Sunday, October 31, 2010

H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N spells Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all!

What a fun Halloween centered week we had this past week.  Our K-1 class did a cross-curricular study using our 9 classroom pumpkins.  Our literature piece was "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" which describes the life cycle of pumpkins.  In reading class we used this life cycle to sequence the life cycle and created our very own books.  In math we had fun counting the pumpkin seeds that came out of our classroom pumpkins.  Our 3 large pumpkins had 419, 508 and 516 pumpkin seeds in them.  In science we used our pumpkins to explore hypothesis and predictions.  We predicted whether or not pumpkins would float in water.  It is a whole lot of fun studying many different subjects all centered around one common theme.

Along with pumpkin/Halloween math we finished up our 2nd chapter on subtraction concepts in 1st grade.  Over the next few weeks we will be practicing our addition and subtraction facts making sure we have these committed to memory and know them to mastery.  In K we continue to add numbers to our number sense and count in groups of 2's, 5's and 10's.

In reading we finished our 4th week in our second unit on singing and dancing.  Along with the curricular materials we supplement singing and dancing to some our of favorite Halloween songs.  This upcoming week our theme is all about school, something we are very used to at this point.  Our reading skills we will continue to practice are visualizing and sequencing.  Sequencing  is telling things in the order that they happen.  1st grade spelling and phonics will center around words with /l/ blends.  Spelling words for the week are: black, block, clock, flag, clip and flip.  High frequency words to know are: today, way, school, late, away, and why.  Kindergarten sight words for the week are: did, do, eat, get, and for.

Over the next few weeks in Social Studies we will be studying jobs, working, money, needs and wants.  To be followed by thematic units on the upcoming holidays celebrated here in America and other places around the world.  


Story Book Parade Update!

Friday was such a fun day!  If you were able to make it out to school you saw how wonderful everyone look dressed up for the parade.  Our classroom presented Eric Carle's, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."  We practiced and had a blast. I would like to continue to thank all of the parents, family members, and friends who made this day possible.  Below are some photographs of our practice.  More photographs  from the actual parade to come soon!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Animal Homes

We have started another week and today is our 50th day of school!  It really goes by quickly when everyone in learning and having fun.

This past week we finished up our reading unit on animal homes.  We brought many books in from the media center that told all about different animal homes.  We read both fiction and nonfiction texts about animals homes.  We really liked reading Stellaluna and discussed what happened when an animal lived in the wrong home with the wrong mom looking after it.  We took this a step further researching and watching videos of real live animals who are being cared for and raised not in their typical homes.  Check out this link to see just one example: animal video

This week our reading theme revolves around making music and dancing.  Our reading skill to study will be retelling what happened in order in our own words as well as sequencing event.  The first grade words to know are: want, put, show, under, three and make.  Spelling for 1st grade will focus on the phonics concept of short /u/.  Spelling words are: bug, rug, cut, run, nut, and fun.  Kindergarten is working its way through the alphabet and is currently studying letter name, sound and manuscript for Xx and Vv this next week.  Our high frequency sight words to know are: be, black, but, brown, and came.

Last week in Science we explored the physical properties of objects around us using thermometers to measure temperature and balances to measure and compare weight.  We experiment with our thermometers placing them around the school to see where we could fin our warmest and coldest locations on campus.  Our prediction for hot places were on a light in the classroom and out in the sun by our sunflower.  Our cold place predictions were in a glass of water and in Mr. Tom's ice cream freezer in the cafeteria.  Our sunflower thermometer reached the highest temperature measuring 99'F and our coldest temperature was Mr. Tom's freezer at -8'F.

Last Wednesday we had a very successful paint party after school.  Our costumes for the storybook parade this upcoming Friday look great!  I would like to thank the Slucher and Wood family for heading up the costume team and all of the families that donated time and money to make this years costumes great!  I would like to invite all families and friends to join us at our story book parade Friday the 29th of October at 9:30am.  Please bring your own chairs and blankets to watch at the pavilion.  Afterwards you are invited to come back to the classroom for Halloween crafts and pizza lunch.  Children may be checked out in the classroom after lunch.

I am looking forward to another great week and hope you are too!
Miss Ellis

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Community Helpers

This past Thursday our classroom was visited by the community helpers we see above.  Amongst the students for the day we had a florist, a police officer, two veterinarians, a postal worker, and a fire fighter!  After learning about the different people who help out in our community this was a fun way to share what we learned.  The students each talked about the good things their community helper does during our morning meeting.

In reading we finished week 2 which themed on helping out.  This week our theme is on animal homes.  We have checked out many books from the library and are learning about the different places animals lives and some very different animals that share home.  We continue to study the summarizing skill (where we decided the most important part of the book and retell it in our own words) and main idea details (main idea- what the book is mostly about/ details- tell more about the main idea).  In phonics and spelling we are practicing identifying words with the /th/ /sh/ digraph and spelling words with those digraphs.  First grade words to know are: into, many, live, and out.  First grade spelling words for the week are: fish, ship, shop, thank, thin, and with. Kindergarten words to know this week are: all, am, are, at, and ate.  Kindergarten is currently practicing letters g and w.  

