Thursday, August 25, 2011

4th Day of School

Parents,
I cannot believe that tomorrow is already Friday. Where has the time gone this week? I crack up at some of the kids who are asking about homework and end up reminding them that this only the 4th day of school! LOL  So, if they come home and wish to do something extra, have them practice their math facts and read a book for 20 minutes.


Today was a very busy day! First, we dove into preselected books which help guide a discussion on books that are Easy (E), Just Right (JR) and Challenging (CH).

I shared with them a pretty cool APP today. It is called: Book Crawler. Book Crawler is a way to keep track of all the books one has read digitally. It allows for the person to scan in the ISBN bar code. When you do, it automatically comes up with all sorts of data. Then, you can select the toggle switch to say that you own it. You can also place a review on it. There is a “lite” version that is free but only lets you enter up to 20 / 30 books. I paid $1.99 for the full version. It is just a cool way to see how many books one is reading and of what type of genre. We have entered 4 so far – I am in hopes to see how many I actually read this year!


I also introduced Work on Writing with the kids. I did some modeled writing about a pet Tarantula I had that escaped. They even had the chance to see the “molting” of Tommy. Then, we brainstormed an I Can Chart for this time during the Daily 5. Here is what they said:


Work on Writing
I can…


• Think of ideas;
• Work quietly;
• Do my best!
• Concentrate!
• Stay in one spot;
• Get started right away;
• Make up a story;
• Write about something that has really happened;
• Not worry about mispelled words;
• Reread;
• Include Backstory.


We successfully read for 10 minutes this morning and worked on writing for 5! :)


I am trying to introduce one way to solve a problem where they students try to "Make 10" with decomposing numbers.
We ended our day discussion what it was like to be a part of a community!

Pirate Game

In this game for three players, one student is the leader and the other two are the players. The two players each draw a card and, without looking at it, hold it up to their foreheads so that everyone else can see it. The leader announces the sum of the two cards. Each player must figure out which card is on his or her own forehead.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Second Day of School

Parents,


We had another wonderful day getting to know our expectations as a second grader.  We practiced Reading To Self  and made it to 7 minutes. WOO HOO! Remember, our goal is 20!  I’m so impressed with their motivation to become successful readers!

I also read to them the next three chapters of Because of Winn Dixie!  I believe they are HOOKED!

Lastly, we had conversations of what Scientist do and how they stay safe!  We ended our day with a surprise SKYPE session with Mr. Schwab (who happens to be my father).  He is a Geologist.  J 
Click on the links below to see some the videos (I apologize in advance of the quality... I was giving "Jing" a try!  Next time, I will revert back to using my digital camera to record short video clips!):


video

Make sure you check them out and I would love for you to leave a comment if possible!

This was such a great day!  Thanks!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Welcome - First Day of School

Dear Parents,

Today was just great!  We started off the day by playing a name game and by sharing things about ourselves.  We also wrote about our family.  Most importantly, we spent time establishing routines of the Daily 5 (Reading and Writing Program) and practicing the first part of the program.  We created our first chart for: 

Ways we choose books…
·         Find one that is part of a series;
·         By looking at the front cover;
·         Making sure it is Just Right for me;
·         Personal Connections;
·         Genre;
·         Books that are also movies;
·         Recommended by your teacher / friend;
·         Book you have heard out loud;
·         By trying the beginning to see if we like it!
To help build our stamina (the maximum goal for this is 20 minutes – which allows for me to pull small groups for guided reading , word study, etc.) for reading, we spent time discussing what it meant to read to just ourselves!  Here is what we decided as a class for Working on reading.

Working on Reading
I can:
·         Concentrate!
·         Read quietly to must myself;
·         Select books out of my book box;
·         Read anywhere in the room;
·         Take care of my needs before we begin;
·         Select books that are Just Right for me;
·         Stay in my area and read!
·         Giggle inside my head;
·         Wait to share interesting things with my friend;
·         Shop for books first thing when I come to class.

Also, we tried to solve a word problem together and a few kids shared their ways in solving the below problem.
Our wonderful day ended with Health Fitness and Art!  I cannot believe that it flew by so quick!

Obviously, I will not be giving you a play by play scenario every day, but I definitely wanted you to be able to have conversations about the first day of school!  J Thank you for sharing your wonderful kids with me!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Macy's 5th Annual Spelling Bee

I hope your summer is going great! I can't believe that it has gone by SO quickly! I came across this contest in the Houston Chronicle and I wanted to pass it on. It is a Spelling Bee hosted by Macy's.
The local Spelling Bee will take place on August 28 in the Woodlands. I'm not sure how many kids enter - but thought maybe it would be cool to see some Roadrunners on stage! If your child does enter - please let me know! I'd love to come out and show some support! :)
Here is what I grabbed off of their website:
The winner of each local spelling bee will receive a year of online learning from Kaplan Tutoring, a $150 Scholastic online gift card, and a trip to New York City to compete in the finals at Macy's Herald Square on Sunday, September 26th! The Grand Prize winner receives a $5,000 Kaplan Tutoring Scholarship and a $500 Scholastic online gift card.
To find out more about this, please click on the below link:

Hope you enjoy the last few weeks of summer! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone this next year!