Life in 216

a peep into your child's day

Pocket Day!

July31

We are now in assessment mode!  Today was the first day that we were allowed to start assessing the kids, and I was able to get one done for each child.  During Reading Workshop, I will be busy assessing them on their reading levels, nonsense words, fluency and comprehension.  I should have all their assessment results within the next two weeks completed and look forward to sharing this with you at our first parent/teacher conference.

It rained today so we had recess inside.  I had so much fun playing Headbands with the kids.  You should totally go get this game… could be a fun adult one, too!  The kids wear cards on their heads and have to try and guess what they have by asking questions.  Bre’kya cracked me up!

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It was Pocket Day in math today!  This is one of my favorite lessons that we do throughout the year in math investigations.  Students first give an estimation for how many pockets they think we have, and then each child takes a connecting cube for each pocket they have.  We had 3 students with zero pockets, and Kaiden had 12!  I think that is the most we have ever had a student have.  Once everyone put all their cubes in the pot, Celeste and Abrianna counted the cubes to see how many pockets we had.  They counted 81 pockets!  We were pretty shocked, because our estimations were low numbers, except for Kimora who guess 90 something.  What a great estimation!

We are almost finished reading The Magic Finger, and the kids love it.   The Gregg family, who turned into ducks, had a little surprise when they peeped their heads out their nest.  Ask your child what happened when they woke up in the morning and ask what they saw down below them!  Not good.

Just a reminder, tomorrow is Show-n-Tell.  If your child would like to bring something to share, please remember that this is one item.  Also, we normally have Popcorn Friday, but since school has started, we have not had any volunteers helping with this so I’m not sure if we will have it.  I still have money from a few kids from last week.  If you want to send in money, please write a note if you would like me to hold on to it for when we get it started or if you would like for your child to bring it home.  OR if you want to help us with popping some popcorn for the entire school, stop by in the office and let them know!

Have a great evening. :)

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I’m Wondering…

July29

So our lesson for today in Reading Workshop was all about how as readers, we are always thinking!  Sometimes, our minds can get off track, but what we read makes us wonder things.  Today we practiced asking ‘I’m Wondering” questions while I read Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger.   They had so many great questions!  We continued it into their independent reading time, and every student had a list of questions.  They enjoyed it so much that they wrote letters to a classmate asking them things they were wondering about them!  It kinda trickled on down through the lessons today. :)

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During writing, we worked on how writers plan for the next stories.  They were quick to explain all the ways they know how to plan: quick sketches, tell our stories out loud, jot down what goes on each page.  We learned a new way today.  When we tell a story, we try to tell it across our fingers to help us keep track of the events in order.  I worked with Lyman today, and his story was awesome!  He told me about a time when he was surprised on Christmas morning.  He had asked Santa for a train set, but when he woke up, he ran down the hall to see what Santa brought and he was so ecstatic that he got a super cool mountain bike.  He went on to tell me how he woke his parents up and then ate Santa’s cookies that he didn’t eat.  (so hilarious)  It was a great story to practice retelling the events.  We hurried and put his sketches on the paper and was quick to get to writing.

We practiced making number strips today in Math.  The kids were psyched to see how many number they could fit on one strip.  They crack me up.  Some got up to 50 and other went past 130.  It’s a good way for the kids to see numbers repeating themselves in helping them see what comes next.  This is good practice for understanding number sense.

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So this new book… The Magic Finger… the kids are loving it.  Have you read this before?  If not, you need to.  It is probably one of my all time favorite children’s books and of course, written by my favorite children’s author.  Ask your child about what is happening with the Gregg Family after they go hunting!

Also, an update to yesterday’s post about Mrs. Cobb.  Her last day with us will be on Thursday!  I thought Friday was her last day, but that will be her first day at Dickson.  Just fyi.

