Tomorrow's activities will be of a much calmer nature. :)
Happy Halloween! The costumed first graders completed Halloween crafts, worked on Halloween-themed activities, read Halloween stories, played Halloween games, and performed Halloween songs. They visited their buddies, marched in a costume parade, and had fun during the Halloween party. Thank you to all the Room 104 parents who volunteered during the party and/or who joined the other admiring parents for the Halloween show!
Tomorrow's activities will be of a much calmer nature. :)
Happy Day Before Halloween! Wow! There was an abundance of touching,, complaining, and silliness from many of my little friends today. I will chalk it up to Halloween fever and we will forge ahead!
We began the day with a pumpkin-themed hand and brain warm-up. The students colored, cut, and solved basic math fact problems. Later during our official math time, the first graders solved problems involving wholes divided into equal parts by using the strategy "draw a diagram."
We also watched a brief video clip about traditions and then read a Scholastic News article about the history of Halloween candy. As we read together, we stopped at the end of various sections to respond to questions about what had just been read. The students also worked independently to answer other questions. Explaining how they knew the answer was challenging for most. We are working on citing evidence in the text to support our responses. We are also working on responding to questions in complete sentences.
The week's handwriting lesson focused on the D'Nealian lowercase letter s. The boys and girls also reviewed the other lowercase letters we have already covered: a, d, o, g, c, and e.
During math/science, we returned to our pumpkin seed data collected yesterday. We noted that the the pumpkin with the least number of ribs had the least number of ribs and the pumpkin with the greatest number of ribs had the greatest number of seeds. The first graders added their pumpkin math books, group pumpkin seeds data sheets, and class pumpkin seeds data sheets to their research logs. We read the book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? and watched a video about the life cycle of pumpkins.
The final event of the day was rehearsal for the Halloween assembly.
Be sure to send your child to school already in his/her Halloween costume. Remember that he/she will be sitting, walking, and standing on stage while wearing it. If the costume is too elaborate for your child to do these things comfortably and safely, please make some adjustments to it before your child heads off to school in the morning. Thank you for understanding!
The preK to third grade students will perform for each other in the morning and for their families in the afternoon. Be here by 1:00 to catch the show!
Happy Monday! Happy Pajama Day! We began the day with a fall graphing and analysis activity sheet. After our morning meeting, it was time for the Unit 7 Spelling Test. The super bonus word was outdoors. The boys and girls enjoyed the book Pumpkin Town (Or, Nothing is Better and Worse Than Pumpkins). They generated a list of long a words before we looked at the Unit 8 spelling words. They have the long a sound spelled ai or ay.
Following recess, we shared ideas about how we could efficiently count all the seeds that were scooped out of our group pumpkins on Pumpkin Day. After considering the options, each group was given ten small cups. When needed, they were given larger cups. At the very end some groups needed a tiny cup. The cups helped us keep track of what was being counted as well as visualize the final number. Ask your child to explain the counting process and what each cup represented.
We thought that teamwork made the counting proceed faster than if individual students had to count all the seeds individually. We combined each group's results to create a class data chart. We will analyze it tomorrow. Ask your child if he/she underestimated or overestimated the actual number of seeds in his/her group's pumpkin.
In the afternoon, we lined up in height order, tallest to shortest, and headed to the auditorium to meet the other first graders. We practiced singing and signing our songs. We learned where we would stand on stage. We had to be patient while Ms. Lambert positioned everyone. We will rehearse again tomorrow.
When we returned to the classroom from art with Ms. Pearlmutter, we read the book All the Water in the World. We discussed how all living things need water, but whatever water we have is the only water there will ever be. This means we must keep is clean. Plastic is one material that is causing problems for aquatic animals.
Every year, the Shedd Aquarium holds a wreath-cycle challenge in which students help spread the word about keeping our waters clean. Classrooms create wreath using recycled or recyclable materials to make wreath that will be on display at the Shedd Aquarium. The boys and girls in 104 colored little plastic cups and drew pictures of aquatic animals that need protection from pollution. They will be arranged on a wreath frame with a special message about keeping our waters clean. Pictures to follow!
