Saturday, September 29, 2012

So Proud of His BEE Buck too!

I snapped a picture of our Friday line leader working with his table group at the Word Work center. The activity involved copying words from the Word Wall, building them with letter tiles and then, decorating the words. He reread the words he selected from the Word Wall great, good, love, they, what. Three of the words describe this first grader. #

 Did you notice our line leader proudly displayed his BEE Buck alongside his supplies?  


She's an Avid Reader!

When I announced we had a guest reader on Thursday, September 27th, many first graders  immediately looked toward the classroom door. They were surprised and delighted to discover our guest reader was already in the room!  Besides being a terrific line leader on her special day, this avid reader chose to read from one of her favorite chapter books, Horrible Harry and the Goog.  This was a perfect book for this group of animal lovers.  I think she knows her audience well.  We loved listening to her read-aloud and appreciated the way she read with feeling.  &



WONDERFUL Wednesday!


Wednesday was a day filled with wonderful happenings!  This line leader did a wonderful job taking charge as junior teacher, never hesitant to offer assistance.   Our class visited the wonderful site, Wonderopolis (@Wonderopolis) and explored #332, How Hot is the Sun?  Later in the day, we brainstormed a list of interesting topics for journal writing; the result was a wonderful collection of journal entries from this group of wonderful first graders.




Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Dot, by Peter Reynolds

The Dot by Peter Reynolds
A first for your first grader journal writing!  Before the children wrote independently, I read the children’s book, The Dot by Peter Reynolds.  Sometimes students are reluctant to write; many times their fear of misspelling keeps them from writing freely. I introduced this book before our guided writing lesson as a way to help children learn they can do anything, as long as they try.  For me, as a teacher, this book is a terrific reminder that we need to remain positive and provide constant encouragement for our young learners. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our "Terrific Tuesday" Line Leader

Although she aspires to be an actress some day, I think this line leader would be an awesome teacher!  During our morning meeting, she handled the task of identifying and highlighting Word Wall words in the morning letter with confidence. She helped her first grade friends as they learned a new and exciting vowel chant.  I was especially proud of the way she modeled excellent hallway behavior and helped our class earn two compliments from other teachers on her line leader day Terrific Tuesday!  

She's a Dr. Seuss Fan!

As you can tell from the picture, this line leader chose to read to the class on her line leader day.  She’s truly a “book nut” and had a tough time choosing just one book to read.  One thing was certain, however; she wanted to read a Dr. Seuss book. She did a great job reading
 One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. 
“Be Awesome.  Be a book nut!” ~Dr. Seuss

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Word Wall Book

Word Wall Book
I created this personal word wall book to help the children build sight word vocabulary and enhance their reading and writing skills.   My students work on this booklet all year.  I love this activity for a number of reasons.  Each booklet page has plenty of space to write words on handwriting rule lined paper, as well as a picture box for drawing the words.  This book allows for differentiation as the children can work independently and choose what words to add.  In fact, some of the more capable readers and writers in my classroom use the backside of each page to write sentences; a few of the children have added new and intriguing words to their booklets as well! This book has been especially useful during the work on writing block as the children refer to their personal word wall books for spelling help!
This activity has been an outstanding learning tool in my classroom and I hope other teachers find it beneficial as well. Two different books are available in my TPT store - kindergarten and grade 1.  To link up to TPT, click here. 

There are several options for the "About the Author" page.  I love keepsakes!

9/24/12 Newsletter


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Snuggling up With Skippyjon!

We had another wonderful surprise today!  One of our first graders brought in his brand new Skippyjon Jones book so I could read it to the class.  It turns out today's line leader is also a huge fan of Skippyjon.  Just last night, she was shopping at Kohl’s and picked up her very first Skippyjon book.  I snapped this picture of our line leader snuggled up with our Skippyjon stuffed animals while our friend introduced his new book.

Celebrating His Birthday Soon!

Starting with the morning letter and ending with the Phonics Dance, things were smooth sailing during our morning meeting on this line leader’s day - September 19th. He reported the calendar date, added-on to the day count, graphed the weather, moved the odd/even date clip, read through the New and Intriguing Words, and then had a HUGE smile on his face as he reported the names of the September birthdays - and for good reason. This happy, young man celebrates his 7th birthday next week!


First Grade Open House

Open House...a time for you to stop by and check out what these
busy, wonderful first graders are doing in school!
Families (siblings too) are invited to attend
Thursday, September 27, 2012
We look forward to this special event!
Lined up and ready for art in recycled
BEES spirit wear from Abby Brinkman

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BEE-autiful BEEhavior!

Coming soon the 3 P’s Celebration ~ Friday, September 21st
At the end of every day, our line leader adds a new body part to Mr. Potato Head when all children earn positive reports on their PBIS calendars.   Now that Mr. Potato Head has all his parts, the children earn a little celebration.  They requested the 3 P’s popcorn, pajamas (optional) and pals.  It seems everyone is most excited about bringing a pal (stuffed animal) to school which I’m thrilled about as well.  It’s wonderful to see children cuddle up with their special pals and read to them. 
I think this group of first graders is ready to move onto a more challenging behavior goal.  They’ll find out what that means next week, on Monday, September 24th

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hunks and Chunks Expert!

