Friday, October 3, 2014

A big week!

Hello Families!

Such a big week to share!  Oh my goodness.  So many beautiful personal breakthroughs and lovely discussions.  These kids are thinking so deeply and the meaning they are finding is so amazing.  This sounds like I am exaggerating, but I am not!

An overarching discussion this week was about how we and others act when we are upset.  In positive discipline, this is sometimes called having a "flipped lid".  We talked about the parts of our brain and how the rational thinking portion of our brain is not connected/functioning when we are in an emotional or "fight or flight" type of "survival" mode.

Each day we returned to this concept to add to the general discussion and understanding.  The students were very reflective and honest about times in their past when they were upset and how they were feeling and acting.  One day we used an empty silhouette of a person and the students did a morning share to identify possible behavior we might see on the outside, and how that person might be feeling on the inside.  These kids are amazing!  This visual show it!

They identified such true concepts, and as we went around, each student shared something new.  This is why it is so full of ideas.  Only three are adult offered, since teacher Brianna, Student teacher Alycia and myself did offer a thought.  I feel that this visual, and the journal entries they made this week show their deep understanding, which hopefully will help the students begin to reflect on their own upset moments and begin to make better plans for their feelings.  Please take a moment to check their journals, if you have not done so this week!

What behaviors and feelings would go on your personal silhouette if you were making one?

Some Open Choice Time Topics from our week:
Estimation jar- making an educated guess by showing yourself the quantity- What do big quantities look like?
Counting and grouping
Measurement- what tools do you need, especially for a longer item?
Photography and cameras- how do they work?  What do you want to learn?
Stories- how might you write a story as a partnership?  What do you have to do for continuity in illustrations tend writing?
Words inside of words- spelling practice
Minnesota, Fall color changes and specimens from Piper's trip
Grey scale- India ink
Social studies- country books- Isreal, Japan (what food do they eat?), Australia

Journal Topics This week:
What did we learn about when we are upset?  How does your brain work?  How might you be feeling and acting?
What types of things would you like to learn about and research this year?
First Grade: How-To diagrams, steps and explanations

Interview Planning:
We will begin our interview process to get to know each other further.  I wrote a reflection page on this topic- please read this to help you understand the thinking behind these discussions!
Sports Question:
Katarina: I don't really like sports.
Brianna: Maybe we could see if theres more people who don't like sports! And then cross it off.
Lucy: I don't think we should do that question because I think we already know because  we watch them play sports on the yard.
Bayley: ballet is a sport we could like. I don't see ballet on the yard.
Liam: Every game is like a sport.
Lucy: I don't really think ballet is sport because I thought that dance is different than a sport because it's not exactly like a sport.
Brianna: they might say a lot of sports that they like, and I don't see them all.
Owen: Some people might play sports and like it.
Jennifer: Are you tlaking about playing sports on the weekend.  And we wouldn't see that on the yard?
Owen: yeah.
Kirana: swimming is a sport too, and if someone likes swimming, that's why I didn't want to cross it off.  I bet everyone in this class likes swimming.
Lucy: now I think that we should keep it on because there's particular sports that everybody likes.
Katarina: I think I like it now, because I love swimming and dancing and I want to keep it on.

Question about Countries:
Rachel: I don't know a lot of countries and I only know two, I don't really know how to do it.
Liam: I only know places that are not actually countries, like New York and stuff.
Jennifer: Should we just cross it off, or change the question?
Katarina: what favourite places do you like to go?  I know more names, I don't even know the country names.
Lucy: I'm confused, you said where you wan to go, and the question said where you went.  And what if somebody hadn't been on an airplane yet to go to a different place?
Patrick R: We can mix them together to say, "What are the places and counties you would like to go?"
(This change made many friends want to do this question)

The question about Clothes:
Lucy: I don't think that we should do it because I don't really know many types.
Patrick R: probably people don't know much clothes and they'd don't know much.
Katarina: I have so many favouites that I feel I couldn't choose out of that.
William: we know they're called clothes, but how do you know what types of clothes they're tryng to ask you about.
Liam: I usually just don't have any pictures of anyone so I don't really have any favorites.
Saul: if we do the clothes one, you would just know their favorite types do clothes.  And it's not gonna be very interesting.
Jennifer: Is this something we want to know about friends?
Bayley I don't think we should do that question because I don't think it would get that much information.
Kirana: I don't think we should do that because I bet everyone has more than one favourite pair of clothes.
Jennifer: So is your problem with the question that it's asking for only a favorite?
Kirana: Um-Hm.

Math Talks- Just a Glimpse!
How many more do we need to make 10?

1st Grade Spelling Words!
Please keep practicing all of the words you chose- write them, use them, chant them, sing them, draw a poster about them, write a silly story using them....

