Sunday 30 September 2012

A Busy First Week of October

September is over and now we move forward with the month of October.  Ms. Lirenman has a lot in store for us this month.
If you remember four weeks ago we started Quad Blogging with schools in New Zealand, and the U.K. We visited one of those blogs each week and left them comments.  This week it's their turn to visit us. Hopefully they will leave us a lot of comments too.  If you don't remember who is in our Quad Blog be sure to check the Quad Blogging tab at the top our blog.

But, it's not just our Quad Blogging week to host visitors, this week we also start our Primary Blogging rotation.  This month Primary Blogging is a lot like Quad Blogging in that three classes visit one class, and each week the focus class changes.  This week in Primary Blogging we are the focus class too, which means our Primary Blogging friends are ALSO coming to visit us this week.  What a crazy week it will be.

But that's not all of what is happening in our class this week either!  October 1st is the start of the Global Read Aloud  (GRA) and we are participating in that too.  But how you might ask? What does a Global Read Aloud look like?

A Global Read Aloud is where teachers around the world read the same book to their students over the same time period.  This year the primary GRA book for primary children is Charlotte's Web.  On Monday we will be Skyping with Mrs. Wideen's class in Ontario. We will be making predictions on what we think the story will be about.  On Thursday we will be reading chapter  5 via google hang out with Mrs. Sarchet, Mrs. Leech, and hopefully Mrs. Wideen's .  Mrs. Sarchet and Mrs. Leech teach in Surrey just down the road from us.

We will also be connecting with students in Manhattan, NYC through "snail mail".  We will be making Flat Wilbur's and taking pictures of ourselves with our flat Wilbur's around our community.  Ms. Lirenman is then going to send those pictures to the school in Manhattan and they are going to send the same things to us.  We will be doing other activities for these children as well.

So while September is over, there are a lot of exciting things happening in October!  Be sure to keep checking this blog so see all the exciting things we're up to.

Another Voice Message!

Wow, this is getting fun with all these people leaving us such wonderful voice messages.  Today's message is from a teacher in Vancouver Island.  Here's what she had to say to us.

Friday 28 September 2012

Our First Skype Call

This morning just as we got settled for the day we made a Skype call to Mrs. Cassidy's class in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  As a class we have never skyped before so we weren't really sure what to expect. We knew who Mrs. Cassidy's class was because we have their blog on our blog and we often check what they are up to.  But we really didn't know how it would work.  While we were working on our writing Ms. Lirenman set up her computer and our projection device and signed into Skype.  Then she called us all over and we were ready for the call.

Boy was it ever cool!  We saw the kids in Mrs.Cassidy's class and they could see us.  They waved at us, and we waved back.  They were real kids a couple of provinces over and we were talking to them.  Wow!

Ms. Cassidy's class had a comment and two questions for us.  They thanked us for leaving comments on their blog and asked us about the languages we speak in our homes (we speak many but forgot to mention some of our language while we had them on the computer) and if (and how) we did the Terry Fox Run.  We were excited to share, and learn with them.  We were curious to know if they have iPads  and iPods in their classroom and what they were learning.  They said , "yes" to iPads but "no" to iPods and they told us they were learning about patterns in math.  We couldn't believe it because we are learning about patterns too.  Imagine that.  Even though we are so far away from them we are learning the same thing in math right now.  Wow again!

After the call was over we took a look at our Run Across Canada map and saw where Moose Jaw was in relation to where Surrey is.  Then we looked at google Earth to see where Moose Jaw was.  While we were talking to them we told them a little bit about our Run Across Canada.  Ms. Lirenman told us (and them) that when we get into the province of Saskatchewan we would let them know so that they could look out for us.  Of course we aren't really running to Saskatchewan but all the grade ones are adding their travel distance together so as a whole group, when we add our 1.2 km together over and over again we will get to, and past Saskatchewan.  We'll be sure to let Mrs. Cassidy's class know when we get there.

Ms. Lirenman was also telling us that on Monday we have another Skype call to look forward to as we get set to take part in the Global Read Aloud.  While September is coming to a close we have a lot of exciting things on the agenda for October.

Have you ever skyped with another class in a different part of the world?  What special things did you share with your far away friends?

Saturday 22 September 2012

Frozen Tag Letter Style and Octopus

This past week in gym we played a game of tag called Frozen Tag Letter Style.  It's very similar to frozen tag where you do your best to run away from the people who are IT.  The IT people run around trying to tag everyone.  If you get tagged you must stand frozen with your arms in the air and you can't move. In typical Frozen Tag someone has to run under your arms to free you.  In Frozen Tag Letter Style the only way you can get free is if one of the FREE-ERS comes by.  When they arrive at you they ask you for a word that starts with a particular letter sound.  If you can given them a proper word then you are free to run around some more.  It's been a great way to get our bodies moving as soon as we enter the gym.  Here are some photos of us playing.

Another game we learned in gym this week is Octopus.  In Octopus two people stand on the middle black line and on a signal the rest of the class must run past them and not be tagged.  If you get tagged you join those children on the line and you increase the size of the Octopus.  The more people that are making up the Octopus line the harder it is to get across.  It was also a lot of fun to play.  Here are some photos of us playing Octopus.

