Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Wednesday was an onslaught of Halloween fun and wild costumes! Thanks to all the parents that came and helped out during the classroom party. The parade was a success along with the party. Here is a short little iMovie creation from my pictures to recap the day. Thanks goes out to all the families that brought party favors to hand out to the class. Everything was a real success and it was a lot of fun to be a part of a terrific school-based Halloween celebration!

-Mr. Reynolds

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Classroom Newsletters Now Online

Classroom Newsletters are now online in a pdf. What does this mean? Well pdf is an acronym for portable document format and it allows me to distribute the newsletter in a paper-free way. Some of you may be interested in keeping up with the classroom via pda, Blackberry, or if you're like me iPhone. Now you can view all the same information and MORE with my blog and newsletters right in the palm of your hand (or on your personal computer screen.)

Click here for the latest issue of Mr. Reynolds' Reader (Vol. 1 Issue 7)

Friday, October 26, 2007

What a week!

I must begin by telling you all what a tremendous week this group of students had! Monday started out a bit rocky and distracted but as we ventured into the week each student was able to individually focus on the tasks in front of them. We read a number of stories and began to work with visually representing stories. We introduced possessives and each child wrote sentences to describe pumpkins they found in their own personal patch. Math brought us a plethora of patterns ranging from shapes to numbers and letters to colors. Patterns are everywhere! We learned about the seasons and reasons for their change. We talked about the Earth rotating and revolving around the sun.
Because of all the hard work Friday turned into quite an academically rewarding day. We started by galavanting down to Ms. Cairns first grade room to learn about Venn Diagrams and fill one out with a partner from Cairns' classroom. When we returned it was time for everybody's favorite spelling review game "Sparkle!" Then it was off to gym. Then children all had the chance to make Halloween puzzles which we will piece together next week. The afternoon was filled with the writing of Thank You letters to our classroom grandparents (My parents) for all the wonderful Dr. Suess and Berenstein Bears books they have sent the classroom. We spent the last 45 minutes of the day with our fourth grade buddies working on Wilma the Witch and her special witches' brew. The very last thing I do each week is meet with each student for individual meetings. During the meetings I go over their spelling tests, behavior, and the sought after Homerun Chart. Congratulations to the many homeruns and grand slams hit this week! The Grand Slam Dugout will be opened early next week for prizes. Keep up the great focus, behavior, and performance!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Unit 3 Begins...

I want to thank you all for a wonderfully productive and successful set of parent/teacher conferences. You all offered me very supportive and helpful feedback regarding your children, their tendencies, and ideas for improving instructional strategies.
Wednesday of last week marked the completion of Unit 2 in both Reading and Math. Both subjects were capped off with an end of unit assessment, both of which I have now graded. The only theme difficulties were found in the money portion of the Math assessment. Students are still having a difficult time showing equal amounts with different combinations of coins. This is a skill we will continue to cover over the course of the year so please do not be too concerned yet.
Today begins Unit 3 in Math and Reading. The theme for reading is "Things That Go." Math will begin to head in a direction towards patterns in both geometry and numbers. Clocks, time, and money will still be very much involved in math lessons but additional skills will be introduced for each area.
Please continue to read and review math facts (addition 0-9) with your child every night. If addition facts are becoming mastered then begin working on subtraction facts 0-9. If you still have sight word lists, please work with your child on sight words (they are similar to math facts in the sense that they must simply be memorized for further application.)

Today has been a great start to the week. Lets all keep up the hard work!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Conference Week

This is parent/teacher conference week for grade one at Mann. You should have received a conference notification in your child's mail folder last week. (It was attached to their spelling test.) You will also receive an e-mail of your conference time. Because of the scheduling of some conferences parents will have a few different assessment items to talk about. This week students will be taking the end of unit assessments for Unit 2 in Open Court Reading and Everyday Math. The Open Court Reading assessment spans the course of two days and about two and one half hours in time. Each assessment is a required piece of the school's curriculum and requires focus, hard work, and determination from every student. If your child has been attending school every day, keeping up with math Home Links, and reading different kinds of writing they will be more than prepared for these tests.

Here are a few websites to visit if you are interested in extending your child's achievement from home.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Columbus Day

I hope you all enjoyed the three-day weekend. Illinois public schools are very unique in their observation of the Columbus Day holiday. My home state of Minnesota does not observe this holiday however they do take a full Thursday and Friday off for fall parent/teacher conferences and teacher development.
The week ahead will be one of hard work and participation hopefully capped off with a major addition to our classroom jungle. As long as student behavior permits, we will build the large trees for our jungle animals to live in. "Bongo" the monkey is our jungle animal that comes down from the vines to help us with our community circles. Bongo has many friends and that is why we are expanding our jungle, so he can invite his friends to our learning environment.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Welcome to the wonderful world of Blogs!

Hello and thank you for finding the way to my blogspot. This is a little corner of the internet that will allow me to connect with you as someone with interest in my classroom. The updates on this blog will be weekly with an occasional extra update. I will add more as I go and hope you will continue to visit!