We will read about Halloween traditions and the history of Halloween candy tomorrow!
Finally! Pumpkin Day! Room 104 would have to take top prize for being the most orange room in the school today. The day began with the exciting news that Ms. Miller and Mr. Kosko wanted to film Bell TV from our classroom today. Everyone at school saw us in all our orange splendor when they watched the morning announcements today. The first graders were very impressed by this.
The entire day was pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. Here is an outline of our day. Be sure to ask your child for details!
Thank you to all the parents who helped make this day special by working on the Taste portion of the day and/or volunteering in the classroom. The extra hands were certainly needed this afternoon!
On Monday, we will count the seeds that were scooped out of the pumpkins today and see how close our estimates were to the actual amounts.
Parents, please check home folders for a green note about signing up for conferences on Report Card Day. Thank you!
The first graders began the day with pumpkin puzzlers. The puzzles only had nine pieces, but they were still a challenge. The pieces were sent home today so give it another try!
We read and discussed the Scholastic News article "Friends Make It Fun!" The article included great tips about friendship. Ask your child about them! We also worked on punctuation (quotation and end marks) in conjunction with the lesson.
To prepare for Pumpkin Day, we gathered data about the class pumpkin. We measured its height, weight, and circumference. We also counted its creases. The boys and girls recorded this information in mini pumpkin math books. Tomorrow, they will gather the same information about their own pumpkins in order to compare them to the class pumpkin.
Pinky Axolotl was kind enough to help us out with another pumpkin activity. The first graders were asked to predict whether a pumpkin would sink or float. Twenty-four students predicted it would sink. Four students predicted it would float. How could we test the predictions? This is where Pinky stepped up to the plate. He said we could use his tank of water to see whether pumpkins were sinkers or floaters. However, he decided to stay in his cave to be on the safe side. When we put the pumpkin in the water, it floated! We learn why this happened during Pumpkin Day tomorrow.
After Quiet Time, the boys and girls went to library. Ms. Wojcik reported that they had a rough start with lots of touching, noises, and silliness. This was in evidence at other points during the day, too. However, most students showed that they knew how to be good friends and good listeners. It is wonderful to have bucket fillers in the classroom!
The boys and girls finished sharing the descriptions of their homes today. After this, they worked independently on activities that still needed to be completed. These included field trip book chapters, memory book chapters, the world map project, and spelling papers. Students who were completely caught up began working in their Homes Around the World activity and coloring books.
Tomorrow is Pumpkin Day! Remember to wear orange!
Today's morning work was a Roll and Read activity sheet about pumpkins. We moved from this to a school-wide Shelter in Place drill. The first graders were great models of appropriate behavior for the kindergarteners. During storytime, everyone enjoyed the book Old MacDonald Had an Apartment House.
Other morning events included spelling practice and financial literacy. Ask your child about needs and wants for a sleepover! During math, the first graders identified and described one equal part as a half of, a third of, or a fourth/quarter of a whole. They used rulers to draw straight lines.
Following Quiet Time and P.E., the boys and girls participated in an activity to better understand the concept of change over time. We spent time sharing observations about a series of posters that showed the same place but at different times. Then, we moved the posters around until we figured out the correct chronological sequence. Ask your child what he/she noticed in the posters! Parents, if you would like to borrow the posters for a closer look, please let me know.
The first graders received Homes Around the World coloring and activity books. They also began sharing descriptions of their own homes. We collected data about the materials used to build their homes and how many families live in their home.
After school, many families returned to Bell for Fall Family Night. Thanks for stopping by Leaf Land to make leaf rubbings, leaf prints, and leaf necklaces!
Parents, please check backpack mail for an important note about the "Taste" component of this Friday's Pumpkin Day. We will participate in some activities to prepare for the big day tomorrow!
