Life in 216

a peep into your child's day

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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What a Year!!!

June14

I want to thank you all for a fabulous year teaching your children.  I had so much fun with them and truly appreciate all the support I received from all of you.  Thank you for trusting me to teach your child.  They are precious beings and were loved by us tremendously.  Have  a great 4 week summer vacation, and I hope to see you all in July when school starts back up!!!

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Measuring Around the Room

May15

We started using a standard tool of measurement with a blue strip and a yellow strip.  Students had to find things that measured a certain number of blue strips and then had to estimate and then measure using their yellow strip. They were quick to notice that 2 yellow strips equaled one blue strip!  Your child brought these home for homework tonight to practice this skill at home.

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Measurement and Rainforest Scenes

May14

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We started our final unit in Math today, and it’s all about measurement!  We started our lesson off with looking at strips that I had posted on the wall and students found various objects that were about the same size as the strips. Then, they were given a piece of yarn that measured exactly as two new strips and had to use them to find more objects (same except this time using a tool for measuring).  They seemed to have fun and really worked well together with their partners.

We also started our creative writing project with the rainforest unit we have been working on.  I took pictures of them posing as if they were there in the rainforest with their animal.  We cut them out and glued them to a piece of paper so they could draw themselves in the scene with their animal.  The drawings are coming out awesome!!!  Here is Brenda posing like she is getting ready to capture food with her jaguar.  Tomorrow, I will post more pictures of their drawings.

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Dry Ice

May13

We had a special visitor today who came and did a really cool experiment with the kids.  Ms. Betsie, the ACS science coach, brought in some dry ice to demonstrate good observation, prediction and questioning skills.  They loved it!  I will tell you all the steps so if you want to try this at home, you can!

Materials: dry ice, metal tongs, pitcher of warm water, dish soap

The first thing they did was observe how there was “smoke” coming off the dry ice and learned that this is called vapor.  Ms. Betsie held the dry ice with the metal tongs and walked around to give them a closer look.  Then, she dropped it in the pitcher, and the kids were in awe.  The water started “boiling” but realized it couldn’t be boiling because that only happens with hot water.  The next thing we tried was adding dish soap to the pitcher.  When Ms. Betsie dropped the dry ice in the pitcher, bubbles went everywhere and had the kids hollering in awe.  It was such a great lesson!


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