Great news!! Our Smart Board is finally working!! It was installed last week, but it took a few days for the TDSB to update the software … all is good now and we’re off an running! We used it for our V.I.P. printing, for read alouds AND for our calendar math! It’s going to be a great addition to our program.
On Monday students were introduced to their “Poem of the Week” folders with the poem “We Will”; take a look through our photo gallery to see a pic of the poem! Students echo the poem when it’s read to them, read the poem aloud as a group, practice reading from their folders with buddies at their desks and even did a great job ‘solving a mystery’ for me – when I photocopied a second version of the poem, some of the words went missing, so students had to use their previous copy to find the missing words and write them back in ;)
Our book buddies helped us this week with a writing activity about Bucket Fillers; we thought of ideas about how we’re bucket fillers and our older buddies helped us sound out unknown words and find known words around the classroom (like on our Bucker Filler book) or on our Word List (there are 2 at each table for students to access). Asking a friend for help with spelling is a great strategy!
In preparation for morning literacy centres, we talked a lot this week about “ways we choose books”; ask your son or daughter about the anchor chart we made and the ‘borrow marks’ they use in our classroom library!
Thanks to all the parent volunteers that helped out with our Writing Journals; students have been using them daily, to write about anything of their choice! Soon, we will begin a more structured Writer’s Workshop program.
On Friday, the students listened and watched a read aloud from BookFlix called Chrysanthemum and listened to a read aloud that I read to them called Suki’s Kimono. Ask your son or daughter about the text-to-text connections we made! (*Both girls were excited for the first day of school, both girls were teased, one for her name and one for her clothes, Chrysanthemum’s teacher stood up for her but Suki stood up for herself).
(*check your emails for a BookFlix password so you and your children can access the site at home! We can’t post the password online, but I can email it out)
Please visit this article from Reading Rockets "Make Reading Part of your (Preschooler's) Everyday Life"!
Students worked with Kendra this week on single digit addition; using snap cube trains they solved all the possible ways to compose the numbers #5 and #6; we created anchor charts with images and number labels to show our understanding. They also looked at the ‘equal’ sign and discussed how 5+2=7 is really the same as 7=5+2. Play around with “equals” at home and help you son or daughter with the understanding that z=x+y is OK!
Students had a blast using the SmartBoard to play all the interactive math activities that have been homework over the past few weeks! We played ‘Concentration’ and worked with number recognition, the Base Ten Blocks game, a 10 Frame game AND a Number Line game.
A lot of families stopped to ask me about reversals at BBQ night; * Letter and number reversals are a common developmental problem for many young children. They often have difficulty processing spatial opposites such as left-right and up-down. These challenges sometimes persist as letter and number reversals for beginning readers. As a child matures, their brain usually develops the necessary pathways to accurately process spatial information. Parents and teachers can reinforce the importance of these skills, and facilitate reading development, through play and extra practice. Read More.
Many families also asked about the Calendar Math and the different ways to compose and decompose numbers. If you're interested in getting some resources from home, I'd suggest visiting Scholar's Choice You can order materials online, or there are two Toronto locations, one at Bayview/Eglinton and one near Sherway Gardens. They have TONS of great learning materials. Try the Magnetic Base Ten Blocks - they'd be great on your fridge! Or the Starter Set They also have Snap Cubes or Unifix Cubes
It was so nice to see so many of you out at Thursday’s BBQ night – what a turn out! If you didn’t get a chance to make it, or to pick-up the handout on homework, please check your emails for more information.
Next week is officially October which means the HPAS Halloween fundraiser is right around the corner! As many of you know, the classes at HPAS contribute to raffle baskets which are then showcased at the HPAS fundraiser. This year, the grade 1/2 class will be donating items to the “Toy Store” basket, as part of this year’s theme “The Carnival Comes to HPAS!” Starting next week, we’ll be collecting new and unused toys for our basket. If you’re not sure what to get, try www.scholarschoice.ca orhttp://www.mastermindtoys.com/ for some amazing, educational and fun toys!
Students had their first visit with Krissy at the library this week! Every other day 1, students will be allowed to sign out 1 or 2 books to either leave in the classroom or bring home. Please help your son or daughter to be responsible for their library books!
Our walk for Terry Fox was a success on Thursday! *If you didn’t get a chance to send in donations, please send them this week – we’re still collecting!* Thanks to all the families that were able to make it out and join us. Students walked the streets chanting F.O.X. and Terry Fox! Terry Fox! It was nice to see J I was also touched to see some HPAS students wearing their “I walk for” stickers in memory of my father. As many of you know, I lost my father to cancer last year, so this was an especially important walk for me. I spoke with our Room 102 students briefly about my dad’s passing but I wanted to let families know that if students ever have any more questions about him, it’s ok to ask J
Welcome to David and his family! They joined us early this week and we are excited to have them as members of our Room 102 Community :)
Students are earning gems and droplets left, right and centre! They are doing amazing things to be kind and caring members of our community; I am very proud of them :) In their Yellow Home Notes folders, students brought home their “Four Agreements” booklet that they worked on during the first two weeks of school. Please review the 4 agreements with your child and return the booklet back to school. Thanks!
