Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Goodbye Friends

First grade sure was easy!
Dear First Grade Families,

It's finally here-summer!  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.  They are all readers, writers and mathematicians,  and I am overwhelmingly proud of each and every one of them.

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.

Enjoy your days at the beach and nights by the BBQ.  Don't forget to post your summer adventures on our summer padlet or send me an email jklipfel@middletonps.org with what you are up.  This summer, encourage your student to join the library's summer reading program. Trips to the library on those rainy days can be a great way to spend time-you might just see me there.  Don't forget, our blog and Symbaloo are always there with great links to learning. Do a little bit of practice with words or numbers every day. Your children love to learn – they'll surprise you.

We have truly 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, so please make sure to keep me in the loop for many years to come.  Until we meet again!

Love always,
Miss Klipfel

Hello 1st Graders                                                       Goodbye My Good Friends

Monday, June 22, 2015

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.  Another part of monkey day included brainstorming things we are curious about.

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 to accompany them.
Lots of monkeying around today!
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

Author Study

1st graders spent last week celebrating themselves as readers. Yes, we can all read!! We've spent our last full 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.
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.

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.
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.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Animal Reports

Writer's Workshop for the end of the year 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.  While researching, we learned tons of new information and fun facts about all types of different animals. 1st graders (with the help of their teacher) smashed apps to be able to share their facts with you. Click below to enjoy!

To follow up our animal reports, we read the adorable story What if you had Animal Feet. If you haven't heard of this story and the others like it, they are 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 feet they would want and how they would be helpful.
A few 1st graders wanted duck billed platypus feet so they could win swimming races. Another friend wished for super fast cheetah feet so he could run faster they anyone else (especially his sister). Green basilisk lizard feet were a popular choice, many 1st graders wanted to be able to walk on water.  What type of animal feet would you want?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Field Day

1st graders had a spectacular time on Field Day. Students (and their teacher) played tug-of-war, had sack races, and ate delicious snow cones. Students even had a sponge race and went through an obstacle course.  Smiling faces and cheers filled the back field! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this field day a success.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tide Pool Boogie

Thank you to everyone who could attend 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 I used to spell that!"

Check out and share our favorite first grade memories video:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tide Pools

The BIG day finally arrived! Today we suited up 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. Enjoy our Seashore Smilebox:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

p.s I am collecting pictures for a slideshow for our upcoming Tide Pool Boogie Performance so please email me the great snapshots you took today.  Thanks in advance!