Archive for March, 2016

Mark Your Calendars

Important Dates…
*3/28: School Supply Kit Orders DUE
*3/29: Spring picture day
*3/31: First Grade Field Trip to Interactive Academy 11:40-2:00
*3/31: Kroger Receipt Slam Dunk contest over (Turn in Kroger receipt bottom with your child’s name on it by this date.)
*4/1-4/10: No School (Spring Break)
*5/30: No School…Memorial Day
*6/2: Last day of school

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all of you!

What a beautiful, warm day!  I hope you and your children had a wonderful weekend, a blessed Easter and a relaxing day.
Last week at school was extremely eventful and this coming week will be no exception.
Tomorrow we will begin our study of time in math.  While we’ve already begun to learn the parts of the clock, the hour and minute hand, and how to tell time to the hour and half hour, I’m anxious to push your children a little further with our studies this week.  Our time unit is coming after the conclusion of geometry last week.  The children were all assessed on the required geometry standards at the end of the week and did a wonderful job.  They all really enjoyed this unit and we were able to do a great deal of manipulative work and center activity with it.  Our time unit will be no exception to that!  I can’t wait.
Last week in science we studied the water cycle and had a great deal of fun with this.  Did you know that every drop of water on earth is billions of years old?  That is one of the many things we learned last week through a variety of movie clips, books, and hands on experimenting.  We discussed evaporation, condensation, vapor, and rain.  To demonstrate how the cycle works, we did two experiments.  For the first one, we filled a clear jar half way up with water and then the top half of the jar with shaving cream.  Then, we put food coloring on top of the shaving cream.  This demonstrated to the children how when a cloud gets heavy from water vapor, it then begins to rain and this is when the food coloring broke through our cloud (the shaving cream).  For our second experiment we drew the water cycle on a clear ziplock bag and put water in the bottom of the bag and then hung it in the window.  Over the course of the week, the children were able to observe the water evaporating and raising up the sides of the bag only to again fall back down as rain.  We had a lot of fun!  This week we are excited to jump into our nutrition and healthy body unit in science!!!
Last Monday, we had visiting author, Aaron Reynolds, visit us.  I wrote about this earlier in the week.  It’s always a lot of fun to hear an author read their own works and explain where their ideas came from.  Mr. Reynolds also shared with the children that he had over 300 rejection letters from publishers before someone finally liked his work.  We talked about how someone else’s opinion should never discourage us from following our passions or our goals!!!
This week for specials we have the following:
Monday: Music
Wednesday: Library
Thursday: Art
Friday: No School (spring break)
Thursday we will be traveling to the Interactive Academy for our third field trip of the year.  I’ll be sending letters home to chaperones tomorrow with more information.  To everyone else, please be sure your child wears active wear on Thursday and tennis shoes.  We are very excited for this trip.  This will be the first time we’ve traveled to Interactive as a grade level, as we’ve replaced our annual trip to NIFS with this trip.  We will be leaving school at 11:40 and returning at 2:00.
Friday I sent home yellow folders with your child’s animal study project in it.  Please put this in a safe place and let me know if you have anything I can help you with.  Hopefully the information provided is enough to get you started.  Truly, while it looks like a lot, it’s not too bad.  I’ve provided login information to PebbleGo and that sight will likely provide you with most if not all of what your child needs to complete the writing portion of the report.  I did want to mention that on the left inside of the folder, I stapled a “notes” section.  This is for the children to take notes and will serve as their rough draft.  The final copy papers were on the inside right pocket.  Here is the exciting part….  I will be sending the entire homework packet home each week for anyone who so wishes to continue with our regular homework routine or wants the added practice for his child.  But please know, the packets are no longer due and I will ONLY be grading the spelling tests on Mondays and Fridays.  Hopefully this will allow your child more time to really focus on his/her animal project and not cause you immense stress.  🙂
I wanted to mention now that Old Man Winter has seemed to move out of here, we will be going out to recess every day unless it is raining.  As you well know, our Indiana weather is extremely unpredictable and the temperature can change in an instant.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE continue to send a coat, jacket, or sweatshirt each day so your child is prepared for whatever weather may hit us!  The unpredictability of temperatures is no exception even in our classroom this time of year.  We never know if it’s going to be hot or cold so layers may be the best option going forward.
Aside from the field trip Thursday, our schedule for the week is normal.  Please remind your children that spring break doesn’t start until Friday.  Last week they were fully amped up so I’m anticipating this week to be just the same.  Who can blame them this time of year?!?!  I know some of you are leaving for an early spring break so if I don’t talk with you, have a safe enjoyable break!!!!
Please let me know if you need anything this week and take care,

