Sunday, September 28, 2014

1st Grade News

We follow the McGraw Hill Reading Wonders program for spelling and phonics (pattern phonics).  We also use the Wonders basal reader story to teach reading comprehension skills;  the majority of reading instruction occurs during ability-based reading groups, however.  We use the McGraw Hill leveled readers and a large selection of trade books for comprehension strategies and skills during reading groups.
 Link for the newsletter here
We are changing up our center routine this week and adding iPads to the Word Work center.  We have room for improvement with transitioning between centers, but for the most part the other centers - listening, teacher and read-to-self are working very well. 

I changed the center rotation cards this weekend for the bulletin board to include the iPads for word work.  I uploaded that document here.  The graphics are from MyCuteGraphics.
We spent a lot of time at the beginning of the year developing skills for the read-to-self center.  Each child has his/her own denim bag filled with books.  Some of the books I choose for them (leveled).  The children also pick out books and magazines from our classroom library for their book bags.  The children read independently for about 10-12 minutes which is no problem for this group.  Most are a little disappointed when this center ends.

 I have two large containers of stuffed animals for this center.  The children LOVE to read with a buddy!  Most of the stuffed animals are from my own children and some have been gifts from students and their families.  I throw all of the stuffed animals into the washer and dryer occasionally and whatever makes it through both machines, also makes the return trip back to school.
 The bean bags are from a Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Grant-to-Educators grant I received in 2005 for listening center materials.  The bean bags are just beginning to show a lot of wear and tear (boo hoo.) 

Some reading positions look so uncomfortable to me.
He enjoyed his reading audience.
I watched as he repositioned the stuffed animal each time he turned the page.  :)
For the first few weeks of school, the children worked with slates & markers or magnetic letters and practiced spelling and high frequency words during the word work center.  This week, the children will begin working on iPads.  Each child has access to his/her own iPad (a gift from our awesome PSO!)  The children choose an APP from a Word Work folder our team of teachers created for each iPad.

He was challenged by a friend to create a triple arc for matching letters.

I plan to enjoy the magnificent fall beauty with my first graders this week.  We'll venture out to our outdoor learning lab during writer's workshop.  Hopefully, I'll have a few great pictures to share. 

Happy learning!

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