What a week it’s been. Despite the warm weather, many of us in the Room 102 community (myself included) have been off sick this week with a nasty cough and cold. Here’s hoping that with a little rest this weekend, lots of sleep and healthy eats, we’ll be back at it next week at full speed ;)
The Terry Fox walk was on Monday and it gave us the opportunity to discuss our feelings; how did your son or daughter feel after the walk? I told students that while I did feel sad and a bit lonely because it made me think of losing my dad to cancer, it also made me feel hopeful, to see so many people raising both awareness and funds to support cancer research.
Galina then read us a book How are you Peeling? that helped us identify some other emotions that we may feel from time to time. Afterwards, we played a fun game called ‘Zap’ – we walked around the circle saying “Hi my name is Kelly and I’m feeling excited” – I’d then shake hands with someone else and ‘zap’ our names and emotions would switch places! I would walk to a new person and have to say “Hi, I’m Isabelle and I’m happy”, and Isabelle would say to her new person "Hi, I'm Kelly", then it would get all zapped again!
The following day Galina told us that when she came to school she was feeling really excited, because she passed a park in her local community and that reminded her that she planned on visiting it later this week. Is there any place in your local community that makes you feel something – excited, sad, confused? We had a group conversation and then wrote about our ideas in our writing journals. Here are some example of how the local community makes our students feel:
- excited when they go to a restaurant, because they can order fun drinks like Shirley Temples!
- sad when they pass by the funeral home, because it reminds them of the friends and family that have passed away
- lonely when they see a business that their parents work at, because sometimes they have to work on the weekends
We read parts of the book The World Around Us throughout the week, starting with the section all about people, as individuals. A great storybook onTumbleBooks that illustrates this big idea is Leo the Late Bloomer; we watched it as a class and then read the hard copy book to add to our Books We’ve Shared bin in class (*if you want to watch it online, email me for the TDSB password!). We then read parts about families, and wrote in our Writing Journals about the people in our families and then different types of homes we live in. Then when we moved on to the parts about our local community, we drew pictures and wrote about our ‘community helpers’ – the people who work here, the jobs they do and where they do them.
To celebrate the official start of fall, we headed out into our food garden and butterfly garden on Jennings Ave to see what we could notice, using our eyes, ears, noses and hands. This inquiry led to a lot of questions – how DO the leaves change colour? How can the squirrels eat so many acorns? Where did all these wasps come from?! We’ll see if we can answer some of these questions over the coming weeks.
In our Poems and Songs book this week we added Five Little Pumpkins, but the paper version of our poem was a little different than our classe’s big pocket-chart version. Ask your son or daughter if they could spot the changes! *Even if your son or daughter is an emerging reader, this activity encouraged them to look at the text of the poems, line by line, to examine each word and letter. They had a lot of fun being my editors! They also enjoyed practicing their ‘Visualizations’ again – when you close your eyes and listen to this poem, what do see in your mind? Students illustrated the poems J
We communicated with THREE different children's book authors this week on Twitter, pretty cool huh?! Adam Lehrhaupt @Lehraupt is the author of 'Warning! Do Not Open This Book!' a favourite of ours because it's silly. It's a lot of fun to read with Voice - danger, quiet, urgency, fear, scheming - so many voices we can use! Peter H. Reynolds @peterhreynolds author of the Dot favourited some of our Dot Day tweets and Todd Parr @ToddParr favourited some of our Writer's Workshop pieces.
Todd is a favourite author of mine - he writes purposeful picture books, with easy text, colourful images and meaningful big ideas. This week we read Reading Makes you Feel Good - to support what we've learned about making good book choices. Afterwards, students went to their writing journals and wrote their own page for the book; they were asked, "Why do YOU read", and "What do you read that makes YOU feel good?" I took a few pictures and tweeted a few tweets ... and Todd Parr, took the time to favourite them :) So cool when we can connect with other authors, because it gives purpose to our writing! Todd has a new picture book out and it's available in SeeSaw this month! "It's OK to make mistakes"
D.E.A.R. time is Drop Everything and Read time! We have a theme song and every time students hear it, they stop what they're doing, choose a good book (we've practised various ways to make good choices), and settle in to read independently. We've got couches, benches, pillows, carpets and mats in addition to all our table groups - there's lots of space for everyone to get comfy and read! I rotate around to ask students 1) How did you choose this book? 2) How are you reading this book? - we learned this week that there are three ways to read a book. You can read the words (or play I Spy with the ones you do know how to read), you can read the pictures and tell your own story, or you can pick a familiar book and retell the story using both the words and the pictures! As your son or daughter 'reads' at home, ask them which of the three ways they are reading - words, pictures or retelling?!
