What's going on in Room 125?

Weekly Update: Observing, Describing, and Sorting

Our I Spy game for others to play in the hall

As we wrapped up our first month back to school, we continued to work on properties of objects by observing, describing and sorting different objects.  We played “I spy” to work on both expressive and receptive descriptions and even created our own I Spy game which will be hanging on our bulletin board for the school to play.  Students chose an object, drew a picture of it, and wrote clues about what it was.  We were working hard at noticing all the different characteristics of the object, to make our clues and drawings accurate.  Make sure to check out our board next week to see everyone’s hard work!

The observing, describing, and sorting activites that we have been working on this month are important activities that help student develop their logical reasoning skills as they analyze and observe the obvious characteristics of an object.  The ability to classify is an important skill across many areas, including social areas.  For example, a child who can classify will be able to differentiate where younger and older children are playing on a playground, and be able to choose which group to play with appropriately.  The ability to observe and describe are also important language skills.  You can help promote these skills at home in many ways.  Here are a few ideas:

-When your child is playing with toys, label them verbally or with writing and encourage him to label other things independently.

-Look in a mirror with your child and describe your different physical characteristics. Do you have the same color hair?  How many eyes to you have?

-Do a color search.  Look around the room and find everything that is blue.

-Sort your change by coins.

-Put away silverware by sorting.

-Any matching activity. Print doubles of pictures to match working on visual discrimination.

-Play I Spy. “I spy with my little eye, something that is……”.  Describing the object and finding the object both promote classifying skills.

Next week we will be starting a new unit: maps!  We will be able to use our new DonorsChoose materials to learn about where we live, and where others live.  Again, we will be adapting the first grade curriculum and be learning similar things to other students at Edison!

I have a couple of important Edison fundrasing announcements.  Fundraising directly influences our school and classroom (the funds we earned at Fall Festival allowed us to get our chairback buddies, and hopefully a new phonics curriculum), so I encourage you to participate where you are able!

1.  We are collecting Box Tops.  These are due from the school February 17.  I will collect for our room until then.  This is an easy way to support Edison!

2. The EdFest Auction is coming up (February 25)!  This is the school’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  Check it out: http://edison.dpsk12.org/edfest/ .  I will likely be an auction item…I’ll keep you posted on the final details!

Thank you for your support!  What a great first month of 2012.  I am so proud of everyone’s progress, attendance, and responsibility with their homework journals!  Keep it up!

Feel free to offer feedback on this site, the new homework note procedures, or anything else in the classroom.  I love to hear your input!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ms Wales

PS Are you subscribed to this blog?  By subscribing you will be notified whenever I put up a new post, which is a great way to assure you are getting all of the necessary updates and information asap!

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New Homework Papers

Good afternoon!  In order to increase the “greenness” of our classroom and maintain functionality, starting tomorrow the structure of the daily homework paper and notes will be slightly different.

Students will sign in in their homework notebooks on the page adjacent to where their homework assignment will be.  I will write the daily notes on this page and you can write back to me here as well. This will hopefully simplify things by allowing all of the daily communication to be found in one place.  This will also help our environment as we save some paper.

This new structure will also promote more independence for students.  We will work on fading our prompts (e.g. writing parts of the date) and encouraging students to use the calendar even more to write the date independently.

If you have any questions about this new structure, please let me know.  Thank you again for your constant communication and support at home!  The first week with the homework notebook has been a huge success thanks to all of you!

Have a great evening!

-Ms Wales

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Check The Menu Tabs!

Hi everyone!

Because of the short week and illness, there is not an extended weekly update. However, make sure you are keeping up to date with the menu tabs!  I put up some new classroom pictures and also have some Recess Buddy updates (if you are a 5th grader, check the Recess Buddy tab!).

We were exploring more properties this week. We are working on “observing, describing, and sorting.” Students (and families!) have been doing great with the first week of the homework journals! Thank you for your support at home!  Students seem proud when they earn their Edison Earning and are able to show off their homework, showing that they are learning the skill at home too. Keep it up!

Have a great Friday!

