Daily Schedule

Friday, May 26, 2017

This Week in Review - May 22 - 26

This information will also be found in Walter's weekly email:

Probability still reigns supreme in math class - we spent two days playing "rock paper scissors" (all in the name of data collection, of course), and one day trying to determine what letters are most popular in the english language, at least according to Dr. Seuss. 

Work also continues in our Singapore math books, at least for a couple more weeks!

We went to see "our" turkey vulture on Wednesday morning at LSNC, and went fossil digging in Ohio on Friday morning. 

Other special events were two musical performances that we put on for parents, grandparents and assorted other relatives. The final two EBs of the 2016/2017 school year happened this week, and teachers will soon be dreaming up fun adventures for next year. Writing, spelling, handwriting practice, and reading, reading, reading - all that important stuff happened too.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Visit to Leslie Science and Nature Center

Way back in September or October, the "seeds" were planted for one of the big learning/giving projects of the year. Each year, the students in my class learn so much about birds and raptors, as well as food chains and webs, the environment, and nature in general. I start the process by reading picture books about raptors, and - as children get "hooked", I provide more and more information for them to discover. Soon it is time for us to do a big environmental service project in December, and I introduce the idea of doing a "bake sale for the birdies". This is a really fun activity where we make all sorts of goodies for backyard birds and sell them in time for holiday giving.

After learning specifically about the raptors at Leslie Science and Nature Center, what brought them the facility, and raising money in order to provide for the care of one of them - we now get to finally visit all the raptors in person!

Here we are, in front of the turkey vulture enclosure.

Some of the children made sketches of some of the raptors.

The beautiful facility

One of the thoughtful artists

What a face - only a mother (or a classroom full of loving students) could love that mug!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memory Books - Marking Progress

First and second grade is a time of huge growth. Of course, the children grow long and reedy before our eyes and tiny teeth fall out and are replaced with much bigger ones. Socially, children learn slowly but surely to be team players, to compromise, and to look beyond their own needs and wants. Intellectually, there is spectacular growth, as children learn to read, write, do complicated math, and to conduct and document science experiments.

One of my favorite ways to document growth is through the children's memory books. I take pictures each month, and they are printed out for the students to look at, reflect on, and discuss. Then we brainstorm some words for the board. Children are encouraged to do their best work, and to write as much as they can for each photograph.

Many children start out by simply labeling the page with the word on the board. As the year progresses, they may then write a sentence. Students who were already well on their way to being an excellent writer are encouraged to write more interesting details, to include punctuation, and to write in upper and lower case as required.

Even as their teacher, who is with them nearly every day, I am sometimes taken aback on what they can achieve over the course of the school year. It is only looking through their portfolios or memory books that I get a clearer picture of the remarkable work they've done. Here is an example of a page written in September and two pages written in March or April, by the same first grade child:

As we looked at these pages together today, she and I, we couldn't believe the difference. In fact, we chuckled as we struggled (and finally gave up) even trying to read the first one done in September. (I think I've got it now, though...all these years as an early childhood teacher have paid off.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Feeling Appreciated!

Thank you for Teacher Appreciate Morning! The breakfast was delicious, and my children had a fun morning too! Thanks to all who made it happen.

Such a sweet bunting - thank you!