Friday, October 13, 2017

Highlights of the Week - October 13, 2017

Hello families,

This week we've had many new adventures together. One thing that many of our first graders have been excited about learning is how to tie shoes! Many mornings we practice together. Those students who have already mastered tying are now teaching their classmates!





In Readers Workshop we've been gaining stamina in Read to Myself and Read to Someone. We've also been doing some conferencing to read sight word lists and check for knowledge of letter names and sounds. Next week we'll begin benchmark reading assessments to check for "just right" instructional reading levels. These assessments will happen in class and be done over the course of this month. I'll be using the information to target my reading instruction to the individual strengths and needs of each child in class in guided reading groups.





In Writers Workshop we have begun handwriting instruction and practice for lowercase letters. As we learn how to properly and efficiently write letters we are also reviewing the keywords and sounds that match each letter. We use keywords and sounds to help us tap sounds as we write. (We use the same keywords and sounds to help us read too!) We've also begun to do more response to literature about books we read during Accountable Talk Read Aloud. We read together and share ideas about the story as we read, make connections, make predictions, and say what we learn from the stories. This week we read The Recess Queen and Rainbow Fish. We also read our first Scholastic News article of the year about furry friends!

In Math we continue to work with the number line, jumping forward to add and jumping backward to subtract. We are beginning to use number lines to represent our thinking when solving story problems. We also continue to show picture representations to prove our thinking. On Thursday we learned a new game, Froggy Race, that helps us practice hopping forward and backward as we add and subtract--racing to the end of the number line!






In Social Studies we've begun to talk about feelings and noticing feelings in our bodies. We want to feel good but sometimes when we have big feelings it's hard to feel right. We imagine our bodies as cars. When everything is working right our engine is just right. When we have big feelings (mad, overexcited, anxious, overwhelmed) it can make us red hot and make our engines speed up too fast. When we have big feelings (sad, tired, bored, sick) it can make us feel blue and make our engines slow down too much. During our daily Mind and Body Practices we learn about and practice strategies to help us energize when our engines are low and calm down when our engines are high.

On Monday Nurse Liz also came in to do a lesson on germs and how they spread. We practiced coughing and sneezing into our elbows to "catch our germs." We also used special "germ lotion" and a black light to show us how much we have to wash our hands with soap and water to really get them clean!





Earlier this week it was raining buckets at dismissal. When this happens we try to stay in the hall just before the exit doors as long as possible so we don't get drenched. If you come under the awning so I can see you from inside I will send your child out to you. Once it's cleared out enough we can also come out to the covered area. I know it's extra hard and chaotic on rainy dismissals and I appreciate your patience and understanding!


Our classroom routines are well in place. Having a stable and predictable structure is helpful for students in learning and knowing what to expect. One routine we love is Closing Circle. It's a time to reflect on our day and do an activity together. If you'd like to see what this looks like please join us next Tuesday October 17th from 2:40-3:00!

Please remember next Wednesday is an early release at 12:15 and there is no school on Thursday and Friday!

Dates to Remember:
Wednesday October 18 - Early Release for ALL students 12:15 -- No After School Activities
Thursday October 19 - No School
Friday October 20 - No School
Monday October 23 - Library 11-11:30
Monday October 23 - Picture Retakes


Have a great weekend!
❤ Mrs. Fox

Friday, October 6, 2017

Highlights of the Week October 6, 2017

Hello families,

We've had a wonderful week together! A highlight of our meetings was "the shoe greeting" during morning meeting and "pop see ko" during closing circle. These times in our day are important for community building and social learning.



We finalized our class rules and illustrated them for our classroom display. We showed them to Principal Sara on Friday. We also read her our Hopes and Dreams for the year!



This week we read two books with the focus on friendship, belonging, and standing up for your friends if someone is being mean. We read One by Kathryn Otoshi many times--we read it, watched the author read it on youtube, and used props to help us retell the story. We also read Big Al by Andrew Clements. We brainstormed ways to include others, get along, and stand up for yourself and others and used these as our themes during writer's workshop. On Thursday and Friday we made amazing response to literature pieces based on One showing many ways that everyone can get along and belong.




