Monday, April 21, 2008

Beautiful Weather Means Spring Energy

Greetings Readers! Room 108 has been filled with energy and excitement due to the gorgeous weather we've had over the past week. Our field trip to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum was outstanding and student behavior merited a mighty round of applause. (In addition they were all treated to a homemade chocolate chip cookie! Courtesy of a Room 108 parent, thank you!!) Pictures will be loaded soon to the Room 108 Flickr account and then visible on my blog slideshow immediately after. If you have any classroom pictures from this school year you would like to share, please e-mail me and I will give you the Flickr account login so you can upload the pics directly from your computer. Thank you to the parent volunteers for chaperoning (and taking pictures!) I also want to say "Thank You" to all of you that turned in a Scholastic book order. Your book purchases help in increase the volumes in Room 108 and they provide great motivation to all of our young readers!

Open-Court Reading led us to a performance of "The Great Ball Game" today. Students have been practicing diligently in preparation for their performances of this puppet show. We worked hard together to create a performance stage which included a night and day backdrop, along with individual puppets that matched the many parts of the play. If you are interested in finding out more, ask your child which part they played and what puppets they made. Room 108 performed for Mrs. Poteracki and Ms. Vasquez's first graders today and were great audience members for the other first grade classroom performances last Friday. Theater is a great way to improve comprehension, word recognition, and reading fluency skills. Who knew Room 108 was full of so many acting enthusiasts?!

Everyday Math is stepping forward into Unit 9 with Fractions and Place Value. Fractions is an introductory skill that will be improved upon in the coming years but can be practiced with very basic understandings such as halves, thirds, fourths, and so on. Place value will be an important skill as we progress towards double digit addition. It will also be a very important skill when beginning addition and subtraction concepts such as carrying and borrowing. If your child has become very quick with their addition facts please plow right ahead into subtraction. Everyday Math use the "Fact Families" and "Fact Triangles" as an attempt to practice both skills together. In accordance with good classroom behavior, students will be able to practice and display their operation skills with the many math games they have learned throughout the year. There are many new fact-based games that will be introduced in the coming days and weeks as well!

Science has been in a full on investigation and observation of insects and their life cycles. Currently students each have their own vile of mealworms. These mealworms are used for a case study of the metamorphosis that occurs in the life cycle. Students have been recording observations and charting the life cycle as it unfolds before their eyes. It has been a most exciting experience for everyone. At first many of the children were timid in their handling of the larva but now some of the students have been limited to observing through their viles because they can't seem to keep the insects off their faces!!

I hope all is well on the home front for all you involved in the Room 108 learning process. Let's look to kick the finals months of learning into high gear as we practice the many skills we have gained from the first grade experience! Thanks for all the positive support and feedback. See you on the blacktop!

- Mr. Reynolds