Monday, April 27, 2009

Art Appreciation: Ceramic Art

Hey Everybody!  Art Appreciation made a takeover in Room 108 recently and the theme was ceramic art.  All thanks for the event goes to the art appreciation parents.  Below is the photo slideshow soundtracked with a tune from Belle & Sebastian's album The Life Pursuit. Hopefully you like it!  Muchas gracias to the unofficial Room 108 photographer!

Alright, enough is enough, I'm giving into the demand for BLOXORZ. This block flipping strategy game was introduced to me by a first grader last year and became an immediate amusement for many students, and me!  Some of you may already be familiar with this game, others may not have a clue.  And I'm willing to bet a few of you have children who have been trying to find this "block game where you need to make it fall through the hole."  Haha!  Well the shape it needs to fit through is not a hole, its a square, and hopefully your search is no longer.  Remember to save the passcodes!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Real Treat

Readers, Readers listen up, open your eyes and drink from the cup.  Take a sip of this poetry, that Mr. Bill Buczinsky shared with our students and me!  
Bill is a poet behind "A Child's Voice" an original organization dedicated to inspiring children to "play the game of poetry."  There were two performances, one for the primary grades and one for the intermediate grades.  Please ask your child about it because it was truly a unique, innovative and dynamic presentation of a timeless artform, Poetry.  

Room 108 has been through quite an experience over the past two weeks and I sure hope you've had time to talk with your child about unique learning experiences.  We were able to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) with an educational trip to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago.  The focus of the trip was insect life cycles and children participated in an insect specialist led set of activities titled "Migrating Monarchs."  The event featured the life and times of monarch butterflies and the incredible journey these metamorphisized caterpillars undergo each year.  The highlight of the nature museum might have been the Butterfly Haven which had over 1,000 butterflies representing more than 75 species!  Click here for an overview of the permanent exhibits at the museum.  (For pictures check out the Room 108 slideshow on the right hand column of the blog.)  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thank You Everyone!

Today is a quick post and link courtesy of one of the parents of Room 108.  She came across this article on the web and thought it would be of interest to all the blog readers.  I think she is onto something.  Here it is.  Enjoy!  And THANK YOU everyone for all you have done to help the Room 108 experience.  None of this would be possible without all the positive support and encouragement you have offered.  (And of course for reading the blog!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Batter Up

Now that Major League Baseball has officially begun, baseballs may be flying everywhere! Room 108 does not officially endorse any one team but the people inside of it definitely have their favorites! Students in the room are similar to baseball players as they want to keep their strikeouts to a minimum, their hits at a maximum but of course always learning and having fun playing the game!

Believe it or not, Unit 7 is done. Typically a unit lasts about four weeks and details all kinds of topics, culminating in a final day of assessment Room 108 knows as "Game Day." But as student development and unit themes progress, so does the curriculum layout of the academic calendar. The final Game Day is not beyond students but will instead be more of a celebration of knowledge and learning toward the end of the year. In the mean time, students will be engaged in more ongoing, as in day-to-day, activities that aren't simply captured in one lesson or activity. Instead lessons and activities may span multiple time frames, days, or even weeks! This kind of continuum offers students the opportunity to learn that not everything is done quickly or gained immediately rather contends the mind to engage and connect different subjects, contents and contexts.

Looking ahead to Unit 8 provides a spotlight on story reading and comprehension with greater emphasis on story understanding and strategies such as visualize, predict, connect, sequence, and conclude. Writing is going to round the bases with some poetry (also to honor national poetry month), four-square, and journaling; all very familiar writing experiences for students.
Mathematics is continuing to progress with focus on more abstract, and usually challenging topics, like MENTAL arithmetic, money (including making change), and fractions. All of these concepts will provide children with opportunities to manipulate numbers, strategies, and concepts with physical objects, save mental math of course. It should be quite a challenge to force all children to "do math" without the assistance of a number line, hundreds chart, calculator or even their fingers!

The biggest change of all academic stimuli will be our science topic. We have soared around the universe and are back on planet Earth to dig deep into the big world of BUGS! Insects is our new theme and there will be creepy, crawly critters all over Room 108! It certainly is an exciting time for children as the spring weather warms and the grass grows greener. Seems almost natural for children to start examining the tiny little six-legged bugs moving over everything outside, and sometimes inside too.

Let me also take this post as a chance to say an appreciative word of gratitude to all of my readers, supporters, and partipants in the Room 108 first grade experience. There has been quite a stir of excitement and energy swirling through the classroom in the recenet days and weeks. Hopefully everyone can keep up the action and efforts as we push forward into the final two months of the year!