All posts by im4ecuador

Another GREAT Week in First Grade!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Nonfiction Writing
  • Visiting SPACE!
  • Visiting NEW YORK!
  • Kids Teaching Kids
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters: 

  • When you went to the library this week, you brought your iPads to learn how to read e-books.  Tell me which e-books you tried reading and if you’d like  to give it a try in your classroom during your read to self time.
  • Your class read a book this week called: Queen of the Diamond.  Tell me why Lizzie Murphy had this nickname.  What did you learn about her and what else would you like to know?
  • Tell me what happens during your classroom morning meeting each day.  When you led the meeting, which choices did you make for greeting one another and for an activity for the class?  Why did you make these choices?  Did you enjoy leading the morning meeting?  Why or why not?
  • You sorted names in your class this week by the number of syllables in each name.  Which number of syllables had the most names?  Which had the least number of names?  Why do you think this might be?

Nonfiction Writing: This week, our authors have been working furiously to complete their nonfiction writing pieces for the quarter.  Our writers have been working in two classrooms – either with myself or Mrs. Bearden – yet everyone is writing amazing nonfiction pieces with the goal to teach others about real people or real things.  Many kiddos are writing about objects in the sky, while others have chosen to write about other interesting topics.  It is so much fun to watch these writers blossom and take ownership in their writing this quarter.  Ask your first grader what writing skills he or she has been working on in writing this week.

Natalie is working on her nonfiction book. This page is about the different ways the moon can look.
Josiah worked to write about the Earth for this page of his nonfiction book.
Check out this hard working author, Thomas!
Add wrote her page about the Earth for her nonfiction book.
Markell worked to write his table of contents for his nonfiction book.
Addison wrote her table of contents for her nonfiction book.
Jeremiah modeled his table of contents for us as we wrote together.

Visiting SPACE!: What?!?  It’s true – kind of. 🙂  We went to space in our very own Robinson Library this week during a visit from Ms. Seymour, our Kirkwood Science Facilitator.  Ms. Seymour brought the Kirkwood planetarium to Robinson and we went inside to learn about patterns in the sky.  Inside the planetarium there is a projector which shows the sky at the current time – or any time you choose.  The planetarium experience allowed us to see many patterns with the Sun and Moon, as well as patterns with the stars.  Ask your first grader about his or her visit to space this week and what was learned about patterns in the sky.

Check out our Kirkwood planetarium that we had the chance to visit this past week!
Ms. Seymour explained to us how to enter the planetarium safely.
We were SO EXCITED to go inside the planetarium!

Visiting NEW YORK!: Again – what?!?  We also visited New York this week via Skype.  I bet you had no idea how much traveling your first grader has been doing!  We had the opportunity to Skype with a scientist from the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Complex in New York to learn about aircraft carriers, space shuttles, and airplanes.  It was so much fun visiting the museum and learning about objects we might not otherwise get the chance to experience.  I wonder what kind of field trip might be on deck next? 🙂

We had the opportunity to check out the New York skyline during our Skype with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
We had the chance to see the Enterprise space shuttle during our Skype with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
Ella asked a question about aircraft carriers during our Skype.

Kids Teaching Kids: We are coming down the homestretch for our Kids Teach Kids presentations.  Ask your first grader what he or she learned during our presentations  and what was new for them.  And – ask him or her if we did another round of Kids Teach Kids – what would they want to teach us? 🙂

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A Smile for You: This semester is almost over, which is UNBELIEVABLE to me!  It has been so much fun learning together and we have really enjoyed our time these past few weeks. Thanks for sharing your first grader with us everyday.  As for a photo to make you smile more this week, I am repeating one of our Kids Teach Kids photos from above! 🙂  I particularly enjoyed this photo because the kids were so engaged to learn from Anthony about how to do ninja skills – so we tried a few kicks together and gave it a go!  Check out the photo (again), SMILE, and have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks for visiting our blog this week!

