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!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Just Right Reading

It has been an exciting week in Readers' Workshop! We have started talking more about "just right" books and have used texts like this one above to help us understand what that phrase means. In this book we learned about the Bear Family who loves books and Goldie Socks who is in search of the "just right" book that is not too hard and not too easy. The main character, Goldie, also retaught us the Five Finger Rule that we use here at Allen Brook to help tell us what is a too hard book. The kiddos picked up on the rule quickly and used it immediately. During reading today I looked around the room and saw fingers going up for every time they got stuck on a word on the first page. If five fingers went up, they tried another book. The students are now keeping a collection of just right books in their reading bins (a cheer echoed around the room when I shared that we would be starting to use those) and next we will be starting to stretch our stamina! Stay tuned for an update of how many minutes we are reading!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Writers' Workshop

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We began Writers' Workshop this week! The students have taken the first steps in starting to practice act, and think like authors. Our two mini-lessons so far have been on how to pick a topic and what writers do when they think they are done. We learned today that when a writer thinks they are done they can, add to the words, add to the illustration, or start a new piece. A motto that we will be adopting in this room is, "when writers think they are done, they have really just begun".
It was exciting to see how focused and interested they were and I so enjoyed hearing their stories and helping them get their ideas down on paper. Some of the best moments I noticed was when they were sitting thinking of an idea. I did not hear a single complaint about getting started, but rather saw them thinking and puzzling through what they were going to write about that day. I was so impressed at how well all the students did getting to work and sticking with it. The room was quiet except for the scratching of pencils and the whispers of sounding out words and in a first grade classroom, that is saying something!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reading and Math fun!

We have continued having a ton of fun together! Enjoy this slideshow of us exploring with books and math tools.
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Giggle, Giggle, Quack!

Happy second day of first grade! We have been having a wonderful time so far and have done a ton of fun things. Today was the first of many times that we will head into the wonderful and fabulous Ms. Kate's class for activities. She invited us over today for an interactive read aloud of the marvelous book, "Giggle, Giggle, Quack" written by Doreen Cronin. This is a book in a series and we will be reading the other books throughout the next week or so. I encourage you to ask your child about it, because they are quite a hit!