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Mrs. Cobb

July28

Did you know that Mrs. Cobb’s last day is this Friday?  We were all so sad to hear this!!!  She will be working at Isaac Dickson, and we will be getting a new assistant principal.  We want to send Mrs. Cobb off wishing her the best of luck and a heartfelt goodbye so the school is creating a surprise for her.  They put these little notes in our mailboxes for the kids to fill out.  We took our writing time today to work on these.  The kids wrote some really sweet things and drew some really great pictures.  One of the things that the kids said they will remember most is how Mrs. Cobb came in to their class EVERY morning to tell them all good morning.  How awesome is that?!  I think it’s so important for administrators to be present and see the children and our 2 admins do this quite often.  She has been very good to us and will be missed greatly.  If you would like to send in a little card or note for us to give to her, please just send it in your child’s folder by Friday, and we will get it to her.

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In math class, we learned about coins and took a closer look at them to try and find how they are all different.  They worked on the penny, nickel, dime and quarter.  We do not use half dollar coins, but they will be introduced later.  I just recently learned that in first grade, they do not even look at coins in their curriculum.  (I thought they counted pennies, but they did not).  Please take time after homework to practice the coin names and values.  The coins that students have the most trouble with are nickels and dimes.  These can be difficult for them to mix up.

We finally finished our book, The Enormous Crocodile this afternoon!!!!  Ask your child about what happened to the crocodile!!!  It was a very abrupt, but hilarious ending to the story. :)

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What is a Scientist?

July25

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We had our first science lesson today, and the big question for the day was “What is a scientist?”  Students rattled off so many different kinds of scientists that they knew of, and then little Celeste added how they are people who investigate and observe things.  It was awesome to hear that!  The science journals above show some pictures they drew of what they think a scientist is.  James drew the first one.  He shared his and explained that he drew a scientist in scuba gear studying life under the sea.  Cameron’s journal is next and shows a table full of potions, and Kaiden drew a geologist with an axe to dig up rocks.  The class showed a great deal of detail in their sketches and were so proud to share them with the class.

Show-n-Tell was quite awesome this afternoon.  Here are a few things your children’s peers shared with the class today:

  • Aidan- 2 shark teeth he found in Myrtle Beach
  • Ylonni- her red pencil pouch holding her pencil and sharpener
  • Kaiden- transformer that made sounds that he got when he was a baby
  • Keira- a red monkey her sister gave her for Valentine’s Day
  • Bre’Kya- a set of purple ear buds- she likes to use them to listen to “I Whip My Hair Back and Forth”
  • Cameron- a very large piece of banana Laffy Taffy he got yesterday

I sent home your child’s Friday Folder today. The only thing that is in there is the Ingle’s Advantage card form.  You can link your advantage card to Hall Fletcher.  A portion of the sales you make from using your card will be given back to the school by Ingle’s!  Make sure you write down your account number (it’s on the back of your card) and send in the form. :)

Happy Friday!!!  Go enjoy your weekend in that beautiful sunshine! :)

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Reading Models

July24

Did you have a person that you looked up to as a good reader when you were younger?  I remember when I was little, my mom used to do my grandmother’s hair and when she would sit under those big old dryers, she read a book to me.  It was usually the same book- some Cabbage Patch Kid book that I never got tired of.  I can remember not knowing how to read, but I would mimic her and how she read (her voice, the way she turned the pages, pointed to the words) when I would read by myself.  Your children do this, too!  I asked them who they think are good readers and what is it that they do that makes them good readers.  They had a huge list!  I wish I would have taken a photo of our chart to show you.  We practiced doing what we have seen others do while we read independently.  Here are some things that they said they noticed about how their parents read:

  • you choose books on your level
  • you read fluently
  • you read with a storyteller voice
  • you look at the pictures while you read

The list was way longer, but these are just a few of the things they notice when you read. :)

Today’s math lesson was all about how we can make the number 7 in different ways.  We used tallies, drew pictures, wrote equations, showed coins and even wrote the wrote seven.  When we have a Today’s Number lesson for our classroom routine, this is an example of the things we will do to represent a number.  A way that you can practice at home is giving your child a number and having them come up with multiple equations that equal that number.