Anthony taught us about ninja skills for his Kids Teach Kids presentation.

Day #76 of First Grade!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Finding Shapes
  • Learning About Mexico
  • Kids Teaching Kids
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters: 

  • Your class read a book this week and learned about Eugenie Clark in a book called Shark Lady.  Tell me what you learned about this shark scientist and what you would like to try that she did during her lifetime.  (Families: We talked about how she used grit and persevered when others didn’t believe in her.)
  • Have you signed-up to read a book to your class yet?  If so, which book are you planning to read?  If not, when are you planning to sign-up to read to your class?
  • Tell me about the song your class is practicing in Music for the Winter Sing Along.  What are your favorite parts of the song?
  • What was your favorite part about bowling in P.E. this week?  What did you learn that was challenging about bowling and what did you learn that will make you a better bowler next time?

Finding Shapes:  On our half-day on Monday this week, we had the opportunity to take a walk outside and search for some shapes in nature.  As you might imagine, there are SO MANY shapes EVERYWHERE we look!  Our first grade mathematicians were amazing detectives as they looked – and found – so many shapes we have been learning about recently.  Please ask your first grader about some of the shapes he or she found.  In addition, check out some of the mathematicians below as they discovered the shapes surrounding them in nature.

We went outside to look for shapes in nature.
Check out these mathematicians looking for shapes!

Learning About Mexico: We were very fortunate to have Alonso’s dad come this week and talk to us about Mexico.  Since Alonso and his family are from Mexico, they had great first-hand knowledge to share with us!  As you might remember, this is our second time learning about Mexico – which is incredible!  Sutton’s dad came a few weeks ago and taught us about his experience in Mexico and this week we had the opportunity to learn even more!  Please ask your first grader what he or she learned about Mexico during the visit.

Alonso’s dad came and taught us about Mexico.

Kids Teach Kids: We continued our presentations this week and learned about many NEW things from our first grade teachers.  We learned how about the measurements of both baseball and football fields, how to play football and how to draw people.  It was so much fun to try each of these activities out too!  Check out the photos below.

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A Smile for You:  We continue to have our first graders read to us on a weekly basis and LOVE when we get to share books with one another!  I guess that’s what happens when we read books together on a daily basis!  These first graders sure know how important it is to read book and to read aloud to one another!  Check out Henry reading to us in the photo below!  The photo is sure to make you smile when you notice how engaged all of the other kiddos are during his reading.  Thanks for visiting our blog this week.  Have a great weekend!

Check out Henry reading a Todd Parr book to us!


WHOA – it’s almost December!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Soup and Salad!
  • Kindness Quilts
  • Composing Numbers
  • Visiting Author
  • Visiting Family Members
  • Kids Teaching Kids
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters: 

  • Tell me about your Skype field trip this week to Antarctica to see penguins!  Let’s watch the short clip here or the entire virtual field trip here and you can tell me what you learned and enjoyed most.
  • Your class read some books this week about penguins.  Tell me what happened to the penguins with the hiccups and the penguin who ate another animal’s lollipop!
  • You’ve been learning about objects in the sky this week.  Tell me what you have discovered about the Sun, Moon, stars or our planet Earth.
  • You are creating a shape drawing in math in order to identify and compose geometric shapes.  Tell me about your shape drawing.  What kinds of shapes have you been using?

Soup and Salad!:  On the day before Thanksgiving Break, we decided to have a few snacks together to celebrate our learning community.  In our classroom, we made a special soup called Friendship Soup.  The soup allowed us to celebrate our time together as friends by many of our students bringing in the items for us to enjoy in one dish.  We also visited our neighboring classroom, Room 111, and had a salad party!  Our friends next door have been growing lettuce with their Tower Garden and it was ready to harvest their lettuce and enjoy the treat!

Look at these happy salad eaters!
Look at these happy salad eaters!
Look at these happy salad eaters!
Look at these happy salad eaters!
We enjoyed our Friendship Soup, too!
We enjoyed our Friendship Soup, too!
We enjoyed our Friendship Soup, too!