We’ve been talking a lot about ‘making mental images’ (or visualizing) as a comprehension strategy when we’re reading, talking and sharing. As an activity, students laid down on the carpet with their eyes closed and listened to the story “Fresh Fall Leaves” and made mental images of the text. When you come to the BBQ next week, be sure to check out their images that are now hanging in the halls!
Click here to learn more about Making Mental Images: Reading Rockets
After listening to “Fall Changes” we created an anchor chart of ‘fall words’; students then used this list of words to create fall poems! Check them out in the hall :) Learning goals for this activity: to proofread their own printing and check for correct spelling (using our shared reading text).
The 100 Most Frequently Used Words list was introduced this week, as students were asked to reflect on their first few weeks at school and write a sentence about “school fun”. Many students used the words “I”, “like”, and “play” from the list and they even used our posted, daily schedule to check spelling for words like “recess”, “music” and “gym”. All other words were sounded out by students independently. We’ve bound our “School Fun” pages and created our first class book!
We’ve started our first Chapter Book read aloud – Frindle! Ask your son or daughter about the main character, Nick.
We’re still using various strategies to show numbers, this week #s 9-14. On day 10, we realized that 10 cubes could be traded in for 1 rod with our base ten blocks, and now it’s much easier and faster to double check and count our numbers. For example, on day 14, if we used 14 cubes we would have to count “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14”; not only does that take a long time, but there’s a good chance that we might make a mistake! But, if we used 1 rod and 4 cubes we would count “10, 11, 12, 13, 14”; much fast and we’re less likely to make a mistake. Have your son or daughter show you how to use base tens and play this game! Base Ten Blocks: Interactive Game
We’re continuing to use snap cubes to create trains and then number sentences; make a train of 14 cubes and then break it apart to show the groups, like 5+5+4=14. Next week, we’ll get into number lines. Give your son or daughter a head start by using this interactive lesson/game online! We use Number Lines to show how we compose #s
We had our first ‘swim day’ with a visit from Coach Emily and Coach Adina this week! (Don’t worry, there was no swimming!) Emily and Adina talked to the students about the routines, the expectations and rules of the swim program. Everyone needs to bring a suit, a towel and a labeled bag. If they’d like, they can bring water shoes/sandals and goggles. No need to send life jackets or toys, the pool supplies them. Emily and Adina will instruct the students in the shallow end. throughout the year, THEY will hold ‘deep end tests’ to see if students are ready to swim in the deep end :) Our first Swim day is the 30th, so please be ready!!
On Monday afternoon, we had a special visit from Rebecca (mom to Joshua in SK and Eva in 2) and learned all about Rosh Hoshanah and Yom Kipur. She read “Talia and The Rude Vegetables” to us and we made our own Shofars – now we can use the Shofars to call our friends and family when we want to celebrate something too!
In Room 102 this week we learned about and we have promised to honour “The Four Agreements”. Students are expected to be responsible for their own behaviour, model good choices and to help others follow the agreements.
When they do, students:
§ feel included and appreciated by peers and teachers
§ are respected for their differences
§ are actively involved in their own learning
§ have positive expectations from others that they will succeed
Please review Mutual Respect, Listening, Appreciations (No Put Downs!) and Participation with your child at home. Once you’ve reviewed this booklet please return it to school so that students can refer to it when needed.
For more information visit: Tribes
As positive reinforcement, students will earn collective “gems” when they follow the four agreements as a group. For example, if we’re walking down the hallways quietly, respecting the others in the building that are learning and working, we will earn a gem. After a read aloud, if all the students showed good listening, we’ll earn a gem. If we have a Scientist come to do a workshop, and we show appreciation for our visitor by using polite manners, we’ll earn a gem. And if we all follow the steps in a new activity and try something together, we’ll earn a gem. Once all the gems have been earned, we’ll celebrate our good choices by having a ‘gem party’!
Students will also be recognized for making good choices individually too. We read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? If someone picks up pencils and erasers off the ground to put them where they belong, if they model good listening on the carpet by putting one finger to their lips and the other hand high in the air, if they say excuse me to a classmate in the closet when they’re trying to get at their backpack or if they take a risk and join in an activity that’s new to them, a student can earn a ‘droplet’ to be put in our classroom bucket. Now Kendra and I won’t always get the chance to see students making their good choices, so they won’t always get a droplet, but we hope that they’ll continue to make good choices because when they do, they not only make someone else happy (and fill their bucket) they too can feel a sense of pride and happiness for making a good choice. Every once in a while, we’ll draw droplets from the bin and those students will get to choose their centre first, choose the picture book to read aloud, get 5 minutes of extra computer time, or maybe they’ll even get a sticker or a pencil to take home ;)
As an extension activity, Kendra played a game called “All the Good in the World” where students had to share ‘good thought’ that filled their buckets. Some said food, water, home, family and others shared about fun, cats, and dogs! The first person started with a ball of yarn, then passed to the next to share their thought. In the end, we had one amazing web of ‘All the Good in the World” to see!
