Saturday, January 10, 2015

Welcome back- Here we are in 2015!

Hello Families,

Can you believe it's 2015?  It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but no, it's the present!  This week was a pretty special way to start off the new year.  We had new inpirations in the classroom, new topics of interest and also new stories to share from our vacation time.

Math Discussions This week:

They're everywhere!  We are looking into how these are documented and what the numbers invovled mean. The students have been utizing the manipulatives to make discoveries (see our reflection page this week!) so we took some time to meet as a class to share out knowledge and begin deeping our understanding of what these are and what they can be used to understand and organize.  I have been also using fractions to help students with organizing and planning their lives, for instance use of time (the whole time you have to get work done, the parts that you want to use to get different things done) or the amount of food to eat to be healthy, etc.

The words we wrote down were some of the comments students said to help them explain their own understanding.  I am excited to see how the students get interested in this and what types of connections they make and the directions they take with thier knowledge. 
(Notice my writing is a bit crazy, as I was writing upside down on the low wipe board for them...)


I created some graphs to make our first days in class fun and full of ways to reconnect and hear about what we did while we were away from each other.  I partnered the students to help each other keep on track and help follow the plan of the graph, etc.  It was fun watching to see what each student responded and to hear how they were connecting with others over their answers.

After, we analized the results, beginning with "more than", and "less than" phrasing.  The next challenge was to add quantities into these sentences.

What do you notice about the information collected in these graphs?

The class spoke about this concept, of having goals or resolutions.  We began with an intention for the day, which you see in the graph above.  Next we did a word intention for two separate days.  The inner ring was one day, and the outter ring was another.  The cool thing about me starting this is that the kids were inspired to come up with the idea of adding a new ring each month, so that we can make a rainbow of ring colours!  I plan to glue this up somewhere so that we can fulfill their plan in the coming months- stay tuned!

Finally we created one of our journal entries was a more personal piece about goals for this year.  Each student really seemed to choose things about themselves that they want to work on.  It is amazing to see how well the students know themselves and want to challenge themselves to grow.

Library Organization!

We have begun sorting our books!  It has been neat to see how much thinking and communication is necessary for this work.  Many of the friends said that they really enjoy organizing. 
Here is a glimpse of the learning:

Kirana: What I learned is look in your book before you put it in the pile, because it might have a bird on the front, but it might not be about the object, if you saw a fish on the front, but didn’t look through it, you might just put it on that pile, but you might not know it was about all kinds of sea animals. 


The work is still in progress, but we moved the piles out of the way so we can navigate the room...

 I wrote a page about this, but focused on the library strategies (see class email), so I will share their reflecitons about teamwork here.

What did you learn or discover while organizing the books?

William: Like if one of your partners are left out, and only two people are doing the job, you should say, “You could come in and do the job, too”: so not only two people are doing the work.

Katarina: What I learned in my team is just don’t let someone just sit around and be bored.  Instead, maybe we could invite him in.

Brianna: What I learned is I shouldn’t just like everyone else was doing their thing and then one person was just pouting, and I should’ve asked what pile they wanted to do.

Clare: what I learned in my team is when me and Micah were gonna write, that I changed it to Jack was gonna write and I shouldn’t’ve done that because I was the one that was interested in doing the writing.

Saul: When you work together you usually will be able to finish if you work together, but if you don’t work together you won’t get it done, because when you do it with just you, you won’t’ be able to finish because there’s only one of you and you won’t have time to finish.  

 Patrick T: What I learned is like, you get, like, you can do teamwork, you can put somebody who gives the books to the other people who are sorting it.

Jack: What I shouldn’ve done is, don’t pout and just do what I was supposed to do.  Just fix the problem.

Micah: Doing teamwork by making piles. We all saw the cover of the book, the front and we organized, like all of us did our own. It made it go faster.

Rachel: So what I learned was that if you are not working together, it’s better to just put that behind and then say, “let’s work together”.

Journal Enty Topics:
Sharing about your vacation
Intentions for 2015

Open Choice topics of interest this week:
What things use electricity?
How does electricity work?
Microscopic items- How does a microscope work?
Stories: Writing a real story- or a story that is partly true
Fleshing out characters
Fractions, counting, seriation, addition, number sentences
Finding places on the map, and listing questions to ask someone who has been there
Collage as inspiration for story writing

Here is a little view into how the room has changed. It is so fun putting out new amazing materials that you families have donated.  We are so lucky that you continue to order off the class wish lists!

First Grade Spelling Words
We have been noticing words with apostrophes lately, as well as words that sound the same but have a different spelling and meaning.  Last week and this week we collected knight and night, petal, peddle and pedal... Have you found any more in your daily life?

OOh!  I just thought of one... Peace and piece.

The park date was such a special time to connect.  It was nice to see so many familis out!  Thanks for your dedication to our class community!

Have a beautiful night, Jennifer


  1. Thanks for sharing the resolutions for the new year! Now I know what Brianna's are so I can give her friendly reminders. For new years we made a time capsule. Brianna traced her hand and wrote down her favorite things. We will open next year and make new one. Happy New Year!

  2. Veronica: I love you Jennifer. And I like the blog because it had our decorations in it, and our circle of words that we wrote. And I like the blog because there are lots of things that I like in it.