Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Goodbye Friends

Dear First Grade Families,

It's finally here-summer! 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 from the fall a few inches taller, a few months wiser, and much more mature. Although this growth would have happened anyway, it has been my pleasure to watch them develop every day. The impromptu student planned flash mob will go down as one of my favorite first grade memories of all time.

We have lived, loved, laughed, and learned together this year. I wish it could continue but each and everyone of you is ready for 2nd grade. 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. Don't forget to read and post your summer adventures on your Kidblog. Until we meet again!

Love always,
Miss Klipfel
                              Hello 1st Graders                                              Goodbye my good friends                                                           
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Monkey Day

Marvelous Monkey Monday was a magnificent hit in first grade. Monkey Day was the end to our week long study of authors. Today we met 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 practiced drawing George step by step and I LOVE how different all the monkeys look.

Writer's Workshop had 1st graders transforming themselves into curious little monkeys.  Once a beautiful illustration was completed, students wrote creative stories about someplace they were curious.


1st graders get an ape-plus for today! Check out all our monkey photos:

“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
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Author Study

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 books by that author and complete fun activities.  We began with the hilarious Mo Willems.
Don't let the Pigeon drive the bus!
Pigeon inspired stories
Inspired by Knuffle Bunny
Mo Willems always entertains us will his writing and definitely makes us laugh. We learned that every night at dinner time, Mo and his family sit down to doodle at the kitchen table. Mo explained that we should never give up on drawing, so we thought we'd give his doodling a try.
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.  While doing our live webcast in the fall we met and learned about Kevin Henkes but now we can actually read his books! 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, this week we will explore H.A Rey who writes the beloved Curious George series.  We will then practice making inferences with David Shannon's stories.  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.
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Flash Mob

As I walked through the door after snack to an angelic looking group of 1st graders this is what I witnessed...


I have officially been flash mobbed by 1st graders!  
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Field Day

1st graders had a spectacular time on Field Day. Students played tug-of-war, had sac races, and ate delicious snow cones. Students even had a sponge race and balanced an egg on a spoon. Smiling faces and cheers filled the back field! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this hot field day a success.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tide Pool Boogie

Thank you for attending our Tide Pool Boogie this morning. As you can tell 1st graders have learned so much about Tide Pool creatures.  They worked very hard learning all of the songs, poems and hand motions. 

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, "Look how horrible my writing used to be!"

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Animal Teeth & Hair

To follow up our animal reports, we read the adorable story What if you had Animal Teeth. 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 he could open his Christmas presents without hands. Another friend wished for pearly white elephant tusks so she could balance Shirley Temples on them.  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 his mom's car).

Next we checked out, What if you had Animal Hair by the same author.  In their read and respond journals, 1st graders were able to decide what animal hair they would want. Students wanted everything from porcupine spikes, to keep bullies away, to arctic fox fur, so they could change color.

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Friday, June 6, 2014

World of Jumping

Friday has been a fun filled day in 1st grade.  Our morning was packed with World of Jumping.  1st graders loved this program and your very own Miss Klipfel got to show off some jump roping skills.
Thank you to the PTO for sponsoring this active event.  After our whole school morning session, 1st grade went outside to practice some jumping of their own.  Students might be trying to practice their atomic one footed jump all weekend.
 In the afternoon students finally celebrated their penny challenge victory with our Italian ice party!  Thank you for searching couches, pockets and cars for all those pennies.  Our treat was delicious!
Have a wonderful weekend, only three more weeks of being 1st graders. 
Try and enjoy some monkey business!

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tide Pools

The BIG day finally arrived! Today we suited up (in our tie dye & rain gear) and headed out to Odiorne Point in Rye, NH. 1st graders had a blast exploring the rocky shore and seeing first hand everything we've been learning. Thank you to all the chaperones who braved the weather and were able to join us today on our excursion. Our little scientists did an excellent job sharing all their sea creature knowledge. I'm happy to report we all looked adorable in our tie dye and made it back to school with smiles on our faces (just a little wet).  Enjoy our Seashore Smilebox:
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

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, 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. 1st graders used their new favorite app, Chatter Pix, to be able to share their facts with you.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Non-fiction Research

Students have been using non-fiction texts to learn facts and information about different tide pool animals. 1st graders were split into groups to fill out an organizer with all the facts they read.

Deep in research
Each group became the expert on that ocean animal so they could then teach the rest of the class. We recorded all their information on large posters hanging in our classroom.

1st graders weren't done there. Each group then created a labeled diagram of their animal for our very own classroom tide pool. Students used labels and captions (which are non-fiction features) on their posters to help inform us.

Students have learned lots of new vocabulary and facts. A new vocabulary word we learned was invertebrate or animals with no backbones. Did you know a crab molts its shell? Or that a sea star can regenerate? Keep discussing these facts at home with your child so you're ready for our field trip too! You never know what you're going to learn.
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