Friday, October 22, 2010

Beanie Baby Reading Strategies

You may notice a poster coming home on Monday with reading strategies that we've been working on in class. These are the Beanie baby decoding strategies and believe me, they work like magic! Please reinforce them at home when your child gets stuck on a work. For instance, if they are stuck, ask "What would Flippy Dolphin tell you to do?" The kids love these characters, and have really started using them when trying to figure out a word. Let me introduce you to our reading friends!
Stretchy Snake- Stretch it out
Eagle Eye- Look at the pictures
Lips the Fish- Get your lips ready
Chunky Monkey- Chunk the word
Flippy Dolphin- Flip the vowel sound
Skippy Frog- Skip it, skip it
Tryin' Lion- Try it again
Helpful Kangaroo- Ask for help

The kids will also be getting book marks to keep in the book boxes, as well as one to take home to help them remember. Later in the year, we will also introduce some comprehension friends as well. If you would like more information or copies of our posters or bookmarks, please make sure to email me.

Daily 5

We have finally finished setting up our reading block in our classroom! We are using a framework called The Daily 5, in which the kids are given choices for skills to work on. we will have 2 20-25 minutes sessions each afternoon, with mini-lessons before and between each session. During this workshop time, the kids will have a choice of 5 things to work on. They may Read to Self, Read to Someone, do Word Work, Work on Writing, or Listen to Reading. They get to pick what they will do, as long as they don't do the same thing twice (unless they want to read twice). The listening station that we have set up currently has 3 ipods, and since it's in such high demand in the class, we have a rotating schedule. When the kids read, they are reading from their own book boxes, where they have "good fit" books. These are books that are at their own reading level. They can read the words, understand the words, and they are interested in the content. This has become my, and the kids' favorite time of the day. It has taken a LONG time to get it up and going, because it takes a lot of training. The kids all must work independently so that I can pull small groups to work on specific skills. It has been worth the wait though, because it is going so well. If you have any questions about it, or would like to volunteer during this time, please let me know. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the classroom, even just to listen to kids read, or read with them. Don't forget to send in your child's head phones or ear buds if you don't want them sharing.

Pumpkin Patch

Thank you so much to the parents that helped us out at the pumpkin patch! The kids had a great time petting and feeding the animals, running through the hay maze, watching them make apple cider, getting to taste the FABULOUS cider and doughnuts, and picking their pumpkin.Bauman Farms is a great place to visit! Here are some pictures from our trip!

Word List week 7

The words from the word wall for this week are:

Please make sure you are practicing these words at home. Thanks!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Volunteer Training

Have you taken the online Child Abuse training yet? The district now requires volunteers to complete the training and criminal background check before being able to volunteer or chaperon field trips. This is to help keep all of our students safe. Please make sure to take the training if you think you might volunteer or attend a field trip. We are having a little problem with low numbers of grown-ups who have been cleared to chaperon our field trip. Also, if you would like to come to the pumpkin patch with us, please let me know. We are still in need of some chaperon. Thanks and have a great weekend!

Make sure you've sent back you child's permission slip!!! ;-)

Click on the link for the child abuse training:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Box Tops for Education

Please read the information that is coming home today about collecting Box Tops. This is a very easy fundraiser for our school, and it won't cost you anything! These are the products you already buy. Please make sure to watch for these, clip them and send them to school. Each one is worth $.10 so they add up quickly. For more information, visit
Thanks for your help!

Word Wall Week 6

This week's word wall words to practice:

Word Wall Words so far

Here is a list of the word wall words we've been practicing so far. Pleas continue to practice reading and writing these words at home.
the a is you to and black we that in not for at with
red it on can will are of this your as but

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October is here!