-Ms Wales

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Ms Wales Absent, 1-17-12

Hi all,

I hope you had a great day off. I unfortunately had a very sick day off and will not be able to come in tomorrow (don’t want to get anyone else sick!).  Luckily, we have 3 amazing paras, a supportive school, and Ms Karin will be in our room tomorrow.  Do not hesitate to e-mail me with any questions for the day.  I will check my e-mail as frequently as possible.

I hope to be rockin and ready to roll for school on Wednesday!

Have a great night!

-Ms Wales

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Weekly Update: Back to School and Properties

Good morning!

What a great first week and a half back to school!  It was very exciting to see everyone after such a long break.  Way to go on the great attendance, even in the snow!

This week we followed and adapted the first grade science unit: properties. We worked on catergorizing/sorting and describing different objects.  The first graders’ main focus was big and small, which is an important math skill.  The second and third graders worked with all different properties, including hard and soft, materials (wood, plastic, metal), and characters vs settings.  This is a great unit to work on descriptive language and comparisons. We will continue to explore different properties and work on describing words throughout this month.

We have been working on some other new things this week:

Recess Buddies

We are working hard to remember our Recess Buddies’ names and faces to help develop those friendships.  Check the Recess Buddies schedule on the tab at left to help your child learn their Buddies’ names.

Ms Freeh’s Room

We are expanding on the read aloud in Ms. Freeh’s room for those that attend this.  Starting this week, each of student was paired with a partner to sit and read with in Ms. Freeh’s room, rather than sitting just with the paras. After Ms. Freeh’s room, students receive a sticker on a “Good Behavior Chart” when they showed good listening and behavior. When the chart is filled up, they will get to play with Ms Wales at recess.  Check in with your child about how he is doing with this and celebrate success!  Also, we are working on story comprehension and identifying the title, characters, and setting in a follow up activity after the read aloud.  You can work on this at home too!

NEW! *Homework Notebooks*

To further students’ skills and to practice responsibility, next week I will start sending home a homework notebook in your child’s back pack.  In this notebook I will list a short homework assignment.  This could be a specific activity they complete in the notebook, or a skill they can work on with you. Check this notebook daily and initial the page when the assignment is completed.  When a student brings back an initialed notebook, they will receive an Edison Earning for the school store (for demonstrating “responsibility”).  This will be a great opportunity to grow even more in school skills. Your support at home makes such a difference!  Also, this will help to teach students about responsibility, and they will be rewarded for doing so.  As always, feel free to give feedback on this notebook.  And feel free to write notes and questions about the assignments or skills in the notebook.  I appreciate your support and ideas!

             Homework notebook summary:

                       1. Check notebook daily.

                       2. Complete assignment with child if necessary.

                       3.  Initial that it was completed.

                       4. Send back to school.

New Supplies

I just received an e-mail that our new DonorsChoose supplies have been shipped!  We also used some of the PTA money we raised at the fall festival to purchase “chairback buddies”,  organizer pouches that fit over the back of student chairs.  These are great…they allow for more independent organization and a clearer, less distracting work space!

Let me know if you have any questions about what is happening with the start of 2012!  Also, I would love your feedback on the new website. Do you find it helpful? How often do you check it? Do you like the updates?  Anything you would like to see that you don’t?  A quick note or e-mail from you would be great!

Thanks for all you do!

-Ms Wales

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More DonorsChoose Supplies Are Coming Our Way!

Hello everyone!  I hope you have been having a fantastic winter break.  It has really seemed to fly by for me with a roadtrip to Ohio, visiting lots of family and friends.

I have great news to start of 2012!   Our second DonorsChoose project was fully funded!   Soon we will have all sorts of “hands on” learning supplies coming our way, including art supplies, US maps, play dough, and more.  I have many ideas for incorporating these materials into our centers and themes, and am excited for the opportunities these will bring our way!

THANK YOU to everyone that supported this project!  We received support from many of my friends and family, some Edison supporters, and some DonorsChoose supporters.  I am very grateful for all of the support we receive in Room 125!

To check out our funded projects, and to stay posted on other DonorsChoose projects for our classroom, visit my teacher page: http://www.donorschoose.org/kelsey.wales. Thanks again to everyone who has already supported a project!

Enjoy your last few days of break!  I will see everyone on Wednesday!

-Ms. Wales

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