In math we continue looking closely at representations and what they tell us. We made up story problems that would match the solutions. We also introduced adding on the numberline with a fun activity, "Froggy on the Numberline." Froggy makes small hops from number to number. Then we group the small hops into a big jump. These jumps show the addends (the numbers being added). Then Froggy "dives the whole distance" traveled on the number line. This shows the sum (the whole amount of the addends combined).



We've been practicing good reading habits during Readers Workshop and taking time to Read to Myself, Read to Someone, and Meet with a Teacher. Throughout the year students will be engaging in reading in all of these contexts. Right now we're practicing what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like to do this work. We've been making new goals each day for how long we can make it--increasing our stamina each day. By the end of the week students could read silently/whisper read to themselves for 10 minutes and they could partner read for 15 minutes!










We began to do some work with letters and sounds. We colored in a mixed up alphabet and had to cut and paste them in the correct order.

Please send in any library books on Monday so your child can choose new books to take home!

Dates to Remember:
Monday October 9 - Library 11-11:30
Wednesday October 11 - Walk to School Day!
Wednesday October 18 - Early Release for ALL students 12:15 -- No After School Activities
Thursday October 19 - No School
Friday October 20 - No School
Monday October 23 - Library 11-11:30
Monday October 23 - Picture Retakes


Have a great weekend!
❤ Mrs. Fox

Friday, September 29, 2017

Highlights of the Week 9-29-17

Hello families,

Thanks for your understanding and well wishes while I was out sick Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. This big change in routine can be difficult on kids but we all did our best to keep things consistent so the kids could feel good and be successful while I was out. They did a bunch of fun stuff too! It's been good to be back, even if it's just a few days before the weekend. ☺

They read, and reread, a book on the SMARTboard, The Big Orange Splot. We designed our own houses to show things that we care about. We made crayon designs and used watercolors to add the house color. They are hanging up in the hall across from our classroom--check them out! They also did a painting that they took home already--hope you enjoyed it!







We also reread The Feel Good Book by Todd Parr and began a fun writing project, "Me, Myselfie, and I" to write about some of our favorite things. It was great to get to know more about each other and see the kids so excited to share their writing, drawings, and connections!

Finally we read Dream Big Little Pig about a pig who dreams of becoming a star. She tries out a few things before she finds the thing she loves the most. It takes hard work, perseverance, and believing in yourself to make your dreams come true. We reflected on our learning Hopes and Dreams for the year and wrote our friendship Hopes and Dreams as well. I compiled all of our learning and friendship Hopes and Dreams onto a poster.
Here they are:



In math we continued working on story problems, not only with addition (putting together) but now also with subtraction (taking apart). Students continue to improve in organizing and representing their thinking on paper using a representation, and equation, and an answer with a label. We learned how to play a game called In the Dog House. We played it with our St. Mike's buddies who came on Friday.














On Friday something else exciting happened--we filled our Heart Jar again! We'll be dumping them on Tuesday Oct. 3 at 8:45. If you're free come cheer us on! Feel free to join us for our morning meeting as well at 8:30 if you'd like! We celebrated today by having a BONUS RECESS on the big playground!






Dates to Remember:
Tuesday October 3 - Heart Monitor Filling 8:45
Monday October 9 - Library 11-11:30
Wednesday October 18 - Early Release for ALL students 12:15 -- No After School Activities
Thursday October 19 - No School
Friday October 20 - No School
Monday October 23 - Library 11-11:30
Monday October 23 - Picture Retakes


Have a great weekend!
❤ Mrs. Fox

Friday, September 22, 2017

Highlights of the Week 9-22-17

Hello families,

We showed a lot of HEART this week! On Tuesday we got to dump our first full Heart Jar of hearts into the JFK Heart Monitor! We celebrated with doll and stuffie day. We played together in the morning. We earned so many more hearts already this week!



We read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind about a boy named William who dreamed of building a windmill to give his village electricity and water. He worked hard and made his dream come true! We talked and wrote about our own learning goals at school. We also talked about how to support each other in achieving our goals. We brainstormed class rules for ourselves, for each other, and for our place in order to support our learning community.

We read I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness. We spoke about mindfulness and what this looks like in our class and how this feels in our bodies. We did a guided meditation practice focusing on our breath and how we can control our breath to calm our bodies. We also did a "mindful noticing" activity with rose petals. We also read The Feel Good Book to talk about things we like and make us happy.