Just a few updates from class…

Happy Monday to all of you!
I hope you enjoyed your weekends.  My hope was to get some classroom updates out to you over the weekend, but things were a little nutty in the Buonanno home this weekend and I never got the job done.
Before I forget, I wanted to mention that you need to take a close look at tonight’s homework packet, as there is a sheet attached to it that needs to be returned by this Wednesday.  The first grade classes are going to assign their annual research projects this Friday and in order to do so, we are asking that each child choose an animal to study.  I’ve included a list to choose from, but if your child has a mammal they’d like to study that is not on the list, please just let me know.  Children will be assigned an animal on a first come, first serve basis so get it in fast, fast, fast!!!!
You’ll notice when you see the spelling list this week that the words are incredibly easy in comparison to the last few weeks. So…breathe easy on spelling a bit this week.  😉
You might have noticed when your child brought his/her Friday papers home last week that there were a great abundance of them.  Thank you for being patient with me as I caught up on what seemed like a mountain of grading.  On top of that work, I hope you saw a lot of the fun things the children did in class last week as well.
Last week we dove deep into our study of geometry for math.  Each year I like to start our geometry studies off with learning about 2-D or plane shapes.  Most of these the children learn in pre-school and kindergarten, but it helps us move smoothly into the study of 3-D or solid shapes, which we are studying this week in math.  Last week we talked about the traits of a 2-D shape, the vertices and sides.  This week we are talking about the traits of 3-D shapes: vertices, edges, and faces.  What’s been so much fun with this unit are the great number of hands-on opportunities the children have had for learning.  Each morning we’ve begun our day with math centers.  Every table has been given two buckets and in each bucket there has been a different task to complete.  We’ve done: shape spinning and graphing, rolling dice for shapes, shape puzzles, drawing and charting, geoboard tasks, etc.  I’ve been very proud of the hard work the children have put in, as I’ve pushed them hard in math.  We’ve had wonderful conversations about 2 and 3 dimensional shapes and how shapes are all around us in our everyday lives.  This week we will continue our study of solid figures, discuss polygons, learn about open vs. closed shapes, and end the week with a shape hunt.
Next week we will begin a unit on TIME in math.  I am excited to dive deeper with the class into a topic we’ve just brushed on in class this year.
Last week was a tough week in spelling, as many of you probably noticed by spelling test scores.  Inflectional endings (-ed, and -ing) are always a tough concept to grasp.  We are continuing our work with past and present tense words this week and will be doing a lot of hands on work with this concept as well to help the children better understand it.
We will dive into our weather and water cycle studies this week again, hopefully wrapping up by Friday.  Next Monday we will work through our nutrition and healthy body unit in preparation for our fun trip on Thursday.
Today our class had the opportunity to hear visiting author, Aaron Reynolds, speak about his writing and to also hear him read one of his favorite books.  Mr. Reynolds was a fantastic presenter and was full of energy with the children.  They had a great time!  He read them Nerdy Birdie and gave the background of how he came up with this story.  He explained it came from him being a “nerd” or an outcast in school and how he felt from that.  It was a very cute story and connection to the book for the children to hear.
Next week is our trip to Interactive Academy.  If you signed up to chaperone this trip, please plan on meeting us at the facility at 11:50a.m.  There were around 8 parents who volunteered and I’d very much like if each of you joined us for this fun trip.  I believe I mentioned it before, but they ask that parents remain up top on the track to view their children in action.  They will not allow the parents into the gym for activity time, but you will be able to see everything from up above.  I’ll send chaperones more information later this week.
Reminder, if you want new books for your children to read at home, please return the green reading folder I sent a couple of weeks ago and I’ll place new books in it and return to you right away.
Have a great afternoon and I’ll be in touch this week,
Christie Buonanno