We are almost finished the Enormous Crocodile.  Today, we got to hear what his clever tricks were to try and eat the children!  Ask your child what clever tricks he came up with so far and how his plans were getting ruined!

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What good readers do…

July23

We have been talking a lot about what good readers do in the beginning mini lesson for reading workshop.  We have learned how we choose just right books, we read long and strong and so many others.  Today, we talked about how when we are in the middle of books and it’s time to put it away, we need to make sure we use a bookmark!  I know this sounds do simple, but you would be surprised as to how many kids just close the book and put it away.  They took about 10 minutes to color a bookmark and quickly jumped into reading.  We also continued to practice finding just right books so we don’t struggle while we read.

Our specialist for the day was Spanish!  They really enjoyed it, and I walked in as they were singing an adios song.  Very cute.

Math was pretty simple with the continuation of the lessons from the previous two days.  We used pattern blocks to cover shapes 5 different ways and recorded how many blocks we used.  Then, we practiced using clocks to the hour.

I started reading this new book by Roald Dahl (my absolute favorite children’s author) called The Enormous Crocodile.  I haven’t read it before so I am just as excited as the kids are about it!  Ask your child about what has happened so far in the text. :)

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Guess My Number

July22

First of all, I want to wish Sebastian a very happy birthday today!!!  He is 7 years old!!!  We celebrated at lunch time singing happy birthday and chowing down on donuts (his favorite)!  I hope you had a great day, Sebastian. :)

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Choosing ‘just right books’ can be very difficult for some students.  Today, we introduced the 5 finger rule.  As a child reads, they put their hand out and if they miss a word, they put one finger down.  After a few pages, if they still have their thumb up, it’s just right.  We don’t want books to be too easy or too hard.  We practiced this during reading workshop and will continue to use this skill when we shop for books for our book boxes.

We learned to play a new game in math today called Guess My Number that can easily be adapted to play at home with your child.  We use a number line and 2 clothespins.  We started our game with saying “my number is greater than 1 and less than 30.”  Then students would take guess trying to figure out what number I had secretly chosen.  Students came up to move the clips in both directions to narrow the guessing field.  You can create a number line at home and your child can share this activity with you.  They loved it!

For read aloud, we read Have You Filled a Bucket?  It about how we all carry an invisible bucket, and it gets full when other people make us feel happy and it gets emptied when people make us feel sad.  It is our job to try and fill other people’s ‘buckets’ and by doing so that fills our bucket!  It’s a great model in teaching children to be aware of their actions and how simple things they may do can affect others in positive or negative ways.  We created a bulletin board outside the classroom with mini buckets for each child.  They can write notes and place them in there to let others know how they filled their bucket.  On Friday, students will be able to take all their notes home and read them. :)

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I ‘Mustache’ you something…

July21

Did you LOVE their pictures or what?!  I was cracking up at them.  Especially at Bre’Kya and Keira’s and their silly faces.  They decorated them to give to you so I hope you like them!  We also put an envelope in their folders with a note from me and a little magnet with all of my contact information for you.

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We had a pretty good day today and started our morning learning the routine for when they come into class.  They were on top of it!  We jumped into Reading Workshop where we discussed reading goals and what good readers do.  They gave some great examples of what they know good readers do.  Our first ‘real’ Fundations lesson followed, and they were pros since they had just had this 5 weeks ago!  (I’m eager to see how much information they have retained from first grade once we get started with assessing.)

The kids really enjoyed math today while playing with pattern blocks.  They played a cover up game in their books and chatted with their table mates while working so well together.  It was a great lesson.

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Read aloud was hysterical… all about how Dragons Love Tacos.  Ask your child about the story and what they learned about the book.  Ask them what happens when you give a Dragon spicy salsa!!!

