Happy Fall!

IMG_3980It’s officially fall and we are celebrating with a some small decorations in our room . . . so far.  Each table has a cute little pumpkin on it.  And . . . we have a pumpkin pie scented air freshener that makes us want to lick the walls (some have said this . . . I promise I didn’t make that part up) it smells so good! 🙂  It’s been a fun past week in first grade.  Read on to learn what we’ve been doing.

  • Conversation Starters
  • Making Words
  • Writing Workshop
  • Math – Taking Inventory
  • Special Guest
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • Tell me about the new chapter book you are reading.  Do you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?
  • You started exploring RAZ Kids during your Reading Workshop this week.  What is RAZ Kids?  What can you learn on this program?
  • During your math time, you are counting the number of objects of something in your classroom.  What are you and your partner counting?  What strategy are you using to count your objects?  Is this an efficient strategy?  How do you know?

Making Words: On Monday, we had 4 new words for our Word Wall.  In order to discover our new words, we thought it might be fun to figure out what they were with individual letters.  Each pair of students had a set of letter cards and through a set of clues, were able to make our word wall words.  It was a fun and new way for us to learn our words.

We started the week by making our Word Wall words from loose letters!  What a hard puzzle to figure out!
We started the week by making our Word Wall words from loose letters! What a hard puzzle to figure out!
Another friend working on our words!
Another friend working on our words!

Writing Workshop:  We are in the midst of transitioning into a new segment of our Small Moment learning.  Before we do that tomorrow (Friday), let me tell you what we did this week.  We discussed and learned about using seed ideas to write stories – instead of using watermelon ideas (see the photo below), we worked on writing down each sound from a word (see the photo below), we practiced getting ideas from writing partners, and reread our pieces like readers AND writers in order to share them in a whole group.  Our whole group sharing became a museum of writing and was incredible to experience.  Each author put a writing piece on a table and the other authors were able to peruse their pieces as they walked around the room.  Looking at other writing became a great opportunity for the children to learn from others and become more motivated to continue to write more as we continue to work hard in the coming days.

When students write stories, we want them to focus on a small moments, which we call seed ideas.
When students write stories, we want them to focus on a small moments, which we call seed ideas.  This way, they can really zoom in on the moment and write details about that specific time in their life.
This is one way students sound out words as they write in order to make sure they write EACH sound they hear in words.
This is one strategy students use as they write in order to make sure they write EACH sound they hear in words.

 

Before sharing our writing in our museum, we had to reread our writing to make sure others could read what we wrote.
Before sharing our writing in our museum, we had to reread our writing to make sure others could read what we wrote.
Then, we took a walk and read one another's writing pieces!
Then, we took a walk and read one another’s writing pieces!

Math – Taking Inventory: We began something new in math today.  We read a story about a family who was terribly disorganized.  In the family, a boy named Nicholas decided to organize things in his house by taking inventory and counting things.  We decided that we would do the same thing with our classroom, to make sure we knew how much stuff we had in our room.  Boy!  This is a TOUGH job!  We are currently in the midst of this job, so it’s not finished yet.  Below you can see the strategies we discussed to count objects and you can see some of our friends counting.  It will be interesting to see where this work goes!  Stay tuned and I hope you will hear many efficient ways to count objects in the near future.

We made a list of strategies that we could use to count objects.
We made a list of strategies that we could use to count objects.

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Special Guest: Holy cow!  We had an amazing Special Guest visit our classroom today!  We officially begun having our Student of the Week routine this week and Charlie has done a spectacular job having this role.  One of the benefits of being Student of the Week is having a Special Guest visit our classroom.  Today was the day and what a treat it was for everyone!  Charlie’s guest is a very knowledgable paraglider and we got to learn so much about the sport, along with actually seeing a paraglider in person!  So cool!

What do you think is in the "backpack" to the right of Charlie?
What do you think is in the “backpack” to the right of Charlie?
Look!  It's a paraglider!!!
Look! It’s a paraglider!!!
One first grader even got to try the harness!
One first grader even got to try the harness!

A Smile for You:  Each morning we have a Morning Meeting followed by our Calendar time.  I felt like we needed to increase the learning opportunities in our routine, so this week we began to incorporate additional ways to write and do math together.  Look below and you can see examples of this work.  Unfortunately, you will not see the incredible conversations that take place from this work.  Seriously!  The conversations are powerful.  The children discuss what was done well and what opportunities there are for improvement.  It truly is a learning time for everyone and has been an exciting change to our mornings.  As always, thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

This is part of our new morning routine.  Look at what amazing things we know how to do in first grade!
This is part of our new morning routine.  Look at what amazing things we know how to do in first grade!
Another picture of the smart thinking from the new addition in our morning routine.
Another picture of smart thinking from our morning routine.
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2 thoughts on “Happy Fall!

    1. Dear Jessica,
      Thanks for your comment on our blog! Yes, that backpack was very interesting! I’ve never seen one so big! I hope you got to hear all about paragliding. Take care.
      Sincerely,
      Ms. Turken

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