In math we continued adding numbers and representing our thinking. This week we did this with story problems. We practiced showing our thinking on paper, writing an equation to match the story, and writing an answer with a label. On Friday we played Double Compare (an old favorite) and then a game of "I Have___, Who Has ____?


This shows the count all strategy by drawing the 4 and 6 apples and then counting to find the total.
This shows the count all strategy. Labels were added  in the work to prove how they got the total.


This shows the counting on strategy. It leaves one number whole and then counts on the rest.


We continue learning and practicing HEART expectations in different places around the school. This week we practiced going to the Front Office, using the School Grounds for learning activities, and visiting the Nurses' Office.

We will have Library again this upcoming Monday (9/25). We have Library once every 2 weeks. During this time we read a book with Mr. Gile and have the opportunity to borrow up to 3 books total. Please return Library books with your child by Monday morning so he/she can take out new books! 

We all visited the Book Fair on Monday and made lists of books we liked. Many children purchased items from the Book Fair throughout the week. Thanks for supporting the PTO!




Dates to Remember:
Monday Sept. 25 - Library 11-11:30
Monday October 9 - Library 11-11:30
Wednesday October 18 - Early Release for ALL students 12:15 -- No After School Activities
Thursday October 19 - No School
Friday October 20 - No School
Monday October 23 - Library 11-11:30


Have a great weekend!
❤ Mrs. Fox

Friday, September 15, 2017

Highlights of the Week 9-15-17

Hello families,

We've just had our first 5 day week. The Fox Kits are settling into our classroom routines. This week we've focused on how to show HEART in the classroom, during read aloud, during meeting times, sharing ideas in math talks or readers workshop, and while playing together. We practiced expected behaviors during morning arrival, getting and eating breakfast, lining up to go to lunch, eating at lunch, lining up for unified arts, using our lockers, and practicing fire drills.

In math we worked a lot with tens frames this week. We made a public record to show what we know about using a tens frame to organize our number representation. We played a few games with the tens frames and began to write and recognize equations that match the story the numbers tell.



We also have been adding numbers (putting them together) using 10s frames and counting all or counting on. We talked about the concepts of more and less and played a game called Double Compare to practice these combined skills. 






We read Leo the Late Bloomer and Drawing Lessons from a Bear to talk about how we all learn differently and at our own pace. We also like to learn many of the same things but also have our own individual hopes and dreams. We began to brainstorm what we hope and dream about learning in school together this year. We began writing about our academic learning goals.

During our Mind and Body Practices (Mindfulness) we've been noticing how our bodies feel and what we need for our bodies to be ready to learn. Sometimes we need to gain energy and wake ourselves up so we do energizing body practices. Other times we need to calm down our bodies and quiet our minds so we do mindful body practices. This week we also read a book about mindfulness, Charlotte and the Quiet Place. We talked about how we each carry a quiet place with us that we can go to when we need to calm down. We drew pictures about what we our quiet places look like so we can go to them in our minds when the world is noisy and we need some peace and quiet.






We also did another fun art project this week to brighten up our space. We made beautiful sun catchers and practiced some tricky cutting skills. Look at our windows to see our artwork on display!



On Friday our class buddies from the Peace and Justice class at St.Michael's College joined us for a pizza party! We got to know them a little bit and taught them a math game. They will be joining us during math to help out and play math games with us until early December!

Another exciting thing happened on Friday. We filled our class HEART Jar!!! We earn hearts by showing expected behaviors and practicing HEART (Honest, Engaged, Appropriate, Responsible, Timely) throughout our days. The class brainstormed some celebration ideas and then voted. On Monday we'll have our first class celebration: Doll or Stuffed Animal Day! Each child in our class can bring one doll or stuffed animal to school. It must be able to fit in your child's backpack. Thanks for your support of this exciting event!

Dates to Remember:

- Picture Day this upcoming Monday 9/18, 10:00 a.m.

- Monday 9/18 - Class Celebration: Bring a doll or stuffed animal to school day!

- Scholastic Book Fair @ JFK Sept. 18-22

-Follow the link below for information about the food bank dates for this school year. 

http://www.wsdschools.org/vt-foodbank-dates-for-2017-18-school-year/


Have a great weekend!
❤ Mrs. Fox