We now have quartets of pumpkins nestled on every table in the classroom. The pumpkins will stay there until Pumpkin Day! The boys and girls began the day with a pretty straightforward pumpkin picture graph worksheet. However, even with a written note on the board and spoken hint from me, there were students who did not pay attention to the key which indicated that one picture equaled 2 pumpkins. Let's work on this!
During the morning announcements, we learned that Natalie and Tommy were among the students randomly chosen to slime Ms. Miller and Mr. Kosko. Now that is a once in a lifetime experience! Late this afternoon, the entire school watched on BellTV as the slime was poured over Ms. Miller and Mr. Kosko! Thank you for supporting the Bell Walk Fundraiser and helping the school not just meet, but exceed, its fundraising goal for this event.
This week's spelling words all follow the vowel-consonant-e pattern. We looked at and discussed the meanings of the words, completed analogies using them, and answered riddles about them. Remember, the test will not be at the end of the week, but on Monday.
Today's writing lesson focused on the use of sequence words like first next, after that, then, and finally. We also used what we had learned last week about the five Ws: who, what, where, and why. Working together, with me as the scribe, the first graders wrote a descriptive passage about our Goebbert's Farm experience. It included details about the field trip in the order that they took place. The students then wrote the piece on their own papers for their individual field trip books.
We continued working with fractions in math. The boys and girls divided shapes into given numbers of equal parts. They used their rulers to draw the lines. Parents, be sure your child uses a straightedge for math assignments that involve drawing lines It is good practice to do so even if the directions don't specifically state it must be done.
Fluffy Tarantula planned a special project for the first graders today: planting spider plant babies! She had the help of three former first grade students who participated in this activity several years ago. They brought in spider plant babies that were growing on plants they had planted and been taking care of since they were in first grade. To add a special touch to the activity, the boys and girls made spider web crafts to put in their pots.
During reading/social studies, we read and discussed the book The Little House. Ask your child to tell you how things in the story changed for the little house!
We also reviewed wants and needs. The boys and girls learned that there are children around the world who do not get the things they need to survive. They also learned how the organization UNICEF is working to save these children and see that they lead better lives. We talked about the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign and the students received orange boxes to collect donations. They seemed very excited about the opportunity to help UNICEF help other kids! Thank you for supporting us in this service project in whatever way you can.
The school day ended in music class. Keep practicing those Halloween songs! Parents, if you would like to volunteer to help with our Halloween party, please let me know.
We will revisit The Little House story and learn more about "change over time" tomorrow. Tomorrow is also Family Night! I hope to see you back at school between 6:00 and 8:00. I have prepared some leaf-themed activities for visitors to enjoy!
The main event of the day was, of course, our trip to Goebbert's Pumpkin Farm! After reading The Pumpkin Patch, we headed out for a beautiful day at the farm. The boys and girls saw a movie about pumpkins, visited the farm and exotic animal tents, watched the pumpkin eating dinosaur, and took a wagon ride. Before eating lunch, everyone picked a pumpkin, gourd, and Indian corn to take home.
Back at school, the boys and girls enjoyed the story Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins, mixed colors in art class, and wrote in their student planners. In addition, pumpkin stickers were given to the sleeping contest winners. Finally, each first grader took a close look at his/her gourd. After drawing and writing their observations, the boys and girls surrendered their gourds to the teacher. After the gourds were placed on the rug, each student tried to identify which gourd was his/her special gourd. Many consulted their notes as they explained why they made their choices. All gourds made it back to their owners!
The gourds and ears of Indian corn were sent home today. We will keep the pumpkins in class until Friday.
We will look at the Unit 7 Spelling words tomorrow. The test will be a week from today rather than this Friday. Friday will be all about pumpkins! It was also announced today that we would have a school-wide Pajama Day on Friday. However, the boys and girls in Room 104 will have their Pajama Day on Monday, October 29, so they can focus on dressing in a pumpkin-like manner on Friday.
