Thursday, September 30, 2010

Team Impact

Today the children were treated to an assembly sponsored by Chik-fil-A. The presenter from Team Impact was an ex-body builder who hooked the children by bending a metal pole, breaking a bat and lifting two second graders up over his head! The children were absolutely amazed.After he had captured the children's attention he began to talk to the assembly of Kindergarten through second grade children about making good choices early in life, of listening to parents and teachers, and of having dreams and goals. The children were totally enthralled as the ex-body builder completed the program by making a soda can explode with his bare hands! Mke sure to ask your child all about it!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time for bed

Today we read our first Mem Fox book and tomorrow we will be writing our own version of the books. Watch the video below as a mom reads it to her child before bedtime.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Five in a row

Today during Math Workshop we played "Five in a Row." This is a game that we learned on Friday while we were away at training so we decided to try it with the class. To play the game each pair is given a pair of dice. They roll and then combine the two numbers for a total. We are watching to see what strategy the children use to combine the numbers. When they find the total the children cover the number. The game is over when they cover five in a row!

What a great time!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our New Class Pet

I hope your children told you that we have adopted a new class pet. The children named him Koko and he is a stuffed gorilla! He has a virtual home and lives a virtual life. Your child can get directly to the web site by clicking on Webkinz on the right hand side of our blog. Your child will then need to type in a username and a password which should have come home with your child in his Home-School folder. Make sure to keep it by your computer so your child can go on the web site often and check on our class pet. This is something we are trying new so we hope you will let us know how this is working for your child. We are hoping that our children will enjoy this fun new project!

Where were my teachers today?

Today Mrs. Ruark and Mrs. Timmons were in Math training all day. Even teachers have to go to school to learn new things! The State has all new Math Standards. There are suppose to be fewer standards that are taught deeper - to help our children keep up with their peers in other countries. After all we want our youngsters to be ready to compete in the international marketplace! As a result your teachers spent the day learning from their peers and under the direction of Standards Coach Suzanne Shall. Even Principal Phillips dropped in for new training! While the teachers were away your children were in the capable hands of Mrs. Coclough who has substituted in our class several different times this year. She loves our class and knew that we were really just a few rooms away. Thank you Mrs. Coclough for taking such good care of all of our friends!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sensory Safari

Today we took our very first field trip. It was a walking field trip to J Allen Axom Elementary School which is about a 1-1/4 miles away from Chets Creek. Can you believe that over 200 Chets Creek first graders walked 2-1/2 miles today? We were fortunate to have two crossing guards with us all the way and a police escort for the big crossing at Hodges. We walked so far that Connor wanted to know if we had walked to North Carolina?

After we got to the auditorium, we were treated with short stations in which very knowledgeable instructors told us about the animals that were on display. All the animals were treated by a taxidermist - in other words they were stuffed full size. We saw several different types of big cats like a lion and a jaguar, zebra, several different types of bears (one standing at his full height!), rhino (did you know that the rhino is the deadliest animal in the jungle?), turkeys (did you know that some male turkeys have a beard?) pheasants, mallards, an owl, an alligator, buffalo and bison, a porcupine with its quills down, and so many other animals and birds. Several children commented that they had seen some of the animals on their Kindergarten zoo trip last year. After seeing and hearing about the animals, the children were able to actually touch the animals! What interesting sensations! Make sure to ask your child all about it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

High-frequency words

High-frequency words are the words that appear the most frequently in printed material. Did you know that the words, I, and, the make up ten percent of all words in printed English! The 25 most common words make up about one-third of our written material and the 100 most common words actually make up about 50 percent of the material we read. You can see why the words the children are learning right now are so very important!!

The high-frequency words at the bottom of this post are the words that will be on our word wall this nine weeks. Our students will be responsible for recognizing and spelling these words correctly in their writing. The first list includes the review words from Kindergarten and the second list includes the first nine weeks words for first grade. We have already tested each student to see which words they know. We know that for some students the second list is all new words but for other students, they already know every word! For students that are already using these words, we will begin an individual word wall so that they can continue to learn new words.

Make sure to have your child read this list to see which words they need to work on this nine weeks. Put the words that they are struggling with on index cards and have them review the words each night when they read. If they can recognize the words, make sure that they can also spell each word. Knowing these words rapidly will help to make our children fluent, smooth readers!













Monday, September 13, 2010

Stepping it up in Math Workshop

With the use of linking cubes our class has been building staircases. Through building and ordering staircases students see how counting by 1s is a process of adding 1 more. They also begin to see how to start from smallest to biggest as well as biggest to smallest (ascending and descending order). Students worked in pairs to create their staircase masterpieces starting at 1 all the way up to 12.

When all the students were through creating the staircases we walked around the room to observe each groups work. We had each group explain their thinking which helped other students discover different ways of counting. By building on each others thinking the class began to see that there is more than one way to answer a problem. You rock T&R's!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Partner Reading

Each day we have Readers' Workshop. First we have a mini-lesson which is a short, focused lesson and then the children practice reading. Sometimes the children read independently, reading the books in their reading bin that are on their level. Other times they read with a partner. the children have learned that when they read with a partner they sit side by side and share one book in between them. They take turns reading and choosing the book. Take a peek into the classroom as the children read with their partners!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Book-in-a-Bag Starts!

We want our children to learn the good habits of good readers. We know that good readers read every day! Starting today your child will bring home his own book-in-a-bag which is a book your child has specifically chosen to bring home to read to you. If you want to see how teachers at Chets Creek read to their own children, enjoy these videos below.

This first video shows Mrs. Rossignol, a second grade teacher, reading to her first grader. Like so many of you, she has more than one child so she has her preschooler join her first grader and they enjoy the book-in-a-bag together. This is a fun family time!

The second video shows Mrs. Dillard, a first grade teacher, reading a chapter book to her first grade son. This is a Junie B. Jones chapter book (a first grade favorite!)that might be a little too difficult for her son to read alone but he certainly can enjoy hearing the book. Notice that she asks him questions as they go along to check to make sure he understands what they are reading. What a great addition to reading time!

Below are some of the questions that you might ask your child before, during, and after reading. Of course, there are no right and wrong questions and answers. The point is just to help your child enjoy the experience and let them know how proud you are of them - now that they are readers!

Before the child reads, ask him if he has read this book before. If he hasn’t, ask him to predict what he thinks the book will be about.

After your child reads the book, change up the things that you ask each day. He may bring the same book home for several days to practice reading it without making any mistakes. He wants to read it like he is talking. Below are some questions that you might ask after your child reads.

Was this book fiction (a story) or non-fiction (really happened)?
Who were the main characters in your book?
What was the setting? (Where did the story happen? When did it happen?)
Retell the story. Tell me what happened in the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story.
What was your favorite part of the story? Why was it your favorite?
Why do you think the author wrote this book?
Can you think of another title for this book?
Did anything in this book remind you of something that has happened in your own life? Tell your child about something that reminded you of something in your life.
Did this book remind you of any other book you have read?
Did you like this book? Why or why not?
Just to change things up, read to your child sometimes instead of having them read their book in the bag to you. Choose a book that really interests your child that you can select from your home library or from the school or the public library. Reading to your child can really enhance comprehension. First graders really love chapter books and your child will cherish the time with you!