Sunday, September 14, 2014

So Much Connection In The First Two Weeks Of School!

Hello Families!

How are you?  I am hot!  I just found out at our recent staff meeting that most teachers are not creating blogs anymore.  That said, I feel it is so hard for me not to share with you what we have been up to.  I know the admin has been working very hard to find a way for parent communication to be strong and consistent, so I cannot say if it will be in the form of a blog anymore, or not.  I will keep you posted.  In the meantime, I will try to keep this up, as I learn our new expectations and the systems we may be using.  I hope you enjoy looking at this with your child.

There has been so much going on in these first two weeks, I don't even know where to start!  This week we began one of our enrichment classes, and I hope you have noticed the pages coming home from the Lego Physics course.  This has been exciting for the kids.

Another thing you may have seen in your child's backpack, if you have a first grader, is a note card with words that your child has chosen to try to work on memorizing at home.  All week the students are asking for or looking up new words to spell them correctly.  We are keeping a list of these and then using the end of the week to investigate patterns or things the students notice which helps them realize that particular word's special features.  Here are some of their notes from week one: (notice how many words inside fo words the students are finding- that has been exciting to them this week!)

Week 2  Spelling Wall

This is a big endevour as the students begin to test and understand their personal memorization style.  Some things we do work better than others for lasting memory, so each of you as a family need to begin to work together to find this out for your child.  When the students get up to try to share their spelling word that they worked on over the weekend, they also share what they did to try to memorize it. This is helping the others learn new strategies.

***Please come on in to class to check out the Planned Possibilities binder, where you can find out what topics your child worked on at work time, and with whom.  Topics of interest for work time this week were:
Suggestions on how to organize our library
Creating a scene/backdrop for a story as a group
Sap research
Weights- what units of measure are there and which scale works best for different jobs?
Story planning and creation
Using cuisenaire rods to represent and outline equations
Fish research
Message writing

I am sure your child would love to show you around the room to share more on these topics!

Recent Journal topics:
What did you learn in Lego Physics?
What could you write a story about? (we practiced list making, or bullet point listing here)
This is a word web we created when each of the friends shared one of the ideas they wrote in their journal.

The last two Fridays were Game Days, where we learn new techniques, skills or material through games and activities.   This has also been a chance for friends to work with different people, and to practice staying focused while in a group.   Here were some of the highlights:

Words Inside Of Words!

The students quickly began finding words inside of words in our morning message, so I created an activity about this.  I laid out some bigger words and gave the students the challenge to see if they could find words inside them.

Here is a website of words that you can use to bring this challenge home!

Measurement Fun:
Using rulers, measuring tape and unifix cubes
It can be fun for kids to discover just how long, wide, big, small an object (or room!) is!
This is something you can do with your child at home.  The more they practice, the more they will begin to understand these units of measure, as well as how inches, feet and yards work.

Scientific Terms:
Thanks to all the great donations for our class, I will be utilizing the books, games and materials to enrich and stimulate thinking.  Last week's game day included our new Science Bingo, which has many great vocabulary terms to help us think about the phoenomena that happen in the natural world.  Thank you to all the families who went the extra mile to enrich our classroom!

Clean Up The Money!
This Friday we played a game to help us follow a grid, and to enjoy working with coins.  Next week, the first graders plan to calculate how much money they were able to get off of their boards!  Stay tuned!
Here is the link to this family friendly game:

Photo Analysis:
We are going into research to understand how things can look 3D in a 2D medium, and to learn about photography.  The students each chose a black and white photo that intrugued them and tried to answer these questions:
What do you notice in the photo?
How is dark and light or light and shadow working together?
What caught your attention about this photo?

India Ink!
We  tested the use of India Ink after learning a little about the traditional Japanese brush painting techniques of Sumi-e.  This is to tie in with our invesigation of 2-D medium that can give the effect of three dimensionality.  It is also connected to our investigation of black and white photography, and photography in general.  The students were interested to try out this medium and noticed many effects that were happening on the paper as they changed the use of water with ink, and tried to see how wet or dry they could get their brush.

Well, that was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into our time together!  Have a great day, Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much Jennifer for all the effort and time you put in keeping us connected to the events in the classroom, I truly appreciate it and immensely enjoy reading your posts and looking at the pictures. Have a great week!