Friday, September 21, 2012

Reading, Writing, Math Oh My!

Our second full week of school has gone very well.  We are getting used to the classroom routines and new expectations of first grade!  I am so proud of how hard all of my students are working each and every day.

English Language Arts or ELA is almost in full swing.  We are still practicing our routines for Daily 5 and got up to 12 minutes in Read to Self just yesterday.  We are practicing working quietly now so when guided reading officially starts the students know what they need to do during that time.  Here are the anchor charts I created for each of the Daily 5 focus areas to post in the classroom Here .

Next week we will be assessing reading levels and forming guided reading groups.  I will be sending home tips for reading with your child as well as comprehension questions to ask your child when reading both fiction and nonfiction texts.

I am so excited about writing this year!!  The students are working so hard ALREADY!  I found this chart on Zeek's Zoo blog and made one for my classroom.  Each student wrote their name on a post-it and stuck it on the "Use finger spaces between words" area (orange).  We have had lessons practicing what proper spacing looks like and then they would have time to write themselves.  I looked through all the writing they have done so far and put an orange star on their paper if they met the goal.  If they met the goal then they will be able to move to the green area to work on "Capital letters to start my sentences."  Their name will stay in the orange until they meet the goal of finger spacing. 



It is hard to see the finger spacing on this writing piece, but I also wanted to point out the detail in the illustrations.  We are really focusing hard on adding detail not only our writing, but pictures as well.  We have a rubric posted on our wall of what a score of 4 looks like.  You would not believe how hard my class strives to get that score of 4!   We went created the rubric together to show what a score of 1 looks like (writing and illustrations are scored together), what a 2 looks like, and what a 3 and 4 looks like. 

It also helps that my daughter is in first grade so I bring in her writing pieces as anchor papers and we give her suggestions about how she can improve her illustrations (what details she should add) and grammar (capital letters, punctuation). 

Here is our most recent math homework/game for this week.  If you did not bring this homework home this week you will get it next week.  This week you would have had the dot cards.  This activity is great for your child to work on addition skills in a fun way.  Your child will roll two dice, add up the sum, and then color in that number of squares with one color and you will do the same with another color.  The person with the most colored squares is the winner.  When playing with your child notice how they are adding.  Are they counting all the dots on both dice?  Are they seeing the number on one die and then counting up the other number?  Does it seem like they look at both numbers and then add quickly?  Ask them how they are getting a total.  This will help them understand what strategy they are using and give you an opportunity to give them suggestions to add more efficiently.  If they count all then have them name the number on one die, cover up those dots, and then have them count up from the other die.  For example, if they roll a 2 and a 3 have them name 3, cover up that die, and have them count on 4, 5. 

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Parker

Friday, September 14, 2012

The First Week Down. . . . . .


Well we finished up the first week yesterday and it went by so quickly!  We have been very busy working on adjustments to first grade.  You should be proud of your children because they are working so hard each and every day!

I Finally got around to taking some pictures of some activities this past week. 

Here is our book bag sheet that will help with communication between school and home.  This sheet will help me see if they are reading at home and show me how they are reading at home.  Are they consistent in their reading at home and school ? Is the reading easy at school, but challenging at home? You can use one line for each book that is sent home.  Each book will be read for three nights.

Sorry about this picture.  I need to learn how to use my camera better.  This is a shape book based off the pattern of Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. 

 This is the back page of the booklet.  We talked not only about the names of these shapes, but their attributes as well.  What makes a triangle a triangle (three sides, three points, corners, or angles).  They did so well with this activity!
 For this project we were discussing our basic needs and our need for fun.  Students tore paper pieces and glued them to a balloon outline.
 On the inside of the balloon they drew one or two activities they think are fun.
We have been working so hard on writing (already!!).  We are working on handwriting (ask your child to give examples of the Frog jump capitals and where they should start their writing), as well as illustrations in their writing.  In our last writing lesson, we talked discussed writing rubrics and how we should strive to do our best each time we write.  This picture is an example of a score of 4 not only  in the writing, but the illustrations as well.  I am working on an anchor chart for the classroom showing what each score (1-4) looks like.  I will post the completed version once it is finished.  I will also be posting student work so you can see all the hard work they have been doing!  I am very impressed and I know you will be also.
My goal is to post on Friday of each week if you are following this blog. 
Have a wonderful weekend!
Mrs. Parker

Monday, September 3, 2012

Welcome to Grade 2012-13!


I am so excited (and a little nervous) to start the school year. You would think the butterflies would go away after all these years, but the do not! I wanted to be sure to have something current written here if you are checking this blog for the first time, but I will not have a true post until after our first instruction day on Wednesday.


Mrs. Parker