Parents, please check backpack mail tomorrow for examples of templates that could be used as is, or modified, for the 100 Page Book project. I also have samples of completed projects from former students that you may wish to see. Please let me know if you have any questions about the project!
As you can see from the photos above and below, we had a successful day of building structures in Room 104! Parents, thank you for providing our building materials. The first graders were tasked with creating sturdy structures, each on its own piece of land (aka boot tray). First, each team had to decide what type of structure they wanted to build. Once that was decided, the team members were assigned a space to work. Each group was given a set of boxes, cartons, and tubes from which to start. Before building, the team members planned the design of their structures. They then set to work! The teams had to be flexible with each other and rethink what they were doing when something did not go as planned. Boxes fell and were put up again in new ways. Materials were shared between groups. I am happy to report there was minimal pouting. Finally, all the structures were completed! Hurrah! Ask your child about his/her team's structure!
After lunch, we had a debriefing session about the morning's team-building exercise (pun fully intended). The students shared what went well in their groups. This included not giving up, trying each other's ideas, not getting frustrated when things fell apart, and changing their building methods. The students also shared challenges they faced. These included not always agreeing on what to do next, the process of taping the boxes together, and placing the materials to make them sturdy and balanced, Following this discussion, the teams named their structures. A couple groups had difficulty agreeing on a name, but worked it out with some compromising. Flexibility and cooperation played huge roles in today's endeavors! Ask your child about successes and challenges encountered in his/her team.
Each student also drew a sketch of what his/her team's structure ended up looking like. None were exactly like their original plans and that was okay! The drawings will be placed on display near the structures. We concluded today's building experiences by reading the books Building a House and If I Built a House. The latter story described the imaginative rooms the narrator would include in his home if he were in charge of building it. This got the creative juices flowing in the first graders, who then drew pictures of what they would include if they built their own houses. Ask your child about his/her drawing!
Other events of the day included going to P.E., working in field trip books, and taking the spelling test. The super bonus word was architecture. We also went to the computer lab. The boys and girls learned to animate their slide shows! Parents, you will be able to view your child's Shapes PowerPoint presentation when you come to parent-teacher conferences on November 14.
Our trip to Goebbert's Farm takes place on Monday, October 22. We will go rain or shine so be sure your child is properly dressed! Please remember to pack a bag lunch to eat at the farm. Everything included must be eaten, recycled, or thrown away before leaving the farm. Thank you!
The boys and girls completed coloring and assembling their life cycle of an oak tree projects for morning work. We then read a Scholastic News article titled "Weekends in My Community." The first graders compared and contrasted the three main types of communities. They identified the main idea and details in the article. We watched a brief video clip and played a game to help us understand the differences and similarities in urban, rural, and suburban communities.
Following morning recess, the boys and girls took the Beginning of the Year REACH literacy task. This involved listening to the story Peter's Chair and responding in writing to questions about it.
During math, we moved on to fractions. The first graders identified and named equal parts of circles, rectangles, and other two-dimensional shapes as halves, thirds, or fourths.
Following library, we were supposed to head up to the computer lab, but this teacher, having just set up the classroom for a social studies lesson, took the students back to 104 instead. A messenger from the office reminded us where we were supposed to be so we headed upstairs a bit later than our schedule indicated. Teachers make mistakes, too! During our computer session, the boys and girls learned how to make pictures with the shapes they were drawing. Ask your child what he/she created out of what shape. I made a picture of Stella Dino out of pentagons!
When we came to the classroom, we returned to the lesson about houses around the world that we had started earlier. We looked at models of home and talked about building materials. The boys and girls also received cards with drawings of homes from around the world. I read descriptions of the homes and the students had to decide whether I was describing the home on the card they held. We placed the cards on the map of the world on our rug as they were identified. Ask your child to tell you where the home on his/her card could be found.
Thank you for all the boxes sent in today. We will use them, along with any arriving tomorrow, to create structures in the hallway!