Saturday, September 21, 2013

Working Hard!

Whew!  We have been working fast and furious!!  I've been itching to get our routines and procedures in place but it takes time and sure pays off later with how independent your children become.  :)  We are *almost* in full swing with most everything.  Here we are a couple of weeks ago practicing our math stations.  This week we were all practicing the same station at the same time.  We've now moved on to tables practicing different stations.  Soon we will have full rotations.  Your kiddos *LOVE* this time!  Math can be sooooo fun! :)  The conversations and group learning that go on during this time is pretty incredible.  We've been working on 'seeing the 5' (on a ten frame) when counting in our math program.  But through math stations last week, one group was talking to me about how they not only 'saw the 5' but they were 'seeing the 10' (on 2 ten frames) and counted "10..11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16"  Oh how I bragged on that smart thinking!!  I love seeing their little brains work and carry over learning to independent practice.  Another student referred to our voiced s sound as he saw it in the day of the week this past week in morning work.  Yay!!  I love to see them voice their learning.  :)

Our Daily 5 is basically in full swing.  We will teach Listen to Reading soon.  But right now we have rotations of small groups, word study, read to self/AR testing, istation practice and pullouts.  We stay pretty busy at this time of day!  And it is one of my favorites because I love to see all the little brains engulfed in their books!  :)  I always see some light bulbs going off when it comes to reading during this time of day.  I already have little hands being raised to ask, "When will we do Daily 5??"  :)  Makes my teacher heart happy to hear that question!!

We finished our Reading Goals and posted them on the wall as a reminder throughout the year.  Our goals this year varied from read chapter books, to learning more sight words.  All of our goals are different and I love it!
 Our back wall of work from a few weeks ago.  "First Grade is...." writing piece and a backpack full of "What a first grader needs to be successful"!

Writer's Workshop is still easily one of my favorite times of day and it is quickly become a favorite of some of the kiddos as well!  The stories are developing quickly and I've already seen so much progress in handwriting, spacing, capitalization...it's just amazing how quickly they grow!  Your independent writers can write up to 2 pieces a day, continue the next day or start new pieces as they choose.  They love the responsibilities they have control of during this time. :)

 A few weeks ago was all about reading, our goals and how to grow as a reader.  We read the book "Reading Makes You Feel Good" and then did an art project and prompt of "Reading makes me feel..." I have been amazed with all of the love of art in this class!  And I definitely think we have some future Picasso's around.  WoW!  The drawings that come from your kiddos are wonderful!

 The first grade team of teachers had some exciting news this last week.  We had applied for a local grant and were excited to learn last Thursday that we won our grant!  One of our teachers was the brains behind the project and we all helped out where we could.  We are excited to be using our grant to purchase mentor texts and book binding materials to use during our Writer's Workshop times.  The kiddos loved being able to share the excitement with us during their lunch period.  They were also pretty excited to hear that the money was going to be spent on them.  ;)