Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day, Donald Crews, and more!

Over the last week we have been doing some new and exciting learning. As we just celebrated the Chinese New Year, students were able to make lanterns, dragons, and had a chance to see the Lunar New Year show at Queens College. For our parent engagement family members had the chance to come in and make dragons with their child.
A shows his dragon

show at queens college

Another holiday that we learned about was Groundhog Day. Students learned about Groundhogs and they found out he saw his shadow which means six more weeks of winter. We even made fun Ground hog day hats!

Our groundhog day hats!
We also in cooking made jello for a chinese new year snack, to show the color red as a symbol!
S measures the water for the jello
Also in cooking, students made slime with borax, water, and glue. They used measuring cups and pictures to help them figure out how to make the slime and also decided as a group if they needed more glue or water to make the slime. 
J and C make the slime
Also in choice time students have been working on tally marks, and surveys to see who wants what for snack and also how many cups they need to fill to have enough for the class. 
During the last writing unit, students were looking at books by Donald Crews. They used a lot of his craft moves to create detailed pictures to help them and also different things as sound words and big bold words to make great pictures. 
J and Stella share their writing

A and V.L share their writing

Now that we have finished writing with Donald Crews as our mentor author, students are going to work on oral storytelling to help them get ready for personal narratives . They will be working on telling the same story over a few days to help them use sounds, language, and even hand motions to tell stories. 
N and W share stories in writing
In choice time we have been exploring games we can play as well. This week we closed choice time to discuss and play board games. We are learning about the types of board games there are, how to play the games, what you need to play and also how to work together. 
We have used candy land, chutes and ladders, sorry, and snakes and ladders. 
students play candy land

We also have a student teacher Ms. Jeon who will be with us until the end of March. The students are enjoying having here here and being able to have extra support in the classroom.

In art Mr. Danny will be finishing up the art program with his last day next week. He will then be sharing with the families the art work in a gallery display. The students worked with paper today to create different images that resemble a play ground. They have been working on tearing, gluing and making different images. 

We also have been working in word study how to help each other with sight words. We have been using different words on the word wall and when students find words in their independent reading books with that word inside it, they are able to add it to the chart on the wall!

words that have at and the in them

Sunday, January 22, 2017

New choice time materials, cultural week, and writing

This week in choice time we switched out our old light table and now have a new larger one, which allows the students to add more to their work and also explore with lights more.
D and A use the new light table
In the science center, we explored with snow. Students used a package of powder and then when we added in water it turned into snow. Here they explored with the concept of freezing and liquids. We also made predictions as to if they thought the snow would melt or stay frozen. They ended up learning that the materials we used kept the snow all week and it did not melt.
M, V, and J use the snow
As we continue to work hard daily and grow as writers, students have been adding in more to their journals and they have begun to use more of the resources in our classroom, from the word wall to the emergent spelling chart they have created in which they try to spell it first and then I will write it down for them. This has helped them to use the alphabet letter sounds and it also has helped them in their writing.
S and R use the spelling chart

N uses the word wall to help her with her writing

N writes in her journal

Another area which we will begin to explore more is the concept of board games. The students were introduced in choice time how to play chutes and ladders. As more games are ordered the hope is to do a study in which we explore different board games, and also work on making our own.
N plays and teaches others

 Students were given new paints to use in the art center this week. They have been using the paints to create different pictures in which they have turned our art center into an art gallery.

In art this week with Mr. Danny Students worked on using different paper choices and colors to make sculptors with the use of the paper and the glue. They learned how to fold the paper different ways to make different things. 
N makes her scultptor
In choice time, students have begun to do such great things in blocks. This week students created a dinosaur home and even added in words and pictures by using the resources that were placed in the block area.
Another new learning in choice time is the ability to count, collect data and then hand out snacks. Students have been going around during choice time and asking classmates which snack they would like, and then after they count them , fill the snacks up and then hand them out . It has helped them in their counting and problem solving. 

T and A create the snacks
asking which snack they would like

students in clothes from their culture.
This week at work was cultural diversity week, we had visitors from different countries come in and discuss songs, clothes they use, and also different stories and games.
2 moms from china shared a song and even different clothes in their culture

Monday, January 16, 2017

Winter in choice time, New writing with Donald Crews, MLK, Donors Choose and more

This past week in class we did a lot of new explorations and learning in choice time centers. In the writing center students used books from the library to answer their own questions and to help them with their wonderings.
V.C uses the dinosaur book to help him with writing and his wondering

In the cooking center students worked on making their own play dough with out support. They also made snacks for the whole class, from filling in cups with different snacks to making a fun winter bear treat with graham crackers, marshmallows, peanut butter and chocolate chips. Students took ownership and created the snack all by themselves.

making bear treats
V making snack

figuring out how to put the snacks in the cups
This week we added in ice to our science center and students explored melted ice, ice with different colors, and also they added in wood to see what would happen with the water and the ice. 
Also in the science center some students took an interest in the fish in the science center and then decided to use books and pictures to make their own fish model and then labeled the fish too. 
J exploring with ice and wood

N, J and T make fish 

A , S, and J exploring with ice and used paints to make different colors.
Also in choice time students received new journals where they write about what they do during their choice time . Students are using the room and the resources available to really help them write and spell. 
C uses the picture to help him write in choice time
Since there was no school today, I used different color eggs to teach the students about MLK> We used a brown egg and a white egg, and then discussed what they noticed. I then asked the class if they thought the eggs would be the same or different onside. After I cracked the eggs to help them understand that no matter what someone looks like on the outside all people feel the same on the inside. We then made a book to show how we could be like MLK>

This week thanks to Donors Choose, students had the chance to play with new play ground equipment. We received new jump ropes and jumping toys. I also have received other materials and will bring them out later this week. 

Another new choice time center was added in this week and new materials. Students were able to add new winter stickers and also they used new games on the ipad for learning. 

This week we also started new writing. Students will be working with a text called Night at the Fair by Donald Crews. Students will use what he does as a writer to help them infuse it into their own writing. We started with reading the text and then we moved into looking at this pictures to help them understand and notice things about him as a writer.  Students also learned a new math game that they played with a friend and will take it home this week to teach you!

M and A play the game
On Friday I attended a workshop at another school and observed classrooms. One thing I am bringing back to try with my own students is sewing with the use of needles, yarn, and felt. Below is work form a pre-k class.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Holiday and Happy New Year

Before the holiday break, students were very actively participating in the photo booth center. We raised over 70 dollars in which we bought toys to take to sick children at the hospital. Students also enjoyed making cookies before the break and we even had the chance to have Santa come and visit us.
Students also continued to use math games, work in choice time and even made fun holiday hats. We also had the holiday concert before the break. Students worked really hard to sing some fun songs. They also finished up their pattern books in writing, and worked on reading skills in reading.
C  working on the photo center

Students adding gifts to the photo center

students decorating

Mr. C at the photo booth

T and V.L playing cover up

A and J playing math games

D and W playing 

holiday cookies we made

Happy holidays

Before the break students had the chance to also read with their second grade buddies too!


Also before the break we had a great parent engagement activity in which families came in and made holiday ornaments. 
This week as we start the new year, we will start new reading writing and math units. We also will work on winter activities and even begin a I wonder board in hopes of sparking some new projects. We also will set new goals, and rules and even get new fun play ground materials as my donors choose project was funded!