Kindness Quilts: As your first grader might have mentioned to you, we worked with our neighbors recently to create a quilt square.  The quilts were based off a book called The Kindness Quilt.  In the book, Minna and her classmates have been asked by their teacher, Mrs. Bloom, to work on a Kindness Project. Minna starts writing and drawing and cutting—and an idea for a paper quilt picturing many acts of kindness begins to take shape!  So, after our neighbors gave it a try, we wanted to make kindness quilt squares, too!  Check some of them out below and ask your first grader which quilt square he or she made.

Nicholas and Sutton checked out the example before making their own quilt squares.
Nilan and Avi worked to complete their kindness quilt squares.

Composing Numbers: This week, we continued to work on the important skill of composing numbers – finding multiple ways to make a number.  We used games with cards as well as activities with a math rack to find different ways to make numbers.  Ask you first grader about the game he or she played called Passenger Pairs.  We also made posters to show our thinking about the many ways to make a number.  After making posters, we held a math congress to share the strategies we used to find the ways to make numbers on the math rack.  Ask your first grader which number he or she worked on and about the poster that was created to show their thinking.

Math partners worked to find different ways to make numbers by using the math rack.
We played a game to help us figure out different ways to make a number.
After doing our math work, we had a math congress to share our thinking.
After doing our math work, we had a math congress to share our thinking.

Visiting Author: We had the privilege to have a visit by local author and illustrator this week, Dan Killeen.  During Mr. Killeen’s visit to our first grade, he talked about how he became an author, read one of his books to us, and answered questions from MANY curious first grade writers.  It was so much fun having a real author in our presence and having the kids learn from him this week.  Yay for local authors!

Visiting Family Members: We have had the privilege of learning about the culture of SO MANY different places lately.  It has been such fun!  We have learned about Uruguay, Mexico, United Kingdom, South Carolina, Uganda, and Rwanda!  Whoa – that’s a lot!  We have had the chance to see artifacts as well as many photos of houses, food, crafts, and clothing.  It has been amazing.  Ask you first grader what he or she has learned about culture from our visitors and which place has been his or her favorite – so far!

We had the chance to learn about Uruguay!
We learned about the United Kingdom and Stonehenge.
We learned about Charleston, South Carolina.
We learned about Mexico.
Mrs. Mafigiri visited us to teach us about Uganda and Rwanda.

Kids Teach Kids: As you are well aware, we recently launched our first cycle of Kids Teach Kids.  Each child has the opportunity to choose a topic in which they are an “expert” and then teach our class about their topic.  We have had a fantastic time so far during our presentations.  Check out a few photos below from our recent LEARNING from one another.

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A Smile for You: It has been so much fun being back together this week after a LONG break for Thanksgiving.  And – as you can see from this post, we have been doing A LOT.  One of the things we did, which was mentioned above, was having the opportunity to Skype with a scientist in Antarctica.   You can watch the video of the Skype with the link at the beginning of this post.  But – check out the picture below and it will make you smile!  So many curious first graders learning about penguins from a scientist in Antarctica.  Thanks for visiting our blog this week.  Have a great weekend!

Check out these CURIOUS first graders learning about penguins during our Skype with Antarctica.




A LOT of Celebrating!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Celebrating Our Veterans
  • Celebrating Writing
  • Celebrating Math with Games
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • Your class read a book this week called Derrick and the Dinosaurs that took place in St. Louis.  Tell me what happened in this book.  Why will your class read more of the books by the author, Dan Killeen?  Are you going to have a chance to meet him? (Hint, hint!)
  • Your class has been learning about your bones in P.E.  Tell me about the bones in your body.  Point to the following: skull, femur, humerus, and phalanges.  What has your class been doing in class to have fun learning about bones?  (Families: Give the hint of GoNoodle and your kiddo will definitely know!)
  • You began learning about nonfiction in both reading and writing this week.  How do you know when a book is nonfiction?  What question can you ask yourself after reading a nonfiction book?  Tell me about some of the nonfiction books you have been reading and writing this week.