'Visualizing' is a comprehension strategy that we're practising as we read aloud from Wind in the Willows. After reading the paragraph that described Toad Hall, students went to their Writing Journals to draw their mental pictures and write about it.
Poetry & Songs Folder is a new routine we've started. We read the poem 'September' on chart paper together, added a copy of our poem to our Folder and then drew and wrote about our Visualizations. Students had the opportunity to sit in "The Author's Chair" to show how they understood the poem. It's interesting because we all have different schema (prior knowledge) so all our images were really different!
This week we started using Snap Cubes to help us with Number Sense. For example - for the number 11, we locked 11 cubes together and then 'cracked the train' to break it into two parts; we then counted the two parts to see how many were in each group. This helps students understand the part+part=whole relationship; 11 can be 9+2, 8+3, 7+4 etc. While the grade ones were encouraged to simply explore with the snap cubes, the grade twos were challenged to find EACH and EVERY possible combination. Soon, we will work all the up to #20!
To reinforce the strategies we've been learning about, we played Math Games on the interactive SmartBoard. Concentration (choose #1-10) helps students recognize that whether a # is represented as a numeral, a ten-frame or a word - it's still a number!
Ten-Frame is AMAZING! Please play this game - with all the different settings (How Many?, Build, Fill, Add) - with your son or daughter at home. This will help with quick number facts, memorization, relating #s to anchors '5' and '10'. For example, in 'How Many?' if you see a row of five and a row of three, that illustrates that 8 is three more than 5, or 5 is three less than 8, or 8 is two less than 10, or 10 is two more than 8. LOTS of practice with counting, addition and subtraction skills in this one!
*You can find more games like these on the Links - Extra Practice page.
Dot Day was so much fun! We listened to the bouncing dot song as we rotated through three stations 1) respect as we took turns adding dots to our HUGE dot painting 2) number sense and writing as we created dot pictures with stickers and wrote about them and 3) cooperation as we used our dot shaped manipulatives (corks, bungs, film canisters etc) to build dot themed structures! (check our private Instagram page hpas.kellys.class
Terry Fox Walk is THIS MONDAY! Fundraising packages came home this weekend. If you are able, please take the time to donate online or you can always send in your small change collection :)
Community Circle; Friday afternoon we had another problem solving meeting as a community. Please encourage your son or daughter to come to me if they have ANY questions, problems, or worries about school. I'm here to help them problem solve :)
Where did the past four days go? We've already accomplished a lot in Room 102 :)
Please remember to send back
1) Home Notes
2) School Forms
3) Family Questionnaire
Here are some highlights from our week:
Chrysanthemum (we RESPECT one another)
Clifford's First School Day (we PARTICIPATE)
Wemberly Worried (it's ok to be nervous)
We played outside with our swim instructor Emily! Before we can take part in the swim program, Emily and Jessica must be able to trust us; we need to be good listeners! We played a lot of 'follow the leader' type games outside 'on land' to earn Emily's respect. We have to prove that we can take part in the 'land' lessons before we can start to swim. We'll have one more practice session and THEN we'll get to go to the pool.
Tribes is a behaviour management and self-regulation program that many teachers and schools use throughout the year. This week, we learned about the four agreements 1) listening 2) participation 3) mutual respect and 4) appreciations. Check your backpack for our Four Agreements Book - we worked hard to draw pictures and label them all week!
'Bucket Filling' is something that many of you might be familiar with. When an individual does something nice, good, something without being asked, then they help to fill MY bucket. When a students is spotted doing these good deeds then they get to write their name on a little paper water droplet and place it in our 'class bucket'; later on in the week I pull a droplet out to see who wins a prize (a pencil, a sticker, the chance to pick free time centres first, the chance to choose a read aloud book for us etc).
We started creating our own Number Sense Math booklets today. We'll work in this book and create a page for each number from #1-#20. How can you represent the #2 for example?
- write the word two
- the number 2
- draw a ten frame
- tally marks
- draw a die (one is a die, more than one are dice!)
- addition sentence
- subtraction sentence
- 'number' sentence (e.g., 10 + 10 - 18 = 2)
- draw an image (e.g., two eyes)
This Number Sense book will help to form a foundation for problem solving and explaning our thinking later on. Students will learn to 'show what they know' using a 'WINing' strategy - using words, images and numbers. The more ways they can represent and understand a number, then the more strategies they will be able to use when they problem solve.
