Friday, August 31, 2012

Fabulous Friday

It's really hard to believe that this is only the end of the FIRST week of school!  Your children have been so wonderful to work with that it feels like we've been doing this forever!!!  What a great feeling!!

Just wanted to share a couple of ideas I try to impart on the children...some things to think about, perhaps...
1.  Mistakes are GOOD...when we make mistakes we learn!
2.  Stop my teaching!  If the students are confused at any point during instruction it is THEIR job to raise their hand and ask questions or ask me to repeat something.
3.  Take risks!!!  Risk taking leads to learning!!!

After music, Mrs. Benson reread Crow Boy to the class and they practiced making inferences to identify the main character's point of view.  Then the students participated in "Finish Up Friday".  They had the chance to finish any independent reading/writing work they had left over from earlier in the week.  While this was going on, I continued informal reading assessments.

In math, following our warm up and reviewing our homework, we continued using number lines to round to the nearest hundred.  However, today the children learned how to construct their own number line.  After practicing this skill using white boards, the students returned to their seats to practice rounding numbers to the hundreds independently.  They were allowed to use either of the two strategies they have learned in school this week.  I encourage the students to use the strategy that works for them.  I will teach as many strategies as I know to learn and perform a skill.  They should use what works for them!

Following lunch and outdoor recess we looked at a personal narrative entitled, Grandpa".  Our purpose was to identify words, phrases and questions that the narrator used to "speak" to their audience.  Basically, we looked for words that painted pictures in our heads.

The children used the iPads to do this lesson!  Instead of copying the story using the Xerox machine, the children used an app called Penultimate.  The took a picture of the text and highlighted the words and phrases directly onto the picture they had taken with the iPad camera.

After sharing the words and phrases that the students identified, they were expected to go back to their planning chart that we began yesterday and add or improve their ideas.  Finally, we gathered on the carpet and began sharing the ideas they had captured on their charts.  AS they shared, I asked questions to help improve their writing.

Good news and not-so-good news...
Good news:  We integrated technology and writing!  YEY for us!
Not-so-good:  Time ran out, again, and we missed social studies!

Keep in mind this is only the first week of school.  We will be covering all of the curriculum!  It takes longer in the beginning, as it is  imperative that I take time to clearly explain expectations and procedures!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thriving Thursday

The children started off their day by going to art.  After that, while I continued informal reading assessments, Mrs. Benson worked on point of view in fiction.  First, the children looked at a picture of a duck/bunny; depending on your perspective you either see a duck or a bunny.  They used this picture to introduce point of view.  After that, they listened to the story Crow Boy by Taro Yashima and discussed the different points of view in the book.  Next, the students worked independently on identifying nouns and cursive handwriting (i, t, u, w and e).

After completing a warm up and reviewing last night's homework in math, the students learned how to use a number line to round numbers to the nearest hundred.  Today Mrs. Head and myself captured the actual lesson using Educations.  Click here to see it.  For homework the children need to finish the worksheet we began in class.  If they need help, view the link on the blog or in the lessons section of the blog...they are the same thing!

Following math, the children enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.  Then the children learned about our classroom jobs and some of them got job assignments...we did not get to this yesterday!  :-(  After that, we passed out a lot of papers because it was our monthly flyer distribution day.

Finally, we began our writing block!  Today we began planning our first writing piece.  The students set up an organizer in their writing journal where they identified the good deed they did for the common good.  They also created a chart where they listed their actions, thoughts and feelings as they did their good deed.  Of course students were given time to orally rehearse and share their ideas!

Unfortunately, we did not have time for our planned social studies lesson.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday

This morning we began our day by visiting the media center.  Students had the opportunity to choose books to borrow.

After that, I continued my informal reading assessments with individual students while Mrs. Benson worked with the rest of the class.  First, the students shared their expectations for independent work time, which they created in small groups using the iPads yesterday, with the rest of the class.  AS they did this, Mrs. Benson complied a class list of the student ideas.  After that, Mrs. Benson introduced the idea of inferencing to the group.  Then they used that to "read" a wordless picture book titled, Free Fall by David Wiesner.

We began math with a quick warm up.  Then we reviewed last night's homework.  After that, I introduced rounding numbers to the nearest hundred.   There is a sample lesson posted, on this blog, under the "lessons" tab.  Additionally, here is a link to the lesson.  The students did not have a chance to practice this skill in class.  Therefore, the homework is a basic fact addition worksheet.

Following lunch and recess, Mrs. Howard, our school counselor, visited us and did a lesson about character traits.

We will end the day by getting classroom jobs and working in small groups to identify examples of the American democratic principle.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Terrific Tuesday

This morning the students began their day by going to PE.

When they returned they worked on small group and independent assignments, with the help of Mrs. Benson, while I pulled individual students and conducted informal reading assessments.  The assessments will help guided my planning and instruction.

The students began by working in small groups to create a presentation using the Pages app on the Ipad listing expectations for independent work time.  They were instructed to think about how to get help, where to locate information and what to do when finished with all assigned work.  After their group was done, the children worked independently on an activity where they identified nouns and a cursive worksheet writing the letters "i" and "t'.

After the reading block, I handed out unfinished work folders.  These folders will be kept in their desks and hold any papers they did not complete.  They will be given time daily to work on these tasks.

Next up was math.  We began math with a warm up and used the warm up to identify how knowing that odd + odd= even, even + even = even, and odd + even = odd can help us when adding larger sums.  After that, we reviewed what doubles are (4+4, 5+5, etc.) and identified how knowing the sums of doubles can help us solve other math problems.  For example, if 3=3=6, we can use that to determine that 3+4=7 (think 3+3=6+1=7).  There is a worksheet (adding doubles) for homework.

Following lunch, the children enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess, I took time to answer some of the questions that the children wrote in their journals for morning work.  Then we discussed the concept of collaboration and what is necessary when working in a group to reach a goal.

Then we thought about a time that we did a good deed to help someone.  I shared a personal experience of a time I watched my friends children so she could get her nails done (:-)) and we looked at pictures to help spark ideas.  Following that, the children worked with partners to orally rehearse their ideas in order to prepare for writing.

We ended the day by making personal dictionaries.  The students will be using these dictionaries to list words that I correct in their written assignments.  They will be expected to use the dictionary to correctly spell the words in their writing.

Remember, there is a math worksheet for homework.  Also, if you haven't sent in money for the planner and home folder, please do so soon!

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's hard to believe that summer is over and we are beginning a new school year!  I am looking forward to an exciting year with your children!

Please check this blog regularly to find out what we are doing in school.

We began the day by learning about the class rules and routines.  The children helped me make a chart of our morning routine.  Then they wrote about their favorite summer memory in their morning work journal.

After that, we jumped right into technology.  First, I introduced my blog to the children and showed them how to locate it on the Internet.  Next, we completed a tutorial of the application Pages, as a class, on the iPads.  Then the students worked with partners, using the tutorial, to practice using the app.

Next on our agenda was math.  First we set up our math journals and completed a warm up.  Then we analyzed an addition chart and identified patterns that we observed.  Students noticed that sums on diagonals pointing to the right were increasing by 2.  However, the diagonals pointing left had the exact sum all the way down the table.  Additionally, the children discovered that when adding two even or two odd numbers, the sum is always even; when adding one odd and one even number, the sum is odd.

Following math the students enjoyed lunch and outdoor recess.

After recess we reviewed the procedures and participated in a fire drill.  Then we took the time to organize and set up the students' desks and binders.  This was a lengthy but necessary process.  Finally, we passed out papers, identified the expectations and routines for packing up and got ready to go home.

There is no homework this evening.