Friday, December 21, 2012
We had two poems this week that were both holiday themed! We practiced our reading fluency with the poem "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth". The class loved reading both poems!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Today we went on a gingerbread man hunt. When we returned from lunch and recess, we found out that Mrs. Brown opened the oven too soon. She was supposed to wait 8 minutes and she peeked too early. The gingerbread men popped out of the oven and began to run around the school. They left us a clue to find them. Our first clue was to go to the gym, next we were sent to the cafeteria, then to the music room, we then went to the nurse's office and they weren't there. After the nurse's office we were taken to the library where the gingerbread men said they were reading a book. We did not find them there, they said they left the library and went to the computer lab to play a game. Finally, at the computer lab the clue said they were back home in our classroom. When we got back to our room, we found the tub of cookies and we ate them up!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Last week something very sad happened, our elf friend was touched by one of the students in our class. The entire class was beyond upset by this and we came up with a plan. We wrote a letter to Santa, had our next door neighbor's (Mrs. Bunch's) elf Jingles take it with him back to the North Pole. The next day, we received a letter back from Santa with directions on how to save Jack! We are very thankful Jack is going to be taken care of and we can't wait to see him again on Monday!
Jack was back in our class and at full force! He gathered up an entire pile of cotton balls, sat up on top of a cabinet and proceeded to throw the cotton balls at our lunch clips. He managed to knock every single clip on the floor! =)
At the beginning of the year, I have colors as our table names and then I transition into sight word table names (seen in previous post here ). After the students are starting to grasp sight words and learning them at a quicker pace I move on to word family table names. We usually work on one or two word families a week. I change the names depending on what we are working on. The kids enjoy having new table names and the best part is they don't even realize I am sneaking in reading practice :). Next week, we will have our holiday themed table names (seen in a post from last year here).
Saturday, December 8, 2012
During our morning meeting this week, we used our large Zoo Phonics cards to practice letter names and sounds. We love to sing along to one of Dr. Jean's letter sound songs to practice our letters. This week, I passed out the cards to each student and when we sang the letter they were holding, they held it up for the rest of the class to see. The next day, we tried doing the same activity with our song that we sing the alphabet forwards and backwards. It was a bit quicker, but I think after a few more times practicing they will be able to get it! One bonus to this activity was each student receives a different letter everytime we do it!
During our CAFÉ mini-lessons this week, one of our main focuses was “Compare and Contrast”. This week we focused on comparing and contrasting things we know. For example, the first day we compared and contrasted dogs and cats. Another lesson, each student paired up with a partner and I passed out two picture cards. They worked together to describe the picture and compare and contrast the two things. After, they shared one thing that was similar (compare) and one that was different (contrast) between their pictures. Next week, we will be focusing on comparing and contrasting within and between texts.
Several of our Writing Workshop mini-lessons have focused on adjectives in the past two weeks. This week we took a picture of our new classroom friend Jack and described him using several adjectives and a few verbs as well. I think this lesson could have kept going and going and going! The students showed a lot of excitement having the chance to describe Jack using one word, that they wanted to keep going!
Friday, December 7, 2012
To finish off our week of celebrating our classroom visitor, Jack the elf. We "Elfed Ourselves" using this website. We then used an elf name generator from this website to change our names to elf names. All we had to do was add the punctuation to the speech bubble (since we have been learning about punctuation during Writer's Workshop) and created a paper elf of ourselves! The class thought it was pretty silly!
Zachary was our Surfer of the Week this week. His mother came in on Thursday to share some of his favorite things. We learned that Zachary loves Purdue basketball and his favorite player is Robbie Hummel. He has several pictures and even a jersey autographed by Robbie. Thanks for sharing with us this week Zachary!
We had an elf join our classroom this week, which went perfect with our poem of the week. The poem was about an elf who is hanging ornaments and trying to throw them at us! It is perfect because the elf in our classroom gets himself into some trouble too! =)
Thursday, December 6, 2012
We have a new counting board in our classroom to help us keep track of how high we can count. We have a benchmark each nine weeks as to where the student's should be able to count to 25-50-75-100. The goal is to be able to count to 100 by the end of the year. After I listen to each student count on his/her own we place their person under the number section they were able to count to. When they reach 100 they are considered a "Math Magician" and receive a special reward!
Our first group of Math Magicians!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Today we practiced writing our numbers 0-20 using whiteboards with a partner. We've written our numbers individually and whole group several times. The students paired up today, shared one board, marker and eraser. We listened to one of our favorite number writing songs by Dr. Jean and took turns writing our numbers up to ten. After the song was over, we continued writing our numbers past ten all the way up to twenty! At the end of the lesson I had each partner pick his/her favorite written number and circle it and check their numbers with my numbers on the board to ensure all were written correctly. They then showed me their boards before erasing, putting away and going to out first Daily 5 Math choice.
We have a few new strategies posted on our CAFE board. Each week we work on a new strategy and review previous strategies throughout the week. In the beginning the "C" for comprehension part of the board is focused on primarily and the other three areas follow. We will start to work in those other areas more in the second semester learning new strategies to help us become better readers!
Our "Writing Goals" board is up and running in our classroom! Everytime I conference with a studentwe discuss his/her focus goal/strategy they are working on to become a better writer. This week, we posted our names under that goal on our writing board. I noticed immediately after posting the students were more accountable to what their focus goal was than when we would just talk about it. They are able to look at the board, see their name and what goal they are working on. We discusseed how after working on a goal for some amount of time and when they are showing progress with that goal, we will move on to another goal. This week, we have already moved a few students who have shown growth in the goal they had been working on and were ready to move to a new goal. I was also impressed to see how well the students remembered what goal they were working on by just posting their name under the strategy.