Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spirit Week

With all the excitement about the upcoming spring break, it only makes sense to channel some of that enthusiasm into daily school routines. This week is a student council sponsored Spirit Week infused with themed days encouraging students at all grade levels to wear fashioned clothing and styled appearances. Get ready for a wild week of energy and creativity! (Schedule for Spirit Week is on the right hand of the blog.)

Speaking of creativity, the recent St. Paddy's Day event in our classroom dealt with six and seven year olds trying to capture leprechaun's with their homemade Leprechaun Traps. The minds of first graders work in mysterious ways and their perspective on the world is startling unique and creative. Students were given the opportunity to share their trapping gadgets with kindergarteners and first graders, all St. Patrick's Day long.

(The whole class with their leprechaun traps.)

Room 108 was recently transformed into a temporary art studio once again for Art Appreciation. This time around the artist in focus was Giuseppe Arcimboldo. As an Italian artist, Arcimboldo created vivid works of mannerism using various living earthly creations like fruits, vegetables, animals, and the like. Using fruits and vegetable cut-outs as the paint, students created creatures of their own with unique interpretations of the world. To understand, you must simple watch the picture slideshow below.

Looking ahead, 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. You may have noticed a comprehension assessment in your child's Mail folder last week. All of these "tests" are completed as a whole class activity right now and will progress to small group and individual assignments as student abilities allow.
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!

As this may be the last post many of you read before Spring Break, I want to thank you for your continued commitment to the first grade experience and wish you a relaxing, rejuvenating, and refreshing time away from the academic structure of school. But remember, just because you are outside of the walls of the school, doesn't mean learning has to stop. There is something new and interesting to learn every day... you just have to find it!