Sunday, September 15, 2013

We "R" off to a great start this year!

Walking around school at the beginning of the year at school is like waiting to open your birthday presents!  Last week was the first full week at school and the kids were filled with excitement and eagerness.

To capitalize on that eagerness and "hook" students that school is cool, our first grade teachers focused on turning their students into pirates while they targeted the foundational literacy skill of consonants and vowels.

Students read Shiver Me Letters by June Sobel and Twenty-Six Pirates by Dave Horowitz.  Shiver Me Letters focused on a pirate word for every letter of the alphabet building a strong vocabulary and alphabet knowledge.  Twenty-Six Pirates was a rollicking pirate book with rhyming pirate names.  

Students made pirate hats and eye patches and had their pictures taken.  I  received a visit from a few hearties who were came by to say, "Yo!  Ho!  Ho!" and showed me that they knew their vowels!  

Students wrote stories about why pirates wear eye patches, which resulted in some very creative ideas. Teachers borrowed Notes from Miss Dennis' pirate hand print craft to tie in with kids' writing.  Art "cements" learning and these are delightful projects!

 Original craft here:

I have included a few of their samples below.  These "mateys" are off to a great start this year!  

Super cute pirates on a ship display!  

Here are the links for purchasing these books through Amazon:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Celebrating Sparky

Today was most of Wisconsin's first day of school as it was at the Stanley house.  I drove my three kiddos to school. One is in High School.  One child is in Middle School and our youngest started second grade.

On my way home from MY first day of school, I called home and asked Gavin, our youngest, to tell me the "Big 3" ideas from his first day of school.  Here they are:

  1. We got to name our fish.  We named him Sparky!
  2. We don't have to ask to go to the bathroom.  It is in our room and we go whenever we need to!
  3. I made a new friend.  His name is Jose and we had recess 3 times. It was so cool! 
(EVERYTHING was said yelling loudly conveying his MEGA excitement about today!)

I have to say a big THANK YOU to Gavin's teacher who spent today setting the foundation for dialogue, trust and excitement for the year to come.  Academics develop over time during the school year.  Taking the time to make friends with your students, find out what is motivating for them and to validate each child as an individual is priceless.

Carve out three minutes to ask your child what his or her "Big 3" ideas are each day.  This opens the lines of communication between home and school very easily. The time spent is priceless.

XXOO to all teachers this year~Thanks for working with our children.