Spanish Translation

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fabulous First Grade Walkers

Our Walk-A-Thon was a great success today.  The first graders enjoyed the walk/run, DJ playing music, and a special apple snack.  Thanks again for all of the parents that helped make today a success!

 Way to Go Team Orange!

Word Work-Spelling Sorts

This week your child is bringing home their first spelling sort.  We have been practicing them throughout the week.  These sorts help first graders practice spelling patterns.  Each week your child will be given a new sort.  Please read the parent letter that came home on Friday for more details.  As our Daily Five time progresses your child will be practicing their sort each day along with their five sight words during our Word Work time.  Your child will be introduced to games on the ipads that will allow them to practice their sight words and spelling sorts.  They will also be introduced to pencil and paper games that allow additional practice in these areas. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pastel Patterns in First Grade

We have working on identifying and creating patterns in our class last week.  This was a fun way to see what  patterns my students could create.  We used oil pastel chalk to make our patterns stand out with color.  The top row shows 2 close up examples.  The collage below them is our wall of patterns in the hall outside of our classroom.  Way to go first grade pattern producers!

Strategy Games for Math Club

Strategy games are meant to help students practice their logical thinking skills.  Below you can find some of my students' favorites.  Brandon is playing Rush Hour on the iPad in the upper right corner.  It is puzzle game that increases in difficulty at each new level.  Kieran is trying to eliminate as many pegs as he can in the IQ Tester game (also found on the tables at Cracker Barrel).  Porter is working on his logical thinking skills by trying to find ways to get Slippy the penguin to his fish lunch.  There are many obstacles to cross in the game and more are added at each level.  Finally, the boys in the top left corner are playing Poison.  Using 13 cubes, students take turns choosing 1 or 2 cubes at a time.  The player to take the last cube loses the game.  They love it!

Square off is one of the most played games every year in my classes.  Students take turns connecting one dot  to another dot.  The player that connects the last dots of a square (closing the square) writes his/her initials in that square.  The player that has the most squares at the end of the game wins.

Fact Games for Math Club

Fact Games helps students practice their math facts (+ and -).  Some of the games are pictured below.  The group of three are playing Domino Top It (similar to War with dominoes).  Students need to add up the two sides of the domino they flipped over.  Brooke is practicing her facts while playing Math Chicken Number Scale.  A fact is displayed at the top and they have to find the answer to balance the bridge for the chicken to cross over.  The two boys in the bottom left are playing a game called It's Mine (also called Bump).  Players add up the total of two dice and try to cover the sums without getting "bumped" off by their opponent.  The last picture shows my first grade friend playing Math Monsters (a bingo game). 

Number Games in Math Club

Number games allows students to practice 1 to 1 correspondence, number identification, number sequence, number sense and comparing numbers.  Some number game ideas are pictured below.  In the top right corner my first grade friend is being timed to see if he can put numbers in order from least to greatest in less than 1 minute.  Below that, the girls are playing Highest Card (Traditionally called War).  The boys in the bottom corner are playing a game called Forward and Back.  It is similar to Candy Land as they move the game piece ahead and back depending on their dice roll.  Connor is playing Sam Phibian on the iPad.  The object is to help Sam the frog catch the correct number of insects of each kind for lunch.  

The game below, Shape Fill In, is a number game that encourages the students to use 1 to 1 counting and color in the number of sections on the star that corresponds with the number rolled on the die.  The person with the most filled in sections at the end is the winner.  This game and print out can be found on Shari Sloane's website,

Math Club Board for Math Centers

This is the picture of my Math Club board so far this year.  The 5 categories are Paper Practice, Number Games, Fact Games, Strategy Games and Math Tools.  I borrowed the categories and most of the games I use from The Sisters (  I put the students into groups based off of what learning targets they are working on.  I rotate the groups through the categories on a daily basis while meeting with one group or individuals.  The Post It notes with a "T" on them are my temporary start to giving students choice of technology games on the iPads for part of the time.  Each month new games are added and some are taken off the board throughout the year.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Race To Trace-Numeral Writing Game

This game is a great way for students to practice the correct formation of numbers.  I got this game from Shari Sloane's wonderful website at
This website is full of center and game ideas for literacy and math.  
In this game, partners take turns rolling a die.  The player that rolls a number traces that number.  Partners take turns until one partner has traced all 18 numbers (there are 3 rows of 1-6).  There is also a variation of this game called Race To Trace-Addition.  In that game, students roll two dice and add the numbers together (practicing writing numbers 1-12).

