Monday, October 29, 2012

Literacy Pumpkin Display

This year our class voted to bring There was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Bat to life with pumpkins to display in the Lobby for this year's Food and Fun Literacy Festival.  We have been reading this series of books all year.  We found There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly early in our study of of repeating pattern books.  Then we found others - that poor lady swallowed all kinds of thing! - and have loved all her books, but this one was definitely the favorite.  Thanks to our Room Moms and parents for helping us make this awesome display!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Celebrating Fall

What a fun filled day of Fall activities. We began the day with a parade of book characters (see blog post below).  Then we made ghost cookies, inspired by Blake and Porter's mom (who, by the way has her own cookie blog!)

Combinations of 10 never tasted so good!  We used candy corns and candy pumpkins to make the combinations.

A visit to the pumpkin patch showcased the many personalities of the little pumpkins in our class!

After lunch we cut our own jack-o-lantern.  We "gunk" was just as gooey, messy as always!

We even replanted a few pumpkin seeds.  We'll let you know if our seeds sprout!

It was such a fun day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Literacy Character Parade

Common Core

Our first grade students will never take the FCAT!  However, they will be the first to take the new assessment based on the Common Core Standards.  We have been studying the Common Core, which has now been adopted by 41 states, for a couple of years and one of the things that we realize is that the expectations are rigorous.  If you think we are expecting more out of students today than when you went to school, then you're right.  We are now expecting our American children to be able to compete internationally when they graduate from high school.  We are expecting that they will be college ready - that if they want to go on to a higher education that they will have the background and knowledge to do ao.  The 3-minute video below helps explain how the new Common Core will make a difference in the lives of our first graders.
Three-Minute Video Explaining the Common Core State Standards from CGCS Video Maker on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Dirt-y Work!

As you know, we won a $250 grant from Slow Foods for a raised garden bed.  So, not only are we planting in the school garden plot (we're watching our radishes grow), but we are also planting in our new raised bed near the 5th grade condos.  This is how the area looked after 5th grade Science teacher, Mrs. Swidosky, and her crew got rid of all the grass and tilled the soil.
Last week Mrs. Ruark covered our area with a black paper to keep the grass and weeds at bay and put the bed frame together.  Today the dirt arrived from Davey Nurseries.  The nursery makes its own soil from a large compost of tree chips.  We understand that they make many donations to school gardens across the county.
After the wheelbarrows of dirt were poured into the bed, the children loved going through the dirt and removing any big roots.  Now really - how many children get to play in the dirt in the name of Science?!  

Mrs. Ruark INSISTED that we needed to add a few worms to aerate the soil.  Some of the children got very excited, but others wanted to know where the gloves were to pick up the worms and a few absolutely would not touch the worms.  No way - no how!

Next week we begin planting in this bed.  We're thinking about a salad garden - Yum!  Now doesn't that sound delicious?!

Monday, October 15, 2012

To the Garden!

We were in the garden today planting radishes.  Can't wait until they are up.  Want to make a bet on who tries the radishes?