Happy December!

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 10.15.17 PMIt has been a super week in Room 203.  We started back from Thanksgiving Break with a powerful conversation about our Robinson Mission Statement and what it means to the staff and children at our school.  (You’ll have to check out the thoughts from our incredible first graders below!)  Next, we got back into our regular routines by reading familiar books to compare similarities and differences and then looked at nonfiction writing in order to discuss a writer’s strengths and opportunities for improvement so we could write better ourselves.  Finally, we continued our learning in mathematics about geometry and fractions.  Whew!  We have continued to chug along this week and have had fun spending time together too.  Read on to learn more about our week.  Thanks for reading our post this week.

  • Conversation Starters
  • Mission Statement
  • There Was An Old Lady . . . 
  • Reading First Grade Writing
  • Thanksgiving Books
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • You’re reading a Junie B. Jones chapter book right now.  What are some of the things  Junie’s class is thankful for?  What are exploding biscuits? 🙂
  • Tell me about what you learned in P.E. about bullying and what you will do to stop bullying.
  • You made an “Expert List” during your Writing Workshop about things you could write a teaching book about.  What are some of the things you are an expert at?  Which topic did you choose to write your book?  Why did you choose this topic?

Mission Statement: As I said above, we began the week with a conversation about the Robinson Mission Statement because it allowed us to regroup after a break and remind each of us (me included!) what the Robinson community strives toward. I was blown away with the connections the kids made and their thinking.  I explained to the children that working toward the mission is the goal of every teacher at Robinson – each day.  After discussing the mission as a large group, we moved in to partnerships to write small group reflection on the statement.  Look at what the children came up with below.  Wow!

This photo represents some of the connections made when we discussed Robinson's Mission Statement.
This photo represents some of the connections made when we discussed Robinson’s Mission Statement.
This is another reflection on the mission statement.  Wow.
This is another reflection on the mission statement. Wow.

There Was An Old Lady . . . 618DRq5AyCL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_In the last post, I mentioned how we created an “old lady in our classroom by making all of the things she ate in the story and putting them inside of her belly. 🙂  After reading another version, we made another “old lady” and put different things inside of her belly because she ate other items.  Finally, we used a Venn Diagram to show the similarities and differences among the two books.  Check out our display on our bulletin board outside our room next time you are at Robinson.  Until then, however, look at the photo below.

This is the bulletin board outside our classroom where we wrote the similarities and differences among two versions of a story.
This is the bulletin board outside our classroom where we wrote the similarities and differences among two versions of a story.

Reading First Grade Writing: How do writers get better?  One way is by reading other writing – of course!  Therefore, we began the week by reading a nonfiction teaching piece written by another first grader named Brendan (whom does not attend Robinson).  The children reviewed the piece and then we discussed what they liked and did not like about his writing. (Wow . . . these kiddos are HARSH critics!) The next step will be to transfer some of the strategies he used in his writing to make positive changes in our own writing.  Until we get there, look at how hard the children in Room 203 worked to read the writing piece and then check out their reflection on the first grade writing.

Look at how hard these girls worked to find things they liked and did not like about another first grade author's writing.
Look at how hard these girls worked to find things they liked and did not like about another first grade author’s writing.
Molly was prepared with a pencil to take note of what she liked and didn't like about Brendan's writing.  Awesome job Molly!
Molly was prepared with a pencil to take note of what she liked and didn’t like about Brendan’s writing. Awesome job Molly!
This is the list of things the children liked and disliked about Brendan's writing.  Hopefully, they will learn from this about what they want to include into their own writing pieces.
This is the list of things the children liked and disliked about Brendan’s writing. Hopefully, they will learn from this about what they want to include into their own writing pieces.

Thanksgiving Books: Before Thanksgiving, we had some fun with learning some facts about the holiday.  Then, each first grader wrote his or her own nonfiction book about Thanksgiving and brought it home on the Tuesday before break.  (I hope you got to hear the wonderful book your first grader created!)  Check out some of the work from our writers below.

Here is the cover to a Thanksgiving book created by a first grade author.
Here is the cover of a Thanksgiving book created by a first grade author.
Here is another Thanksgiving book created by one of our authors.
Here is another Thanksgiving book created by one of our authors.
Check out this happy author with his amazing book!
Check out this happy author with his amazing book!

A Smile for You: On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, my oldest brother came into town and visited our classroom.  This made me smile because the children LOVED having him visit!  You see, my brother Jeff doesn’t live in a house like most people.  He lives on a sailboat!  He shared photos with the children and they had oodles and oodles of questions for him!  It was so much fun seeing the kids excitement and hearing their thoughtful questions about something they have never thought much about before Jeff came to our classroom.

Here is a photo of my brother sharing information with the class about his sailboat.
Here is a photo of my brother sharing information with the class about his sailboat.

 

 

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