News Flash!

Pumpkin book reports are coming along nicely!
Your pumpkin decorating portion is due Oct. 19th.


Check for more pertinent CAPS/Forest View information and dates!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fire Safety & Other Happenings!

October is Fire Safety month---and the Cherry Grove Fire Dept. came out to teach us all about fire safety at home and school. The students learned how to get out of a building/house if there were a fire, how to call for help from a firefighter looking for people inside a building/home, and even got a chance to help put out a pretend fire using real equipment! Thank you to the firefighters for teaching us how to be safe in an emergency!

Evan C. being a big helper! 

This dog knew how to "stop, drop, and roll"! 
It was so cool! 

In other classroom happenings....

Nolan and Gage saved $5.00 of their classroom money to buy lunch with the teacher! 
Thank, boys! It was fun to hang out with you----and you earned it! 

Taylor is working at the "Spider Addition" math station. 
This station works on adding two numbers, with a sum to 10. 

Evan C. is working on building "Freaky Frames".
This 10 frame practice allows students to build their own addition sentence with a sum up to 10, practice writing numbers, and tallying numbers.

These cute friends also saved $5.00 of their classroom "Cupcake Cash" to have lunch with me! 
Great job earning and saving your money, friends! 

At this math station, Taylor is playing the Addition Pumpkin Poke game. 
Students read a number sentence, determine the sum, and "poke" the answer. They can check the back of their card to see if they were right or wrong. It's fun math fact practice! 

This group is playing "Boo Bump"! 
More math practice for adding 2 numbers! 

Our students are loving
Check it out! 

Heather is working on adding two numbers using manipulatives (counters). 
We are learning various math strategies and how different people prefer different ways of doing math! 

We have begun investigating pumpkins in Science! 
For starters, we are learning the life cycle of a pumpkin. Life cycles are one of the grade level content expectations for Michigan first graders. Look for your child's pumpkin life cycle sequencing project to come home soon! 

Today....our class made some VERY cute Frakensteins. We are using this adorable Halloween craft as a starting point for a descriptive writing. They will be hung up by the end of the day on Friday. Come on down to our classroom and see our art and writing! They will be up throughout the month of October.

Stay tuned....the next post will be all about what Daily 6 (Literacy Stations) look like in our classroom. I am sure you have heard all about this time in our day. If not, be sure to ask your child about it!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Worker Bees!

We continue to have a ton of fun while we learn! I have been blessed with the sweetest class. They are simply delightful each day---full of smiles, laughter, and stories about sweet successes in reading and math are already filling the air!

It sounds like many of you are doing Raz-Kids at home, and your children are LOVING it!! It is awesome that you can utilize this tool at home, and be a part of your child's learning and reading experience. You will see your child grow by leaps and bounds this year! It is a HUGE year of reading growth.

We've been working on a ton of writing already---and I'm excited to share some of your child's work with you at conferences in October. (Stay tuned for more info. about conferences---read the weekly newsletter for important dates!) I can't wait to see what our budding authors/illustrators produce as we work on all of the traits of good writing!

Want to see pictures of your little learners this week? Of course you do!! Here they are!

This is our first caterpillar---our timing was perfect....we came into the classroom one morning, and he had just begun to spin into his chrysalis! A miracle of amazing to see first hand! 
Has your child told you about our caterpillars? We are patiently waiting....we have about 5 of them! 

Here's Stephanie working diligently on her Life Cycle of a Butterfly poster. 
Notice the attention to detail and the time she is spending coloring?! 
We will all work on spending time to do nice, neat work this school year. Your child might often hear me say, "hold your work close to your heart. That's where you keep all your love. It is important to love the work you do, and always do your best so that you can be proud of what you do". 

Damien is working hard also! Notice the "kid spelling" on his poster. 
We are learning how to label our drawings! 

 Here, Nolan is working on a very fun math station called "Whoooo can order numbers?"
Can you see the excitement on Gabe's face?! Too cute! 

Math stations provide opportunities for students to practice what has been taught in math. So much better than worksheets and plain old paper and pencil! During stations students are actively engaged, often up and moving around while they work, and are able to use a variety of materials. 

The game you see here reinforces what we have been doing in math---ordering numbers 1-100.
Students are given work that is at their readiness level and they work to identify a number, write it, and then write the number that comes before, between or after. 

Here is another math station activity called "Fun Fall 10 Frame Practice". 
Destiny is working to count how many pictures are on the 10 frame. 
She will make a 10 frame just like it, write the numeral, tally it, and write a number sentence that matches the 10-frame in front of her. 

SO many skills in one little game!! 


These friends are working hard on yet another one of our math stations called "Write the Room to 120". Again, tailored to students' readiness levels, children practice identifying numbers, and determining what comes before, after, or between---depending on the card they are working on! 

This game is a hit for any first grader for 2 reasons:

  1.  You get to carry a clip board and that automatically qualifies you as important, official, and highly intellectual.
  2. There's no sitting down! They have to HUNT for their cards around the room, and Mrs. Powell is great at making this game a little challenging! They get to walk, talk, AND work! 
Additionally - this game is loved by ME because it is 25 action packed minutes of children walking, talking about MATH, and working all at the same time! What a great combo, don't you think?