In math, we’ve continued to talk about the number of the day and how it can be ‘made’ (composed and decomposed). Students use snap cubes to help them visualize different ways to make their number. For example a train of 8 cubes could be snapped into 1 and 7, 2 and 6, 3 and 5, 4 and 4, so students could them use those groups as visual aids when drawing squares, circles and stars in their number sense book. We emphasize drawing clear and neat, organized groups – not just big long lines, because those can be hard to count! Students should be starting to recognize and using groups of numbers; for example, 4 corners with 1 in the middle is 5 (like on a die). Another way we’ve been showing our number of the day has been on a Ten Frame (two block rows of five). Students showed the number 8 as the top row being full (5) and three more blocks coloured in on the bottom.
Concentration: *Choose Levels 1-10 and the 'open windows' version.
By yourself or against a friend, match whole numbers and shapes to equivalent representations. Practice with the clear panes or step up the challenge with the windows closed. How many socks can you win?
Thinking about numbers using frames of 10 can be a helpful way to learn basic number facts. The four games that can be played with this applet help to develop counting and addition skills.
Whenever we have time before a transition, students have loved playing with our ‘dot plates’! I hold up a dot plate, quickly, and students are supposed to ‘see’ the number instead of ‘counting (by ones)’ the number; for example (like on a die) a group of 5 is next to a group of 3, rather than start at 1, students should ‘see’ the groups and count on “I know that’s a group of 5 and I saw 3 more, so it’s 5 – 6, 7, 8!” Make some of your own dot plates at home with stickers, markers, or bingo dabbers! Goggle ‘dot plates’ and you’ll get LOTS of ideas J Take a look at this site: Ten Frames and Dot Plates Info
Welcome to the first edition of Room 102 News :) We had a busy 4 days this past week, getting to know one another and the routines. Each day we start by checking our backpacks for our Yellow Home Notes folders (thanks to those of you that have already completed your paperwork and sent it back!!) and place them in the Home Notes Bin. Then, we do some quiet reading and chatting with friends on the carpet to get settled. Once we're all ready, we go through our blue pocket chart and schedule for the day, so students can know what to expect as the day goes on.
For the next few weeks, we'll be doing a V.I.P. program for some "Very Important People"! Each student will get the chance to be a V.I.P. for the day, which means we'll interview them and get to know them a little bit better. This integrates the Oral Language part of the curriculum, as students are expected to ask questions and listen carefully on the carpet. Once the interview is done, each student creates a V.I.P. page to contribute to the V.I.P.'s 'all about me' book. We learn how to print the Very Important Person's name and practice using the proper upper case and lower case letters (this is a chance for students to practice their printing before we move into using our daily writing journals).
**Please practice printing at home with your son and daughter by visiting this website: http://handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/manuscript/alphabets/index.htm
In the afternoons, we've been counting the days at school as an introduction to Number Sense. Each day we track the # of days at school on a blank hundreds chart and we then illustrate the # in our Class Number Sense Book. For example, on Day #1, we drew 1 heart, 1 sun, 1 me; on Day #2 we drew 2 shoes, 2 hands, 2 eyes. As our numbers grow, we'll talk about using neat, organized illustrations, that group objects in stacks or lines (e.g., on Day #4, some chose to draw 4 squares, 2 stacked on top of another 2, like on a die). Once students have seen examples through our modelled writing, they go to illustrate the Day's # in their own Number Sense Book. We'll work all the way up to Day # 20, as the Grade 1 Curriculum requires students to compose and decompose #s up to 20 in various ways (grade 2s will continue to work on #s up to 99 throughout the year).
We finish the day with cooperative centre time and students are already eager to visit some of their favourites! Ask your son or daughter about the centres that have been open for group play time. It's a great way for the students to get to know one another and encourages them to practice the Character Education Trait of the month: respect. Kendra and I rotate through the centres as students play to reinforce the routines and the expectations. Social Studies - Rosh Hashanah: On Wednesday we learned about the Jewish Celebration Rosh Hashanah. We learned about some of the traditions like sharing apples and honey to symbolize the “sweet new year”, reflecting on past choices and making promises to have a ‘better’ and good new year. La Shana Tova!
Read Alouds: I love to end our day with a Community Circle and a Read Aloud. Some of the books we've shared so far are: The Night Before the First Grade, I Love School!, The Teacher from the Black Lagoon.
In our Room 108 Classroom Community, we foster an engaging, respectful and caring environment. I aim to balance a consistent program with flexible responsiveness to students' individual needs.