Celebrating Veterans Day: As you might remember from last week, we were gearing up for our awesome Veterans Day celebration by practicing in music class, creating table decorations for the gathering following our assembly, and creating work in art class to display for our veterans as they arrived in our school.  Well – Friday’s celebration was AMAZING and went off without a hitch!  As always, it is a privilege to honor these well deserving men and women.  If you’d like, you can check out MORE photos on the Robinson Facebook page by clicking here.  Please ask your first grader about his or her experience during the assembly and what it was like having so many veterans walk into the gym to receive honor as they were seated.

Look at these ADORABLE first graders singing during our Veterans Day Assembly last week!
Check out some of our Robinson musicians – that includes both students AND teachers!

Celebrating Writing: We had been working extremely hard on our small moment pieces and celebrated this week by sharing with our fourth grade learning buddies.  As you know, we had been writing fiction stories ALL YEAR up to this point and it has been so much fun.  Each first grader wrote oodles and oodles of stories throughout the first months of school.  After choosing the ONE (this was SO hard!) piece they wanted to each publish, they had the opportunity to edit, revise, and make a fancy copy.  Finally, they created a cover for their book and got ready to read it to their buddies.  It was so much fun watching these first grade authors work to prepare their writing for an audience they respect and honor.  It was EVEN BETTER watching them share with their buddies – they were so excited!  Check out our authors below and it will make you smile, too. 🙂

Check out this hard-working author to make her fancy writing piece!
Lathan worked hard on getting his fancy writing copy finished.
Adi worked on her fancy writing copy.
Mackinsie worked to make her sloppy writing copy into a fancy writing copy.
Check out Sutton’s sloppy writing copy and fancy writing copy. Great work, author Sutton!
We were EXCITED to share our writing with our fourth grader buddies!

Celebrating Math with Games: We have been playing A LOT of math games lately.  It has been so much fun because games allow us to celebrate the learning of our math routines by being able to work each day using a workshop format.  Games are an ideal way for first graders to learn because it allows them to explore their learning and have fun while they are doing it!  So far, we have learned a lot of adding games that have allowed us to become more proficient with our addition facts to 10.  Next, we began working to figure out multiple ways to compose numbers.  For example, we talked about the various ways to make 8 by having two of an object – such as markers and crayons.  We work to figure out that 8 can be made with combinations such as: 8 markers and 0 crayons, 7 markers and 1 crayon, 6 markers and 2 crayons, and so on.  You can see the rubric descriptor we use below – as well as some of our hard working mathematicians in action.

This is the rubric descriptor we use to guide our conversations and work about composing numbers.
Here is an example of a morning easel problem, which we have most mornings.  Our first graders put sticky notes on the paper to solve the problem and share their thinking.  This one connected to our learning about different ways to compose numbers.
Check out our mathematician Markell as he played a game to figure out different ways to make 11 with coins.
Natalie also worked hard to figure out different ways to make 11 by playing a game with coins.
Thomas worked to play Heads and Tails – a game to help find various ways to make a number.

A Smile for You:  This week has been AMAZING as our class deepened our care and concern for one another as a learning community.  We really began to problem solve classroom problems together and have started to develop more independence in much that we do.  It has been a great week and I am looking forward to watch how we ALL – me too! – continue to grow and learn together this year.  One way we have grown recently has been with the interest we have in teaching one another about things we already know.  For example, two of our first graders discovered how to do something during our Choice Time one day and were SO EXCITED to teach the rest of the class!  It was LOVELY to see the interest in teaching their peers about their discovery and how excited the rest of the class was to learn!  Check out the photo below and I am sure you will both SEE and FEEL the excitement that was happening in our room on this particular day.  Thanks for visit our blog this week and have a wonderful weekend.

