Our winter break is upon us! Happy holiday wishes to all of my students, parents, family members, and valued caregivers. We have been listening to legendary Vince Guardaldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas music and making ornaments .. for you! The snow day has prevented students from bringing you their gifts in which they had intended to give to you. This may have upset some, please reassure them that they will be able to give you a belated gift this season that will be on your trees for years to come as valuable keepsakes. In fact, I was telling them about mine…
Miss Ryan’s son, Christian.
My son was in the 1st grade and now he’s fourteen. I look to be a kinder and a second grader. I hope your little ones have theirs as long as I’ve had mine! Due to the fragility of your children’s ornaments, I do wish to keep them with me until you’re able to pick them up or send them home with an older sibling. I will send a printed memo home about this. The quarter is soon to draw to a close. If you’re busy, I’ll store them until our meeting. It’s coming around the corner and I don’t want your kiddos handling those ornaments without supervision. Once they’re on the bus, I’m not able to care for them.
For academics, I would like to invite you to be an audience member of our popular, “College Talk.” Please welcome…The Elephants!
College Talk – Whole brain thinking putting nouns, verbs, prepositions, and sight words together to make and read a sentence using speech to articulate a complete thought. Nonverbal cues: The clap indicates capitalizing the first letter of the sentence. The screeching brakes indicates a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence.
Students are also currently taking the Sight Word Challenge. I have taught students 37 words with a few more to go before the second quarter ends. Students who are able to read the list of sight words on the board all by themselves with no more than one mistake earns a nifty hologram sticker or a piece of candy. They deserve extra kudos for listening and wanting to learn, they work so hard.
I, am, the, little, to, a, red, blue, have, is, purple, yellow, we, my, like, green, at, as, orange, he, for, white, in, it, brown, me, with, she, pink, by an, can, black, see, look, gray, and, did.
This is a popular challenge. It’s hard to turn cute, little raised hands away and I have learned to limit participants to no more than 3-4 per day or we get behind schedule! I write their names on the board so they take turns getting to go and we had been recording 8 winners a day! There will be no stopping them soon as they begin recognizing print everywhere. Like words off of your texts having recognized blends or phrases on billboard ads having comprehended digraphs. My little niece began texting on her own by the 1st grade.
Advanced: I gave a small number of students a diagnostic assessment for advanced reading work. The group began with 3 as others were too shy to shine quite yet. I began letting a bright little girl read her book to the class. It inspired other students to come forth and begin reading books in front of the class. I’m pleased to announce that the Advanced group now has 6 members and they work together on 1st grade reading activities in the tent.
On Level: We are reading small, simple passages consisting of picture cues, sight words, blends, and rhyming words (beginning and ending letters recognized as the same). Comprehension is checked as students cut the illustrations to the story and paste them in sequential order. They’re isolating middle and ending sounds, adding missing letters in words.
Strategic Intervention: I’m seeing bigger gains and greater strides in my Strategic Intervention group. Learners are becoming more confident and they’re doing better in all inclusive activities. A couple of hard working, focused learners have progressed to On Level learning activities. My latest assessment indicates that many students have tripled the amount of letters learned from the end of the first quarter.
Common Core Morning Work & Independent Initiative: I have started working with them on fun, seasonal curriculum comprised of math and english. Right now, they need direct instruction and modeling. Some are able to work all the way through without me. I’m slowly shaping them into independent workers. They’re getting their own glue. We have moved from glue sticks to liquid glue, which is good for their gross motor skills benefitting their writing. They’re transitioning to music now by cleaning up their own workspaces on a musical deadline taking on more responsibility.
Social Skills and Collaboration: With regard to real world application, being able to collaborate and negotiate compromise are important life skills. On Fridays, students choose their own centers to work at. My ground rules are that no more than 6 students may occupy one center at a time. I ask that no more than 4 students may read in the tent with their reading puppies. They have to use their own words to negotiate with others to trade centers. I prompt them with a ringing bell after 5 minutes for those who aren’t making those social exchanges so that everyone is switching stations.
Students are collaborating and problem solving at Rhyming Houses and our 50 piece Alpha Puzzle Station.
Taking turns using their own self management playing the Animal Game.
Wishing you an amazing break cherishing this time with family. I’m taking my son to Costa Rica and will bring back some interesting artifacts to share with your children for Show and Tell.