- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.HbYc8pM4.dpuf Ms. Coleman's First Grade: April 2013

April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! While every day should be earth day, we took some extra time today to think about ways that we can take care of our amazing planet. We read the book Earth Friends at Play: Reduce Reuse Recycle.

There were lots of interesting facts and we learned some new vocabulary {natural resources, reduce, reuse, recycle, pollution, chemicals}. It was neat to see that some playground equipment can be made from recycled plastic water  and milk containers. We also explored some features of non-fiction texts: table of contents, photographs, glossary and index. Using our own ideas and those from the book, we worked on Earth Day flip books. They went home with my afternoon group today and my morning friends will finish them up tomorrow and bring them home to share.

New weekly words were also introduced today. My first graders will be working on the er, ir, ur sounds and will meet the 'Bossy r triplets'. My Grade 2 friends are working on prefixes with a focus on dis, pre, re, and un. Keep an eye out for them in your daily reading. You'll be surprised how often they pop up! Here is a copy of the reference chart we are using. 

My homeroom group also had a visit from Ms Greene today to prepare for baby Kohen's visit on Wednesday. She has asked our friends to brush up on their nursery rhymes so they can sing them to Kohen. He's really grown and changed over the past few months. We can't wait to see him again!

April 19, 2013

Welcome Elephant & Piggie!

As promised, we have some new friends in our room. They are a pig and an elephant and their names are Gerald (elephant) and Piggie!

These endearing characters are the creation of author/illustrator Mo Willems. You can check out his wonderful website by clicking here.

There are many books in this series and they are perfect for young readers who are learning to infer. The illustrations are very detailed which allow children to use their inferring skills to figure out how the characters are feeling and why. Gerald and Piggie's personalities are also well-developed in the stories and readers begin to infer based on what they know about them. Click on their pictures below to read more about them.

Here are a few illustrations from their books. What can you infer? 

Have a fabulous weekend!

April 14, 2013

Let the Inferring Begin!

Inferring will be the name of the game this week! While it is a challenging concept for little minds, it's amazing to see how successful they can be when it is broken down for them. We start with the simple idea of looking for 'clues' in pictures and text. They love to be detectives and I'm always impressed with  their perceptiveness. The next step is to use what they already know (background knowledge/schema) to make sense of the clues. They put it together and make a good guess (inference) about what is happening in a story.

If you want to give it a try at home, there are lots of children's books that are perfect for inferring. Wordless picture books work really well as the children need to figure out the entire story. The David series of books by David Shannon are a great starting point for young readers learning to infer. Not to worry if you don't have any of these books as you can practise with any book. As you read together, ask your child how the characters are feeling. More importantly, ask them to explain how they know (ie. I know the character is surprised because her eyes and mouth are wide open).

I am so very excited that I have found a new series of books that will form the basis of our inferring unit this year. Shhhhh! It's a BIG secret though! The children will be given clues and will have to employ their inferring skills to guess which books we'll be using. I'll post photos after the big reveal.

In the meantime, here is a copy of our new chant. It's about inferring, of course! The tune is 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean'. Many of the children are unfamiliar with it so I've included the music below the chant. Click on the image for a copy of the chant.

April 13, 2013

Fairy Tales & a Family Technology Tip!

Hello all!

We've been having loads of fun learning about fairy tales in our classroom. Since our time in the classroom is so limited and the children are constantly asking to read more fairy tales, I thought it would be helpful to post some links to online stories. I hope you can have some fun family time with these beloved tales. Ask your child to identify some of the elements of fairy tales in each story. Here's a list of some of the elements we have been discussing.

Elements of Fairy Tales

* starts with Once upon a time...
* ends with ...happily ever after
* good character
* mean/wicked character
* BIG problem
* royalty (princess, prince, queen, knight, castle)
* magic
* groups of 3 or 7
* good usually wins

Oh! One more thing... These videos are being posted using a wonderful tool called SafeshareTV. It is an incredibly useful tool for teachers and parents. SafeshareTV allows children to watch videos from Youtube without the risk of inappropriate content appearing on the screen (ie. comments below the video, advertisements, or thumbnails for videos along the side of the page). Best of all, it's very easy to use. If you find a video that you'd like to share with your child, follow these steps:

1 - open the video on Youtube and copy the link from the address bar
2 - go to http://www.safeshare.tv/
3 - paste the address from Youtube in the box
4 - Click on the Generate Safe Link
5 - Click on Take me to the safe view

I absolutely love this tool! There are so many wonderful videos to support learning and this allows us to share them without worrying about the other items on the screen. It is important to note that SafeshareTV does not edit the video itself so you always need to preview it yourself to ensure that it's appropriate.

So here with go with some fairy tale favourites. {Click on the photo to see the video.} Enjoy!

Jack and the Beanstalk

Little Red Riding Hood

The Three Billy Goats Gruff