Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What's Happening in Room 11

I hope that everyone found their child's conference informative. Your children are all unique and special in their own way.  I am so proud of how far they have come in just a short amount of time!

Things to Note:

  • How are the math facts going?  After your child has mastered addition facts with sums up to 5, add in all the facts that equal six.  As they master each combination, add in sums equaling 7, 8, 9 and 10.  Remember we are looking for fluency.  This helps with number sense, especially as we work to compose and decompose numbers.
  • Booktime books have been sent home.  I have explained to the students that these books have three focus areas:  reading the words, fluent reading, and reading to understand the story.  Don't forget to send the books back on Thursdays so they can get new books.
What's Been Happening in Room 11

Thank you to the room parents for planning a great Halloween party.  Here are just a few snap shots!

We attended a great presentation by Chief Wilson and Cadet Wilson for Veteran's Day.  They taught us all about the five branches of the armed services:  coast guard, army, navy, marines and air force.

We had a great time last Friday working with Mrs. Groden, our librarian, to participate in "The Hour of Code".  This is global participation project which exposes children to coding.  Behind every app and computer program are people writing the language needed to run these programs.  We used the app "Scratch Jr".  The children loved this!  STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) promotes coding.  Children need to plan, collaborate, problem solve, etc. when coding.

Language Arts:

  • Learned about the short vowel O "O...octopus...(make short o sound)
  • Built words with og, op, ot, & ock
  • Learned about the short vowel U "U...umbrella...(make short u sound)
  • Build words with ug, ut, uck & un
  • Learned about blends.  Blends are when 2 (or 3) consonants work together.  They keep their sounds. Example:  st, sm, sn, sl, sw, tr, cr, cl, pl, pr, bl, br...etc.
  • Learned new word wall words (check the tab on the blog to see which ones we should know how to spell)
  • Continued working on writer's workshop
  • Continued to learn from mentor authors:  how to bold words, use ellipses, show action, etc
  • Learned how to revise our stories and edit our stories using editing checklists
  • Learned that there are two parts to every sentence.  We have learned that the first part is called a subject.  The subject is a person, place or thing that the sentence is about.
  • Worked to improve our understanding of the stories we read by learning how to retell stories.  We use "Brady" to help us remember the parts to tell.
  • We have learned that to understand a story we need to get to know the character well.  We have been doing a lot of "close reading" to learn how characters are feeling.  We learned that we can find evidence in both the pictures and words
  • Began working with subtraction problems
  • Worked determining if equations are true or false. Ex:  5 = 6 + 2
  • Began solving story problems with missing parts
  • Looked at how understanding that addition and subtraction equations are made of part, part, whole.  Using this information can help us solve for unknowns.  

  • Here are some photos of math workshop



Social Studies:
  • Learned about the first thanksgiving.  Did you know that there were two ships at the beginning of the pilgrims' voyage?  Or that the first Thanksgiving lasted three days?
  • Learned about Veteran's Day
  • Began our first unit - Solids
  • Learned that every solid has properties
  • Investigated the properties:  color, shape, roll/stack and sink/float
  • Working to complete a graphic organizer using the Popplet app to record the properites as we learn them

Monday, October 27, 2014

Time Is Flying!!!

Time is quickly flying by in room 11 and I am already seeing growth in each child.  I am sure you are seeing it too!

Things to Remember:

  • Please remember to sign up for a conference time
  • Please send your child's costume to school on Friday for our Halloween Parade
  • Start practicing those math facts on flash cards!  Start with all facts that add up to 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.  They should be fluent.  If you have to count more than 3 seconds it is not fluent. Once you know what is not fluent practice them nightly if possible.  We work on strategies and games throughout math, but reinforcing the fluency is needed at home!
What's Been Happening in Room 11

Language Arts:

  • Continued to work with the short vowel I "I...itch...(make short i sound)"
  • Build words with the -ig & -ip
  • Learned the -ck rule.  We use -ck at the end of words with short vowels.
  • Worked with -ack & -ick
  • Learned the short o sound "O...octopus...(make short o sound)
  • Worked with -op & ock
  • Learned the new word wall words:  big, no, go, so, back, he, look, we, if, on, you & mom.  Please practice reading and writing these words at home.
  • Continued working on learning more poems 

  • Continued writing in writer's workshop
  • Worked on making our stories come to life!  We learned to make characters move and talk.  We learned to tell our stories in small steps
  • We are learning from authors how to show excitement (...) and use bold words
  • We have been learning different reading strategies to help with comprehension, accuracy, fluency and vocabulary.  Here are some we have learned

  • Continued to solve  story problems following these steps
    • Ask is there more or less
    • Write a starting equation (ex. 4 + 2 =  box)
    • Show your work
    • Write an ending equation (ex. 4 + 2 = 6)
    • Label your answer
  • Continued learning how you can show more than one combination by playing a variety of games
  • Worked on solving for unknowns by playing games with missing parts
  • Started math centers

Social Studies:

  • Read several books about Christopher Columbus
  • Looked at maps to follow his voyage
  • Wrote facts we learned about Columbus

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wow Have We Been Busy!!!

