One of the reading choices our first graders have is their Poetry Notebook. During our units of study we sometimes introduce a poem. The children glue the poem into their Poetry Notebooks and keep a collection that grows throughout the year. The rhyme in poetry helps developing readers with decoding skills and the rhythm in poetry helps with fluency. The familiar words in their Poetry Notebooks are often their first choice. Check out the video below!
Monday we celebrated Veteran’s Day with a very special student led ceremony. The kids did a great job! They gave speeches and made introductions. They performed music and songs. They waved flags and marched. They all helped decorate our blacktop for the occasion. First grade wore hats that we made to encourage and celebrate our veterans. We hope that all who were able to attend felt very honored. We want to install in our classes the truth that our great and precious freedom came at a cost and that all we enjoy as Americans today deserves our deepest gratitude and respect. We are proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Thank you veterans!
The kids used their pumpkin to create a turkey and write down some things they appreciate having in their life. We hope you enjoy having this to decorate your home this fall. Sometimes it is through the eyes of a child that we see all that we have to be thankful for.
We are thankful for all the people who donated pumpkins to first grade. Thank you to our great parents, PTA, and HEB for donating pumpkins to be used for our Fall activities.
This year our conferences will be student led. Students are creating a Leadership Notebook to showcase their work. The purpose of student-led conferences is to open the eyes of students to their own learning and to help them take personal responsibility for their progress. In the traditional parent-teacher conference, students are “third parties” to assessment, hearing about their progress through the lens of teachers and parents. Teachers and parents do play a vital role in assessment but students must also take an active role in this area to maximize their potential for success. In preparing for a student-led conference, students see how their strengths, weaknesses and behavior can affect them as learners, thus allowing them to take more responsibility for, and control over, their achievement in school. They also set goals for their future academic and personal growth. Student-led conferences are an experience that can improve the communication of students. In a student-led conference, students learn how to reflect on their learning, evaluate their progress and communicate this information to their parents. We think that you will really enjoy hearing from your child at your conference this week.
HINTS FOR PARENTS
· Express positive interest and anticipation about the upcoming conference.
· Listen and respond to the student (not the teacher).
· Express pride in growth and progress.
· Ask questions
· Be positive, offering to help in areas where improvement is needed.
· Recognize that students need to develop independence in communicating progress – the teacher will be there to facilitate and answer specific questions but will not take charge of the conference.
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS TO ASK DURING THE CONFERENCE
· Can you explain this to me?
· How did you come up with this idea?
· How have you grown in this area?
· How can you improve in this area?
· How can we help you at home?
· What was important to you about this?
· If you could do this work over again, how would you change it?
· What future goals do you have as a student?
· What habit were you using?
We had a fun Pumpkin Day last week. In the morning we all met in the cafeteria to experiment with pumpkins. We tried several fun experiments.We focused on predicting before we experimented. No one could guess that this big pumpkin would float! It was amazing!
We weighed the pumpkins and compared their weights.
We measured their circumferences and height.
We counted their ribs.
We recorded all our data, labeled the parts of a pumpkin, and when we were done we colored a picture.
Our fifth grade LIGHT kids got in on the action.
We had a wonderful time learning together.
But we weren’t done…
After lunch our fifth grade buddies joined us back on our classrooms to do some more experimenting.
We looked inside the pumpkins and saw that they were slimy and full of seeds. Our job was to predict how many seeds were in each pumpkin first. Each table group made their predictions.
We reached into the pumpkins and we each pulled out a handful of slimy seeds. We started separating and sorting them into piles of ten so that we could count them.
The first graders practiced counting and grouping by tens. The fifth graders found the difference between our predictions and the actual count. There were many seeds in each pumpkin! We were surprised!
We finished off our time with reading stories to each other.
We had a great pumpkin day!
The pumpkins went back to the pumpkin patch for now but we have on more project in store for them.
We wanted to share this letter from Sean Covey about how The Seven Habits takes anti-bullying a step farther by creating a strong positive culture where the opposite of bullying happens. Kids in a Leader in Me climate are lifted up, encouraged, and feel safe. He writes that “The Leader in Me separates itself by giving the children and adults opportunities to feel good about who they are, to positively interact with others, and to take ownership of their life. This influence will impact our future. Our future looks very bright”. We have personally seen these kind of changes happen in our school as we have embraced The Seven Habits more and more. We agree that the future looks very bright!
In a Leader in Me school, unique strengths and talents are valued, so picking on someone who is different is no longer “cool.” Confidence and acceptance grows. Communication improves through the common language. Parents see the school as doing something positive. The result is a culture where everyone is a contributor to the well-being of the entire school family.
- Habit 1: Be Proactive teaches initiative, personal responsibility, and controlling emotions.
- Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind teaches visualizing the future, planning, setting goals, doing things that have meaning, and making a difference.
- Habit 3: Put First Things First teaches prioritizing goals and saying no to things you shouldn’t do because they don’t align with your goals.
- Habit 4: Think Win-Win teaches that everyone can win; there is enough success for all.
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood teaches the importance of listening to others’ ideas and feelings and understanding and accepting different points of view.
- Habit 6: Synergize teaches the importance of working together to achieve more and celebrating and learning from others’.
- Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw teaches the importance of finding balance which impacts self-confidence.
- Habit 8: Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs teaches that everyone has the ability to contribute in a positive way.
We had a great time on our field trip to the Corn Maize last week! Thank you to all the wonderful parent volunteers who came with us. It was a long bus drive but very worth it!
Long bus rides are better when you are with friends!
This is how the maze looks from the air.
We went on a really fun hay ride. We saw the beautiful countryside, a pumpkin patch, and lots of corn!
We even saw some friendly pigs.
We had a great time with each other.
It was a great day but we were tired by the end of it! Thank goodness for naps on the bus ride back home.