Classroom Notes – March 3, 2015

Happy March! Our rock unit is in full swing in the classroom. We have observed, sort, described, and thoroughly examined our volcanic rocks and river rocks. In addition to our classwork and upcoming field trip the kids can start, or add to, a rock collection at home. This is optional, fun extension to our science unit. We will bring our rock collections in the week of March 16 – 20th to share with the class. We will be observing, sharing, and comparing them. The rocks will come home and won’t be “experimented” on, but please make sure nothing too special is sent in just as a precaution. I would hate for a favorite rock to go missing.

In math we have learned about our first penguin, the Rockhopper. The kids were surprised to find out how small it is – only 18 inches high and 5-6 pounds.  This is much smaller then most of us imagined! We have a lot of weight comparisons to make between the various types of penguins and it would be helpful to have a scale in the classroom. If you have an old scale we could borrow for the next few weeks – let me know! Thanks!

The kids did a fantastic job on their first spelling test last week! Keep up the great work! Now the key is to make sure we are remembering them in our writing!

Our Rice Rock Museum trip is next Friday. I still have room for 2 chaperones. This is a wonderful trip with some amazing rocks to view.  We need plenty of hands-on-deck, so to speak, to make it successful. Please let me know if you are able to come ASAP. Thanks!

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

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Classroom Notes – Feb. 24, 2015

We had a fantastic time on our field trip to to see The Jungle Book at the Northwest Children’s Theatre. It was filled with traditional Indian dances and fantastic performances, including one by a former Lewis student!

We have been exploring the world of rocks. We have conducted two experiments so far. For our first experiment we rubbed two rocks together and found that we could create rock dust. Next we put the rocks in water and were amazed that some of the rocks gave off bubbles, and that we could now see some colorful details. We used our “Rock Word Bank” to describe our rocks today – using adjectives to tell about their shape, color, size, and texture.

This week we are reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. We are exploring how the main character changes throughout the story, as well as the themes of the story. We decided two possible themes might be that anyone can be an artist, and that you should believe in yourself. We are also doing our own dot paintings inspired by the book.

Finally, the class will have their first spelling test on Friday. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers,

Ms. Sarah

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Classroom Notes – February 18, 2015

I hope everyone is enjoying the fantastic weather we have been having lately. One could get used to this! This is another busy, short week and it is all about fresh starts. In language arts our next set of stories will focus on things we treasure – from surprises, to great finds, to things people do for us. In writing we will turn our focus to writing nonfiction “all about” stories. In math we will begin an integrated unit on penguins and measurement. And finally, we will begin our Spring science unit on Rocks, Sand and Soil.

Our field trip to see The Jungle Book at the Northwest Children’s Theatre is next Wednesday, Feb. 25th. I look forward to NWCT productions because their adaptations are always fun and quite different from the well known versions. If you haven’t returned the permission slip yet, please do so ASAP. Also, please pack a snack as we will be eating an early lunch in the classroom before we go and will have an afternoon snack when we return. Chaperones can be at school by 10:40. We will board the bus at 11:00 and should be back at school around 2:00.

Next week we will begin having a spelling test on Fridays. The test will be on the words that are coming home in the homework packet. Please help your student practice these words throughout the week. Next week I will include a Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe sheet that has some ideas on how to practice. I will be including challenge words for those students who quickly master the words and patterns. Please work on these only if your child has mastered the other list.

Cheers!

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Classroom Notes – February 4, 2015

The school was treated to a fabulous performance by the Portland Opera Company on Tuesday. The kids loved it, as I am sure you heard. I was sorry to miss it, but the kids did a great job with Ms. Heinline. I will be out of town at a funeral early next week and Ms. Heinline will be back for me. All of the substitutes always rave about what a lovely class Room 3 is this year. I am so lucky!

Our literacy work this week will be working on our timelines – selecting pictures, writing captions, and sequencing them on a timeline.The kids had a great time sharing their pictures with table mates – lots of giggles, oohs, and aahs. I can’t wait to see the final results. I hope they will be up in the hallway before I leave on Friday.

In math we have been working with comparing lengths and will now turn to measuring thing with non-standard units such as popsicle sticks and unified cubes.

A permission slip will be coming home this week for the upcoming play The Jungle Book. Please check with me about chaperoning if interested. And finally, report cards are done and will be coming home at the end of the week. This kiddos are doing just fabulously. I look forward to our Spring adventures in rock and insect science, penguin and farm math, and more personal narrative and how to writing. Cheers!

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Classroom Notes – Jan. 27, 2015

The first graders in Room 3 are finishing work on a writing piece about their favorite season. After brainstorming many great things about each season, the kids each chose one season as their most favorite to write about. Each essay includes three reasons why the chosen season is their favorite. There are many great reasons to enjoy each season including popsicles, bike rides, birthdays, snowball fights, Santa, leaf piles, swimming, and simply having time to play outside.

In math we having been working on telling time. This is a tricky skill to master especially in the age of digital clocks. Any chance you get to look at analog clocks will be extremely helpful. Our targets right now are simply telling time to hour (o’clock) and half-hour (thirty).

We will begin putting our timelines together next week. Pictures and momentos should be in by this Thursday (tomorrow) so the students can look through them on Monday and choose 5 moments to share on their timeline.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

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Classroom Notes – Jan. 21, 2015

Time is flying! We are quickly approaching the mid-year mark and second term report cards/evaluations. I have been working on assessments noting each students’ progress. I am very pleased and amazed at what these first graders can do on their own. The photos have been pouring in and all I can say is that your children are adorable. The pictures are great! Next week we’ll start working on putting them on a timeline.

This week we are working on an art project that will be displayed in the glass case by the west side door (near the cafeteria) in February. We’ll keep the details secret for now. In addition, we will be completing a few more math assessments, start a new piece of opinion writing, and continue working in our small reading groups. We are still working on the routine of being completely independent while I’m working with a group… It’s important to be able to persist and complete the assigned task, and be able to problem solve without me – “Ask 3 before me.”

Thanks for all your support and help.

Cheers,

Ms. Sarah

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Classroom Notes – January 14, 2015

First off, it’s been a busy week already! We had a great time today with our worktime writing project. In groups of threes the kids planned and performed a story about a duck. We made sure our stories had the three main story elements – characters, a setting, and a plot (beginning, middle end). After each performance we practiced summarizing the story. To wrap up the day, the kids each wrote their own version of their duck story.

We’ve also been learning new math games. Today’s game had us practicing trading up pennies to nickels and nickels to quarters in a game called Beat You to 25 cents. Another new favorite is called Ten or Bust! It is the first grade version of 21. We will begin exploring the relationship between addition and subtraction in more depth later this week.

Elsewhere, we are practicing writing about our opinions, helping friends solve problems, identifying 3-d shapes in the classroom, and enjoying the story My Father’s Dragon. This story written by Ruth Stiles Gannett is dear to me as the author was the secretary at my elementary school!

Finally, we will be working on a timeline project over the next few weeks. Our new reading unit’s stories include the theme of growth and change, as well as timelines. To help us connect to these concepts we will be making our own timeline of our lives so far. Today an envelope and note came home. Please help your child find 5-6 pictures, or momentos, that help chronicle different events in their life. I will be scanning them and printing color copies so the originals will be coming home in the same condition they arrive in. Please choose things that are smaller than 6X6 (smaller is better) and return them to school in the envelope by Wednesday, Jan. 21st. Don’t forget to have fun reviewing the stories that go with the pictures/momentos. Thanks for your help with this neat project! It should be a lot of fun!

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

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