Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Non-Fiction Fun!

This week has been our kick-off to two new units all about non-fiction. For the next month or so we are going to be focusing on becoming non-fiction authors as well as learning more about how to be great non-fiction readers! Today we learned a song to help us remember the difference between fiction and non-fiction. It is a bit catchy, but it was a hit amongst the kiddos. Here is the link Fiction vs. Non-Fiction
Not only have we been discussing the difference between these two types of texts, but we have been beginning to look more closely at the different features of non-fiction in a variety of books. They have been so engaged and interested in searching for headings, captions, labels, and diagrams. While not all of these features can be found in every book, they are really beginning to understand the importance and role that each one has in a book.
In writing we will be starting to write "All About" books where they are the experts of a topic and write all that they know about it. So far it has been in discussion form to begin developing the understanding that they are experts in something. It has been great fun to hear them confidently share with the group "I am an expert with scooter jumps!" or "Riding a tractor by myself!" or "I know a lot about cats!" What fun it will be to read these expert books--I will be learning a lot!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tai Chi Time!

Synergy welcomed a special guest this week from Mount Mansfield Martial Arts. Mr. Graner will be coming in for a couple visits before the winter break and after as well to teach us Tai Chi. The students were so excited and did very well listening and following along as we learned the very focused and smooth movements. There are many important aspects of Tai Chi, but the two that we learned most about was balance and breathing. The pictures above are some snap shots of both of these skills. With the "moving and grooving" we do in our classroom, we have talked about both of these things before and it was great to hear someone say, "we've done this!" They were really making the connection between the importance of moving their bodies and breathing carefully to how they feel afterward. Stay tuned for what we learn next!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

As most classes do, we began the year discussing the idea of community. As we worked together to develop what it meant for all of us to be working together in a respectful and cooperative way, we also talked about larger communities. This is a video describing different areas of Allen Brook and why they are important to our school community. I was very impressed with how well the students worked in partnerships to establish why their part of the school is so important. The team work, effort, and cooperation that went into making this video showed me we were well on our way at creating a positive working community in our classroom. Thanks for watching and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Today we hiked to the Williston Food Shelf with 3/4 graders from Mosaic! It was a gorgeous day! What a perfect way to wrap up our theme on Community, by helping our own community and getting the opportunity to walk there with another team. Thank you so much for all of your donations and helping the students understand that a little can go a long way.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful long weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We Walked to the Fire Station!

Today our class and Mr. Lake's class walked to the Williston Fire Department because this week is Fire Prevention Week. It was a blast and we are so fortunate that it was a gorgeous day and close enough for us to walk! The kids learned about the gear that the fire fighters wear, saw someone come down the pole, what to do in case there is a fire, and they also got a chance to get in the fire truck-that was a big hit!
Mr. Baker, one of the fire fighters that was giving the tour, gave the kids a bit of "homework" too. A big part of the group discussion was about what to do in case there is a fire in your home and one question he asked was if the kids have an evacuation plan and meeting spot for their house. If the students did not raise their hand, he asked them to go home tonight and make a plan and meeting spot. I encourage you to ask your student about this, because it was a conversation that we had in the classroom as well.
The really big and exciting thing was that Fox 44 was there and got some footage for a clip on Fire Prevention Week. We're hoping to be "movie stars"! The woman taping said that it would air on the 6:00 news tonight. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Read for the Record

Today we participated in trying to set a new world record for reading! There is a remarkable website called We Give Books, which donates books to children all over the world based on how many books students read on the site. I strongly encourage you to check this website out at home with your student. We have been talking a lot about the power of reading and they find it pretty amazing that the more reading they do the more it will benefit others.
The book we read today, "Otis" written by Loren Long, is a story about a close friendship between a cow and a tractor and overcoming a challenge that tried to pull their friendship apart. This great story was read by people all over the world today, October 3rd, to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood reading. We had a great conversation about this and many of the kiddos shared that they read to their younger siblings, cousins, and neighbors, which is so wonderful!
In order to beat last year's record, more than 2.3 million people have to read the book! Hopefully we find out soon if we broke a world record with reading!