Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Literary Pumpkin Festival

Book Clubs

We have added Book Clubs to our Reader's Workshop. Everyday students participate in their own small Book Club. As a club, each group gave themselves a nickname to establish their own identity. Book Clubs are a great way to get students talking about books and learning about different story elements. Over the past two weeks we have been studying the characters, settings, problems and solutions in our stories. The students have also worked on using "Accountable Talk" in their book discussions. This will get students talking about books in a deep and meaningful way. Talk to your child about it! In the video below you will see some of the students from our room as well as from Ms. Thomson's class during their Book Club.

Untitled from Michelle Ellis on Vimeo.

In the "Hot Seat" with Tough Borris

During our mini-lesson, we read the story Tough Borris by Mem Fox. After reading the story Ms. Tracy picked two different students to play the part of Tough Borris. The other students were able to ask this character questions. Some of the questions were: " Do you ever cry?" "Why do you wear earings?", "Why are you scary". The students enjoyed this activity.
When reading stories with your child have them pick a favorite character to act out. This is an easy and fun to check if your child understood a character from the story.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rockin Our Number Sense

Math Choice Time is an important component to our Math Workshop. After learning a few new math games, the students have the opportunity to choose which game they want to play during Choice Time. Our Standards-Based Bulletin Board this month, shows our community what Math Choice Time looks like in our classroom. Previously we introduced the games of On/Off, Counters in a Cup, Roll and Record Addition,

Roll and Record Subtraction, and Double Compare. All the games focus on building number sense. In the game On/Off and Counters in a Cup the students play with 10 chips.

This helps the students learn the different combination of ten. In both games of Roll and Record, the students play the game with two dice. They are working on number combinations of 12. The real focus that we were looking for is "How do the students count the dots?". Do they simply count each dot on each dice? Do they count on by placing the larger number in their head and counting up? Do they know the combinations without counting. Choice Time also allows us to conduct informal assessments as we observe the students playing each game. Many of these games can be played at home, if you are interested in having a copy of the game sheets and directions, just let us know.

Disco Pumpkin

Today, we finished making our class pumpkin for the Literary Pumpkin Festival. The festival is a celebration of fall and literary characters that we have here at Chets Creek every October. This year we decided to continue our disco theme. Each student had the opportunity to glue mirror tiles onto our pumpkin. They also made a dancing body to attach to their picture. The pictures we used are from the beginning of the year when the students had their disco wig on. When you look at the display it looks like the students are dancing under the lights of the disco ball. If you have time, please make plans to come into our front foyer at school. You will be amazed at the creativity of each class.

Where the First Graders Went on a Field Trip

On Friday we took our first field trip this year. We loaded the bus and made our way to the movie theatre where we saw the movie Where the Wild Things Are. The Chets Creek first graders had the entire movie theatre to ourselves. We had an upclose seat to watch the main character of the movie Max, sail off on his private boat to where the wild things are. When Max arrived he and the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws. This fictional story looked as if the characters from the storybook jumped right off of the pages and onto the movie screen. After watching this imaginative tale we were more than ready to visit Sunshine Park where we would eat lunch and enjoy playing with each other. The weather was perfect, although it was just a little hot for October, atleast the skys were blue. We had a great day together!!

Wild Things Fieldtrip from Michelle Ellis on Vimeo.