In science we are exploring the physical properties of the non-living things in our environment.  We are classifying things by size, shape, color, texture, weight and length.  W are using nonstandard units of measure, like paper chips and yarn to measure length.  We also got two brand new bucket balances to mesure the weight of items and then compare to different item's weights.  

In writing we continue to move forward and are working on incorporating a beginning, middle and end into each of our writings.  We are using similar sentences for the beginning and end to represents the main idea of our writing, what is is going to be about and then what we wrote about.  This will help keep of focused on the topic and let the reader see exactly what we wanted to share.

Looking forward to an other great week,
Miss Ellis' K-1 class 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Helping Out

While this upcoming week is a short week with a student holiday and teacher work day on Friday there will be plenty of opportunities to lend a helping hand. Our week's reading theme in based on helping out and the story Little Red Hen. First graders will focus on retelling stories to make sure they understand what happened. When retelling we will make sure that the events we share are in chronological order. Spelling words and phonics instruction for the week will center on words with the short e sound like the sound we here in the word ten. Spelling words are: beg, get, hen, leg, let, and men. High frequency words to know and use are: who, some, of, no, and eat. Kindergarten will continue letter work learning and practicing naming letters and sounds, as well as writing the manuscripts for "K" and "U." This weeks Dolch Sight words are: up, we, where, yellow, and you.

Tomorrow is Columbus Day. We will take some time to discuss who Christopher Columbus is and what he did way back when in 1492. In social studies Kindergarten will continue their study of community helpers and are invited to dress up as a community helper they might want to be when they grow up on Thursday October 14th. This means that they can come dressed to school as a teacher, fire fighter, police officer.... and the list goes on and on.

In science both 1st grade and Kindergarten will be classifying the world around them and the objects they come into contact with by their physical features such as size, texture, temperature... We will also review our senses as we use them to classify.

Mad minutes in mathematics. A skill that is all too important to go unnoticed and under taught is our addition facts. This week first grade is going to continue to practice and learn about addition principles as well and practice quick recall of basic addition facts. It is vital that the students learn these facts now so that all other math concepts that use addition facts will be mastered much easier. Kindergarten is continuing to build upon their number sense, counting and identifying numbers on their hundreds chart. This week we will be learning and practicing how to count by 10's, 5's and 2's.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our World the Earth

Wrapping up another week and moving into a new month. I cannot believe we have made it to October already. Time really does fly when you are having fun! I am enjoying each and every day with your children and would like to take this time to thank you for sending your child to spend their days with me.

This past week our review went very well. All students are making progress with the reading skill of author's purpose. We went over all of the concepts and main selection thus far and know that "Good readers reread!" We had our first oral spelling bee this past week. All of the first graders did so well that we went through the unit's spelling list and moved into high frequency words and even more difficult words that related to the selections we had read. The spelling bee ended in a two-way-tie of McKenzie and Kaley.

I was very proud of our Kindergarten students this past week as well. As a K class we have been exposed to over 30 of our sight words for this year. We can find these words in books and on our word wall to use in our writing. As a Kindergarten we read our first decodable reader together in small group. We read it as a group and then independently aloud. I am so proud of the readers our Kindergarteners are becoming!

Next week we will start our second reading unit in first grade. The theme for the week will revolve around animal families and how animal parents care for their young. Our reading skill will be main idea and detail. The main idea is what the selection is mainly about and the details tell more about the main idea. Spelling and phonics will center on words that all have the short o sound. High frequency words for the week will be one, two, they, her, and does. Spelling words are hog, hot, log, top, hop and lot. In Kindergarten we will continue our review of letter names, sounds, and phonics identification for letters "e," "b," and "l." Our sight words for the week will be see, the, three, to, and two.

In mathematics we our continuing to explore number sense finishing up our chapter on comparing and ordering numbers and moving into addition concepts and how to use addition.

Social studies has brought us to the study of our world which is the Earth. We started the week by introducing the concepts of landforms on Earth through a brainpop jr video in the media center. We continued our exploration with maps and globes of the Earth as well as images of the land forms around us. First grade expanded upon this concept and is currently learning about the continent and oceans found on Earth.

I would like to start the gears turning for our annual Story Book Parade. This parade takes place the Friday before Halloween. I have chosen an Eric Carle book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" for our K-1 classroom. In this parade our classroom will dress up to depict the story, characters and events of this book. Students and myself will dress up as the caterpillar, the foods he eats and then finally the butterfly the caterpillar turns into. Along with the whole school we will parade around the campus showing off our literary costumes. I will be sending home further details about this event and specific costume ideas for your children. I look forward to this being a wonderful event for everyone involved.

I would like to apologize for the lateness of this recognition, it was unintentional. I would like to thank the Graham family for donating more pillows to the classroom for our quiet reading time in the afternoon as well as all of the many families who have purchased and made donations from our class wish list. Please remember that donations of monetary value count towards volunteer hours so make sure you get those logged into our volunteer folder found in the classroom.

Miss Ellis