Classroom Notes – November 29, 2016

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I hope everyone had a restful break. It sounded like kids had a lot of fun visiting with family and friends, traveling, and eating great feasts.

The year seems to be flying by! We have just three short weeks until Winter break. In those weeks we will be starting a new writing unit on How to Books, and finishing up our math unit on Understanding Addition & Subtraction. Our current focus is counting by 5’s and 10’s. We just finished making our crab chart to help us with counting by 10’s!

To help with our new writing unit you can talk with your kiddo about things that they know how to do that they could write a book about – like tying their shoes; making a sandwich; playing on a slide; making a soccer goal; making an ice cream sundae; raking the lawn; setting the table, etc.… The goal is for them to write many of these mini-books over the next few weeks so many topics will be helpful!

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – Nov. 15, 2016

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Thank you to everyone who made it to our Fall conferences. It was great to sit down and have a conversation with everyone. It is powerful for teachers to sit with families and look at their strengths, struggles, and progress. They are a sweet bunch of kiddos and I feel lucky to be working with each of them.

This week we have broken up into our Word Work groups. We will be learning three new routines over the next 5 days to do with our word sorts. We will be sorting our words with a partner in a “blind sort”, looking for our word patterns in books, and writing sentences with our words.

In math we have been working on using the number line to help us solve addition and subtraction problems. We will be focusing on counting by 5’s with the help of crabs over the next week, as well as talking about the shapes we see on our November calendar.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – October 25, 2016

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This week we are learning about pumpkins. We knew quite a bit already, but still have some questions such as, why do they have lines on them? How much can they weigh? How many seeds do they have inside? We started out by reading some fun stories including Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, and then read a nonfiction book called From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer to learn a little more about how they grow. Still to come is measuring pumpkins, pumpkin poems, and writing facts about pumpkins. In math we are really practicing our number writing and basic addition. We will be looking at and extending patterns later in the week. Many children are asking for homework – we talked about playing games, lots of reading, and writing stories at home are all great ways to get home practice.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – October 18, 2016

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We had a fun time at the Northwest Children’s Theater on Tuesday. It was a fantastic production of The Cat in the Hat. The kids really enjoyed it. They loved hearing about behind the scenes things such as how the set, props, and costumes work.

On Monday, I introduced the digraph sounds of /sh/ and /ch/. We are doing sound sorts and playing Word Detective – looking for these sounds/spelling in our reading. In math, we are learning some new games this week that will help to build our fact fluency. A Home Connection math game come home on Tuesday. This game can be played at home to practice the coin names and values, as well as using a coordinate grid.

Cheers!

Ms. Sarah

Classroom Notes – Oct. 11, 2016

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We had a lot of fun sorting buttons on Monday afternoon in math. We are practicing sorting and naming categories this month. We are also turning our sorts into graphs. We discovered a lot of ways to sort buttons- by size, color, shape, material, and other details such as shiny or not, smooth or bumpy, 2 holes or 4. Along with our math skills, we are working on how to work with a partner or small group. It’s important to remember to Get along, Respect others, stay On task, Use quiet voices, Participate, and Stay in your group (GROUPS).

Next Tuesday we will be going to the Northwest Children’s Theater to see a play production of The Cat in the Hat. It should be a lot of fun! Please return permission slips as soon as possible. We can take four chaperones. You must have an up-to-date background check cleared through the office to chaperone. I will honor requests on a “first come, first serve” basis this time around, and then will do my best to accommodate others on future field trips.

The kids and I talked about homework the other day. First graders are Readers and I feel the best homework for First graders is to read and talk about books daily. This can include being read to, but please be sure to have your child read to you as well, for at least 10 minutes. Other “homework ideas” include card games, board games, and drawing and writing. Please let me know if you would like a home writing journal.

Check out the classroom blog and twitter feed at msjamesbarry@wordpress.com and https://twitter.com/SJamesbarry,  and feel free to email me questions or concerns at sjamesba@pps.net.

Cheers,

Miss Sarah

Classroom Notes – Sept. 27, 2016

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Run for the Arts was a great success! These First graders have so much energy. I think they could run all day! After the run we had a great time playing card games in the classroom. Thanks to Katie and Braeden’s moms, Sarah and Courtney, for sticking around and playing with us. Let me know if you have a board game or card game that you would like to teach a group. We spend our Friday afternoons playing games and would love to have you join us!

We have been busy learning our Reading & Writing Workshop routines – getting our materials and getting to work right away. Reading & Writing are serious work in First grade and this group is meeting the challenge well. In writer’s workshop we have been writing about things that have happened to us, or things that we do. These First grade writers will amaze you and we look forward to sharing some of these pieces with families as the end of our first unit (about 3 weeks out). We will begin sharing our writing with the class and partners this week. Partners work will help strengthen student’s writing by giving and receiving praise and feedback, as well as asking questions to help the writer clarify their ideas and intentions. I look forward to seeing these kiddos in action.

Check out the classroom blog and twitter feed at msjamesbarry@wordpress.com  (**note that this address was incorrect last notes) and https://twitter.com/SJamesbarry,  and feel free to email me questions or concerns at sjamesba@pps.net.

Cheers,

Sarah Jamesbarry

Classroom Notes – Sept. 20, 2016

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One of the things we are working on this week is our Reading Workshop routines. We are working on getting our books tubs and reading mats out, finding our reading spots, and making our reading plan. Then we start reading through our pile of books – careful to practice good reading habits such as taking a “sneak peek” and “doing something” at the end of a book. “Doing something” at the end of a book can be looking back at your favorite parts; it can be retelling the story in your own words; it can be rereading a favorite page; or even telling someone something about what you read. Have your child show you at home how they can do this!

We continue to work on following classroom routines. We are working on being able to switch activities without a lot of noise or distractions. We have such a busy day and I like to include both a morning and afternoon recess – on top of the lunch recess. This means that the time in the classroom is precious and we need to be on task. Please talk with your child If you suspect that these transitions might be a challenge for them. Thank you!

Check out the classroom blog and twitter feed at msjamesbarry@wordpress.com  (**note that this address was incorrect last notes) and https://twitter.com/SJamesbarry,  and feel free to email me questions or concerns at sjamesba@pps.net.

Cheers,

Sarah Jamesbarry