Sunday, September 14, 2014

1st Grade News

We are looking forward to our second full week in first grade!
Link to view or upload this week's 1st Grade News
Because I managed to delete my entire Meet the Teacher Night 2014 post (ugh), I'm uploading pictures from that post for a few wonderful families who have been asking about them.  :)
So many brave, happy faces on the first day of first grade.  :)
In these pictures, the children were working through an activity from The Four Blocks Literacy Model, called  "Special Child of the Day".  Many similar "star student" activities exist, but I love The Four Blocks activity because of the multilevel learning approach. 


We began the school year with the class interviewing two students each day, asking questions, such as, "What is your favorite after-school activity?  What is your favorite animal?  What is your favorite food, book, color or movie?  Once we finished the interviews, the children helped me write sentences on chart paper.  We checked the word wall for correct spelling of sight words and students volunteered to help spell other common words.  We read the student writings together and displayed the posters in the classroom.
We studied the special student's name by pointing out vowels, consonants, how many letters, and hidden words within the name.  We cut apart the letters in the name and used those to make new words that we recorded on chart paper.
After the group writing and choral reading of the sentences, the children wrote to the special child of the day and drew a picture.  While the children were writing, the special child walked amongst the students and provided feedback and comments about the writing and pictures.  During that time, I assessed handwriting (letter formation), word wall knowledge, phonetic spellilng, and sentence writing.  These papers were sent home with the child at the end of the day. 
Writings from two different students
Finally, we added the special child's name to the word wall, and the kiddos LOVE that part of this activity!

 I moved the word wall to the chalkboard and added magnetic backing to all the words so the children can walk up to the word wall and remove word cards to use when writing.
We finished our last special child interview on Friday and our hallway is now filled with posters about the neat kiddos in this year's class.

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