Thursday, December 29, 2011

Liebster Award Wow

  It has been way too long and I must say thank you to BethAnn at Taming My Flock of Firsties for nominating me for this award of up and coming blogs.  I am flattered and honored to receive it.  I am happy that I have regular readers of my blog.  Thank you all for checking things out with the first grade smarties. I never expected to be up and coming!
 This award brings recognition to blogs with under 200 followers. It is a way to support and encourage new bloggers. Once received it needs to be passed on to five up-and-coming blogs. Here are my favorites:

     Morning Sun First Grade  I love love her stuff.  Plus Laurie is my favorite Skypper!


Please check out these fantastic first grade blogs and become a follower.  They make me smile every day:)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Decorating, A Smarties Cape Run, and a Skype Rhyme Off.

           Yes, it's been a long time since I've blogged but now I'm back.  We have been very busy the past few weeks trying to keep up with all the holiday goodness.  Here are just a few pictures of our holiday work.
                  These beautiful trees were created by our families over the Thanksgiving Holidays, very creative.
This is our star tree.  The picture doesn't show it but every star is full of glitter and the tree sparkles.  A big thanks goes out to Mr. Lumsden for being a glitter master during our community time.  I love this.
Here is a Santa web we created during writing time.  This chart helped us write about Santa Claus.  The little Santas around the edge of the poster we created during our technology time in the lab.  I love all the unique Santas.

     Here is an idea that I came up with on the spur of the moment.  Since we are the Smarties and we try to get smarter each day I happen to pick up a piece of material and threw it around my shoulders and ran into the classroom like a super hero.  I stood in front of my class with my hands on my hips and cried "Super Smart"!  And so our Smarties Cape Run was born.  At the end of the week if you can prove that you have become smarter in some way you will get to wear the cape and "run" in the hall.  (It's a big deal since we are not allowed to run in the hallways of our school.)  Wow, it has been a huge success with this class.  They are talking to each other about how to learn more so that they get to wear the cape.  I bought a snowflake plastic table cloth as our cape.  It is perfect for this because it flies nicely behind the kids as they run.  We all sit on the floor at one end of the hall and I send them off all smiles.  The shorter the distance the better.  The kids stop if there is someone in the hall and put their hands on their hips and says "I'm super smart!" if some one asks.  I don't do this every week but I hear them discussing the next Smarties Cape Run.  Below are a few smart first graders on their smart runs.

On Friday, we had the pleasure of Skyping with our blogging buddies from Morning Sun, Iowa.  Both of our classes have read the book Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas and loved it.  (It's my newest favorite book.)  Since we have been practicing word families and rhyming we decided to have a rhyme off.  One point for a rhyme and two points of it rhymed and was a holiday word.  Both classes work hard at coming up with new rhymes.  It was great to see the kids thinking about which holiday words fit.  We kept score.  And though we lost we had a great time seeing our blogging buddies again.  I think we might try to make the snowmen spirals they were working on when we called. 
This holiday season is very exciting.  I send happy, glittery thoughts your way.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Skyping with New Friends and Skating!

       Our class has been enjoying our internet Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Project!  Every day the office calls us to say that we have an envelope waiting for delivery.  Everyone gets a chance to guess what letter it might be.  There are about 7 letters yet to arrive.  We love this project.  Our letters are proudly hung in our hallway for all to see.  Thank you to all who have been part of this project.    
   We skyped for the first time with our new first grade friends from Morning Sun, Iowa.  Our class was so excited about seeing another classroom and learning how alike and different we are from our friends.  We journaled after our session.    What a great connection. Our class will be blogging buddies.  We will be leaving comments on our new friends' kidblog during the month of November.  We are all looking forward to skyping again.  We have so many more questions.
     On Friday our class had our first skating session.  It was fun fun fun.  I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped to tie skates and motivate the kids on the ice.  It was a great first session.  Most kids started out using milk crates but by the end of the lesson they were skating without any help:)  Mr. Lumsden and Mr. Tremblay did a great job of teaching our class to skate.  We are looking forward to next Friday's class.

    Halloween will be an exciting day tomorrow.  We will have a special treat on cookies at snack time and watch a Halloween video at the end of the day.  It should be lots of fun.  Happy Halloween.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Writing Workshop in Action

Leah Mermelstein was in Vermont and she hung out with my first graders!  We were so lucky.
Thinking and getting started.
 Quietly working, lots of thinking and sketching.
 Conferencing with Sam or is it Seth?
 Sharing our work, wow the details...
Thank you Leah for a great visit.  We are continuing our work every day.  The kids want to know when you will be back again.  They all want to share with you.  I want to know how you created the magical quiet in my classroom.  I can't seem to duplicate it.

A very cool class!
 Silly Sally went to town walking backwards upside down all the way to Open House.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Internet Project.
W's are all waiting, watching, wondering "Where in the world will we wind up?"
Our W envelopes waiting with wiggle worms ready to go!  They were sent out on Tuesday and should arrive within a week to wonderful classrooms across North America.  We are all waiting watching and wondering what the rest of the alphabet will look like.
Thanks to Brooke Perry over at Primary Perspective for creating and setting up this project.  I love making connections with other classrooms.  I am hoping to Skype with another classroom in the project. This has been a great project!

We have had some beautiful fall weather this week. I'm hoping it continues.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Beautiful Autumn Days

What a beautiful day it is in my neighborhood.  It's warm and sunny.  A perfect apple picking day!  I love to taste the sweet tartness of a Macintosh apple.  How about you?
     I have been honored by Andi at PencilsGlueandTyingShoes with the Versatile Award !  Yippee!  Now for 7 things about me.
1.  I am an empty Nester this year.  Both of my children go to SUNY Potsdam in NY.  I miss them.
2.  I love teaching first grade.  Writing is my favorite time of the day.
3.  I am a chocoholic!
4.  I grew up in Maine and try to visit every summer.  I love the ocean.
5.  I have 11 siblings who live all across the US.  Three of my sisters are teachers, one in first grade, one in art and one at the University level.
6.  My dad lives in Ireland with all the leprechauns.
7.  I love technology.  I went to ISTE for the first time this summer.  I love writing a blog and keeping a webpage.

Now for some new websites that I recently discovered.
Check out this fabulous sites.

This past week we did our first Internet project.  We stacked Oreos.  It was Fun Fun Fun!  Our average for the class was 20 cookies.  We love Oreos and the black teeth that come with eating them.   Check out the results from 100's of classrooms at Projects by Jen.

Our class has also been working on a 2nd Internet project called the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Project.  Our class has decorated the letter W and will be finishing them up in the next few days to send out to 25 other classrooms.  We are all looking forward to seeing what the other letters look like.  Pictures to come.

Our class will be skyping with another first grade from Iowa.   We are forming our questions now and will be using Google Earth to locate our school and their school.  We are hoping to be kidblog pen pals.  It's all so exciting.

Our ipod touches were the hit of our Open House.  Everyone wanted to "touch" them.  The kids look forward to their time on the pods each day.  It was terrific to meet all the families at Open House this week.  I am looking forward to a great year as a first grade community.

This week we are excited to host author Leah Mermelstein.  She will be in our district for 2 days and we are fortunate to have her right in our very own classroom!  She will be teaching my class all about getting started on a piece of writing for writing workshop.  We are beyond excited.  Hopefully, I'll get her in action with the kids.  I had to do a little cleaning because along with Leah will come 10 other teachers watching her every move.  I can't wait.

I hope the weather continues to be warm and sunny.  The leaves are changing here and the apples are crisp.  Have a great week.