Math Monday-Centers

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Super Scientist’s Lemon Explosion Experiment

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Dr. Seuss Week…

Good afternoon First Grade Families!!!!
I hope you all had a nice week.  We’ve been having a lot of fun here in our classroom with so many wonderful learning opportunities.
We have been working through all kinds of Dr. Seuss activities this week and had a blast with it.  But…we aren’t done yet.  While the school-wide dress up days are over, we will be continuing our fun next week with Green Eggs and Ham, a Butter Battle, and creating Oobleck.  We will also be diving into some of my favorites Horton Hatches the Egg, and Oh the Places You’ll Go!
With Green Eggs and Ham, we will have a taste test of some real green eggs and ham and graphing our likes and dislikes.  Students will also be making a page to go in a class book.  After reading The Butter Battle book, we will make real butter using whipping cream.  With this, we will discuss the phases of matter and how the whipping cream changes form due to rigorous shaking and temperature change.
This week in literacy we worked through several Dr. Seuss books including: Horton Hears a Who (also watched the video today), Cat in the Hat and Cat in the Hat returns (we made fun hats to go with these), Happy Birthday to You, and The Sneetches (with this we discussed diversity, equality, and kindness and tied it back to our Dr. King studies).
This week in math, we wrapped up our big place value unit and those practice booklets were sent home today with your children.  We will do a few fun center activities next week for math and will be moving into our geometry studies.
Spelling was tough, tough, tough this week.  Those tests will be sent home next week, as I just couldn’t get them all graded with everything else going on in the room on Friday.  The children should get huge hugs for a job well done, as they all worked hard on their words this week.  Thank you for all of your hard work at home helping your children study those tough words!!!
Last night I sent reading folders home with every child.  I’d written about these a week ago and then ended up home with sick children and never got them finished.  Inside of these folders are themed readers from some units we’ve been doing in class such as Dr. Martin Luther King or Penguins.  Several children have a leveled reader they can read through.  And, in the back of every folder are some fluency and comprehension activities the children may work on.  Several of you have asked how to help with comprehension and fluency at home so I thought some of these things might be helpful.  None of this is required work, but an option for helping to boost reading levels and keep skills strong over the coming months.  As I mentioned in a previous email, these books should be read multiple times and each time you should see improvement in fluency and understanding from your child, as well as their reading rate increasing.  If and when you desire more books, please return the folder to school and I’ll provide fresh books to your child.  Check the top of the books in your child’s folder.  If I wrote “RETURN” at the top, that book will need to be sent back to put back into a class set of readers.  If it does not have “RETURN” at the top, the book is your child’s to keep.
Have a wonderful weekend,

Cat in the Hat Day

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A few things you need to know…

Good afternoon!
I attempted a group email to all of you last night and received a ton of kickback/error messages.  So…let’s try this again!!!
Yesterday I sent home some information I hope you found in your children’s folders…
1.  A field trip and consent form was sent home for our next field trip to Interactive Academy.  When you send it back in, please be sure to send the school consent form, along with the waiver for Interactive, and the payment of $14.50.   If you need financial assistance, please let me know.
2.  2nd grade supply kit order forms were sent home yesterday, specific to gender.  I believe you can only order those kits online, but it sure does save a big headache digging through supply bins in the stores and lots of time standing in all those back to school lines come August!!!!  :0)
3.  Every student must return a form to let the school know if you are a military family or not.  If you’ve already returned this form, great!  If not, please mark those and send back as soon as possible.
4.  Tomorrow’s theme day is Crazy Hat Day and Friday is Horton Day so children are invited to wear pajamas on Friday to school.
Have a wonderful afternoon!!!