Thursday, February 28, 2013

Math Games

Much of the Math that we teach is through partner games.  Today we played a game - Five in a Row - where a child turns over three cards and then finds a combination of two cards whose sum is on their board.  They learn to play strategically as they try to find the right sums to get five in a row (Bingo!)  Children are totally engaged and usually don't even realize how much work they are doing.  That's the way school should be!

Field Trip: Charlotte's Web

Today we went on a field trip to the beautiful, old Florida Theatre downtown to see a play of Charlotte's Web.  We were thrilled to have 11 parents join us at the theatre!  The children have heard the book read-aloud and then watched the movie, so they were well acquainted with the characters - Wilbur, Charlotte, Fern and Templeton - and the plot.  We had predicted what we thought would be the same and different in the play.  The play stayed true to the story. Mikaela was right.  The goose did talk in triplets!   Some of the children were mesmerized at the way scenery changed and when the cast "imagined" the baby spiders flying away with the wind, they came out of their seats trying to see what wasn't really there!  It was really a wonderful experience.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Literacy Skills Centers

About once a week our children spend an hour working on Skills Centers.  Each Center is designed to review one of thereading or writing skills that we have been studying.  Each group spends about 10 minutes at each center before switching to the next Center, rotating through six Centers in the hour..

Monday, February 25, 2013

You're invited...

Our invitation was delivered today to be a part of the First Grade Sleepover with a little fanfare!  Mrs.  KK  came to deliver the giant invite which comes with an invitation to the best Sleepover Party in town!  Stay tuned for all the fun!

Peer Editing

As students completed their reports this week, they met with their writing partner to get a little help with editing.  They looked for places to add capitals and punctuation and looked for words that were misspelled.  We all get along with a little help from our friends!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

So today we made Valentine necklaces, learned to cut heart shapes, made Valentine cards for someone special and waited ALL day to take home our Valentine cards.  Thanks to William's mom for the Valentine treats!   Hope you had a delicious day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Henry Cole is in the house!

One of our favorite illustrators is Henry Cole!  He has visited Chets Creek several times before, but this group of first graders heard him for the first time today!  He was delightful!  He always tells a story with lots of motions, action and voices and today he told the story of a birthday present that his mother put on the top shelf of a closet.  He kept trying to sneak it down but she always caught him until the last time when she said, "Happy Birthday!"  Henry has illustrated almost 100 books!  He brought his new wordless book on this trip, called Unspoken.  It's a little heavy for our youngest readers - about the Underground Railroad, but I understand that it is being rumored to be up for the Caldecott Award!

After entertaining us with a story, Henry drew in front of the kids.  They were mesmerized.  He talked about just using plain paper and black crayons and a black marker.  He likes to draw with music so first he drew an animated dragon with a bugle to uplifting music and then he drew sweet Celeste (a mouse from Celeste to softer music.  The thing I so love about Henry is that he makes the children believe that they can be illustrators too!

After we got back to the room, we read several of Henry's books that have been Chets Creek Books-of-the-month.  The children loved each one.  We will read some more of his books tomorrow.  The books will be on sale later this week.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Comprehension Assessments

Our students take home comprehension passages each week to practice at home.  They bring the passages back on Friday and have a comprehension test of their understanding of the text.  We practice the passages during the week each day in school but on Friday we have a special treat.  The students get to practice reading the passage with their 5th grade partners and then the 5th graders ask them questions - right before we take the test.  That's a learning strategy we love!

Down and Dirty!

We have been working on a Science unit, What Plants Need to Live.  So it was off to our garden for a little more planting experience... We cut potatoes with two to three eyes in each piece.  We planted those potato "seeds" last week.  After planting them we came in and wrote directions for planting so other classes can go out and do the same thing.  We were so pleased with the students' writing that we decided to use it for our Science-Writing Bulletin Board this month.  Congratulations to the four students whose work is featured!  Thanks to Griffin's mom for helping with the art work - couldn't have done it without her!  Make sure to stay tuned and see what happens when we harvest the potatoes in April!

Mid-term Soaring Eagles!

The Soaring Eagle Award at Chets Creek is the most coveted and cherished award given at Chets Creek.  It is given to two students each nine weeks who have done something extra special.  We are so proud of this nine weeks' winners!  You are both Soaring Eagles!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Each month the school chooses one character trait to highlight. This month the character trait is tolerance. At the end of the month we have the opportunity to nominate a student that best exemplifies that trait and they are treated to a Chick-fil-a lunch on the stage in the
Dining room. Congrats to this month's winner!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Look what came out of the garden!

Dr. Zenk visited our classroom with a basket full of goodies from the garden.  She is a volunteer who helps us in the Chets Creek garden.  She is the one who helped us plant our potatoes.  Today she brought all kinds of plants from the garden that are all different parts of a plant.  Some were leaves like all the different lettuces that are being being harvested right now.  She also brought colroby (which I had never heard of) that is a stem!  Mrs. Phillips said it tastes like a cross between cabbage and an apple! We talked about our potatoes, which of course, are roots and our delicious radishes.  She also brought six little containers of herbs for the children to see, touch and smell.

  Of course, the children wanted to taste EVERYTHING but Dr. Zenk said they could only taste with their parents' permission so she suggested that they come with their families this Saturday at 9:00 when she will be sharing with families what is growing and will let the children taste anything they want!  Now that's a date!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy 100th Day of First Grade!

We had a MAR-velous day celebrating today!  We started by making the cutest hats ever!  The children put 10 dots on 10 strips of paper and then wrote from 1-100!

Another hit was our 10 snack treat.  We counted 10 pieces of 10 different snack foods to put in our snack bag, but we didn't eat it until after lunch!

It wasn't all about food!  We played partner dice, adding up the dice each time to see how many rolls it took to get to 10.

We hid 100 Hersey Kisses and then challenged the children to find them and put them on the 100s chart. We did such a good job of hiding the kisses that we still haven't found five of them! We can't eat them until they are all found!   We might find them during Spring cleaning! Who knows!
We also made a necklace - a very l-o-n-g necklace with Fruit Loops.  We encouraged the youngsters to string 10 of a single color before changing colors so that we could practice counting by 10's.

We ended the day making 100 cupcakes.  We gave the children a short Twizzler and two Lifesavers and told them to make a 100 on the top of their cupcake. (Thanks Kelly for making the cupcakes!)  A few really struggled with how to make it work!  LOL!  Maybe we still have some teaching to do there!

All in all, it was one of those days that we laughed so hard and had so much fun that I wondered how you could have this much fun and still get paid?  In between all the fun, there was learning and the day just flew by!  It's back to the grind tomorrow (well, sort of - we have Readers-to-Leaders Bingo Extravaganza tomorrow!) That's how life is in Camelot!  Wish you had all been there!