Thursday, September 29, 2011

Buddy Read

In addition to leveled readers, our students participate in whole-group reading instruction. The purpose for this is to enjoy stories as a learning community and to focus mini-lessons for comprehension, fluency and word attack strategies on a story that everyone is familiar with. On Mondays, we begin by taking a picture walk and trying to get a sense for what the story is about. I read the story aloud to the students and they follow along. Next we talk about the story, including the story elements like character and setting, problem and solution. One student is selected to retell the story in their own words. On Tuesday, I read one sentence and the students echo read, modeling after my phrasing and expression. Students track using their glitter sticks. They love this! The next day, we practice our rate and fluency by doing a choral read in which all students, and myself, read aloud at the same time. Afterward, I use 'pick sticks' for turn-taking and one student at a time is chosen during 'popcorn read' to read aloud a portion of the text to the class. Thursday is buddy reading day. This is their favorite, of course!Also on Thursday, we bring the anthology home in our book bags to read the story with our parents. By this time, we know the story very well and the students are proud of their fine reading! Later in the year, all students will take an AR test on the story on Friday.

Graphing M&Ms

Skittles Graph


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Graphing on the Smart Board

This week the students learned about pictographs and bar graphs. We created our class graphs on the interactive Smart board.After collecting and graphing our data, we made statements about our graphs using the terms greatest, fewest and equal.

Fun with Patterns!

In math, the children have been learning about creating, naming patterns, identifying the pattern unit and extending patterns. We used big buttons, colored pasta, teddy bear counters, blocks and beads!

Picture Perfect!

Ms. McLennan read the story, Picture Perfect, on school picture day. The students drew their self-portraits for our class book.

Recess Fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We are Bucket Fillers!

We are starting a new unit in first grade…we are going to be Bucket Fillers!!! The idea of Bucket Fillers is based on the book “Have You Filled A Bucket Today? (A Guide to Daily Happiness For Kids)” by Carol McCloud. The premise of the book is this…

We all carry an invisible bucket that contains our feelings. When our bucket is full, we feel great. When our bucket is empty, we feel sad. A bucket filler is someone who says or does nice things for other people. By doing this, they are filling other people’s buckets and filling their own bucket at the same time.

On the other hand, a bucket dipper says or does things to cause other people to feel bad. A bucket dipper empties their bucket when they say and do mean things.

Children quickly understand that they can fill buckets when they do and say things that are kind, considerate, caring and respectful. If you would like to learn more about bucket filling, visit the Bucket Fillers website,

Have you filled someone's bucket today?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Fabulous First Graders

This is our first day of school class picture! Check back often and watch us grow!
Grab hold of a magic pencil
Open your eyes and mind
For now begins a journey
Of the most exciting kind.
A journey into learning
A step...a start...a glow,
And we will be there with you
To help and watch you grow.
Author unknown

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Always searching for new ideas to make learning fun! Here are some ideas for my teacher friends!

I found these glittler wands in a souvenir shop while on vacation. Thought they would make for good tracking sticks during reading group. I bought two larger ones for the students to use at he SMARTboard or for Read the Room.Popsicle sticks dipped in glue and glitter make really great tracking pointers too!

Reward positive behavior with "Caught Being Good" coins or with tickets you can make and print on cardstock. This year, our school is doing PBS with "hoot tickets" to go along with our school mascot, the Ojibwa owl.