This is our 12th year devoting the entire day to greening Kaler School.
We worked in our outdoor areas with Master Gardeners, volunteers from the United Way Day of Caring, and many Kaler families. Our whole school projects included repainting a 4-square area, reconfiguring the walking trail, painting picnic tables, and care for existing gardens. This year we incorporated school goals for our day: to maintain/revise our existing green spaces, to encourage outdoor learning, and to facilitate an appreciation of nature. The research on kids associating with nature is clear: behaviors decrease- green spaces allow for reflective moments and peaceful outcomes. School gardens are hands-on, interactive, kinesthetic, and multi-sensory. We hope that work completed this year will continue to encourage greater use of our outdoor space.
The first grade was assigned these specific areas:
We had a variety of experts that came to Kaler to engage students in various aspects of the environment. The presentations included:
We love our Readers Theater. Everyone is using great expression, pausing, and intonation. Here is our video from Literacy Night. Enjoy and Happy Reading!
,The 100th day of school is one of my top favorite days of school! We read many stories regarding the 100th day. We also wrote what we would be like at 100. I made pictures of everyone to look 100 as well. In Math, we did LOTS of 100 counting activities. We rotated through five centers
1. 100 cup stack challenge
2. Race to 100-we rolled a dice and counted on until we got to 100 or our partner finished first.
3. 100 gum balls in the gumball machine
4. Match the number to the hundreds chart
5. Made a 100 piece pattern block picture
We had such a blast!!!! Everyone LOVED the 100 cup stack challenge. There was only two groups that completed it - others were close but their stacks fell multiple times. Another favorite was race to 100 with dice. I have sent the game board home so you all can join in on our math fun.
We finished the day by using die cuts of the number 100 and drew beautiful pictures that incorporated the number 100. I sent those home today so you could enjoy them! We had pictures that used the number 100 like a butterfly to monster trucks! They were so creative. Here are the pictures from the day! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!!!!
Our first graders just returned from traveling all around the world. We have traveled to the Netherlands to learn about Sinterclaus and how the children celebrate on Dec 6. They leave their clogs filled with carrots and hay hoping for treats and gifts. We then flew to Israel to learn about Hanukkah. We learned that they light a menorah for eight days and we played a traditional game called driedel. Next we flew to Germany to learn about gingerbread and how they celebrate Christmas. They light an advent wreath, decorate with Christmas trees and also make gingerbread men and houses. They have been making gingerbread for over 600 years. China was by far our favorite. They celebrate the lunar New Year and they light red lanterns which is a symbol of good luck. They have a big parade with a dancing dragon. We visted Mexico and learned about Las Pasadas. In Mexico the children and adults celebrate for 9 nights. They enjoy parties, dancing and pinatas. They then celebrate January 6th when Santa leaves them gifts.
We compared these countries to America and how they were similar and different. One amazing fact that they discovered was that America celerbates all of these traditions in their own way. America is a country of many other countries' traditions. Everyone enjoyed learning and exploring the different traditions. Take a look at our fun!
This week was our second time we practiced and performed a reader's theater. We read an adaptation to Old Mother Hubbard. Each day this week we read over the story. We talked about voice and phrasing in the story. We usually share the reading with our fourth grade book buddies however, they all wanted to share this performance with you. Enjoy!
We are continuing to learn comprehension strategies of good readers. This week we started our unit of character analysis in reading. Our main goals these next few weeks are to:
We will be responding to our stories using sentence frames that help us explain our thinking. Here are a few formats that we will be using:
Whenever we are reading a story and describing a character's actions, feelings, thoughts and words we also go back into the story and finding evidence to support our reasoning. This allows us to go deeper into the stories and prove our thinking .
You can help at home by reading stories and asking some of these questions as well.
This week we focused more on our own character traits and how we act when we are upset, happy, sad etc. We discussed traits that were inside and outside traits for a character and made this anchor chart to help us remember
We made character trait capes of ourselves so they had a better idea of what we were actually looking for within our stories. They did an excellent job of coming up with their own outside and inside character traits.
We started to dive into stories at the end of the week. We read, The legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, by Joe Trioano. This story is about a sweet, but different pumpkin. Spookley is teased by his round pumpkin friends until a stormy night when he saves the day! Below is the story and our chart of character traits that we discussed after we read the story. Next week we will continue with, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and No, David!