So it’s the first night of HOMEWORK!  You would be surprised as to how many kids were actually excited about getting homework!  So here are a few things to know about our expectations with nightly homework.  First off, we don’t like to give a lot.  What you see in your child’s folder this evening is a good representation of what homework will be like throughout the year- one page, front and back, one side math, the other language arts.  The other part of their homework is nightly reading. I just received their reading levels today after school so the books they chose may not match up with their levels, and that’s ok for now.  Just so you know for in the future, I do have them choose a book that is one level below their level so that way when they read at home to you, they will be successful.    (I do not want them to struggle with this.)  Please make sure they write down the information in their reading log, and please sign your initials.  If students choose to not do their homework, they will be given silent lunch that day, and will complete the homework during the school day or be sent home to be completed the following evening.  If you have any questions at all, you have all my contact info, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Have a great evening!!! :)

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Day 2 and Happy Friday!

July18

We had a pretty packed Friday and did so much!  Of course, the main concern for the kids today was what time Show-n-Tell would be.  Even after I said it would be after math, at the very end of the day, right before they go home, they would still ask, “When is math? What time do we go home?”  They were pretty psyched!

We started our morning off with Reading Workshop and discussed our expectations of them during this time.  Mrs. Hamilton and I were in awe as we watched every child choose 2 books, grab their book boxes and sat down to read (the entire time!).  When it was time to come back to the carpet, there were a few I had to tell to stop reading!  In my eyes, that’s always a good thing. :)

Fundations was next.  It was nice that the students already knew the procedures from first grade so jumping right into our A-apple- /a/, P-pan-/p/, etc. was a piece of cake.  I passed our these little magnetic boards with a magnetic pen that we often use during this time, and they were so amazed.  It was like magic to them!  I gave a sound, and then they would write the letter or letters that made that sound.  It was a fun intro into what will be starting full speed on Monday.

Their specialist for today was PE which is always fun, and then followed by all of their favorite lunch- pizza!  Since we had PE today, we did not have recess, but it let us jump right into Math Investigations.  We explored our connecting cubes, built a few things and then used equations to describe our pieces that we built.  They kids seemed to have fun and surprisingly, they were really happy to work in their math book!

Finally, Show-n-Tell, it’s what school is all about on Fridays, ha!  We had so many kids share really cool things!!!  Here are a few:

  • Cameron- special necklace his grandpa gave him and stone
  • Asa- Devo hat he got for Christmas
  • Abrianna- Grinch ornament her mom gave her
  • Kaiden- transformer truck
  • Sebastian- fortune teller he made in class
  • James- lego man that moves his mom got him
  • Madyson- stuffed bear her sister gave her when she was born
  • Celeste- stuffed frog her mom got from a claw machine
  • Aidan- Autographed Harlem Globetrotter’s basketball
  • Keira- little stuffed whale from her bible school
  • Bre’Kya- fortune teller she made in class

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Let’s hope this rain stops and the sunshine comes out!!!  See those smiling faces on Monday. :)

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Happy Day!!!

July17

I have to say, your children are some pretty amazing kiddos!  In all honesty, I have never had a first day of school go as awesome as today went.  Your kids all  came in excited to see their friends and get back into the swing of things.  I usually have one or two students who aren’t happy about coming back, but that was not the case today.  I thought there would have been more especially since we are starting our new year in July.  They were enthusiastic, polite, and caring little individuals today.  Mrs. Hamilton and I are so lucky to have such a wonderful group of kids this year.

We started our day with getting school supplies in our desks and getting settled.  Then, we filled out a little questionnaire to go with a photo I took of them with mustaches.  These are hilarious and will have them printed for you.  (I have photos printed for you often so I hope that is ok).  Then we discussed our classroom rules, routines, read books with our buddies, played a classroom bingo game and sang a little poetry- The Littlest Worm.  We had Art today after a little mixup with our specialists and trying to figure out where we go but all was good!  Next came recess, then lunch, a few math centers and finally read aloud.

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  I am excited to have your child in 2nd grade and teach them amazing things this year.  It was great to meet so many of you last night, and I look forward to seeing you soon!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Oh!  Two quick reminders: tomorrow is Show-n-Tell Day and possibly Popcorn Friday.

Have a fabulous night!!!

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