Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spelling City!

I'm passing along information about an educational site with FREE activities for spelling practice.  Several years ago, the computer lab assistant at Hilton Elementary School input the spelling words to SpellingCity for our first grade team.  She input 3 spelling lists for each Harcourt reading story so your child may practice his/her assigned spelling list. 
To Access the activities on SpellingCity:
1.  Click on “Find a List”
2.  Go to Advanced Search By “School Zip Code – 44141”
3.  Click on “Hilton School”
4.  Click on “Registered Teachers – Mrs. Kraus”
5.  Click on the weekly Gr 1 spelling list (3 lists/story). 
The story for the week of February 25th is A Bed Full of Cats.   I'll update the classroom newsletter each week and provide the name of the current Harcourt story.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Phonogram Fun!

Dear First Grade Families:
Rhyme Time homework is now called Phonogram Fun and I want to provide a brief explanation for the name change.  The children have been transitioning from “inventive” spelling, the technique for spelling using sounds in words (i.e. brthr for brother) to spelling words using features, such as silent letters (i.e. bean) and the word meaning (i.e. road and rode). 
When completing the Phonogram Fun homework, the children should apply the long-vowel phonograms that are pictured on the homework sheet (see below) to their word list, rather than relying on sound.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for your continued support!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Inference Activity - First Grade!

This week, the children are working on inferring, a reading comprehension skill.  They will make inferences by making connections between what they read and what they already know.  The purpose of making inferences is to figure out what the author is saying when it is not directly stated in the text. 
This is one of the activities this terrific group of first graders will complete in class to work on inferring.

Feb 25, 2013 Newsletter

Silly Seuss Friday!
The children may dress as silly as they'd like for our special day on Friday - mismatched socks, slippers, comfy clothes, hats - whatever you choose.  Special pals are welcome too.  All I ask is that your child has tennis shoes for PE.  Thank you!
T.M.E. (The Main Events) is our classroom fiction book report.  The T.M.E. ("Timmy") ties into first grade Reading Literature Common Core State Standards:  R.I.1.2 - Retell stories, including key details and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson; and, R.I.1.3 - Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Presidents' Day

This first grade friend is a wonderful model for fluent reading and having a positive attitude toward books! 

Our friend brought in 5 nonfiction books to share with her classmates.  Realizing it would be difficult to choose one book to read, she wisely suggested the students vote on a book for her to read.  The first vote yielded a tie between Presidents Lincoln and Obama so the children voted again, and President Lincoln won.   While reading, she included personal comments and reactions to the text, and summarized the rest of the book for her friends.

We look forward to learning more about our American Heritage from our very special first grade friend.

Dr. Seuss!

Our first grade team is in the process of planning activities to celebrate Dr. Seuss! His birthday is March 4th so we're kicking off our Seusstacular events on Friday, March 1st with a day of Silly Seuss! 
The children earned ANOTHER celebration for their awesome classroom and school-wide behavior, so we'll combine activities and celebrate that as well on Silly Seuss Friday.  Our school office is providing popcorn for all first graders on Friday ~ Hop on Pop Day!  The children would like to bring in favorite stuffed animals and wear comfy clothes as well.  We have a special snack and a very special guest, aka mystery reader planned for Friday's festivities.  Friday is a PE day, but as long as the kiddos have tennis shoes, they are good to go for PE class.

Activities for our Seusstacular Week  - March 4-8:

Monday ~ Fox in Socks ~ Mismatched Socks
Tuesday ~ I am Not Going to Get Up Today! ~ Comfy Clothes, Slippers, Stuffed Animals
Wednesday - Wacky Wednesday ~ Hat Day
Thursday ~ Mr. Brown Can Moo! ~ "What Can You Do?"
Friday ~ There's a Map on My Lap ~ Geography Study

Also, if you haven't already discovered the web site - Seussville, I'm sharing the link and a couple pictures of the pages.  The site is loaded with activities!
Silly Seuss Day - Friday, March 1st
Seusstacular Week - March 4 - March 8

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feb 18 2013 Newsletter

I hope your families enjoyed a nice, long weekend! 

The children will not have a book report for homework this week.

Presidents' Day in First Grade!

Our first graders will learn about Presidents’ Day and how key people and events contributed to the development of the American heritage. The children will study George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and learn about official duties of the president. By integrating social studies within our language arts blocks, we'll also target a number of English-Language Arts (ELA) Common Core Standards for the next couple of weeks during our history lessons. The children will use a graphic organizer before writing an informative writing about the president's job. With the support of their peers, the children will work on revising what they have written before we put the finishing touches on another class book.

We'll also target long and short vowels, and work with singular and plural nouns. A Venn diagram will be used to compare and contrast our lives today with those who lived before us to help develop an understanding how the basic need for food, clothing and shelter have changed over time.  The children will write a personal narrative, responding to the writing prompt, "If I Were President..." Self-portraits will top-off the writings, and I'll share pictures of their creativity on the blog as soon as they are completed!  I can’t wait! :)

The President's Job

 We're adding this song to the poetry/song binders this week. I'm so grateful for the confident, beautiful voices in this classroom!

Several books the children will read and listen to this week...

First Grade Presidents' Day Mini-Packet

If I Were President Student Writings...

Despite being so young, these children were serious and passionate about helping families in need.  As president, many said they would give money and food to victims of floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.  Quite a few said they would like to fly on Air Force One to other countries.  Several children wrote about changing laws to make sure schools were safe.  Many of these future presidents would like to see schools get more money, and a couple of our friends would like to change the "unfair laws" so we have fewer taxes.

On a lighter note, two creative first graders would like like to see some color added to the White House.
Hooray for pink and red! :)



Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Party Pictures

Yes, love was in the air at our classroom party!

The children LOVED the snacks, craft and game! We had loving party helpers on hand and a few lovely visitors, including an adorable 6 month sister and her soon to be kindergarten sibling, who participated in a few of the fun activities.

Thank you Beiswenger, Gomos, Kelley, Waring, Paoletta, and Molina families for helping with the party; and, thank you to the Zeitler, Hahn and Vitt families for visiting!

The first few pictures show the children as they eagerly distributed cards to their friends first thing in the morning. It looks a little chaotic, but the children did a fantastic job passing out cards together.

The craft the parents chose for the Valentine's Day party turned out so great, I decided to follow-up and have the children write about their bugs.  
We are working on applying commas to separate single words in a series, and this activity provided practice for that skill!