Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Making Christmas Trees

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

To the sounds of Christmas music, the children enjoyed holiday  centers this morning with some of our favorite moms.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Visiting the Garden

We checked on the garden today to see how it's growing before we leave for the holiday. Thanks to Finn's mom for taking care of our garden.

Then we wrote about visiting the garden in our  Science Notebooks.

Cutest Snowmen!

These are the cutest snowmen ever!

It's all about Vocabulary

Our standards-based bulletin board this month features vocabulary.  We work on six words every three weeks that come from a favorite read aloud.  The goal is that the students recognize the words as part of their listening vocabulary but we also encourage the students to use the words in their daily conversation... and we reinforce them when they do!  But we push one step farther and encourage them to use the words in their writing.  This month's bulletin board shows four different students who used words that we have studied in their writing.  Way to go Ella, Tiffany, Adrian, and Sophia!

We feel sure that once the students are able to use the words in writing that they are part of the student's vocabulary!  Woo hoo!

Monday, December 8, 2014


Make sure to stop by PDQ and vote for our class wreath!  Tell your friends too!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saying Good-by

Today we said our final farewells to our little Australian mate.  He has been with our class for a year and half but this month his father is returning to duty in his native homeland of Australia.  We have learned so much from this environmentally conscious young man who wants to save the sharks in the ocean.

His family adopted the cutest little koala in our class' name.  As a token we were sent a stuffed koala that the class named Koalay Finn.  Koalay Finn will be travelling home with different students each night in a special carrying bag.  The first student that will take it home will be Finn's long time reading and writing partner.  There is a journal for the students to write about their adventures with Koalay Finn and also the student's Australian address and e-mail if they want to write him a letter or send him an e-mail. He promises to write back!  Such a thoughtful gift from a family that will be so missed.

It's such a gift to have children from other countries spend time in our classroom.  Sometimes our classroom feels like the United Nations.  Several children have visited family out of the country and several more come from families that are newly American and speak a second language at home.  It's a great experience for the children to learn from all of these different cultures because what they generally learn is that are more alike than different and that is a message that will stay with them through adulthood.  At this time of year, we are feeling especially blessed!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pow Wow

So today first graders were invited to Pow Wow to enjoy a new set of tribes. It seemed like just yesterday when we were the tribe! How time flies...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gobble! Gobble!

Today the principal gobbled up a good book with our students while first grade teachers were in training. Gobble! Gobble!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chopping Veggies

Thanks to the moms who came in today to help us chop veggies and thanks to the children for bringing in the veggies.  We will be making vegetable soup on Friday.  It's our way of sharing with each other in this Thanksgiving season.  I think it is going to be delicious!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reading Partners

Partnerships have always been a very important part of Readers' Workshop. Partners support retelling which creates great discussions about characters and setting among many other facets of a book. The really amazing thing about reading partners is how they become coaches to each other. Partners listen to each other's mistakes and when something doesn't sound right they remind one another to try it again, which also builds fluency. Not only do these partnerships teach children to become better readers but the children also learn the love of reading.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Field Trip to Publix

With five fearless moms we started out on our walking field trip to Publix!  It really was a beautiful day!  What an adventure!  Here we are ready to cross Hodges Boulevard.
We were met at Publix by Ms. Marilyn, a native of Haiti.  She was our tour guide.

We had a tour of the deli and ate bread and ham.  Delish! And then it was on to the fruits and veggies and we had apple slices and learned about plantains, mangos, coconuts and many of the fruits grown in the Caribbean.  We toured the dairy area and then the meats before we finished.  We LOVE Publix!


Then it was home again, home again!  Don't you love our purple tie-dyed shirts.  Thanks to our fabulous moms for rubber banding them to be tie-dyed and to the parent who furnished the gift card to buy the dye!  We were purpilicious!