Some thoughts about the September Poems, as the month ends:
We used the last day of September to share out impressions of three of the songs and poems we had this month. Here are their ideas:
Stop the clock
Brianna: it means to me, is the author only wants to stay on a happy part of the day.
Alycia: I like this one because as I get older time seems to go faster and faster and I just want to stop it and enjoy the moment.
Lucy: It means to me, like, I think the person wants to stay in the moment because she loves it so much that she doesn't want it to end.
Abigail: The clock one means she really likes that weather.
Veronica: It means to me like it makes me happy.  Because she wants the time to last a long time because she likes what she's doing and it's so fun.
Maste: I think it means like he wants the clock to go on, but sometimes it goes too fast, like the time races out and he wants the clock still.
Mikey: What I like about it because I think she's, like, in this moment where she doesn't ever want it to stop and she just wants to stop the time and take it off the wall.
Piper: They just want to stay in that moment and they don't want it to stop.
Kirana: I think it's really meaningful to me because in "today, right now, this very moment" ais like she really means it and really wants to do it.  It kind of reminds me of my sister, because she really wants to go to school or wants a special day.

The secret place
Jack: I think he's talking about like a city inside of himself that he can do what ever he wants.
Teacher Brianna: I really like the Sectret place because it remninds you that there's a place you can go inside yourself that's super peaceful and no one has to be there with you.
Patrick T: I like it because, like, I like the part where it's, like, "it's tiny and shiny" because a it seem like to me, maybe it's like a diamond maybe.

Everybody got their something
Saul: What "I'm gonna spread my wings and fly" means that you're running out of a mess.  Away fast, and it makes you feel like you're flying.
Rachel: What I like about everybody got their something is that the person or the people who wrote it, just wrote it about what they want and what they did to relax and stay relaxed.
Katarina: It makes me feel so excited. Because of the beat.  It's so meaningful to me, like the child part.  I just really get excited.
Ryan: I like it cuz the beat is going like, I like it and it makes me excited that I want to dance with it, and not even sing.  "Make you smile" makes me feel like I'm in a party that I want to smile.
Owen: I think it means to me like your special ability, that you can do something.  Like you can do a trick.
Brett: It makes me feel happy.  When we do songs and poems it's so loud.  I like the first line because I like the spelling of sky because I've never seen any word that has s-k and y right after each other.
Micah: I like "I'm caught up in the landslide" because it means like she's on a boat and she's stuck on a island.  And she was riding her boat and she wasn't looking and then she got stuck on a island.
Liam: What I like about it is the "everybody got their something" part is when someone else is singing it too.  "There's a time for very star", what I like about it is because it must makes me excited. It means like sometimes we might shine.
Clare: "My face to the sky" means to me, it means like she's laying down on the grass and she's looking up to the sky because she feels like the earth is beautiful.
Patrick R: For the part where "make you smile like an itty bitty child" it feels like you are cute.
William: What "somebody else got your spot, before you even dropped" it means that there is a chair and somebody else got there before you even sat down.  Like, there's all these different parts, it goes with "people keeping score". It's like "everything in my own sweet time", and it's all sweet, and then it becomes like they got my spot, and then it's not so sweet and then they have to go and find a different spot.

Experiment Friday!
Aaron, Clare's dad, planned some great experiment experiences around the overarching concept of surface tension, displacement, hydrophobic and hydrophilic.  There were four stations, with three basic experiments.  The fourth station was to test the milk experiment with the variable of Fat free, vs whole milk at the other station.   Here are the printouts that Aaron made for us.

It was really fun to watch their expressions- so much amazement!  I hope you might get a chance to try one or more of these simple experiments.  Most of them involve ingredients you have at home.  I hope your children can share their excitement with you!

I really appreciate all your parent communication, connection and help!  It is so nice to see you come in and have your child share thier work and the work we are doing as a class.  I look forward to seeing you come in next week, if you didn't get a chance to have your child give you a tour this week!  See you then!

Enjoy your weekend, Jennifer


  1. Veronica says, "I love your blog because it's nice. And I love you, Jennifer." I love the talking about feelings! Jennifer

  2. Yay! I am do glad the blog makes you so happy Veronica! That is why I enjoy doing it- for you to share it with your family. Thank you for being such a caring person!

  3. Thank you so much Jennifer for putting this much time and energy in writing posts with so many details and all that after a long week of hard work! I love reading your posts, Ryan loves the pictures. I specially love the questions and answers part, it is amazing to see how mature and considerate these kids are inside. It takes a truly skillful and passionate person such as yourself to take all these wonderful thoughts and answers out of these kids! Have a great week!