Math Club Gets Started

We are discovering all of the wonderful math tools we can use during math.  We have had a chance to explore with unifix cubes, button counters, dominoes, people counters, tens/ones cubes, animal counters, pattern blocks and attribute blocks (flat shapes).  We have had fun creating patterns and designs during our first week of Math Club.
Math Club is our block of math time when I do guided math with small groups and individuals.  While I am working with students, the other students are engaged in using math tools, playing number games, fact games,  paper practice activities and strategy games.  My math club game categories are borrowed from the well known literacy experts, The Sisters.  They have a marvelous structure to work on math standards that allow students to have fun playing games (and learn at the same time!!!).  I'll post a picture of my Math Club board in the next few days.

Here are some pictures of my first graders working with the math tools these past two weeks!

Enemy Pie Teaches about Friendship

We read Enemy Pie by Derek Munson.  The book is about a young boy who was teased by a neighbor boy, Jeremy Ross.  He puts Jeremy on his enemy list.  His dad tells him he knows how to get rid of enemies for good.....bake an enemy pie!  Read the story or ask your first grader what happens in the rest of the story. This story is a great way to see how friendships can be created.  

My first graders created a list of yummy ingredients and a list of disgusting ingredients they would put in an enemy pie.  They glued their list of ingredient choices along with writing how many of each ingredient they would use (What a great informal assessment on numeral formation and number order).  

Finally, they completed their enemy pie posters by using the many colors in our scrap box to make an illustration of their pies!  

Great job first grade artists!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Daily Five Begins

We have started building our stamina for Read to Self.  We first started by talking about the three ways to read a book. 

Then we began our study talking about why people read (the orange stars) and then what it looks like when people read (in the student area).  After building our anchor chart we began practicing these reading behaviors.  

Take a peek at what Read to Self looks like in the classroom.  

A Look Back at The First Week

 We read the book First Day Jitters, then read a poem and looked for words that rhyme and enjoyed some Jitter Juice (Fruit Punch and Sprite) 

Sharing FACE homework and community building activities

Monday, September 10, 2012

Magic Play-doh Excites New Students

First graders were introduced to a poem called Magic Play-doh  (from Pinterest).  After reading through the poem, each student was given a ball of white play dough.  They were able to knead the play dough inside a zip-lock bag.  As students were smashing and mixing the ball around, they discovered the fun surprise.....changing colors!  Some students ended up with red, some green and some blue.  They were very excited that it meant we were going to have a GREAT school year (as they read in the poem).  Read the poem and check out the pictures of some of the fun below.

Magic Play-doh
Magic Play-doh, 
Oh so white,
Make this wish with all my might.
If another color does appear, 
we're sure to have a
GREAT school year!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Discovering Math Tools

My first grade math friends had fun exploring some of our math manipulatives (we call them math tools).  They were able to discover many interesting things that can be done with unifix cubes and pattern blocks.  Check out some of the designs and patterns that were created!

Our Class Name Graph

We read the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes today.  We talked about how unique Chrysanthemum's name is and how she felt when her classmates teased her about it.  We realized how wonderful it is that everyone is unique in their own way and that we should respect and enjoy differences in each other.  Next, we wrote our names on colored paper, cut apart the letters and glued the letters to white paper.  We counted the letters in our names and created a class graph to connect our literacy and math learning.  Here is the graph that we created!
Look at how many of our friends have 6 letters in their name!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


We are very excited to have you in our class this year.  
Mrs. Zweber (PM) and Mrs. Sauber (AM)