Room 11 has been very busy over the last few weeks.  Centers are in full action, routines are established and friendships are growing.

Things to Remember:

  • New book orders have been sent home.  If you wish to order, please do so by October 15th.  Just go to the tab at the top of the blog and click the link.
  • Picture day is October 9th.  If you wish to order pictures please return the form with your child.
What's Been Happening in Room 11?

Language Arts:

  • Learned the routines of all 4 centers:  Read to Self, Read to Someone, Word Work and Work on Writing.
  • Learned the short vowel sound of A (a, apple, a (make short sound)
  • Read and built words with the at, ap, am & an chunks
  • Called am & an chunks glued sounds
  • Learned the short vowel sound of I (i, itch, i (make short i sound)
  • Worked with the it and in chunks
  • Learned the word wall words:  a, I, see, at, is, me, the, am, an, can, man, dad, and, my in, it, do, like, to.  These words must be read and spelled correctly now that they are on the word wall

  • Continued to write in writer's workshop
  • Learned to revise our stories by asking questions:  who, what, when, where, why, how?
  • Talked about ways to spell words:  word wall, word dictionary, sound it out
  • Learned to unfreeze our characters by making them move and making them talk.


  • Learned how to put numbers together playing a variety of games.
  • Talked about how to be efficient by counting on
  • Learned to solve a story problem following these steps
    • Ask is there more or less
    • Write a starting equation (ex. 4 + 2 =  box)
    • Show your work
    • Write an ending equation (ex. 4 + 2 = 6)
    • Label your answer
  • Began learning how you can show more than one combination by playing a variety of games

Social Studies:

  • Learned all about apples
  • Read a variety of apple books
  • Learned about Johnny Appleseed.  Compared information we learned from two different books
  • Talked in open circle about the three point scale and how to adjust our reaction to match the scale

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First Full Week

We made it through our first full week of school.  It has been a great week.  The children are doing a great job establishing routines.

  • If you are interested in ordering scholastic books please click the tab at the top of the blog.  Click on the link at the bottom of that page and it will bring you directly to order form.  All orders should be submitted by September 22nd.
  • Parent Information Night is this Tuesday @ 6:30.  I look forward to meeting all of you and giving a sneak peek into our day.

We have been hard at work learning our new centers.  The first two centers we have learned about are "Read to Self" and "Read to Someone".  The children established what is expected for each center, modeled the right and wrong way (their favorite!) and worked on increasing our stamina.  Here are some photos of "Read to Someone".


Writer's Workshop

We have begun writer's workshop.  We have learned how to plan out a small moment story.  The children have done a great job coming up with true things that have happened to them.


In math we have been working on counting objects efficiently.  We have been working on using ten frames to help organize and count objects.  Below are two friends who put their counters in ten frames.

  Behavior Chart

We have begun a class behavior chart.  It is focused on students using expected behavior.  Expected behavior could give you a clip up.  Unexpected behavior could give you a clip down.  It is a very flexible system so there is always a way to work on changing unexpected behavior.

I will explain more about it at Parent Night.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Scholastic Book Orders

I am sending home the scholastic book order forms tomorrow.  If you wish to place an order, go directly to the tab on top of the blog.  It will take you to the on-line order form.

Do not send the order in to school.  All orders should be placed by September 22nd.

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Classroom Update

Well we have completed our first week of school!  The children have been doing a great job getting used to the classroom routines.  The first few weeks bring with it a lot of group work and focus on building the classroom community.  With that in place...we can do anything!

  • Please be sure to return the scholastic news payment.
  • Don't forget to send in your art smock to school if you haven't already.
  • Make sure that you send the poem notebook to school after your child has done their homework.
  • The class directory is going home tomorrow.  If you find an error please let me know and I will correct it.  It was a lot of information to keep straight.

We have begun to learn our first center:  Read to Self.  We brainstormed what it looks like and they have been working on building their reading stamina.  We have made it to 8 minutes!

