Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week in Review

We had a wonderful 1st full week in Room 200. 

We started our week with a wonderful story about being kind and the way kindness can change the world. 

Just like in the book, the students came to the table and grabbed a stone. As they put the stone in the water, they told us something kind that they had done recently. We watched the ripples of kindness spread through the bowl, just as they spread through the world. 

We also participated in our first Week of Wonder! Check out our blog post on it here.

We spent some time discussing personal narratives and practicing in our new journals. In our journals, our main focus is the content of our narrative. However, we are still keeping an eye on our word wall words, capitals and punctuation marks. 

We spent a lot of time building our reading stamina. We have made it to 14 consecutive minutes with all of us staying focused on our books. I tried my hardest to distract them on Friday but was unable to tear them away from their books. I tried throwing tissues, ringing a bell, jumping up and down loudly and slamming the door. Their eyes were still glued on their books. I even got super close and took pictures of them reading. They were totally unphased. 

Check out this quick video of their amazing stamina. 

We also spent the week talking about digital citizenship. 
We started with our safety rules.

One of the highlights of our Digital Citizenship Boot Camp was The Stoplight Activity.

The students had 3 colors to show me their thoughts on the scenario that I gave them. 
Green = Go! This is safe and I am making a good choice.
Yellow = I'm not so sure. I'd better ask.
Red = This doesn't feel safe, appropriate or right. I need to tell an adult. 

Here are some sample scenarios:
  • My teacher gave me a great website about sharks to visit. (G)
  • This site is great but it has some unusual ads. (Y)
  • Someone I don't know just tried to chat with me! (R)
  • I found a new website and I don't really understand it. (Y)
  • My mom and I are researching new plants for my garden. We found a website together. (G)
  • Mrs. Bright e-mailed a link to my mom. (G)
  • I'm at a friends house and he wants to visit a site that I'm not allowed to go on. (R)
  • I found a site that is not kid friendly. (R)

Of course, we made some time for a few guest readers. 

Finally, we also continued talking about our new math vocabulary.

I hope your enjoyed our weekly recap! I can't wait for Week 2!

Friday, August 28, 2015

1st Observation

*This blog post was written as a collaborative activity with all of Room 200. We hope you like it. 

This week was our first "Wonder" activity. Mrs. Bright brought in something mysterious to wonder about. 

We started with a scientific sketch in our notebooks. Then we added our wonders and noticings. Here are some of them:

We Wonder...
  • What happens when it dies. 
  • if there are eggs inside.
  • what it is.
  • why it has no smell.
  • where it came from.
  • why it is in a flower.
  • why when we smelled it hurt our nose. 
  • what are we going to do with it.
  • If the black things are seeds for the spider flower.
  • why it is hard. 

We Noticed...
  • it is some sort of flower.
  • it doesn't smell like anything.
  • it feels crumpily.
  • it look like a flower.
  • it is brown.
  • there is something inside of it. 
  • that it looks dry. 
We observed this picture:

We watched this video

From the video, we gathered new learning.

New Learning:

  • We learned that they are Daylilies. 
  • They are called Daylilies because they die in one day. 
  • They come in lots of colors.
  • They are beautiful. 
  • There are 20 flowers per clump.
  • They are planted from littler plants. 
  • They are really colorful and very unique. 

So, since we had a wonderful amount of Daylily seeds, we decided that it would be a good idea to plant them. 

Here is how we did it:

1. First, we harvested our seeds and learned what they were.

2. Next, we labeled our bags with "daylilies", our names and date.

3. Then, we put the paper towels in our bags.

4. Next, we put the seeds in the bag with the cut up paper towels.

We watched the video to make sure we were following the proper directions. 

5. Then, we poured our water mixture into the bag. We didn't want to spill and the directions said, "no puddles". So we were very careful. 

6. Finally, we taped the bags to the window so they could get enough light. 

We had so much fun! We think you should do it too!

*Dear Parents and Visitors,
We would love a kind and helpful comment from you. We celebrate each one we receive. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The First 3 Days

The first 3 days have come and gone. Oh, how wonderful they were. 

We started our year on the right foot by all entering the building together as a class...or family.

We entered the room, greeted each other warmly and read a wonderful book. 

Then the students were dying to find their new seats and tablemates. Well, it would have been fine to have them go find their name tags and sit down. However, it is so much more fun to give them each a puzzle piece and find the pieces that they belong with. It was a great team-building experience and we had a lot of fun!

The students also participated in a STEM/creativity project. They were each given 3-4 pipe cleaners and a few sheets of aluminum foil and given the direction to... create! 

They worked thoughtfully on them for a great deal of time. It was fun to see how their creative brains work, an excellent way to get to know them. The projects will be used for a future blog post. 

We also made some time for good amount of reading!

Room 200 Fun Fact - We write down the title of every read aloud experience we have as a class. In the first 3 days, we heard 7 amazing books!

It was nice to hear from a guest reader too!

We also started working collaboratively on our Declaration of Awesomeness. More to come on that very soon!

Our first 3 days were so packed with fun and learning that it is almost too much to list! 
However, Here is a quick final rundown of our first moments together:

We played some new math games. 

We wrote on our Graffiti Wall about our 1st day book.

We explored the room.

We made our room feel like home. 

Enjoy this glimpse into our first 3 days:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meet Mrs. Bright - Welcome to Room 200!

It is almost time!!!!

The summer just flew by and now it is time to get back into the school mode. I am really looking forward to starting my journey at Blackberry Creek Elementary School. 

Right now, Room 200 is very lonely and empty. I am excited for 26 students to fill it with love, laughter and learning. 

I can't wait to meet all of you in just a few short days. Until then, let me tell you a bit about myself:

(Pictured above: Bruce, Ron, Laura, Dolly and Cooper)
My name is Laura Bright and I live in Sycamore, Illinois. We have a big old house that we have been fixing up and loving for the last 4 years. I live there with my husband Ron, my 3 dogs and 2 cats. Sometimes our house feels like a zoo!

I really enjoy school and it is my passion but I have some other fun interests as well. I am a fitness nut! I love running, biking, hiking and weight training. It is a fun way to meet new people and try new things. In fact, I will be competing in the Aurora Duathlon just after school starts! I am very excited to try a new type of event!

This will be my 12th year as a teacher in the Kaneland School District. I have spent the last 10 years at McDole with most of them being in 1st grade. I really enjoy teaching the primary grades and I believe it is absolutely my calling. 

You will soon find that I am very passionate about my job. I jump out of bed each school day, excited to join my class in another day of learning. I am most passionate about creativity, wonder and tech infusion to help enhance our learning day. With this passion, I also like to spread the word to other teachers by presenting at many conferences and leading full day workshops. I hope to inspire not only my amazing students but other teachers as well. 

Goals for the Year:
This year, our class will focus our successful year around the 4C's. 
We will become collaborative learners, critical thinkers, excellent communicators and creative explorers. 
With these skills mastered, there is no limit to what we will be able to achieve. 

In addition, as for my personal goals for the year, I want my students to feel loved and trusted. I want them to know that I think about them and do everything I can to personalize their education. I want them to feel that they have ownership in our classroom and are comfortable sharing their learning with us. 

Parents, Please take a few minutes to fill out the attached survey so that I can get to know and understand your child.  

Click here for Parent Survey

Also, feel free to send in a framed photograph of your family or other photograph with special meaning to your child on the 1st day. We will display these photos in our room to help create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. 

Can't wait to see you all on Monday, August 17th!