Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Big Day in First Grade

The 5th day of school turned out to be a BIG day for Room 222! 
We participated in two major learning lessons that will drive our entire year. 

The first is setting a good reading routine for our Read-to-Self times. Soon, our room will be able to read 20 minutes without getting distracted. However, that doesn't happen right away. First, we need to build up our reading stamina!
We started by finding a model reader and identifying what we know about great readers.
We created this poster as a class using one of our new favorite apps, Pic Collage. 

This amazing poster is now hanging proudly on the wall in Room 222. We will use it as our visual reminder of what it takes to be an amazing 1st grade reader. 

Almost all visuals in Room 222 are made as a collaborative group. For kids, by kids!

Next, it was time to practice. After we got into our cozy spaces, we set the timer. The room was quiet and filled with readers! We made it 4 minutes and 32 seconds on our first day! Trust me, that is amazing. 

Another big event in Room 222 was preparing ourselves for our classroom devices. To prepare ourselves for a productive year, we made this poster together as we discussed our expectations. 

Finally, we broke into collaborative partners  and tried our a new app, ScreenChomp!

Our blog will host a ScreenChomp showcase on Friday. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

3 Days of Awesome!

It's here! It's here! It's finally here!

The beginning of the school year has started off with a bang! I can already tell that this is going to be an amazing year. 

Here is a glimpse at our first week of school:

We worked on becoming experts at our morning routine. See if you can identify all of our routines:
  • Folder in the Mailbox
  • Check for Important Notes
  • Lunchbox in the Hallway
  • Snack at your Table
  • Greet your Teacher
  • Greet your Teammates 
(This video was made by volunteer experts in Room 222)

We brainstormed some classroom expectations:

We started discussing our most important job as 1st graders...
Becoming Amazing Readers!
Our class started off by learning the 3 different ways to read a book. 

Great reading takes time so...

Listen to our experts describe our learning:

(This video was made by volunteer experts in Room 222)

This year in Room 222, our learning will revolve around the 4 C's: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Critical Thinking. 

We kicked this off with a collaborative team building challenge. 
The students we given examples of powerful logos (think McDonald's golden arches) and challenges to come up with a team name and logo to represent themselves. 

Mrs. K is using her device to show the students the logos.

Once logos were decided, the real challenge began. 
The collaborative teams were given directions for the "Big Bad Wolf" challenge. The teams were to build the tallest, strongest tower they could using Dixie cups. Once the towers were completed, the Big Bad Wolf attempted to blow them down. Tallest tower left standing won points for their team. 

Check out this video of one team describing their tower. 
Tower from LBright on Vimeo.

The end of the challenge was documented by class photographer B.W.

Ask your child if their team won.

Lastly, after a hard 3 days, we made a little time for play. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The 1st Day in Room 222

We had a wonderful 1st day in Room 222!
Here is a quick glimpse at our day:

We started by "noticing" with our morning message.

Photo taken by student photographer, LS
We practiced with our number of the day.

The students brainstormed some classroom expectations. 

We also tried to sneak in a bit of movement and fun. The students were challenged to find their group-mates by matching up puzzle pieces containing their names. 

I think it is going to be a great year!

*Digital Safety Rule #1 - We will never use names with faces.

Friday, August 8, 2014


Welcome to the newest members of Room 222!

My name is Mrs. Bright and I can't wait to spend the new year with you. I have a feeling that this year will be absolutely amazing. 

We will get the opportunity to meet in person, on Monday, August 18th. However, I would love to tell you a bit about myself first. 

Personal Info:
My husband and I live in Sycamore, Illinois with our 3 dogs and 2 cats. Sometimes it feels like a zoo in our house but it is always a happy zoo. 

I love to travel. My husband and I love to spend time in the mountains and at the ocean. This year we went to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado!

I like to fill my free time with reading, crafting, writing, swimming, bike riding, hiking and creating. 

This will be my 11th year of teaching in Kaneland and I have loved every minute of it. I feel very fortunate to have a career that is absolutely my passion. I am a NIU graduate and will begin working on my National Board Certification this year. 

I enjoy seeking out professional development and have recently attended The iPad Academy, Edtech Teacher Summit, numerous professional playdates in Chicago and Downer's Grove and I have been a presenter at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield. 

I am very passionate about my job and I take great pride in being very good at what I do. Your students are very important to me. 

Room 222: 

Our room will be a room filled with laughter and creativity. 
We will wonder and question. 
We will create and play. 
We will connect and collaborate. 
We will think critically and be thoughtful. 
We will come home exhausted. 
We will have fun.  

One of my favorite books is Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss. In this book, the principal received some news about a dreaded test. He worried and fretted. 
Was the teacher worried?
Goodness no!
Here is her response and the quote Room 222 is inspired by:

My Goal for the 2014-2015 School Year:

My goal is for Room 222 to become a collaborative community of innovative learners that strives to share our knowledge with others. 

In Room 222, we will all be teachers, learners, writers, readers, scientists, actors and respectful citizens. 

Please feel free to browse the blog and get a glimpse into Room 222.
Also, I would LOVE to hear from you via email at laura.bright@kaneland.org. Please tell me about your child and goals for the new year. 

Lastly, please consider reviewing our wish list throughout the year. 
 I can't wait to meet all of you!