Thursday, November 29, 2012

Junie B. Jones

We finished reading Junie B. Jones First Grader (at last!).  I love reading this book as our introduction to one of my favorite book characters, Junie B. Jones.  In the story, Junie B. finally starts first grade.  She deals with making new friends, having a new teacher (Mr. Scary) and worst of all learning she needs to wear dreaded glasses!  During this read aloud we worked on visualizing what was happening in the story.  It's fun to close your eyes and picture Junie B. Jones running out of her first grade classroom on the very first day of school.  We also worked on making predictions of what we thought would happen.

Once we were finished reading Junie B. First Grader (at last!), 1st graders brainstormed describing words from Junie B. Jones.  1st graders described her with some good descriptive words such as funny, silly, shy, excited and crazy in a good way.  We put these adjectives up around our big Junie B. poster.

In the wise words of Junie B. Jones, "A little glitter can turn your whole day around".

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Before Thanksgiving break we ended the day by playing my favorite game show, Jeopardy!  We took a little field trip and played in the new and improved ampitheater equipped with a brand new Smartboard.  1st graders had a blast reviewing all the different things we've learned so far this year.

Students took turns selecting a category and amount.  Our categories included:

Writer's Workshop

What's the date?
Count on Me
Gobble Gobble
Name that Sound
Miss Klipfel & Mango

1st graders worked as groups to figure out the answer and then wrote it on their iPad.  Groups then turned their iPads around to reveal their answers. For one question, two quarters were shown on the board and students had to write the correct amount.  One group was having a little discussion whether the correct answer was $0.45 or $0.50.  A 1st grader in the group said in a very confident manner,  "I know this! It's $0.50, I did this on IXL."  She was of course correct and made her teacher very proud!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Best Part of Me

I am SO impressed with the students' Best Part of Me project!  As a class, we read the book The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald.  This book is written by real students and served as great inspiration to us in Writer's Workshop.  1st graders wrote about the favorite part of themselves, we then worked on adding descriptive words to our writing.  After our pieces were published, we recorded ourselves reading our very own writing.  We had a special movie screening this week with Mrs. Carreiro, where students were so proud and excited to see their published work.

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us in 1st grade!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Floppy Turkey

Last week we discussed how the Pilgrims and Native Americans, particularly the Wampanoags, lived differently than we do.  We used a variety of books and online sources to help us learn about life back then.

I stumbled upon a stack of old floppy discs and as any good teacher I thought these are cute, colorful and free, what can I do with them?  So with turkeys on my mind we turned them into floppy turkeys.  Students each got their own floppy disc (after learning what a floppy disc was) and feathers to decorate.  I love how different and creative all the turkeys came out. 

On the left side 1st graders wrote something that the Pilgrims or Wampagnoags had then and on the right side they compared it to what we have now.  We brainstormed so many different ideas about how their lives were different than ours.  For example, the Pilgrim boys wore dresses until the age six or seven but now boys wear jeans and t-shirts.  Or that Pilgrims and Wampagnoags played games like ten pin and marbles but now we have computers, TV, iPods and iPads (no more floppy discs though)!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

High Turkey

I was shocked that some friends had never made a hand turkey before. I guess you have to learn everything somewhere and what better place then 1st grade! Check out our hand turkeys.

These turkeys quickly turned into mathematical tools.  We'll use them to help us count by fives throughout the month of November.  Make sure to practice counting by fives at home.  Mix it up by starting at different numbers.  Use your hand turkey to help or nickels to make sure your child really understands how to count automatically by fives. 

Can you find Mr. Nobody's hand turkey?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gobble Gobble

As you may have guessed already, I love holidays.  I enjoy decorating, getting excited for the event, dressing for the occasion and of course celebrating.  But there is something about 1st graders making turkeys that has always been my favorite!  Check out our 1st colorful turkeys of the season.

Last week we took a little time to reflect on what we are thankful for.  Some friends were still thinking about the election while others chose to be thankful for me.  I promise I didn't give them any ideas.

We are Thankful!
I am thankful for the ocean because I love the fish. Riley
I am thankful for voting day because Barack Obama won. Allison
I am thankful for Ariana because she is so so so so so nice. Olivia

I am thankful for Miss Klipfel and my family. Miss Klipfel is my favorite teacher. Aidan
I am thankful for my mom because she makes dinner for me. Kurt

I am thankful for my family because I love my family. Maxwell
I am thankful for my brother because he plays with me. Jake

I am thankful for cats because they play with me and are cute. Kaitlin

I am thankful for Olivia because she colors with me. Ariana
I am thankful for my guinea pig because he loves me. He is thankful for me because he loves when I feed him and when I give him a drink. I love my guinea pig. Liam

I am thankful for my cousin because he plays football with me. Andrew
I am thankful for my kitten because it purrs at me. Mia
I am thankful for my dad because he helps me vote for Romney. Brady

I am thankful for Rebbecca she is my most BFF I like. Ana
I am thankful for my family because my family goes fun places. Kenna

I am thankful for animals because they are pretty. Emma
I am thankful for my dad because he plays sports like soccer. Rayan
I am thankful for my mom because she helps me spell words. Nicholas

I am thankful for Miss Klipfel. She is nice. I like Miss Klipfel she is the best teacher ever. Rebbecca

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reading Buddies

Stuck on a word? In class and in reading groups, we have been discussing different strategies for decoding unknown words.  So far we have focused on S-t-r-e-t-c-h-y Snake, Chunky Monkey and Eagle Eye.  Have your child practice using these reading buddies while you read at home.

Remember, never let the word win!
As some of you may have heard, I have been without my computer this week.  It has a virus and has been under the weather, maybe the hurricane and snow got to it.  Needless to say, I have felt quite lost without it.  We spent one whole day without the Smartboard.  I even did my phonics lesson on the whiteboard.  So I need to end this post with a huge THANK YOU to my Mom (an avid Klipfel & Kids follower) for allowing us in first grade to enter back into the 21st century and borrow her computer for a few days.  Fingers and toes crossed that my computer is back up and running soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Election Day was in full swing in Room 116.  It really was too cute listening to the conversation around political talk yesterday.  Quite some strong opinions from my little friends.  I did have to explain that no Matt Romney isn't a candidate for president.

We started learning about both candidates by checking out some educational sites and videos. Students learned all the rules about becoming president. Some were sad to learn that Justin Bieber couldn't be president (since he's not from the United States or 35 years old).

After learning about the candidates it was time to vote!  Students polled 10 friends and asked them who they'd vote for.  One student informed me  they were voting for Obama because "he's handsome".  After polling friends around the room, students recorded their data by tallying the results and making a pie graph.

We ended our day with Scholastic Time for Kids Let's Vote.  We read the magazine and did an activity to recall information.  It was split right down the middle in our classroom. Now let's see what the electoral college has to say.