Sunday, September 18, 2016

9/19/16 - 1st Grade News

Link for 1st Grade News

At the beginning of the school year, our word wall consists of student names and kindergarten word wall words.  McGraw Hill-Wonders is our basal reading series so we begin with 40 kindergarten words and add approximately 150 additional words throughout the year.  Before the start of this school year, I moved my word wall display and stapled all words under corresponding alphabet header cards.  When new words are introduced (approximately 4-6 words per week) I turn the word cards over.  

Reading Rockets provides an interesting post about using word walls to develop high-frequency word knowledge.  The five colorful vowel cards that are displayed on my word wall are part of the wonderful Phonics Dance chant.  We review short vowel sounds at the beginning of the word work block every day.

Below are links for documents I created for my classroom word wall.

Link for Kindergarten Word Wall Word Cards (7 pages)

Link for 1st Grade Word Wall Word Cards (28 pages)

Link for Alphabet Header Cards

These super awesome first grade friends are working hard on extending kindness to others! 

Table mates often lend a helping hand.

Friends show respect for one another and the playground rules.

Sometimes kindness comes in the form of a warm hug for a loving older sibling.

Friends show kindness by listening attentively while others read.

Helpful math partners are kind, patient and attentive.

Kindness matters with these first grade friends!  :)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/12/16 ~ 1st Grade News

Link for 1st Grade News

It's been a tough start to the school year.  The combination of temperatures in the high 80s and 90s and oppressive humidity had an adverse effect on student learning.  Student headaches, lethargy, spilled water bottles on learning materials and books that are falling apart are a few things that have disrupted and delayed learning.  

When I arrived home one evening last week, I was horrified to realize the temperature in my attached garage was cooler than my school building.  You have to do we expect students to learn in these conditions?  

And although we appreciate the current technology in our classrooms, it further elevates temperatures - SMART Board projectors, iPad charging carts, Netbooks and chargers, and teacher desktop computer.  The lone wall-mounted fan doesn't reach half the student seats or the large group carpet instruction area so it's impossible to provide relief for these little learners.

On the other hand, thankfully the parents in my classroom have been absolutely wonderful with providing water bottles and healthy snacks.  A few families even surprised students with popsicle treats for all.  I am frustrated by the lack of efforts to improve building temperatures for our elementary school students, but grateful to the loving families who send their kids off to school with supplies to improve learning.

Monday, September 5, 2016

9/5/16 1st Grade News

Link for 1st Grade News

Most first graders enjoy journaling about weekend adventures.  They get to write about topics of interest and special people in their lives.  Weekend journal writing provides great practice for beginning readers to apply their level of phonetic understanding while more proficient readers begin to integrate grammar, mechanics and writing process skills.  

Weekend journal entries are kept in writing folders.

Link for 2-Page Weekend Journal Writing

"My Writing Journal"

My family is nice and funny.  We play together and read stories together and help others.

Last weekend, me and my dad played Minecraft.

This is a 2-page entry, continued on the back ...

The "My Writing Journals" are used during writing workshop when we're working on a particular technique or unit of study.  Students also write in journals during "work on writing" to finish workshop activities or to self-select a topic.  Students appreciate the opportunity to choose writing topics. 

Journal covers are printed on cardstock, then bound into booklets that contain about 20 writing pages printed back to back.

Link for 3-Page Journal Writing (Cover and Writing Pages)

Tomorrow, I look forward to reading about Labor Day Weekend adventures!