I have so much excitement about joining Twin Oaks Elementary School. It has been a whirlwind getting started, but now that the school year is here I am ready to dive into first-grade! There will be lots of fun to be had, in addition to hard work getting our students ready to read. This is my favorite grade level to teach and I hope that the journey we take this year will be filled with just as much excitement as I feel now.
On August 22, at 6:00 pm you can come to room 25 to listen to the Back To School presentation about what this year will look like. Hopefully, the presentation will answer most of the questions you have, but if you have any more this would be a great time to ask. If you would like to get a heads up on what I will be presenting on you can preview the slideshow below.
Also, from time to time I will update this blog with any helpful tips and information to better support and communicate on the events that will be happening for your student this year!
We have one mini project and one big project for science. Our mini project is just watching the phases of the moon over the next two weeks (including weekends). The big project is an at home project where students make a model of the sun, moon, and Earth. Check out the video below for further explanation of what was sent home in their homework folders.
Also we have the Spaghetti Gala coming up on Friday, February 8. This event was not held last year so it will be new for everyone. It is one of my favorite events! At this even we will be auctioning off a basket and all proceeds go to our classroom only! If you can donate an item towards our basket that would be greatly appreciated. The theme of our basket is Beanie Boos! You can buy one in store or I set up an Amazon Wish List for purchasing. http://a.co/aIGyq3Q
Every week your student will get about 15 new words. They will study the patterns in the words. The purpose is for students to develop knowledge of English spelling patterns and “oddball” through exploration, as well as to widen their vocabulary. The study is done through specific exercises in the classroom and can be reinforced at home.
There are 5 levels of spelling development, according to Words Their Way:
Letter Name-Alphabetic (K-2nd)
Within Word Patterns (1st-4th)
Syllables and Affixes (3rd-8th)
Derivational Relations (5th-12th grade)
At each level there are stages. Those stages are set by Early, Middle and Late.
Below is a layout of the different skills that students will study across the program.
We are a third of the way through the year! We have done a lot and will have a lot more to look forward to in the following trimesters. We will begin new projects like Holidays Around the World, Kings and Queen Castles, and Ecosystems.
As we finish up our last project students will be become weather reporters to report on a location in the United States. Take a look inside their homework folder to find a script. Practice all week long over break and we will begin filming when we return. They will be working in partners, so look for the highlighted "Student #_" when trying to memorize lines. Email me anytime to get an extra copy.
Below is a video of our fun Friendsgiving Celebration we had today! They had a great time making Pumpkin Pie Pops, playing How to Catch a Turkey with Bee Bots and other fun activities.
Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!
We are so excited to welcome the new Alta Vista students to TK and Kindergarten! They are all going to have a great year filled with science, field trips, singing, kitchen and many more activities. The first day of school is Tuesday, August 10 at 8:00 am (first bell rings at 7:55 am).
When your student arrives to school on the first day you may take your student to the playground to meet and play with other students. When the first bell rings students will then walk to the cafeteria to line up. Feel free to walk up to the cafeteria with your student. I will be waiting in the cafeteria to take the students in a line into our classroom (room 4). You may hug your student goodbye while inside the cafeteria. Students will then walk into the classroom and sit on the carpet. Parents may come in after the students. Please wait on the tile and we will be sure to wave goodbye to you and hope you have as great of a day as we will!
The TK/Kinder day ends at 1:00 pm. Students will be dismissed one at a time from the classroom. On the first day of school it will take sometime to do dismissal, but please arrive early for this first day. I will open the door right at 1:00 pm. When I see the parent/guardian for pick up I will call the students name to walk out directly to that person. Below is a form you can fill out to let me know who will be picking up on the first day of school. Also, please let me know who will pick up for the rest of the year (or participating in other after school activities). If there are any changes to pick up schedules please email me directly or contact me through Class Dojo (will cover at Back to School Night).
Our very first engineering project was about how to protect an egg when it falls off the table. The inspiration of this project was our unit on Fables & Stories. Many of our fables had a theme of animals or objects that learned a lesson or moral of how to live their life. One of the objects that we saw again and again was an egg.
In this project the main goal was to protect the egg! The teacher goal was to have the kids understand how all scientists or engineers work together to accomplish a task. Each student was assigned a role of director, facilitator, materials manager, technician, and participant. As the project progressed some teams were able to work together nicely and some found out that they may make better directors than any other job. As we do more projects my hope is that each student figures our what personality type they have to best meet the needs of a group. Students used problem solving skills like rock, paper, scissors, or thumbs up to help make decision in their group work. I was very proud that there were no arguments and that decisions were made with little intervention from me.
Below are pictures of us brainstorming, engineering, and testing our prototypes. This is a five step process where students find the problem, throw out ideas, make ONE blueprint, test, and find any changes that need to be made.
Mrs. Cowan loves photography, horses, coffee, tennis, hiking, more coffee, and her animals. Teaching is my greatest passion and I live everyday to find new and exciting things to share with my kids!