Friday, October 2, 2015

A Week Full Of Fun Stuff!

Hello families,

Thank you to all you parents who came to our class Mixer.  I was nervous to "be on the spot" and you made it fun and not too nerve-wracking.  I always feel like what ever I share can be easily misconstrued, so please email or find me if you have any questions that arose from all the info I shared that nervous day!  :)  Also if they didn't chose to ask me your question and you want to know, email me or let's chat before or after school!

Here is a glimpse from our week:

Journaling in the park
We began our practice of going on walks (to prepare for our field trip!) and headed out to the park on Monday.  We took our snacks and journals. The students journaled about the park, and I asked each student what word they might want to know the spelling for, in order to include it in their journal.  I hope they brought this home to you and it is a way you may begin to honor their excitement about learning how to spell words.  If your child does anything with these that you think the rest of the class might benefit to know about, please email me, or comment at the bottom of this blog post!

This has been so fun!  I made a page about part of this journey, so please also see the weekly email and it's attachments.  The steps we take for an interview are: The students look at the interviewee's name spelling.  They tell me how to spell it on the page.  Then we spell it again on a puzzle page.    Then I cut the puzzle up and pass them out to some students.  (The kids count how many letters so that they know how many students will be having a turn)  Then, when everyone is up there we read the letters in the random order they are.  This is ALWAYS funny!  Next the interviewee politely directs the puzzle students to where they need to be in order for these same letters to make the correct spelling of their name.  The last step is we interview the friend, asking questions to help us find out as much as possible about each person.  (See the page on this part!)

All of our interviews, so far, are up on the wall right near the classroom door!
Game Day
I like to offer this as a fun way to incorporate skill building practice.  This week was our first game day and we started off with three activities that the students rotated through.  The class did such a great job of working with others, staying with their group and listening to the various at each station.

Scientific Documentation:
I created a simple grid for the students to practice the pattern involved in tally marks.  This practice allowed the students to document the number of dropper-fulls of colour in their personal recipe.  The bottom of this paper includes a way for friends to analyze and decide where on the grid the colour that they created falls- for instance is it darker and closer to blue, or lighter and closer to yellow or dead in the center?  This was our first experience of much more to come!

More Than or Less Than:
This activity was to get to know the Cuisenaire Rods as well as to remind the students of the numbers' relationship on a number line.  For instance: What is one more than 8?  What is one less than 4?  The kids really enjoyed creating with these cool tools and I hope they will be doing more of this in the future, since they help us solve math problems as well as make cool mosaic designs!  (Thank you to Katrin for coming in to help out today!)

All About Me Web:
The third activity was to give the students time to work on the special illustrations they are creating about themselves.  This was the second time we worked on this and the students were so concentrated and dedicated to making this their best.  Most of the students moved from the drawing phase to the colouring-in phase.  I can't wait to put these up in the classroom!

Bringing the World into class!
New Zealand photos shared by Kate, Brian's Mum

If you have photos from a trip you have enjoyed (in America or the world) please email me if you are interested in sharing them with the class. I feel when there is a personal connection to the places we "visit" the students remember more and feel even more excited about what we are learning.   Even if you feel you won't be able to come in, but you have photos to share, email me and I can share them, too!

There's always so much more to share, but I need to get home, and I hope you enjoyed all of these photos.  I hope you coming into class so often helps you see the other things I lay out, for the kids to show you themselves!  I hope you enjoy your weekend, Jennifer

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