Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week in Review September 23-27

Another wonderful week under our belt. We are moving into the "meat and potatoes" of 1st grade now. Our academics are getting more in-depth and more exciting.

Here is what we worked on this week:

Paper Blogging: A Mrs. Olsen Inspired Idea 
Our kids are getting ready to begin our own blogs. To get going we need to set expectations in place. This involves discussing purpose, content and comments. Mrs. Olsen, a 4th grade teacher and friend, mentioned that her kiddos were starting with paper blogs. I thought that was a great way to kick it off. Our 1st graders are loving it. More about this at the end of this week.

Solids and Liquids:
Our science unit for this quarter is Solids and Liquids. We will be exploring the properties and identifying the differences between them. When using Solids, we used our new app Sonicpics. Can't wait to share these tomorrow. I am hoping to try iMovie with Liquids.

Guest Teacher - Mrs. Schieber 2nd Grade:
Mrs. Schieber and I traded strengths on Friday.  She is a wonderful writing teacher and kindly offered to teach a lesson on Bold Beginnings to my class. I had the pleasure of teaching a lesson to her math class. Mrs. Schieber talked to our students about using a setting sentence to start their stories.

The kids buddied up and identified the Bold Beginning in the Mentor Texts that Mrs. Schieber brought to us. Each one of these authors started their stories with the setting in the opening sentence. 

The kids were able to identify these settings.

We are in the very beginning stages of blogging using KidBlog. We are learning how to sign in, leave a comment, post on our individual blogs and add photos. This week we will talk about our expectations and get going. I have some very exciting plans ahead. I can't wait to see where the kids take us.

Stay tuned for more on blogging soon. :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Words, Words and More Words

There are a lot of words to learn in first grade. It can be tricky to keep it all in order. Here is your guide to all of our words.

1. First Grade Focus Words - The Kaneland School District has adopted a list of 23 words that your child need to be able to read and write by the end of 1st grade. I will be assessing students randomly throughout the year. Please see Konnect for a list of these words. We refer to them as our Blue Sight Words because they are blue on our word wall.

2. Word Wall Words - This is a board in our room that we use to help us categorize tricky words. We begin our year with our 23 focus words on the board. Then we add other tricky sight words and words pulled from their writing.  These are not words that I expect your child to be spelling independently at home. However, they should be spelling them correctly in class because they are clearly visible on the board. They should be able to read all of these words correctly without hesitation. These words come home weekly on flashcards. 

3. Dolch Words - This is a research based list of words that we use to help the student gain exposure to many different sight words. They can practice these during read to self and should be practicing them at home. I will test them once a week to see if they move on to the next list. I hope that all students pass all lists by the end of the year. They do not have to spell these words, just read them.

Hope that helps! :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

New Math Post

Check out our new post about Math at McDole over at our new site. Click here to learn more about McDole Math.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Week in Review Sept 16-20

Another wonderful week under our belt.  
Here is a glimpse at all we accomplished:

Dot Day! 
See our full post on International Dot Day here.

Wonder Walk in Mrs. Olsen's Room:
One of our favorite 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Olsen, allowed us to come into her room and take a "wonder walk" through her museum of prairie animals. She borrowed these from The Field Museum in Chicago. We are so lucky to have had this opportunity. Thanks Mrs. Olsen! 

Blog Comments:
We also started talking about the fine art of commenting on a blog. Comments on a blog are essential to the learning aspect of these amazing tools. We put our information out there so that people can learn from us. We want to hear what others think of our learning. It is important that we do the same for others. We used this site to help us learn what good and valuable commenting is. This is going to be a process for us and something we will be working on all year. Stay tuned for more.

Business Meeting:
We held our weekly business meeting in the hallway to discuss our Random 5 data. Each week the kids will be quizzed on a random 5 words from our 1st grade focus words. We noticed that our overall score went down from last week so we talked about it. We decided that some of the words were trickier this week and we haven't been practicing them as long as some of the others. We did have a celebration. This week, every student got at least one word right! Our dot graph is on the upswing.

New App:
We also learned a new app called SonicPics. This is a great app that is useful in any subject, similar to ScreenChomp. We tried it for the first time on Friday to gather our thoughts about Solids. We will continue becoming more comfortable with it before we share our creations.

A Special Story:
We also had a guest reader!  We learned all about a new book and we were excited that a friend shared her favorite book with us.

Last but not least... Fun Run. See our full post on the Fun Run here.

Thank you so much for your comments. We were so jazzed on Friday when we realized our Dot Day post received 7 comments. Keep them coming!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fun Run

I was going to include the Fun Run pictures in our Week in Review post but they were just too cute. They deserve to be in a post all on their own.
On your mark,
Get set,

They were so excited and proud of how many laps they accomplished. Thank PTO! Another great event!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

International Dot Day!!!

No stripes...

No plaid...

No triangles...

Not for us! We wanted Dots!

Room 222 recently participated in International Dot Day in hopes to collaborate, create, connect and celebrate our marks on McDole and the world.

Here is our inspiration:

We started our day by showing our very best in Dot Gear!

Then joined Miss G's class for some iPad collaboration.

Look at all of the dots around McDole!

The rest of our day was spent talking about our passions and areas of strength.

The theme for the year: Making Our Mark!

We even practiced like the Author and Illustrator, Peter Reynolds.

We enjoyed our day with Miss G's class and we hope for many more days like this.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Week in Review

Another wonderful week. Enjoy a quick picture tour. 

We made ScreenChomps to practice reading fluency.

The students identified parts of a book.

We learned a new Daily called Read to Buddy.

The students were working on ABC order using our new Fundations Boards.

We practiced hopping on a number line by playing a fun game with partners.

Jacob brought in our Wonder this week. See the beginning of our wonderings here.

Stay tuned for more on many of these topics. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Introducing... Math at Mcdole

Welcome to a new website all about 1st grade math at McDole! The 1st grade team is excited to share our math journey with you. Click HERE to check it out!

Building our Audience - Authentic Learning

Hi Parents! 

We just had our first class Twitter conversation! We tweeted ScreenChomp and they tweeted us back! We talked straight to the app creator! 

I accidentally used my teacher account (@lbrightedu) so some of you may have missed it. I am sharing it with you now.

We are building our educational audience! Yay!