Tuesday, June 25, 2013

See You Later Alligator

Dear First Grade Families,
     It's finally here-summer! I cannot believe our year in first grade is already over. One last thank you to all the boys and girls for their continuous hard work this school year. Thank you also to the parents for your support and encouragement from home, as well as, all our faithful blog followers.  We loved all the times you visited our classroom as guests, mystery readers, or helpers.
     Today, I give you back the same child you sent to school last fall a few inches taller, a few months wiser, more responsible and more mature. Although this growth would have happened anyway, it has been my pleasure to watch them develop every day. Having spent this school year together we have grown close and we will always share a little piece of each other.
     We have lived, loved, laughed, and learned together this year. I wish it could continue but I must send them on. Remember, I will always be interested in your child's future, wherever they go, whatever they do. Their joys and sorrows I will always be happy to share. Enjoy your summer and don't forget to read!
Love always,
Miss Klipfel
         Hello 1st graders                                                        Goodbye my good friends

Monday, June 24, 2013

Author Week

1st graders have spent the last week celebrating themselves as readers. Yes, we can all read!! We've spent this last week of school together doing author studies on some of our favorite writers. We would always begin by watching an interview of the author to learn how they take their ideas and make them into a real published book. Then we would read a variety of that authors books and complete fun activities. After beginning with Margret and H.A. Rey on Monkey Day we moved onto the hilarious Mo Willems.
Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!

Inspired by Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny
Next, we meet Laura Numeroff, who was told by 9 publishers that her books weren't good before she found someone who believed in her. She taught us to never give up. After reading many of her circlular stories we created our own circle cookie map to sequence the events from her story If you Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Kevin Henkes really showed us how long the writing process can take. We learned that he begins all his writing on a type writer and then starts his illustrations in pencil before he goes over them in marker and finishes with paints. 1st graders were inspired by Chrysanthemum to discuss character traits. We learned that Chrysanthemum was brave, loved, polite, sweet and so many other great adjectives.

Have you ever seen what Arthur looked like when Marc Brown first started drawing him? Marc Brown showed us that we never stop revising and editing our work. While reading his Arthur stories we worked on making connections. Marc Brown's stories are inspired by the events from his 3rd grade classroom. Buster was even inspired by his best friend. This allowed us to make many personal connections to his stories.

Making connections with Marc Brown

To end our wonderful study of authors, we practiced making inferences with David Shannon's stories. The No David series uses detailed pictures and few words which allowed us to infer what David Shannon was trying to tell the reader. No David! was a huge hit (just like he was in September)!
1st graders had a stupendous time learning about all these talented authors.  Who knows maybe someday room 116 will be doing an author study on one of these young writers or illustrators.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monkey Monday

Marvelous Monkey Monday was a magnificent hit in first grade. Monkey Day was the kick off to our week long study of authors. Today we began by meeting Margaret and H. A. Rey the author and illustrators of the Curious George Series.

Curious George and our monkey friends from home helped us do our school work all day.  We began in math with crazy Curious George hands helping us practice telling time.  Afterwards our monkeys joined us for a most delicious snack break.  I couldn't resist making a few banana phone calls.

In reading, 1st graders learned the story behind the creation of the Curious George stories.  Curious George began as a character in Margaret and H.A. Rey's french book titled Raffy and the Nine Monkeys.  We then read Curious George Goes to School and worked on retelling the main ideas.  We also practiced drawing George step by step and I LOVE how different all the monkeys look.

We used our Curious George inspired day to discuss some things we are curious about in second grade.  As a class we all learned that we are curious about some of the same things.  Many wonder about teachers, friends, classes and lots of curiosity about cursive.

1st graders get an ape-plus for today.  Check out all the links we visited here.
“George can do what kids can’t do. He can paint a room from the inside. He can hang from a kite in the sky. He can let the animals out of their pens on the farm. He can do all these naughty things that kids would like to do.” -Margret Rey

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

A big shout out to all the fantastic Dads from room 116.  I hear wonderful stories of your silliness, fishing/sports skills and your love of ice cream (especially Richardson's).
All of us in 1st grade hope you love your iDad and coupons, just make sure to use those coupons wisely.  One whole day of no whining is like gold...maybe better.
Enjoy your hour of quiet time

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Field Day

1st graders had a spectacular time on Field Day.  Students played tug-of-war, had sac races, played musical beach towels and ate delicious snow cones.  Students even had a sponge race and balanced an egg on their spoon.  Smiling faces and cheered filled the back field!  Thank you to Mrs. Chowdhury and Mrs. Stepanick for being the photographers for this blog post and to all volunteers who helped make field day a success.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tide Pool Boogie

Thank you for attending our Tide Pool Boogie this morning.  As you can tell 1st graders have learn so much about Tide Pool creatures.  To watch videos from today's performance check out Mrs. Carreiro's blog.

We also loved having you back in our classroom for our Author Share.  The boys and girls have been working hard since September to become better writers and were extremely proud to share that with you today.  It is always a treat as a student, teacher or parent to see the growth since the beginning of the school year.  In the words of a first grader, "I've learned so much since I was little".
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Animal Reports

Writer's Workshop over the past few weeks has been focused on informational writing.  1st graders picked an animal to research and write about.  Each report shared the type of animal (mammal, bird, reptile, or amphibian), the animal's diet, where the animal lives and a few fun facts.
We learned tons of new information and fun facts about all types of different animals.  Did you know Cheetahs could totally freeze for 20 minutes?  We tried freezing for 30 seconds and learned just how hard 20 minutes would be.

Afterwards we read the adorable story What if you had Animal Teeth donated to our class from the book fair (Thank You!). If you haven't heard of this story it is definitely worth checking out.  This story is really neat because it switches off between non-fiction and fiction pages. 1st graders got to decide which animal's teeth they would want and how they would be helpful.  

One 1st grader wanted  vampire bat teeth so she could open her Christmas presents without her hands.  Another friend wished for elephant tusks so when he played soccer he could use his tusks to help him play.  Bengal tiger teeth were a popular choice, many 1st graders wanted to be able to lift very heavy objects with just their teeth (one 1st grader even wanted to try and lift the Statue of Liberty).