Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The "at" word family

This week we are focusing on the short a sound.

We are  talking about the word family "at"

The words at the bottom are more challenging words ( more for the end of Grade 1 or Grade 2).

We have introduced the word "vowel" as well.

post signature

Pool on Wednesday!

Wednesday will be our first day in the pool!
Please send your child's bathing suit and towel in a plastic bag. 
We have Pool in the afternoon, after recess. As the weather gets cooler, please send your child with a hat, as we dismiss a half an hour after pool!

(stock photo)

post signature

Monday, September 29, 2014

Math Monday - Numbers to 10

  I think that we are almost all solid on our numbers 1-10 now!

We are fantastic at tallying and filling a ten frame. 

(we had all of the pieces mixed up for the puzzles 1-5 or 1-10 -- at first it seemed overwhelming, but then it "clicked" and we were all able to sort the numbers!)

We are working on matching the numeral 1 to the word one, and also matching the corresponding number of objects. 

(we are still working on identifying the numbers words from one to ten)
post signature

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Table Groups

  In Room 15 we sit in Table Groups -- we each have specific spots at the table groups and we may (will) move to other table groups throughout the school year. The students named our groups. (they chose an animal and an adjective to describe the animal).

This year we are:
The Funny Sharks

The Pretty Zebras

The Two Headed Turtles

The Waddling Penguins

The Hoppy Bunnies

post signature

Borrow - a - Book

Another thing that we talked about at Curriculum Night was about a "Borrow-a-Book" Program. It is hard to find books at beginner reading levels!
I have many of my classroom books leveled by Guided Reading Levels.
I am going to  (try) to implement a Borrow-a-Book program in Room 15. It will only work if the books are returned each week!
I will send home 2 books at each child's GRL every Monday and they can be kept at home and read (multiple times) during the week. They should come back on FRIDAY.
It will take a bit of organization to get this started and keep it going, so we may have some glitches at the beginning. Please be patient (and understanding if the same book comes home twice)!

I will *try* to get this started within the next 2 weeks!

Here is a link to Scholastic's explanation of Guided Reading Levels.

Here is the link to Fountas and Pinnell's Text level Gradient.

(Brown Bear, Brown Bear is GRLevel C)

post signature

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Story Snacktime!

  You asked... I listened!

Last night at one of the curriculum night sessions, we discussed the possibility of eating our snacks inside before we go out for recess. Many students spend the whole recess time eating their snacks and this will become more difficult when it is winter. Also, once they have eaten their snacks, they often toss their snack container onto the ground, and forget where :)

Today we started "Story Snacktime" . 10-15 minutes before morning recess begins, we will meet on the carpet and eat our snacks while listening to a story. This also engages those students who don't bring snacks. On the days that we have Music and Library right before recess (Day 2 and Day 4 in our cycle), I will read a story right after recess.

Hopefully there will be a minimum of spills on our carpet! We have a "dustbuster" just in case....

Today we read
Don't let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems.

post signature

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


  We have been trying to get to know each others names in the classroom, so we have read a few books about names.
One book that we have read is Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.

Chrysanthemum has a long name and people make fun of her :(

While I was reading the story, each time someone made fun of Chrysanthemum, we passed a hear around and crumpled it a bit. Then, at the end of the story (which ended happily), we tried to smooth out the heart. We never got all of the wrinkles out. The heart will stay up in our classroom to remind us that once someone's heart is wrinkled (their feelings hurt), they never forget the hurt that you have caused them, because their heart is still a bit wrinkled.

You can hear the full story being read here:

post signature

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back to School Books

We have read (and discussed, and compared) so many back-to-school books!

Here are some of them:

Ask your child to tell you a bit about their favourite book. My favourite is First Day Jitters. It has a surprise ending. Ask your child what the surprise was :)

post signature

Monday, September 15, 2014

Math Monday -- We are learning to tally!

We are learning to tally! We are starting to tally with popsicle sticks, then we will move on to pencil lines! Tallying helps us keep track of our counting -- especially with ongoing results. It will be really useful later in the year when we begin to count by fives.  

Tallying 2 (II) is very confusing to begin with , as when it is written with pencil it looks like 11 (eleven) . Popsicle sticks make the concept of tallying much clearer.

post signature

Math Monday -- Learning Goals for this week

  Our Math Learning Goal for this week:

We will show numbers in different ways.

Success Criteria:
I can explain what a numeral and a number is.
(Numeral: a written symbol that expresses value)
(Number: a value shown with a symbols, objects or words)
I understand that the symbol and word for one means 1 object when I count things.
(one to one correspondence)
I can use numerals, pictures and objects to show numbers up to 20.
I can read and write number words up to ten.
I can use numbers to show how many or how much.

 Our Learning Goals are Expectations from the Ontario Math Curriculum for Grade 1. Our success criteria are those things that we need to do to achieve our goal. The curriculum expectations should be met by the end of Grade 1. The reading and the writing of the number words may take longer than the other success criteria!

  post signature

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Pigeon is our mascot :)

We LOVE the Pigeon books by Mo Willems!

Today we got to know the pigeon a little by reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

We will be studying the pigeon over the next month(s), to learn a bit about reading... predicting, inferring, and making connections.

We will also compare the pigeon and friends to ourselves and people who we know :)

 And we will learn a bit about feelings:

But today, we learned how to DRAW the pigeon. Everyone told me that they *couldn't* draw a pigeon. But the could. And they did :) (I would have shown more, but these were all the photos that I took -- and the students took them all home! We'll make more tomorrow :). Aren't they AWESOME?


   The Artists in Room 15 Rock!

post signature

Patricia Polacco's The Keeping Quilt

Last Friday, Ms Poulis (our Principal) read us The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.

Here is Patricia Polacco reading her story:

Here is Patricia Polacco showing the real Keeping Quilt:

In The Keeping Quilt, Ms. Polacco shows us her personal story and her culture.  The book shows how her family migrated to America and brought their culture with them -- over the course of more than a hundred years.
We are exploring what our stories are... who we are.... who our families are....

post signature

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Welcome to Grade 1!

Welcome, parents and children, to First Grade!

 This week has been a whirlwind!

We have been settling into the new routines of Grade 1 on the second floor.   We are getting used to not having a bathroom right in our classroom. This is proving to be very novel for some students, who are asking to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes or so :). I am trying to learn who really needs to go, and who is just going for some exploration time! We are also getting used to trying to "go" at recess or lunchtime, so there aren't so many disruptions during class time.

Lunchtime is very similar to Kindergarten right now -- we are currently eating in our classroom. Room 14 joins us. We went over some rules and talked about how to make good choices:

Class Picture Day is onWednesday, September 10. Wear a smile!

Please follow our Twitter feed @msbrownsroom to see what we are doing throughout the day (as on the blog, I do not show the faces or the last names of the students).

post signature