Classroom Notes – Jan. 31. 2018

I hope you had a chance to see the Taiko performance in person last Thursday, or on my Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/SJamesbarry. The kids did a fantastic job. It was a wonderful experience and I think they learned a lot about team work, perseverance, and self control. I also hope everyone enjoyed the play. A special thank you to the chaperones, as I know it is a big job. We couldn’t do it without you! I am sorry to have missed the field trip – I heard the play was a lot of fun. I have been out with bronchitis these last few days, and hope to be back on Thursday.

The kids started an art project today that will be hung at the end of the primary hallway throughout the month of February. I will try to get it up as soon as possible. Any helpers are welcome! It will probably be ready to go up on Friday or Monday.

Our new literacy units have us reading and writing fiction. The kids are enjoying reading and writing made up stories.  In writing, our focus is on new craft moves to bring their characters and stories to life. In reading, we are  focusing on retelling our stories. This involves remembering key details in order. One doesn’t want to tell everything (known as spilling the beans…) but just enough to give our listeners a good idea of how the story goes. Please have your kiddo retell some of their books at home, or even about their day, or past events. Retelling takes practice – so all hands on deck are welcome!

Finally, math assessments show we need to step up our work in the area of subtraction. We will be spending some more time on it in the coming weeks, as we also forge forward into working with equations and measurement.

Cheers!

MS. Sarah

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Classroom Notes – January 16, 2018

Today we reorganized out classroom library to ready ourselves for our next reading unit – Meeting Characters & Learning Lessons. The kids were so helpful and excited to help with this project. Our focus during this next reading unit will be on reading fiction – and especially series fiction. We will be following characters through various adventures to see how characters change and react to events, and lessons they learn along the way. Paired nicely, our next unit in writing will have students writing their own series of fiction. Each kiddo will make up a character and write several adventures for them. This is a fun unit and I can’t wait to read the upcoming stories!

In math, we continue to work on computation and place value  – especially in the context of problem solving and double digit numbers.  We have been working on counting by 5’s and 10’s and will begin to use this understanding for counting coins and telling time.

Finally, if you pick up from the playground take a minute to come inside one day this week to check out the amazing portraits the kids did in the hallway outside our classroom door to honor and celebrate the amazing work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cheers,

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – December 5, 2017

This high energy class is really starting to come together. I see friends helping each other and using kind words with each other; kiddos taking more responsibility for their actions in the classroom and on the playground, and many eager learners! Keep of the good work Room 8!

We have been working hard in Room 8 on number of things as of late. Our literacy work of being Word Detectives has us looking closely at word wall words or snap words. These are words that we need to know in a snap! Knowing these high frequency words can really boost fluency and one’s ability to make progress as a reader. (If you would like a word ring to practice at home let me know.) Lately we have been talking about how we can use these words to help us read new or tricky words by asking ourselves…”Does this word remind me of any other snap words I know?”

In math we have been working on our subtraction skills, building teen numbers, and number sense with our 100’s chart puzzles. This group of  kiddos love math and are always looking for a challenge! We will be working more intently on counting by 5’s and 10’s between now and Winter break.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – Nov. 13, 2017

Thank you families for attending parent/teacher conferences last week. I appreciate your time, support, and insights concerning your child. It truly helps to inform my instruction and helps me understand your child better. Our teamwork helps your child get the best out of their day here in Room 8. As conferences go by quickly, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have more questions.

We are just kicking off new literacy units. We will be delving into writing opinions and reviews in the coming weeks, and diving a little deeper into strategies for solving tricky words in our reading, in the Word Detectives unit. In the coming weeks we will be reviewing a variety of things. If you are out dining in the neighborhood,  please pick up a  “take out” menu for our class collection. They will be helpful in the coming weeks!

In math, we are ramping up our work with addition and subtraction. We have several new work places coming out this week. We will be using odd and even number array pieces to help build number sense and addition skills, and we will also learn to use a number line to support our computation strategies. We will continue to work on writing numbers without reversals.

As the holiday season approaches we will begin to talk about winter celebrations and traditions from around the world. Please contact me if you have a family tradition that you’d like to share with the class. It’s always fun to have guest teachers in the classroom to share traditions at this time of year.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – Sept. 26, 2017

We have been busy learning our Reading & Writing Workshop routines – getting our materials out and getting to work right away. Reading & Writing are serious work in First grade and this group is meeting the challenge well. Our energy is starting to calm down and we are settling in more quickly. Bravo!

In writer’s workshop we have been writing about things that have happened to us, or about things we do. A few friends are really stuck on writing Minecraft  stories. These types of stories are hard to incorporate some of our first grade writing skills, so I could use your help in helping your children generate ideas for real stories – again, things that they do or things that have happened to them. To make this fun you can practice telling stories at home around the dinner table. Don’t forget to include a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Don’t forget to check out the classroom blog and twitter feed at msjamesbarry@wordpress.com and https://twitter.com/SJamesbarry. Please feel free to email me questions or concerns at sjamesba@pps.net.

Cheers,

Ms Sarah

Classroom Notes – June 6, 2017

It’s hard to believe we have just six days left of school! As this is our last classroom notes for the year, I want to thank parents for all of the support you have given your kiddos this year. First grade is full of many changes and transitions; not all of them are easy. As I look back over the year’s projects, I can see evidence of so much growth and learning in all of these kiddos! Bravo!

Over the next week, the class will be working to finish up the Farm math projects. We are putting the last of our animals on the map and will spend one last day filling in any other spaces with crops and gardens. We will then create our farming community to celebrate all of the hard work that went into creating these masterpieces. In writing, we started our collection writing today. The kids had a fabulous time sharing their collections with friends and then writing about their favorite collection piece.

We will be having our Summer birthday celebration next Monday, June 12. Thanks parents signing up to bring snacks. On Tuesday afternoon, we will be walking to Berkeley Park with our buddy class for some end-of-year fun. Parent helpers are invited to go with us.

I wish everyone a fabulous Summer! And kiddos, I look forward to saying “Hello’” next year!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – May 30, 2017

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! We sure got lucky with the weather. We have just three short weeks left and so much still to do! Our caterpillars emerged from their pupa stage as butterflies this morning. It was quite exciting to see them slip out of their chrysalis with wet crumpled wings, only to see them flapping their wings just a short while later.

We will be working on our Farm maps all week in hopes of finishing up early next week. Then we have some writing and comparison work to do with the information on the maps. And to wrap it all up, we will visit the gym and piece all of the farms together to make a patchwork quilt of farms.

There are some fun stories being written in Room 8 this month! The class will be finishing up their farm stories this week. The kids will be getting their series ready for publication this week by working on revising and editing their stories. We will then share them with the Kindergartners next week.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah