Monday, May 29, 2017

Lots of special things going on!

The last few weeks have been really busy for our school! Lots of special events, special guests, and special projects. Here are some pictures!

Our school garden has been installed and each Monday we get to spend some time in it. A parent volunteer from another class sets up stations for the kids to choose between, and they absolutely love it!

There is the raking mulch station:

The digging pit (dirt castles! looking for worms!):

The planting station:

And the weeding station: 

Last week we also go to go on a bug hunt!

This wasn't really a special project, but the kids thought it was hilarious that they could now write the morning message. :) Every morning we start the day with Morning Meeting, and I write a message that says basically the same thing (Good morning. Today is Tuesday. We have music and gym, as well as a discussion question related to what we've been learning about.) They did this without any help from me. Look how far their writing skills have come!

During WIN time ("What I Need" time, in which students go to different teachers to study different aspects of reading and writing), we had book club, which was a huge hit! The kids got to choose from several different beloved books, read them together or alone, and then draw and share their favorite part. 

One of our classmates' parents knew an expert on owls, so they came in to teach us about owls and their pellets! Here is the "owl scientist" (who works at an owl rescue center) teaching us about owls, and our parent guest, dissecting owl pellets:

We also had the Fun Run, and Hat & Hot Dog day last week!

Here are kids having water and popsicles after the Fun Run.

And enjoying some extra recess time:

Watching our principal and custodian grill hundreds of hot dogs!

And building a home for a wooly bear caterpillar someone found in the mini forest:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Our final published books!

We finished up our year of Writers Workshop with a unit on informational writing, or what the kids call All About books. We talked about how authors often choose to write about things they are experts at, and use their own knowledge, as well as books and other sources, to write about the topic. I always love seeing the topics that kids choose to write about, and this year was no exception! Everything from "All About Pokemon" and "All About Cats" to "All About My Imagination." A couple kids even did "mystery" books, which were titled "All About ???" and don't reveal the topic until the last page. We even had a few kids co-write books together. They were so fun to read, and it's amazing to see the progress that each writer has made since the beginning of the year! If you'd like to see the final products, they're up on display in our classroom. We'll also send them home before the end of the year. This was our last official writing unit of the year; we'll spend the rest of the year working on our memory books, and having free writing time.

Working on our books

Each book included a title page...
...and an author page, which included facts about the author, such as their favorite colors or animals
"All About My Imagination"
"I have a big imagination"
"I imagine I'm a boy or a girl"
"My favorite! Dragon wings! Amazing huh!"
"All About Cats"
"My cat likes yarn"
"Cats like to climb"

"Sloths like to hang" 
"To potty train a baby sloth, you will need 1 baby sloth"
"Sloths are brown"
"Sloths like carrots" 
Each book also contained a diagram of the topic, such as this one of a sloth 

"All About Naomi"
"Be a friend to everyone" 
"Help people when they need help"
"Believe in people"
"Be nice"

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Math games, special guests, and goodbye letters

Another catch-up post to let you know what we've been up to lately! Spring time always brings lots of activities and events, so here are a few I haven't posted yet.

Quite a while ago we had a fun visit from the police department to teach us about canine dogs in the police force! The dog's name was Boris and the policeman was Officer Wilson. The kids really learned a lot and wrote some sweet thank you notes :)

Speaking of special guests, we've also had the local farm-to-school group come to on a weekly basis to teach about healthy eating and where your food comes from. So far, the class has learned about how different colored foods affect different parts of your body, how worms can help compost food, and the parts of a plant that we eat. They also bring a new healthy snack each week, and the kids have been practicing taking an "adventure bite," to give new foods a try. So far the favorite has been carrots with honey mustard on top.


We also had one of our classmates depart for another state this month which was bittersweet. :( His family donated this fascinating world map:

And everyone wrote heartfelt goodbye letters:

For Forest Friday last week, we went on a nature scavenger hunt through the forest and school grounds. We even visited the new garden space!

And this week we spotted the resident mallard duck who has been visiting the forest! She's hard to spot in the photo on the ground, but she was a big hit during recess.

We've also been doing lots of new math games and lessons. Below are some photos of an addition game in which students had to draw three cards and add up the number of dots on each card, and then write a number sentence to go with. Many kids opted for the "challenge round," which included cards that went up to 10! It showed courage and confidence in their math skills and I was really proud!