Savannah, Mairyn, Emily

And of course, our friends, no matter how scholarly, are still just little people! (Shhh, don't tell them I called them little. I spend countless breaths telling them how big and independent they are!) Between you and me, we know how much play time they still need. Recess and brain breaks are a must! 
Sometimes just hanging out with your friends, and digging in the dirt offer plenty of learning opportunities, too! 

Evelyn said it best today when she said she was excited for recess so she could sit on the monkey bars to rest and just enjoy the view! I almost wanted to crawl up on the monkey bars too....just to see what she sees! 
(Prize Code: Forest View2012)
With that said, take some time and relax and enjoy a calm moment with your child! 
They work hard ALL day---a little R&R with mom and dad is probably necessary as we have been in full swing for more than 15 days now! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Diggin' In!

We are really starting to dig into First Grade! Routines are falling in place, students are sharing their interests with me and all of their friends, and our little "school family" is really taking shape! For the beginning of the year, we are off to a great start!! It is such a joy coming to school each day and working with these adorable, talented, intelligent, and fun little people! Thank you for sharing your child with me---I love being a part of their first grade adventure! 

Check out some highlights from last week!

Here, Nolan is reading his "football words". 
These are the sight words that we must learn by sight---no sounding out, no hesitation....just know them automatically! As students progress through the levels, they go on to the next set of "ball words". We have lots of games and activities to practice our ball words at school.
Have you heard about this? If not, be sure to ask your child!!  

Evan LOVES our science area in the classroom! 
The fish, hermit crabs, frogs, and caterpillars really benefit from all his TLC! 
Evan was our pet caretaker this week---and can easily be considered our little expert in that department. 
His friends have learned that if they have a critter questions---Evan usually knows the answer! 

He brought his cray fish in for us to see!

Here, Gage and Hunter play a game called Monster War! 
Comparing numbers to 120, pairs of students determine which number is larger in the cards they flipped over. Hopefully you have heard some "math talk" at home....greater than, less than, more, less, fewer, in between, before, after.....lots of math vocabulary! 

We are SO LUCKY to have a classroom set of lap top computers at school this year! 
This is new to the school building, and is a great technology upgrade!!
Time is set aside each day for students to get onto Raz-Kids.
Have you tried Raz-Kids at home? 
What a fun way for students to read and grow! 

During our Math Stations, we also introduced Froggy Roll and Cover math game. 
Students work in pairs or a small group to work on addition! 

Destiny enjoys working with pattern blocks! 

Reina and Allison are playing a math game called One More & One Less. 
This game works on addition and subtraction.

Emily is working on a 100's number puzzle! 
She is diligently counting and writing...way to go, Emily! 

More Monster War! 
We just can't get enough of this game! 

Stay tuned....more fun photos and First Grade fun coming soon!!!! 
Thank you for checking in on us! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fun in First!

Welcome to our blog, first grade families! What a fun week, and what a GREAT group of students in our classroom!!

Much of this week was spent going over school routines, emergency procedures, rules and expectations. We've begun to review Kindergarten skills/concepts, and will be jumping into the first grade curriculum on Monday! Please know that this blog does not cover everything that is in the newsletter each week. Our blog is an informal communication tool----one more important venue for parents to stay connected with their child's education!

This blog is meant to be light hearted, heart warming, and visual in nature. Here, you will find lots of pictures with learning in action and tidbits about how it all ties to our curriculum. Everything we do (no matter how fun, messy & silly it looks) will be valuable and relevant to your child's first grade education. As you see pictures of your child having lots of fun at school, please keep in mind that learning IS fun in our classroom! Through a variety of hands on activities and lessons geared towards all types of learners----we are mastering required standards and objectives!

But enough of the reassurance. The proof will be in your child's growth and development throughout the year. You came here to see your little cutie's first week of school! So here's it is!.....

We read First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. 
After we figured out what jitters were, and who had the jitters in the story, we made text-to-self connections by talking about our own first day jitters. 

To wash those worries away, we read a magical poem and made Jitter Juice to drink! 
It was YUMMY and worked like a charm. No jitters in this classroom! 

Then, we completed a book about first day jitters....

As part of our Daily 5 literacy block, students are learning one area: "Read to Self". Our goal is to read up to 20 minutes un-interrupted! We are currently at 8 minutes and working hard! 
Students are able to choose anywhere in the room they want for this time.

 We also read Froggy goes to School, by Jonathan London. 
After reading it three times, students were able to sequence the events in the story! 

 In small groups, students are playing "Who Am I?"---a get to know you game! 
Working their way around the game board, they are learning interesting facts about their new classmates. 

We also read...

And completed a back to school craftivity! 
We are "Steppin' into First Grade!"

 Tweet! Tweet! 
At the end of the day, our students "Tweet" about their day. 
They tell me one thing they learned - with the goal being reflection on the day and focusing on content that helps "make our brains smarter". As the year progresses, the tweets will become more focused and detailed. 
It has been a really great first week! We are off to a great start!! 
Cheers to the 2012-2013 school year!