Check out how EXCITED our first graders were to learn from one another! Addison and Mackinsie taught our class how to make colored tape – such fun!

Getting Ready for OUR Veterans – and MORE!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Preparing for Veterans Day
  • Writing
  • Skype #1
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • Your class has read THREE Knuffle Bunny books recently!  What happens in these books – what are the problem and the solution?  Which book is your favorite and why?  If you were to write a
  • During your Writing Workshop, you have chosen a writing piece to share with your Learning Buddies next week.  Tell me what the writing piece is about and why it is one of your favorites.
  • One of the reading strategies you have explored lately is “Trying it TWO Ways.”  This means you get to make the two sounds that vowels make: short and long.  Tell me about the different sounds vowels make and how this can help you solve words as a reader.  Tell me about the vowel sounds that are in your first and last name.  (Families – click on the picture to the right for an example of how we sorted our names in Seesaw.)

Preparing for Veterans Day: As you might know, we celebrate Veterans Day in a BIG way at Robinson.  Along with the incredible assembly that our students present to our veterans, we also have a celebration in the cafeteria for our special guests.  In order for this celebration to look beautiful for our guests, the first grade worked to make placemats for each table so the veterans would feel welcomed and appreciated.  Our placemats consisted of a weaving activity with paper and definitely required focus and grit to complete.  Check out some of our first graders below as they worked on the placemats for our veterans.  And – check out some of the AMAZING artwork that is already lining our hallways for our special event!

AMAZING art to celebrate our veterans.

Writing: This week, we decided it was time to select a writing piece from all of our drafts and wanted to publish one piece to share with our fourth grade learning buddies next week!  So –  we began to revise and edit by doing a lot of rereading and using a editing checklist.  Next, we will begin writing a fancy copy to share with others – that does not include all of our editing marks and changes in our “sloppy copy.”  Check out some of our first grade authors as they reread their drafts in order to choose one to publish and began revising.  They are amazing workers!

Wow! Henry worked to revise his writing piece for our celebration next week.
Eva worked on her writing piece by rereading it so she could revise it.
Sutton read through his writing pieces so he could choose a favorite to publish and share with our Learning Buddies.
Mackinsie reread her writing pieces so she could choose a favorite for our writing celebration next week.
Lathan worked to reread his writing pieces to decide which to publish.
Add worked on her writing piece so she could get it ready for our writing celebration.
Anthony worked on his writing piece to prepare for our celebration next week.

Skype #1: We had our first Skype of the school year – TODAY!  Using technology is an AMAZING way to connect with the world and we did just that in our classroom this week.  After having the opportunity over the past few years to take part in a Skype session from Ecuador, watch a classroom Skype session in Mrs. Bearden’s classroom, and give several a try last year – we launched into hosting a Skype session in our first grade classroom – along with Mrs Bearden’s kiddos, of course!  We had the opportunity to do a Mystery Skype with my brother who lives in . . . a state that is not Missouri.  Ask your first grader where he lives because they should know! 🙂  It was a “mystery” because we didn’t know where  he lived and had to ask yes or no questions.  Since we didn’t know too much about maps, we had some learning to do – including where Missouri is located – and needed to develop questions to ask  to find out where he lived.  Finally, we made the call and it was AWESOME!

Natalie asked a question during our Skype.
Check out Ky’Len and Campbell working on their map together to figure out where my brother lived!
We talked about regions on a map and how to use this information to ask questions during our Skype call.

A Smile for You: We are beginning to become more independent in leading our Morning Meetings.  This means, that our helper leads us to decide how we should greet one another and which activity we should choose.  It is such a pleasure watching this kiddos take on leadership and guide one another to work together.  Check out the photo below to see them doing just that!  Thanks for reading our blog this week.  Have a great weekend!

Markell led our daily Class Meeting by calling on kids to share information with him about how we should greet one another.

