Wed. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

President Barack Obama Speaks to our Students

Today we were treated to a live speech by President Barack Obama. He spoke to our students about what it takes to be a success not only in school, but in life. In his speech he told students many ways to be the best that they can be. Here are some of the messages our class walked away.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Math Investigations

This year we have started a new Math Investigations curriculum. This is very exciting for us as we are learning new ways to deepen our students' knowledge of math concepts. Last week we played two new games: Collecting 20 and Staircases. While playing Collect 20, the students would roll the die and count the out that many pieces. Each child would take a turn rolling and adding to the pile until they reached 20 as a team. They learned new strategies of counting and finding how many more were needed to make 20. For Staircases, students began by placing 12 cubes in numerical order. Then they worked as groups to fill each stair to the appropriate number. Working collaboratively during both of these games is extremely important and they did a great job. Here are some highlights from the week in Math.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Welcome Back to School

What a great first day we had today. WOW just doesn't say enough. We were lucky to have visitors from the University of Florida's agricultural department and 4H. We were treated to many stations that showcased different parts of agriculture. We got to go on a watermelon roll and eat watermelon, look at different farm equipment, see lots of baby animals, look at bees and taste some honey, plant seeds, and enjoy a read aloud. It was a busy but very educational and exciting day. Here are some pictures from the morning.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The First Day of School is Almost Here

Welcome all the students who will be in our class this year. I can't wait to see all my returning students and meet the new ones that will be coming in. We have a great class and are excited to have you be a part of it. This year Mrs. Wright will be in the classroom as a co-teacher. She is currently on maternity leave but can't wait to join us every day. Mrs. Wright and I have worked together before as years ago she was my intern and then was hired on as a teacher here.

Our theme this year is "Cultivating a Community of Excellence" and that is just what we are going to do. This year our class is The Learning Garden. Each of us will be busy bees as we help our garden to grow. There are a lot of things needed to make a garden bountiful and we have just the right tools and knowledge to make that happen.

Orienatation is Friday at 11:00. I hope that all of you can attend - even if you were in my class last year. Thank you to Alex and Taylor for their great letters this summer. We look forward to a great year!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Best Thing About Kindergarten!

Here are some final thoughts about what we loved about Kindergarten:
Ezra - new friends
Addison - the zoo
Sean - the zoo
Taylor - Cummer Museum
Jack - St. Patty's Day party
Bella - POW WOW
Elizabeth - Diamond D Ranch
Simran - POW WOW
Jacob - seeing you every day (how sweet was that!!)
Ava - learning
Ethan - Diamond D
Lynethe - St. Patty's Day party
Emily - Diamond D
Matthew - Diamond D
Nick - pancake breakfast during Eric Carle
Keely - calendar math
Sierra - learning
Prabhmeeka - calendar math

.....looks like they thought it was an eventful, fun year. Write us a post and tell us your favorite thing about Kindergarten from a parent perspective!

All Kinds of Animals

Today we were lucky to have a special guest come to visit our classroom. Robin (an old parent of mine) loves animals - all kinds of animals! She has a total of 39 that live with her. Today she brought in a variety of animals for the students to see. We saw reptiles, snakes, spiders, and mammals such as the chinchilla and the sugar glider. The kids absolutely loved the show and learned a lot about these animals: how to respect them, not to touch animals they don't know, and how these animals live, plus much more. Jessie (my daughter) was visiting the classroom today and was the brave one to hold the tarantula - the kids were very excited. Here are some highlights from the show along with the kids favorite animals!

Ezra - Chinchilla
Addison - Tarantula
Sean - Sugar Glider
Taylor - Sugar Glider
Jack - Sugar Glider
Bella - Chinchilla
Elizabeth - Chinchilla
Simran - Chinchilla
Jacob - Sugar Glider
Lynethe - the snakes
Ethan - Tarantula
Ava - Sugar Glider
Emily - Sugar Glider
Matthew - Sugar Glider
Nick - Iguana
Keely - the lizards
Sierra - Chinchilla
Prabhmeeka - Sugar Glider