This week we started to focus on our yearlong learning of a growth mindset. As a society we used to think that our intelligence was fixed, meaning we were either smart or we weren’t. Scientists have proven again and again that it is simply not true. Our brain acts like a muscle, the more we use it, the stronger and smarter our brain becomes. Here are the handouts I sent home via our newsletter.
We read, Giraffes Can’t Dance, and we discussed what Gerald was not good at. He was not good at dancing. We brainstormed a list of things we were not good at yet. Below is the brainstorm list that we came up with for what we cannot do.
Everyone then went back and wrote something that they could not do in first grade. We added something that they can do that is a prerequisite skill to help reach their goal. We discussed we can grow our brains and become good at whatever goal we set our mind to, with hard work. We also talked about how getting to our goal might be difficult, but we are learning and growing when we do that. We discussed that with hard work we will continue to grow our brains and meet our goal that we are not good at YET.
Everyone worked really hard was proud of his or her goals. We hope you enjoy them!
In first grade will be do lots of learning about how to be kind, what kindness looks like, what should we do if someone is unkind and how to respond. We started our kindness learning off by reading one of my favorite books, Kindness is cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler.
Here is the book we read aloud via another teacher reader :)
After we read the story we brainstormed how we can be kind in the classroom and at school. We came up with a variety of ways they show kindness everyday while at school.
After brainstorming, we wrote how we can be kind on a heart, since kindness comes from the heart. We all shared and found out that we all can be kind by doing little things each day to help make someone else’s day better. I hope you enjoy their writing!
Hello First Grade Families,
Happy Thursday! We are about finished our second week in first grade. I bet your child is tired- I know I am. We started this week by reviewing the letters and two sight words a day. We reviewed the sounds and added hand movements to each one, to remember the sound. These are the letters that we have learned so far this week- ask you child to explain the movements and sounds!
A – apple- /a/ (hands together like you are holding an apple)
B- bat- /b/ (hands like you are swinging a bat)
C-car- /c/ (rubbing arms like you are cold)
D-dog-/d/ (shovel like you are digging)
E-egg- /e/ (up to your ear like you can’t hear / arm like a slanted dash)
F-fish- /f/ (arms out like you are an airplane flying
G-goat-/g/ (place two fingers on their throat to "feel" the sound.)
H- horse- /h/ (place a hand in front of their mouth and say "/h/" to feel how hot their breath is.)
We practiced the letter and sight word formations using fine motor activities- tweezers and felt, play dough and skywriting. We also applied the sight words and letters to poems, sentences and word searches. We have learned/ reviewed the following sight words this week:
Everyone had a blast! Any extra help learning these at home would be helpful for your reader! You can have them hop each letter to spell the sight word, write it in chalk, air write it before bed, you can put salt or flour on a cookie sheet and they can write out the words.
We also continued to work on our routines and transitions. We started centers in literacy and in math. Ask your child to tell you how we rotate and what we do in each center.
Here are our pictures from the week! Enjoy!
We finally made it to the first week! Boy oh boy, did we have a blast! This week we learned lots of routines and procedures that will be used all year long. We learned about the expectations for the playground, cafeteria, hallway, bathroom, and in our classroom. We are going to have a ROCKING year!
This week as a class we developed the way First Grade can ROCK our socks off. We decided on what the expectations would be together and we all signed and agreed to them( picture in slideshow). We also discussed our cafeteria expectations as well. We practiced all week and we have been doing a fabulous job! We made a lunch box to remind us of our expectations, we brought them home Wednesday. (picture in slideshow).
Recess was another area that we discuss what was expected and unexpected. Here are the expectations for the playground.
*Stay within playground boundaries
*Dress for the weather
*Get a grown-up to help when needed
*Be aware of your surroundings and others
*Use hands and feet safely
*Use equipment in a safe manner
*Voice level 0-4
*Share and take turns with playground equipment
*Use kind words, actions and tone with others
*Leave nature for others to enjoy
*Return playground equipment to proper place
*Line up quickly and quietly at whistle
*Follow station procedures
*Play in designated areas
*Be prepared (bathroom/water/clothes)
We also started our math centers. We explored pattern blocks, inch tiles, polygons, and connecting cubes. We started choice time, where we used legos, lincoln logs, marble maze, writing center, and playdough. We even painted with water colors.Oh and we read so many books. YAY for FIRST GRADE!
I am thrilled for the year and can not wait until next week. Enjoy the pictures from the first week and Happy Weekend!