53 Days of First Grade – ALREADY!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Visiting Aberdeen Heights
  • Literary Lanterns
  • A Smile – or three – for You

Conversation Starters:

  • Your class has been working to celebrate our AMAZING veterans next Friday during our all-school Veterans Day Assembly.  Tell me about the song you have been practicing in music to get ready for this special day.
  • This week, you had a guest teacher – Dr. Arens – during reading and writing!  Tell me some of the things Dr. Arens talked with you about as a writer when you looked at the book: Night of the Veggie Monster.  When she visited your class during your Reading Workshop, tell me what she taught you that good readers do when they get stuck on tricky words.  What are some strategies you like to try to solve hard words?  (Families: we have focused on: checking the pictures, looking at ALL the parts of the word, checking it and doing a double check, trying vowels two ways.  We also ask ourselves three questions after reading a word that is tricky: Does it look right?  Does it sound right?  Does it make sense?)

Visiting Aberdeen Heights: Last week, we had the privilege to visit our neighbors at Aberdeen Heights.  We were the ONLY class that was invited to judge the pumpkins that were carved by the staff members at Aberdeen Heights.  We felt lucky and were ready to walk over on a beautiful morning together.  During our walk, we saw many exciting things – such as HUGE construction vehicles – which are always very exciting to first graders!  When we arrived, we learned about our job as judges and were invited to stand next to our favorite pumpkin.  We did this three times in order to determine a first, second and third place winner.  It was such fun!  After judging the pumpkins, we had a few minutes left to talk to some of the residents who were in the entryway where we were spending our time.  It is always such a joy to see the excitement in the faces of the residents at Aberdeen when first graders arrive!  As you might imagine, they LOVE seeing happy and energetic kiddos.  Overall, it was a great visit and I am so proud of our first graders for the way they showed Robinson behavior during our time with our neighbors at Aberdeen.

We took a walk over to Aberdeen Heights on a beautiful Thursday morning!
When we first arrived, Mrs. Cutler gave us directions about our job as judges for their pumpkin contest.
We had a chance to vote on our favorite pumpkins during our visit!
We looked closely at each pumpkin to decide on our favorite!
We also had the change to talk with many of the residents.
We also had the change to talk with many of the residents.
We also had the change to talk with many of the residents.

Literary Lanterns: Last week, we learned about Literary Lantern project from our neighbors in Room 111.  Mrs. Bearden’s first graders last year created these lanterns and we decided to have all of our kiddos give it a try this year.  Basically, each kiddo has the opportunity to choose a character from a favorite book.  Next, he or she creates a plan for how to make a pumpkin look like the character.  Finally, the first grader brings in the pumpkin, begins to paint and creates an AMAZING work of art!  If you’d like to see a blog post from Mrs. Bearden from last year about this project, click here.  It was so much fun for each of our students to create a favorite book character!  Check out our AMAZING photos below of our finished products – which are proudly on display in our library.

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A Smile – or three – for You: Well – after a week with several Halloween celebrations, how can we not enjoy a picture of our lovely first graders in costumes?  And, after you look at that there were some more requests for pictures of some of our creations during our Choice Time.  Of course, the kids really just want to see their picture on our blog.  As you might imagine, it totally fine with me as long as they are building and creating!  Thanks for visiting our blog this week.  Have a great weekend!

Check out our cute first graders in their Halloween costumes!

Chugging Along in First Grade!

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Outdoor Learning Celebration & Planting
  • Shapes in Math
  • Writing – Storytelling with Partners
  • Research Group Work
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • Tell me about the book you read this week for the Global Read Aloud called Whoever You Are.  Did you enjoy this book?  In the book, you were told that everyone around the world is different on the outside but there is ONE THING that is the same on the inside.  Tell me what is the same and why this is important.
  • You might have the opportunity to Skype with author, Lola Schaefer in the next month or two.  This week you read two books about a character named Frankie Stein.  Tell me about these books and what happened to Frankie.  Did
    you like Frankie?  Why or why not?  What was something funny you noticed in these books?  What was something you saw on each page inside of these books?  Why do you think the illustrator did this in the books?

