Friday, September 30, 2011

Apple Day

Today was the much anticipated Apple Day! This week was a review week for reading and language arts. We reviewed spelling words and word wall words but decided to focus on apples and the life cycles of apples. All week the kids were getting really excited for Apple Day. Each child was asked to bring in an apple today.

First we used a recipe and made apple butter. It take 5-6 hours for the apple butter to cook, so we got it started right away! The kids were excited all day about eating their apple butter and drinking their apple cider! It also made the room smell extra good today!

After doing a few tests, it was time to get started! First we looked at our apples and made observations about the outside of our apples (what color, how they feel, etc). We divided into groups of similar apples.

[caption id="attachment_1031" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Green Apples"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1032" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Red Apples"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1033" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Red and Yellow Apples"][/caption]

Red and Green Apples

Then we cut into our apples to see the star shape that the seeds make!



Then it was time to eat our apples!

[caption id="attachment_1038" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This is the bite that pulled Dorien's tooth out!"][/caption]

After specials, the apple butter was ready! It was a little runnier than regular apple butter but the kids loved it!

In all, it was a really fun day! I hope your child came home and told you all about it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Field Trip

First grade will be going on their first field trip Tuesday, October 11th to Eagle Creek Park! I sent home the permission slip today. Please have the permission slip returned with the $8 admission and bus fee by next Friday, October 7th! If you would like to chaperone, the fee for parents is $3. The children will be going on a nature walk, visit the nature center, and go on a bug hunt! We will also have a picnic lunch and enjoy a little play time on the playground. We will finish the fun day with a nature scavenger hunt! The kids are so excited!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Little Critter is Lost!

You may have noticed that Monday's homework was not Little Critter! I have misplaced my Little Critter homework for this week :( So instead of wasting more paper I sent home an apple reading sheet on Monday (that the kids did really well on!) and Wednesday's homework will also be an apple reading sheet. Sorry for the confusion this week!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Technology is everywhere! If you're reading this blog then you definitely know it! Kids use to get textbooks in school and maybe workbooks. Now, however, you can get so many more resources as a teacher and now even as a student or parent! I want to share with you some of the resources you can use at home for extra practice or even just for fun!


Currently our math series is published by Houghton Mifflin. They have a site that has several math games for the kids to play. You can access this site here.

HM also has a site that can be helpful for parents. You can visit it by clicking here.


Macmillan McGraw-Hill publishes the reading series that we use and it is the Treasures Reading series. The first grade reading series has 5 hardback books, divided up by units. You can access the first grade links by clicking on the correct book/unit here.


You can view many resources for our science series, published by Pearson. You can watch videos, read some of the lessons, and watch virtual labs! I have created a login for each student so they can all access the content. Their login user name is their first and last name (no capitals or spaces - example: bobsmith). The password for all students is room37. You can access the login page here.

I really hope you can take the time to look around a little and hopefully show your child at home. Many children pick up on technology very quickly and youmight only have to show them once or twice! Then they can just get on, have fun, and learn! I am always available to help you navigate any of these resources as well as share others!

Friday, September 23, 2011



I recently added a new page to the blog titled videos! You can view this new page by clicking on the word videos, which is located on the bar right under the monkey! This page includes many of the videos the children watch in class. These short and fun music videos really help the kids remember many basic skills (calendar, addition, numbers, and reading skills). Be sure to check on this page often. As we watch new videos, I will add them to the page! I really hope you check this page out and have fun watching!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


For the first 26 days of school, the children practiced handwriting for morning work. This included writing both the upper and lower case version of each letter and writing a sentence that used that letter many times. Well, finally this week we started new morning work! Every day the children have a half sheet page that has either 4 DOL (Daily Oral Language) problems or 5 DOM (Daily Oral Math) problems. This morning work is harder than handwriting but it is much shorter. I know give them kids time to work from 7:45 - 8:00. We then quickly go over the morning work and get right into a new part of our day: Science! We work on science from about 8:05 - 8:30, which I know is not long but it is more than nothing!

Monday I announced that we would be starting science and boy were they excited! I almost wished that I would have recorded their responses! To practice getting into this routine and feel the time out, we did a little basic things this week. First we asked the big question "What is science?" Each student wrote this question in their new science journals and in their groups, they came up with 3 resposnes. We then combined their thoughts into one big class poster. Boy were there some good answers!

Yesterday we did our first lab! We talked about our five senses  and practiced using our touch sense by feeling in mystery bags! Each group had a different object and they had to record what it felt lilke and then draw a picture, still without looking! Then each group told me their guesses and I showed them their object! They loved this lab!

Then today, we wrapped our introduction to our first chapter by talking about scientists; what they do, what they wear, where they work, etc. Here are a few of their drawings:

Next week we will start Chapter 1 Lesson 1: What questions do scientists ask?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Math Games

Our math block is broken up into two parts: 45 minutes before specials and (almost) 45 minutes after specials. I really love this setup because it gives the kids a break after they work really hard! It also gives me a quick break to get set up for the fun part of our math block: games! Nearly every math lesson I teach has a math game that accompanies it! Awesome! These games aren't long or extremely complicated. Sometimes they might not really be games in the true sense. However, if I approach it with the same enthusiasim they kids are beyond excited and can't wait to get back fromspecials just so they can play! Currently I have 23 students, so when everyone is at school, I usually get to play with one child. Most games are set up for pairs, although some are for groups or even individuals. Here is a sneak peek into math game time:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Writer's Notebooks

In addition to the awesome Math Journals, every student also has a Writer's Notebook. At the beginning of the year, each student created their own heart map to write down ideas that were close to their hearts. Almost everyday during Writer's Workshop, each student writes in their notebook. I usually don't give them a topic that they have to write about (although I do give a 2-3 suggestions for those that have a hard time deciding) so they are always writing about things they love! We had a lesson a few weeks ago about drawing awesome illustrations! We don't just draw with pencil or stick figures anymore! Here are a few examples:


Some days we have 15-20 minutes to write. Some days we end up with only 5! However, this notebook entry shows that incomplete entries are ok! Because if you finish one entry one day and you have extra time, you can go back and reread what you write and finish your illustrations!

Aren't they already great authors?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Math Journals

Everyday during math, the students get a paper strip with a math sentence on it. They glue these short sentences into their math journals and then draw, write, label, etc. to show what they learned. These sentences are related to the day's lesson and provide me with a quick way to assess what each child took away from the math block. So far, we have pretty much done all the prompt together using my document camera, although this week I gave them a little more freedom on how to illustrate their addition problem sentences. Check out a few of the pages from various students' math journals:


So far I really enjoy watching the students show their learning in their math journals and they love showing me what they have learned! Double win!


Monday, September 12, 2011


Last week we started doing reading stations. If you don't know, stations are a big deal! The kids love them and they have been asking about when we were going to start them. So finally, this week we started! Right now, the students visit four stations a day, and each station is 15 minutes. When students are at stations, I meet with different groups to practice reading skills (which is called guided reading). I also am lucky enough to have another adult in the room for 30 minutes, helping two groups out! Those two groups are doing a great job with Mrs. Ortega!

Students visit different stations like computer:


magnetic words:

and reading corner:

They visit several other stations as well that work on skills with spelling, phonics, word wall words, and reading comprehension. This pretty much turns out to be the highlight of their day sometimes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Patriot Day!

Last Friday, Chapel Glen celebrated Patriot Day since we are not in school today. We read a book about the events of September 11th and talked about patriotism, rememberance, and celebration. We watched a video on Brain Pop Jr. about American symbols and then the students created their own flags. Before dismissal, the school played patriotic music that the children sang to and we ended the day with a silent dismissal.