In math we have been exploring math tools we will be using this year such as; geoblocks, pattern blocks, power polygons and snap cubes.  We have also been exploring how to count efficiently using a tens frame.  Ask your child about this.

One thing we are looking at improving is our listening looks.  Mrs. Goldstein came in and we learned about the "whole body listening look".  Did you know that you have to turn parts of your bodies on and off.  Check out the picture below.


We have begun writer's workshop.  We are learning how to write small moment stories.  Here are the first few steps we have learned.


Congratulations Emma and Olivia....lucky summer reading winners!  They won gift certificates to Park Street Books.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Our First Few Days

We had a great start to the school year...despite the humid classroom!  I was impressed with how quickly the students are beginning to pick up on the classroom routines.

Each student has a red school folder that they went home with.  Please check it each night and put any notes that need to be returned on the school side of their folder.  Please let them know if they have any notes so they will know to check in the morning.

We had a visit from Dr. Bilsborough.  She read a very funny story about a rabbit who wasn't very good at listening.  We however....knew exactly what to do!


  • Don't forget to send in the $2.00 for the poem notebook if you haven't yet.  We will be bringing home our poem notebooks on Friday.
  • Remember to send a snack in everyday.
  • Please send an art smock to keep in school.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tonight's Homework

Hi Everyone!  We did some great work today talking about our topics for writer's workshop.  Today we looked at table of contents in different informational books and noticed that they all told different things about the big topic.

So for homework tonight you can make a popplet or a "paper popplet" using your topic in the center.  There is a link to popplet on the top of the blog.

Make sure you bring it to school tomorrow.  Print it if you can or email it to me.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Pajama Day!

We worked hard to earn this special day.  Our link jar was full so we decided to count it.  They decided to use place value to count efficiently.  Look at the tens and ones.

Working with our stuffed animals.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Classroom Updates

We have been very busy in room 15!  You have probably noticed how much their reading, writing and math knowledge have grown.

Room 15 welcomes Lexi to our class.  The students have been very welcoming and helpful in getting Lexi used to our classroom routines.


  • Reviewed all the short vowels
  • Worked with blends
  • Worked with "H Brothers", th, ch & wh
  • Learned about slide chunks:  gentle sliders (ang, ing, ong & ung) and fast sliders (ank, ink, onk & unk)
  • Learned about "Party Letters".  "Jeff will pass buzz".  The letters f, l, s and z are doubled when following a short vowel sound
  • Learned about Long A.  We have learned about two rules that help make the long A sound:  "magic silent E" and "vowel teams" ai & ay
  • Continued learning "word wall words".  Refer to the tab at the top of the page to see which have been introduced and should be both read and spelled correctly
  • In writer's workshop we spent a great deal of time looking at writer's craft.  We examined different authors and noticed things they did in their writing; ellipses (...), bold words, action, sound words, talking, etc.  Then the children worked on trying some of these tools in their own writing
  • We began a new unit on informational writing.  The children are "teaching" about things they know well


We have been had at work in math!  Here are just some of the things we have been focusing on
  • Fact fluency
  • Applying efficient strategies to problem solving
  • Working with missing addends in different parts of a story problem
  • Collecting, representing and interpreting data
Let's Talk fluency!  It is the expectation that at the end of first grade they be fluent with addition and subtraction facts to 10.  We have been reviewing strategies to help with this process.  

The first group of strategies is + 0, +1, +2 and +3.  This encourages counting on and eventually leading a student to the known fact.  Touch points are a great strategy for many students!

Imagine solving the number equation 5 + 3 =      You can start with 5 and quickly touch your pencil on the touch points of the 3...."Start with 5...6, 7, 8)

We have also been working on "Fast 10's" (combinations of two numbers that equal 10).  When students know these facts fluently they lead to a world of possibilities in which students can use their knowledge of 10 to help solve unknown combinations.

We have recently begun "math centers".  This is a work in progress, but focuses on problem solving, paper and pencil tasks,  math technology and fact fluency.  It is very exciting and the children seem to love it.

How can you help?  Check with your child and see how they are doing with solving these types of facts.  Find the ones that are challenging and practice.  I have also started a tab at the top of the page that links you to some of the math games that we are using on the computer.  They have also been using a great app on the ipad called "Make 10 Plus"...and its free :)


  • We have been learning about solids.  We have been investigating the properties that make solids; solids.  So far we have learned about shape, color, roll/stack and sink/float.

Social Studies

  • Read books about Martin Luther King.  Learned about his impact on our country's history.  Talked about makes each one of us special and unique.  Focused on how he tried to solve his problem peacefully.