Outdoor Learning Center Celebration & Planting: As you know, we have been very excited about our 20 year anniversary for our outdoor learning space, called the Outdoor Learning Center (OLC).  This space was originally created so children could enjoy and learn about nature in a natural setting.  When this space was created, it was a very novel concept – so Robinson was clearly ahead of the game with what other schools are doing now!  On Tuesday of this week, we celebrated our OLC by having an all-school gathering and talking about the folks who birthed the idea of the space – as well as the history of why it all began.  We began the celebration by having each student at Robinson place a rock (painted by each student) in our river bed so they can be remembered for years and years to come.  At the end of our celebration, the school stated the OLC pledge and promised to take care of various parts of our outdoor learning spaces.  Later in the day, we had the opportunity to plant bulbs so we will have a chance to see more outdoor beauty when spring rolls around!  All in all – it was an BEAUTIFUL day in which we had the chance to celebrate one – of many – thing that Robinson has done to honor our students in order to provide the best learning spaces for each child.

We were ANXIOUSLY awaiting the opportunity to go out and place our rocks in the river bed!
Look at all of the excited kiddos for the celebration of the OLC!
Mrs. Sisul kicked off the celebration with some history of the OLC.
Here is a glimpse of the river bed with over 500 rocks created by Robinson students!

Shapes in Math: This week, we began exploring two-dimensional shapes in math and talking about the characteristics (number of sides and angles) of various shapes.  We began with a shape scavenger hunt in our classroom by taking pictures of items that matched each shape.  Next, we worked to make shapes with our bodies and identified shapes by coloring them in on a coloring sheet.  We will continue to explore shapes throughout this year and learn about all of the MANY shapes around us in our world.  Feel free to help your first grader notice shapes in his or her world as you spend time together.

Check out this HUMAN triangle – as we learned about shapes!
Here is another human triangle!

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Writing – Storytelling with Partners: We had a chance to do something a little different during our Writing Workshop this week.  Since we have been working on small moments, we all knew that authors ZOOM in on stories in order to SHOW what happens for the reader.  And – we have been doing a great job with this so far!  This week, we tried something new to us as authors – we practiced storytelling with a writing partner BEFORE writing our story on paper.  Each author had the opportunity to talk about their story first and then listen to questions or comments from their partner.  Then, they had the chance to talk about their story AGAIN.  Next, they each had the chance to write their story on paper.

This was the guide we used when we practiced writing by storytelling with partners.
Markell and Beth Anne worked together to tell their story before writing it on paper.
David and Addison told one another their stories first, then wrote their stories down!
Natalie and Ella told one another their stories first and then did some writing.

Research Group Work: As you read last week, we began talking about some topics that the first graders wanted to learn more about in class.  These includes baseball, football, cooking, butterflies, ocean animals and turtles.  This week, we began our investigation with a conversation and some brainstorming around what we’d like to learn and how we’d like to learn about our topic.  It was so much fun listening in on the conversations that the groups were having during this time!  We will continue to work in our research groups over the coming weeks and you should begin hearing more from your first grader about what he or she is learning about the topic.  Check out some of the photos below as research groups collaborated with one another.

This is the chart we are using – albeit a bit messy – to know who is researching which topic.
This chart guided our first day of “real work” with our research partners.
Ky’Len and David worked together to begin making plans for their research.
Ella and Adi worked together to begin making plans for their research.
Sutton, Max, Lathan, Henry, and Nilan worked together to begin making plans for their research.

A Smile for You: Is there anything better than something to make you SMILE at the end of the week?  If you ask me, the answer is no. 🙂  This week, we have begun working on our literary lanterns (more information to come next week as the work is completed).  Until you receive that information, check out these photos as many of our first graders worked to paint their pumpkin to look like a favorite character from a book.  Thanks for reading our blog this week.  Have a great weekend!

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