We met our book buddies from Arthur's Grade 5/6 today! Ask 1) what'd your buddy's name? 2) what books did you read? 3) where did you read?
Woohoo! We found many of our lost lunch bags today :)
I did a quick check-in with the students after morning arrival; thumbs up for 'excited to be back', thumbs sideways for 'meh, school is ok' and thumbs down for 'I don't want to be at school' ... and we had NO THUMBS DOWN! I'd say that's a really good start.
As students entered the room they had a lot to do, on their own. Right from the beginning of the school year I support our students with self-regulation by asking them lots of questions:
- did you hang up your bag?
- did you check your bag for your Home Notes Folder?
- did you put the folder in the bin under the SmartBoard?
- do you have a morning job to do? (Our "Super Kids" do things like unstack chairs, sharpen pencils, check and tidy our table top cubbies, empty the recycling and more!)
- are you sitting quietly on the carpet and reading?
- are you quietly chatting with friends? if so, be sure they did their morning routines too!
*After a few weeks, students should be able to follow these steps on their own :)
After arrival, we went through our schedule for the day, located in the blue pocket chart next to our calendar. Giving students the chance to ask questions about what to expect during their day and what they are expected to do, helps them with the transitions later on.
We had an assembly! We met Mrs. Wheeler our Prinicpal and Mr. Szonyi our new Vice Principal and all the other primary teachers at both HPAS and Annette. The best part is that WE EARNED THREE GEMS! Students earn 'gems' as a class as positive reinforcement, when they ALL take part in achieving a goal. Our 3 goals were 1) walk to the assembly respectfully through the halls, 2) listen quietly to the speakers 3) walk back to class without disturbing the other classes - way to go, we did it!!
After recess, we listened to the story David Goes to School and learned that David, wasn't a very good listener. We all promised that we would be respectful listeners throughout the whole school year. To keep our promises, we started writing our own 'Four Agreements' book (we'll learn about the other 3 agreements soon!). To finish off this lesson, we listened to another read aloud I Love School and realized that if we all cooperate and treat each other the way that we'd like to be treated, then we'll love school too!
After lunch, we took a break from the heat and watched 2 Franklin filmsFranklin Goes to School and Franklin's New Friend - both very on topic for this week ;)
Then we met Helena, our Gym Teacher. We're going to see her twice a cycle (5 days) for Physical Activity AND we get to go swimming at the Community Centre Pool every other cycle too! (more info to come).
After recess, we're going to have centre time again; we'll rotate around the room, see what fun toys and activities we have and make some new friends.
Another great day in Room 102! Phew - that went by fast!
What a FANTASTIC first day of school at HPAS in Room 102!
I admitted to the students ... I was a little nervous :S So many new faces and people to meet!! But by dismissal - I couldn't believe how much fun we'd had and how fast it had all flown by!
Here are a few highlights:
Morning Entry - "I Spy" the Room - what are some things that are similar or different that your class from last year?
Read Aloud - The Night Before First Grade
Recess Routines - always eat a snack before you play, it gives you the energy you need! Ask a teacher wearing an orange sash if you need help solving a problem, want a drink from the water fountain or if you have to use the washroom.
Read Aloud - Don't Be Silly Mrs. Millie! What characteristics make a 'good teacher'? Students did a Think / Pair / Share; first we think quietly, just to ourselves, then we rotate on the carpet and pair up a few times to share our ideas with a small group, finally if they'd like to - students share their thoughts with the whole group!
Writing Journal - students did their first entry in their journals, either copying from the anchor chart we created as a class or coming up with their own ideas ... what makes a 'good teacher'?!
Lunch Routines - students were dismissed home, to daycare or to the lunchroom. DON'T FORGET TO PUT YOUR LUNCH BAG IN OUR YELLOW BIN! *We went searching for lost bags, hopefully they'll turn up soon.
Quiet Reading OR Work in your Math Folder or Word Work Folder
Music with Violet!
End of Day FREE TIME! Students rotated through various centres in our room - computers, listening centre, puppets, library and buddy reading, games, puzzles, bin toys, blocks ... you name it, we've got it!
Read Aloud to close out the day - First Day Jitters; even teachers get nervous :)
For some tips on how to ask your son or daughter about the first day, clickhere
Here's to a new school year :)
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.