Let’s Celebrate!

animated-balloon-image-0022One reason to celebrate is because we had a a fabulous day of learning and fun on our 100th Day of school this week.  We also continued to work hard during our reading and math times, with a focus on poetry and addition. Lastly, I completed all of the Parent-Teacher Conferences this week and LOVED meeting with each of you!  Another reason to celebrate is because each first grader did an incredible job leading their conference and it was a pleasure to sit and celebrate the learning that has taken place in the life of your first grader this year.  Thanks for all of your support this year!  We (the students and I) greatly appreciate it!  As always, thank you for visiting the blog this week and I hope you enjoy reading what we’ve been doing.

  • Conversation Starters
  • 100th Day – Our Sign
  • 100th Day – Reading Challenge
  • 100th Day – Crowns and Necklaces
  • 100th Day – Trail Mix
  • Interactive Writing
  • Popcorn, Superman and Cats
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • Your class used new math strategies to solve addition equations.  These are the number line, tens and ones and the breaking apart strategy.  Ask your child how to use one of the strategies to solve: 23+45, 55+42 and 67+12.
  • As you read and listened to more poems this week, you noticed movement words.  What are some movement words you found?  Why do poets use movement words as they write?
  • What was your favorite activity on the 100th Day of School?  Why did you like this activity best?

100th Day – Our Sign: As we began thinking about our 100th Day of School, I thought it would be fun to make a sign for the school.  But before making the sign, we had some math work to do!  We needed to figure out how many handprints everyone needed to make to put on our sign so we had 100 altogether.  Then, we needed to figure out how to organize our handprints so people knew there were 100.  After MUCH discussion, we made some decisions about how to make the sign.  Check out the process below – and our AWESOME finished product that was hanging in the front hallway to welcome many Robinson students and staff on Wednesday. 🙂

The beginning of the sign for our celebratory day.
The beginning of the sign for our celebratory day.
The "blueprint" for how we were going to get 100 handprints on our sign.
This was the “blueprint” for how we were going to organize 100 handprints on our sign so people could clearly see that there were 100, rather than just a bunch of handprints.
Our sign proudly hanging so everyone could see it first thing when they entered Robinson!
Our sign – proudly hanging so everyone could see it when they entered Robinson!  It included 100 handprints in an organized way.

100th Day – Reading Challenge: It started off as a rather daunting challenge.  Soon enough, it turned into a goal that we reached as a team!  Talk about something to celebrate!  At the beginning of the day, I challenged the class to read 100 books that day.  Many kids thought I was CRAZY!  However, when we figured out how many we had to read, it didn’t seem as overwhelming.  Throughout the morning, we read several books, but were still quite a way from our goal.  After going to Music Class, we decided to have a Reading BLITZ and take 15 minutes to READ.  During the concentrated focus for EVERYONE to read, we completed our challenge!  Yay for working together as a team.  Check out the progress we made – and the celebration – below.

Our Reading Log looked VERY empty at first.
Our Reading Log looked VERY empty at first.
We added a few books to the log for our 100 Book Challenge.
We added a few books to the log for our 100 Book Challenge.
Molly worked hard to read books so she could add them to our list of "100 Books We Read!"
Molly worked hard to read books so she could add them to our list of “100 Books We Read!”
We had a reading BLITZ at the end of the day and finished our challenge!
We had a reading BLITZ at the end of the day and finished our challenge!
We celebrated reading 100 books with a bit of dancing . . . and a train of first graders. :)
We celebrated reading 100 books with a bit of dancing . . . and a train of some first graders. 🙂
Look at the orange sign!  Now it shoes you that we read ALL of those books in one day.
Look at the orange sign! Now it shows that we officially read 100 books in one day.

100th Day – Crowns and Necklaces: The task of making a necklace with 100 pieces of cereal and a crown with a 100 stickers were also overwhelming for many first graders – at first.  However, once they began and worked HARD, many completed the task with a big smile on their face!  It was so much fun working to make these items to celebrate the special day.  Plus, during our work times,  I heard numerous kids say, “This is the BEST day ever!”  🙂

This first grader worked SO HARD to complete his necklace with 100 pieces of cereal.
This first grader worked SO HARD to complete his necklace with 100 pieces of cereal.
Happy first grader's with their crowns!
Happy first grader’s with their crowns!
This friend also worked hard to complete the necklace.  Wow!
This friend also worked hard to complete the necklace. Wow!
More happy necklace workers! :)
More happy necklace workers! 🙂

100th Day – Trail Mix: Finally, at the end of the day, we made some trail mix with a variety of 100 items.  There were 10 snacks to choose from and each first grader had the job to put 10 of each item in a bag.  When they were finished, they needed to prove to me that they had 100 items and then they could celebrate by eating their snack.  This task wasn’t particularly academic in focus, but it was cute and fun to complete together. 🙂

Look at these kiddos making their trail mix with 100 items!
Look at these kiddos making their trail mix with 100 items!
Here are a few more trail mix makers. :)
Here are a few more trail mix makers. 🙂
Here is a peek of what the completed trail mix looks like.
Here is a peek of what the completed trail mix looked like.

Interactive Writing: On Monday, when I tried to put something in the recycle bin during a lesson, I reached for the bin and it wasn’t there.  Hmph.  We were all perplexed and didn’t know where our recycling bin had gone.  We looked around our room and in the hallways and didn’t see it anywhere.  Therefore, we wrote a letter to the kids at Robinson to see if anyone knew anything about our bin.  After hanging it in the front hallway, outside of the office, our bin was returned a few hours later!  Yay!  After writing our letter and getting our bin back, we learned the power of writing and how it can make a difference.  Check out our letter below.

We wrote a letter to Robinson kids to see if they could find our recycling bin.  The letter worked and our bin was returned!  Letters really DO work!
We wrote a letter to Robinson kids to see if they could find our recycling bin. The letter worked and our bin was returned! Letters really DO work!

Popcorn, Superman and Cats: A few years back, I worked with our Occupational Therapist in Kirkwood.  I learned some strengthening exercises that benefit all children’s growth in regards to their fine and gross motor skills, as well as their core strength.  We do these on a weekly basis and they children love it!  If you want to read a little more about these exercises – click here.  Otherwise, look below at the children as they worked hard doing the strengthening exercises.  And, be sure to check out the last one, because I just included it because it’s silly. 🙂

Look at us doing "Superman" to get stronger!
Look at us doing “Superman” to get stronger!
Now, we are doing "Popcorn" to strengthen our core.
Now, we are doing “Popcorn” to strengthen our core.
This one isn't a strengthening exercise, but rather us acting like cats arching their backs from a  poem we acted out together.
This one isn’t a strengthening exercise, but rather us acting like cats arching backs as a poem was read aloud.

A Smile for You: I always feel happy when all of the students are in class on any given day – meaning no one is absent.  I also feel happy when we get the opportunity to take a purposeful picture as a group that works together.  The photo below puts a smile on my face and in my heart.  I hope it does the same for you.  Thanks for reading this week.  Have a wonderful weekend with your first grader.

Here we are posing in front of our sign with some of our 100th Day creations!
Here we are posing in front of our sign with some of our 100th Day creations!
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