We’re up to 9 Phonics Dance© Hunks and Chunks and this line leader did a fabulous job leading her classmates through today’s dance journey on Marvelous Monday!  Her favorite hunk is /oo/, followed closely by the /ch/ chunk.  She was quick to find words with the short /a/ vowel sound on the Word Wall and squared a record number hunks and chunks in the morning letter! 


Cut-Out/Fold-Up Booklets


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Strategic Reader!

She knows the Word Wall words!
 We had just the right line leader for a challenging game of “Be a Mind Reader!”  I provided clues and this line leader was speedy-quick about finding the answer on the Word Wall.  With over 150 words displayed already on our first grade Word Wall, locating the correct word is quite a challenge.  You’ll often find this first grader studying the Word Wall and then highlighting words in her poetry folder.  She is on her way to becoming a strategic reader and we are so proud of her!


An Astute First Grader!

A star student indeed!

We had the pleasure of working with this line leader on September 13th, and what a fantastic leader she proved to be! When I mistakenly forgot one component of our morning meeting, I was politely redirected by this astute first grader. She thoroughly enjoyed leading the class through our morning meeting and did an especially great job reading the morning letter. Besides pointing to the words as she and fellow classmates read the letter together, she highlighted Word Wall words and outlined Phonics Dance© Hunks and Chunks. At the end, she didn’t want to part with the letter, so now line leaders are invited to keep it, if they choose. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sight Word Parent Letter



Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to You!

 All the excitement of celebrating his sixth birthday on September 12th, and managing the role of line leader, left this birthday boy with very little energy at the end of the day.  After doing a fine job of updating our calendar, day count and weather information, he posed for a little smile and to show off his Highland Drive Happy Birthday Sticker! 

New and Intriguing Words


 Our classroom line leaders have been encouraged to think about and add a new or intriguing word to the September poster, but one word was not enough for this line leader; she offered three new words, including a compound word!
Hmmm…it’s Wonder Wednesday…and I’m wondering if all the reading of Frog and Toad books prompted this line leader to share so many words…hmmm…



Simple Solutions Math

Simple Solutions is a supplement to our traditional math program, Envision Math. The workbook has 140 lessons; some we will complete in class and others will be assigned for homework. The workbook pages are designed to allow students to revisit and practice concepts that have already been mastered. Consistent and systematic practice promotes long-term learning of previously learned concepts.
Math homework assignments are always listed on the Classroom Newsletter. Please be sure your child completes only the assigned workbook page. Thank you for your support!

Monday, September 10, 2012

1st Grade Friends

September 10, 2012 - Fantastic First Graders!

Ready for School Tomorrow!

At the end of each day, the line leader is responsible for lining up the lunch animals in numerical order so they are ready for the morning lunch count. As soon as the children enter the classroom in the morning, they move their assigned animal to their lunch choice. Lunch choices include: 1) Featured Menu; 2) Second Choice; 3) Peanut Butter & Jelly; and 4) Packers. Although this line leader was packed up so he was ready to leave when his bus was called, he worked until the very end of our school day taking care of business. The morning routine will most definitely run smoothly tomorrow, thanks to this fine fella!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy Birthday Line Leader!

Our day 7 line leader was all smiles, and his happiness was contagious! We celebrated his 6th birthday with amazing, home-baked cupcakes and an exciting version of the Happy Birthday song!  What a week for this guybirthday, line leader and a surprise gift from his Grandparents in Missouri!


This Line Leader was Serious About His Duties!

Responsibility was something this line leader enjoyed and took very seriously! Committed to his duties, he enthusiastically led the class through the Phonics Dance Hunks and Chunks first thing in the morning, but was all business when it came time to walking through the halls at Highland Drive.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Line Leader Wears Many Hats!

From teacher assistant to messenger, class meteorologist, and mail delivery person, this line leader did a wonderful job of wearing a variety of hats throughout the day. He also had the responsibility of adding another piece to our classroom Mr. Potato Head, thanks to the excellent effort and behavior from all the boys and girls in our class. &


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Surprise from Grandparents!

We received a wonderful surprise today - all the way from Columbia, Missouri!  Grandparents to one of our new students sent a Skippyjon Jones stuffed animal after she heard about our class Skippyjon Jones book collection. 

Grandparents have a special way of knowing exactly what their grandchildren love and cherish.  All the boys and girls in our class were just delighted to discover our special visitor, Skippyjon Jones!

Grandma and Grandpa, we can’t wait for you to visit as well!  We thank you for Skippyjon Jones and the terrific card.  We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

She's a Leader!


I snapped a picture of today's line leader enjoying a quiet moment during the lunch-time indoor recess.  She snuggled up with Skippyjon Jones while reading Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice.  Our line leader deserved the peaceful break after leading the class through a very busy morning!


Box Tops!

Thank you for Contributing Box Tops to our

classroom Collection! 

Please continue to collect and send them in. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Making Inferences

First Graders love the David books by David Shannon!  I read the books this past week during our discussion on school rules and to focus on making inferences while reading.  These books are great for children to work on using picture and text clues to make inferences. 
The children created their own David's and made posters of the Highland Drive rules:
BEE Respectful
BEE Responsible
BEE Ready to learn
BEE the difference

AWESOME Line Leaders!

This pair of awesome line leaders took charge and led the class through days 2 and 3 without a glitch!  Notice - one of our line leaders had time to chill in our special chair at the end of the day and enjoy a Popsicle!  (All first graders at Highland Drive were treated to popsicles from their teachers for their awesome effort during the first week of school! _ )