Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Nutcracker Ballet

Season's Greetings Readers!  Wednesday was the annual field trip to the Nutcracker Ballet at the Chodel Theatre.  The boys and girls in Room 108 came well dressed with their best manners ready for action.  It was a fantastic performance capped off with a question and answer session from the performers in the ballet.  Thank you to the chaperones for your time and help.  I know the children liked your company as much as I did.  Added to this post are pictures of the girls and boys, respectively, in their very dapper ballet attire.  Oh they looked so good! (CLICK ON EITHER PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT.)

The end of this week also marked the delivery of report cards.  I want to tell you that some students have made outstanding personal progress so far this school year but that does not mean our work in first grade is done.  We are just getting started with the kinds of activities and lessons  that will make Room 108 a place of more excitement, enjoyment, and academics!  This is also a good time of reflection as we head into the holiday season.  There are many things that we (children, parents, and teacher) can improve on to make student learning that much better.  I hope you take a chance to review your child's report card with him/her and talk about some things that can be done to strengthen individual growth and development.  I will continue to do my best to make the first grade experience as engaging and productive for your child as possible.  

As always thanks for all your support, encouragement and for visiting my blog!  Stay warm out there and I will see you soon!  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let It Snow

The snow gear is a must and zipping up coats is now part of a first grade teacher's job description.  We have to take a little extra time when coming in and going out of the school so all the children can bundle up from head to toe.  But it seems so worth it when the children can play in the snow!  
Unit 4 is now underway in both reading and phonics but our routines and practices are still being polished.  Open-Court reading heads into "Our Neighborhood at Work" with stories about the people and jobs that help a successful community thrive.  Some of the phonics skills students will encounter are identifying and spelling of the long vowels.  There are a number of ways to make long vowels and this unit is just the beginning of the respective spelling patterns.  Everyday Mathematics is moving into measurement (temperature, inches, and other various units) and beginning to enforce basic fact practice.  Some other skills that will continue in this unit are telling time (to the quarter hour) and number order as applied in the creation of number scrolls.  
Social studies is expanding beyond the community to the state and country.  Along with building basic geography and map skills students will take a closer look at the United States' physical layout and begin to locate other states and their topographical features.  Science is shifting from the identification of properties and object characteristics to closer analysis and comparison.  Comparison is an important early skill in the development of investigation and inquiry based science methods.  
Please continue reading at home and practicing those basic addition and subtraction facts.  With fact practice your child can stay "ahead of the curve" with the upcoming strategies for basic facts in Everyday Math.  If you're looking for fun ways to practice facts and read just check out the assortment of links on the right hand side of my blog.  Thank you for those of you consistently keeping up with the HomeLinks and reading logs.  I know the students turning in their homework enjoy being able to comment on how they solved problems or their homework routines.  

December 10 is our Nutcracker field trip!  There will be more information sent out early next week but please have your child dressed nicely as we take this opportunities to discuss manners, politeness and appropriate behaviors at such a special event as a ballet!