Planning for Conferences!

wp99743ed0We have had a great week so far – albeit shorter than usual.  We have been busy – of course.  One event that has kept us quite busy has been the amazing FUN taking place in P.E. class!  Each first grader has had the opportunity to roller skate and it has been awesome.  We have also spent quite a bit of our time preparing for our student-led conferences, which has been an AMAZING learning experience so far.  Thanks for visiting our blog!  Enjoy learning about what we have been doing lately.

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Conference Planning
  • Teaching One Another
  • Our NEW Pet!
  • A Smile for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • unknown-1Your class read a book this week called Raising Dragons.  It was definitely a favorite book of ours and had such a great message.  Ask your first grader to tell you who the characters are in the story, the problem and solution.
  • You have begun working on creating a reading “toolbox” during your Reading Workshop.  Tell me what a toolbox is used for and the strategies you have included so far in your toolbox.  What are some other reading strategies you use that you would like in your toolbox?

Conference Planning:  As you know, we have begun our student-led conferences.  In order for our first graders to be best prepared for their time with you, there was quite a bit of planning that needed to take place.  We needed to learn what our focus was for the conference (decided by either the family or the first grader), think about what we do well in that area, ponder what we could change to do better in that area, create, show or do something to prove our thinking and finally – have the conference!  It was quite a bit of work but after the first night of conferences, well worth the effort.  I believe the students have learned very much about themselves and I have as well.  Check out some of our planning and preparation in the photos below.

This is the guide each first grader used to plan for their conference.
This is the guide each first grader used to plan for their conference.
After everyone made a plan for their conference, we brainstormed ways to show our learning and opportunities to our families at conferences.
After everyone made a plan for their conference, we brainstormed ways to show our learning and opportunities to our families at conferences.  Here is a list of our brainstorming.
The first graders were planning for their student-led conference.
The first graders were planning for their student-led conference.
Autymn planned for her conference by watching a teaching video (how to complete the planning sheet), using a word ring from our word wall and completing her planning sheet. Awesome work!
Autymn planned for her conference by watching a teaching video (how to complete the planning sheet), using a word ring from our word wall and completing her planning sheet. Awesome work!
Duncan planned for his conference on his planning sheet.
Duncan planned for his conference on his planning sheet.
These first graders are working hard to plan for their student-led conference.
These first graders are working hard to plan for their student-led conference.
One of our first graders showing a representation of her problem solving focus during her student-led conference.
One of our first graders showing a representation of her problem solving focus during her student-led conference.  Her creation shows her (the cylinder) solving math problems on a paper (to the left).  Awesome!

Teaching One Another: We always LOVE when first graders teach one another.  Below, you will see a few examples of our first graders leading one another to learn together.  It is always a lovely sight to see us move toward and more student-led classroom each day.  Check out our students as they collaborate together in the photos below.

As these first graders worked on their planning sheet - they had a first grade teaching guiding them with ideas to talk about with their family at conferences.
As these first graders worked on their planning sheet – they had a first grade teaching guiding them with ideas to talk about with their family at conferences.
These first grade writers worked on teaching one another handwriting in order to make letters more clearly.
These first grade writers worked on teaching one another handwriting in order to make letters more clearly.
These first graders worked on their handwriting too - teaching one another how to make their best letters!
These first graders worked on their handwriting too – teaching one another how to make their best letters!

Our NEW Pet!:  Before Winter Break, we decided to adopt an animal from the St. Louis Zoo.  The children had  a choice among 6 animals and chose a polar bear.  After much anticipation, we FINALLY received a mysterious box in the mail.  We had to explore the box before opening it, which was quite a sight to behold!  If you would like to see what our first graders looked like as they SHOOK(!) our box, click here.  You will notice in the video that it was definitely a good thing we didn’t have anything fragile inside!  We are excited to have learned a bit about polar bears during our adoption and are now official zoo parents!

Each first grader shook the box we received to take a guess of what might be inside!
Each first grader shook the box we received to take a guess of what might be inside!
Here is our newest addition to our classroom, who will receive a name very soon!
Here is our newest addition to our classroom, who will receive a name very soon!

A Smile for You!  Thanks for visiting our blog this week.  The photo below was taken by one of our first graders at the end of our Choice Time one day.  You might remember the game Lite Brite when you were growing up.  Well . . . we have one in our classroom and LOVE it!  Check out one of our creations, reminisce on your childhood, SMILE, and have a great weekend!

Check out this creation from some of our amazing creators!
Check out this Lite-Brite creation from some of our amazing first graders! (Photography courtesy of first grader photographer, Autymn.)

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