Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Happenings

Bring Your PJ's on Friday to Ride 
The Polar Express

This Friday, December 20th, the entire first grade will evoke the mood and setting of Chris Van Allsburg's famous picture book The Polar Express.  Children are invited to bring in their favorite pajamas or sleepwear to change into before heading to the cafeteria where they will board an imaginary train.  Here the boys and girls will be served hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies made by the cafeteria staff while they listen to a reading of The Polar Express.   (Although all of the treats are provided by the cafeteria and are nut-free, children who have other food sensitivities are welcome to bring their own snack.  Also, pajamas are not mandatory and children can wear whatever they feel comfortable in).

May all of you enjoy the upcoming break and have a rest-filled holiday with your loved ones!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We've Published Our First Book!

Our First Published Class Book!
Below you can view our very first published book!  Each child brainstormed and chose a favorite moment from the farm field trip.  They then wrote, revised, illustrated and published a short three-page story with a beginning, middle and end.  Final drafts were typed into the Book Creator App on their iPads. 

Upon finishing their writing, the children then went onto their iPads and created illustrations to go with their words on the Drawing Pad app.  Their artwork was saved to their camera roll and then uploaded into their Book Creator app.  The individual books were then compiled into one big class book.

Take a moment to look at the book here.  Have your child read his/her entry to you personally! 

(To get rid of the side bar on the left, just click on the arrow on the top left hand side and the sidebar will collapse). 

Here are some photos of the class drafting their stories, editing them and publishing them onto their iPads:

Studying Sound and Light:
We have learning all about light and sound during Science in Room 111 this month.  Ask your child what they know about how we see and hear, vibrations, sound waves, light, reflection and shadows.  Here are some photos of them performing experiments and recording what they observed into their science folders and their iPads.  We are creating an e-book, documenting all of the science experiments we are performing this year.

Here is the class performing and writing about sound experiments:

Here is the class performing and writing about light experiments:

Here are some belated pictures of the class on Halloween.  (Sorry for the delay)

Parent Teacher Conferences are coming up!  
By now you should have received a reminder from your child's reading teacher about your conference time and date.  If you have not received a reminder and do not remember your appointment time, please contact your child's reading teacher right away: 
Leah Forbes -
Diane Jefferson -
Tina Sosnowski -
Shelagh Maiorana -
Irene Farmer -

Happy Thanksgiving!

Please have a joyful (and yummy) thanksgiving.  I am truly grateful to have the privilege to teach (and learn from) your children every day.  Thank you for all you do as a caring and loving parent and partner in education.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Now you Can Access ST Math At Home!

ST Math on the iPad and other tablets:   Now your child can access ST Math homework from home using their tablet.  Follow these simple instructions to get started

To Get the App
Search "JiJi" in the App store (for iPad), or on Google play or the Amazon App Store (for Kindle Fire and other Android tablets).  
Enter your School ID and homework password:
        School ID: PIN050
        Password: H6JZ5D74

On Kindle Fire and Android, if asked for an Activation Code, enter"

- iPad 2 or newer running iOS 5.0 or later
- Kindle Fire
- 7" tablet or larger running Android 3.1 or later

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Field Trip Photos, Math and Writing Workshop Updates and Snicker the Hamster!

Please click on the page to the right entitled "Field Trip Photos" to see all of the photos from our Trip to the Farm!

We have been busy practicing addition and subtraction in math.  Please click on the page "Math Vocabulary" on the right to practice all the new math terms with your child at home.

Below are some pictures of the class playing a game to reinforce the concept of "difference."  The Envision math program has many fun games to reinforce the concepts learned in the classroom.  Your child has been bringing home the Envision math pages demonstrating what (s)he is learning in the classroom.  The games and homework are intended to reinforce the concepts learned through these lessons.  


Your child may have mentioned that they are doing ST Math with their penguin pal Jiji.  ST math is a math program developed by nuerologists which the children perform on their iPad.  It is a supplemental math program which aligns with the classroom's Envision math program.  And the best part is that the children love it!  You will soon be receiving a school code and password so that your child may do the ST math program at home on either an iPad or a computer.   

"Sketch to Stretch"

In Writing Workshop, the children are learning how to "Sketch to Stretch."  In the following photos, you can see the children listening to an excerpt read aloud to them by the teacher and then sketching pictures and quick phrases to help them remember what they have learned. They then retell what they have learned to a fellow classmate using their sketches as notes to remind them of the facts. 

We are also busy writing and revising narratives about our trip to the Farm.  The children began by choosing one exciting memory from the field trip and are working on writing the beginning, middle, and end of that snapshot.  They began with a rough draft, revised their drafts with editor (teacher) help and are in the process of adding colorful words and phrases to bring their words to life.  

Below is a photo of Mr. Schersten demonstrating to the class how to use the Book Creator app on the iPad for the eventual final published piece.  In the end, the students will have drafted, revised and published their very first story which can be shared in iBooks.  It has been an educational journey in storytelling for the boys and girls of Room 111!  

Snickers the Hamster
Mrs. Pavlicek from the Science Center visited us this week to introduce Snickers the Hamster to his new home! While here, Mrs. Pavlicek did a presentation on Mammals and the children learned that they had a lot in common with Snickers.  They learned that they both:

  • Have fur (or hair)
  • Need food and water to live
  • Are warm-blooded 
  • Came into this world through a live birth (and not hatched from an egg) 
The children also learned how to care for an animal.  Look for a form in the near future, asking if you would like to take Snickers home for a weekend or holiday.  If you are interested, you will be provided with all the food, shavings and toys.