Wow, what an exciting month September was! We were so busy getting to know each other, and learning how to be a community that we didn't have much time to post. Hopefully things will begin to get calmer from here on out. We really focused September on becoming friends, and learning how to work together. We have gotten all of our beginning of the year assessments out of the way, and are really diving into first grade. Here's some of the great things we've been doing!
  • We learned about our Reading framework, called Daily 5. Each day, for about an hour, the kids will have the choice of 5 different "Dailies" to choose from, during 2 different sessions with some mini-lessons in the middle. They may Read to Self, Read to Someone, and work on Word Work. In the next week or two we will be adding Work on Writing, and Listen to Reading. It's quite the lengthy process of training the kids how to be independent in their choices, and giving them the responsibility to make good behavior choices. When it's all up and running, it is really a great time of the day, and will make the kids better readers. They each have their own book boxes with good fit books targeted at their own individual level. The kids love it, and it's so fun to watch it in progress. While kids are working on their dailies, I am working with either individual students or small groups. I can't wait to have all 5 going!
  • We've learned about different shapes, and are starting addition in math. We have also just begun Math All-Stars, which are class-sized math groups working on different areas based on kids needs.
  • Our writing work shop has gotten under way as well. Please don't be alarmed if writing comes home that may look uncorrected, or unfinished. The kids work on their own pieces of writing, and then turn in their best to me. Those should have comments on them, so make sure to read them with your child.
As you can see, we've been really busy! In October, we will focus on Habitats, will mix in some fun night creatures, and Halloween activities. Please don't forget some important dates coming up!
  • Tomorrow, Wednesday October 6th is Picture Day! Don't forget to send in picture money!
  • No School Friday October 8th
  • No School October 14th and 15th, for Optional Conferences
  • Pumpkin Patch on Thursday October 21st. Please return permission slips asap!
Please let me know if you'd like to set up a time to volunteer! I always love the help! :)

Congratulations to Layla and Alonso who were September's Good Citizens in our class!

¡Wow, que emocionante fue el mes de septiembre! Estabamos tan ocupados con conocernos y aprender a ser una comunidad que no tuvimos mucho tiempo para escribir en el blog. Esperamos que todo será un poco más tranquilo de ahora en adelante. En septiembre enfocamos mucho en ser amigos y aprender cómo trabajar juntos. Hemos terminado con todas las tareas del principio del año, y estamos haciendo progreso en el primer grado. Estas son unas de las cosas fantásticas que hemos estado haciendo.
  • Aprendimos de nuestro tiempo de Lectura, llamado el Daily 5 (5 diario). Todos los días por más o menos una hora, los niños tendrán una elección de 5 actividades durante dos sesiones distintas, con unas mini-lecciones en el medio. Pueden leer a sí mismo, leer a alguien, y trabajar en Trabajo de Palabras. En las próximas dos semanas vamos a agregar Trabajar en Escritura y Escuchar Lectura. Es un proceso largo entrener los niños en cómo ser independientes en sus elecciones, y darles la responsabilidad para tomar buenas decisiones para su conducta. Cuando han aprendido bien el sistema, es un tiempo bueno del día y ayuda mucho a los niños a mejorar en la lectura. Cada niño tiene su propio caja con good fit books, que son libros de su nivel individuo de lectura. A los niños les encanta, y es muy divertido verlo en progreso. Mientras que los estudiantes hacen sus actividades, yo estoy trabajando o con estudiantes individuos o en grupos pequeños. ¡No puedo esperar para tener todas las 5 actividades!
  • Hemos aprendido de figuras diferentes, y estamos comenzando la adición en las matemáticas. También hemos comenzado Math All-Stars, que son grupos de matemáticas trabajando en áreas distintas según las necesidades de los niños.
  • Nuestro taller de escritura también está en progreso. Está bien si su hijo trae a casa escritura que se ve como si no estuviera corregida o no estuviera terminada. Los niños trabajan en sus propias escrituras, y las mejores me entregan a mí. Esas tendrán comentarios de mí, entonces no olvide de leerlos con su hijo.
¡Como usted puede ver, hemos estado muy ocupados! En octubre, enfocaremos en Hábitats, aprenderemos de unas criaturas de la noche, y haremos actividades de Halloween. ¡No olvide que hay unas fechas importantes por venir!
  • Mañana, miércoles el 6 de octubre, es el día de fotos. ¡No olvide de mandar el dinero para las fotos!
  • No hay clases en viernes, el 8 de octubre.
  • No hay clases en el 14 y el 15 de octubre, para las conferencias opcionales.
  • Vamos al jardín de calabazas en jueves, el 21 de octubre. ¡Devuelva la forma de permiso tan pronto como pueda!
¡Por favor dígame si quisiera planear una hora para venir como voluntario. ¡Siempre me encanta tener ayuda! :)

¡Felicidades a Layla y Alonso, quienes fueron los Ciudadanos Buenos para el mes de septiembre de nuestro salón!