Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spelling Practice

This is a post from one of my favorite blogs, First-Grader At-Last

In talking with my fantastic first grade parents over the years, it seems that some of my first grade friends don't feel as motivated to read or practice sight words and spelling at home! Although I try not to give too much homework, I believe strongly in reading each night, and in making reading a bonding experience that is enjoyable for everyone involved! It is my hope that reading and spelling practice at home will no longer be a chore, but something those energetic first graders can look forward to! Here are some ideas that could make spelling and reading practice a little more exciting...

Make spelling words glow with the glow station!

Find a fun font and have your child type their words.

Put sight words on sticky notes and use a fun pointer. Call out words you want them to find.

Cut up old magazines. Look for sight words, or cut the letters out to spell the words and glue onto a piece of paper.

Fun spelling snack! Yum.

Write words with the Aquadoodle!

Bath time and learning time combined! Write words with bath crayons or bath markers!

Don't forget you can practice our spelling words at Spelling City.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where do Readers read?

Yesterday we did a lesson on where Readers read.  The mini-lesson comes from Kathy Collins book Growing Readers.  I began by sharing a favorite reading memory of mine.  I sketched and talked to the students about reading on the beach.  This is where I seem to fly through books.  Students visualized their favorite reading memory, then had the opportunity to sketch the memory.  After sketching were shared and discussed where readers read.  Here is the chart we completed together.
There are so many places that Readers read!  Tonight is a great night to cuddle up on the couch and read a book.  Here is a photo of the entire bulletin board.  I posted the sketches around the chart.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Comfy, Cozy Reading Spots


This past week we have discussed "just right" reading spots.  Just like everything else, we have to be comfortable when we are reading.  Some of enjoy curling up on the couch with a blanket.  Others like to lay down on the floor.  Some people enjoy reading at a cafe style table in a coffee shop.  Now, our classroom may not have a couch or serve coffee, but we have plenty of comfy, cozy spots to read.

We began by reading the book Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians

In this story, we learned about "just right" books and reading spots.  Goldie Socks tried out three different reading areas until she found on that was "just right."  We discussed what we would need in a comfy, cozy spot.  Students agreed that it has to be your own and it has to be safe.  The children have been trying out different spots in the classroom during Reading Workshop.  This little girl found took advantage of the furniture in our reading area to create her "just right" spot.
We are graphing how many minutes we can read continuously during Reading Workshop.  Today we read for three minutes straight with students staying focused.  Our goal is five minutes tomorrow  We will also begin to discuss our reading identities during Reading Workshop.  Stay Tuned!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Parent Information Night

We are excited to welcome parents into our classroom tomorrow evening!  We have so much to share with you.  As parents walk in, I am going to play this slideshow I created to showcase some of the community building and activities students have completed over the past two weeks.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Week Goals

Our First Week Goals were about building community and learning about expectations and routines.  We practiced lunch each day and the students are doing a great job!  This week we also participated in several Guided Discovery sessions.  Guided Discovery is a technique used to introduce tools, stations, and activities to the students.    The purpose is to learn how to use these tools or complete an activity responsibly, cooperatively, and safely.  This week students explored our tools and math manipulatives.
We completed self portraits over a three day period.  We began by introducing the pencil.  We discussed the purpose of the pencil, how it is used, and where the pencils go in the classroom.  Students explored with the pencils by sketching a self-portrait.  The next day we completed the same procedure with crayons...students colored their self-portriat.  We finally explored scissors and glue by cutting out and gluing the letters of our name on the self portrait.  The self portraits are adorable!

Our First Week Together

What a wonderful week!  I am looking forward to an AMAZING school year!

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Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Here! It's Finally Here!

The First Day of School! I cannot wait until their smiling faces walk through the door! The room is ready, the message is written, and the day planned. Our year of learning is about to begin. The first six weeks of school are about building community, teaching routines, and establishing expectations. Here are our goals for this week:
1. "Students and teachers will know each other's names."
2. Students will begin to learn about their classmates interests.
3. Students will learn the following routines:
arrival, morning meeting, lunch, transitions, quiet signals, lining up, bathroom, recess, clean-up, dismissal
4. "Students and teachers will name and share their hopes and dreams for the school year."
5. Students will learn how to work with the tools in our classroom.
6. Students will share work created with the class.
7. Work of the students will be displayed around the classroom.

These goals come from the book The First Six Weeks of School, by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete.

Here are some photos of our classroom

Enjoy the evening!