 What type of games do you play in gym?

Exploring Numbers and Number Sets in Math

This past week we've worked our way through four different numeracy rotations.  In part Ms. Lirenman wanted to see how we worked together in small groups, but she also wanted to see what we knew about numbers.

In the domino station we had to look at and count dots on a domino and place it in the right number pile.  While doing this we realized that the same number can look very different depending on where the dots were located.  Here is a video of one of us hard at work.

In another station we chose a number then created something from Lego using exactly that many pieces.  We made four different objects with the same number of pieces.  Ms. Lirenman had a great video of Roc talking about his different Lego creations for the number 11 but for some strange reason the video does not want to upload to this blog post. Thankfully there are some pictures of several of us creating number sets with Lego.

In our third station we used iPads and the ShowMe app to write and illustrate numbers.  Then we recorded our voices talking about what we did.  The cool thing about the Show Me app is that it makes little videos of our work.  Here are a couple of our videos.  In the future when we get our individual blogs up and running we will be able to put these videos there too.

This is what we look like while we are using the Show Me app.

Our final rotation was the "drill and practice" rotation where we worked on paper math.  Here we were illustrating number sets for specific number words.  We have to be able to read the number words to draw the correct number of objects.  We also practiced writing our numbers.

How are you learning about numbers? We'd love to hear your ways too.

Thursday 20 September 2012

A Voice Message from A Class in Ontario!

Today we received a special voice message from Mrs. Wideen's  class in Ontario, Canada.  It's really exciting for us when kids and adults we don't know come and visit our blog.  We love it when they leave us comments.  We really love getting voice messages too.  Here is our latest voice message from Mrs. Wideen's gr 1/2 class.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Week One Word Work Rotations

This week Ms. Lirenman has us working in group rotations for word work as a way to learn our new word wall words. We are being very independent with our learning as each table group is doing a different thing at the same time.   Ms. Lirenman says she's pretty impressed because even though it's only our second week with her we continue to surprise her by how well we are staying on task and helping out each other when necessary.

One group is practicing their word wall words by creating them with pipe cleaners.  It's fun to bend the wires back to form letters.

Another group is using plasticine to roll out letters to form words. It's great for our  hands to have them work this way.

A third group is using our class letter beads to "bead" our word wall words.  And finally our fourth group is using some iPods, and specifically the Word Wizard app, to create the words.  It's a really cool app too because it reads the words that you make so you know if you've spelled them correctly or not.

Do you do word work in your grade one classroom? And if you do, what does it look like?

Monday 17 September 2012

A Voice Message from a Sibling

Last week we received another voice message and here it is.

listen to ‘Hello from a sibling’ on Audioboo

Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Saturday 15 September 2012

Looking For Number Sets

This past week we've been looking at numbers and more specifically we've been looking at what a specific number of something can look like.  On Wednesday, Ms. Lirenman had us make groups of three.  She gave each group an iPod and assigned each group a number between 2 and 8.  She encouraged us to take photos of items we found around the classroom that represented that number.  Here are some of the pictures we took.  As you can tell by this movie some of us got quite creative with our picture taking.

Now, while Ms. Lirenman did put this movie together using iMovie on her iPad she assures us that it was really quite simple to do.  Apparently next time we do something like this we might be the ones making the movies.  We think that's pretty exciting.

Anyhow, have you ever gone on a scavenger hunt looking for specific number sets?  If you haven't you should give it a try.  We had a lot of fun doing it and along the way we discovered many things we have in our classroom that we didn't realize we had.

International Dot Day - Saturday Sept 15th

On Friday, we took the time to celebrate International Dot Day which is a day to remind us to be brave and creative and not to be afraid of art work.  Ms. Lirenman showed us a youtube video version of the story The Dot by Peter H Reynolds. In the story a little girl named Vashti is afraid to give art a try.  Her teacher then asks her to just make a mark on her paper.  Finally she does, and the following week she is suprised to see her mark hanging on the wall.  Not happy to see something as simple as that, she got busy creating her own dots.  The story continues and ends with her inspiring others to make their mark. You can watch the video we watched here.

When the movie was over we talked about it and then Ms. Lirenman  gave us each our own palette of paint which included red, yellow, and blue and told us we could make pretty much any colour we wanted by experimenting with colour mixing. She gave us white (for tints) and black (for tones) too. Then we got creative.  This little movie shows you some of the dots we created too.

Did you do anything to celebrate international Dot Day?

Thursday 13 September 2012

Reading with Technology

As you can imagine we are pretty excited to have access to some iPads in our school.  Slowly we are learning more and more about them and what special things we can do with them.  One thing we did this week was read books on the iPads.  What is different about iPad books vs paper books is that on iPad books we can interact with the books.  Some of our favourite stories included The Monster at the End of This Book, Slice of Bread, and Cinderella.  What are some of you favourite stories to read on the iPad?

Here are some photos of us reading together on iPads.

Practicing our Counting

Yesterday we used some iPads to practice counting to 100.  We used the 100 chart app to help keep us organized.  To play the game we rolled a die. We then had to cover that many squares on the 100s chart.  The first person to land on 100 won. Here are some photos of us playing the game.

Learning to Read to Ourselves

This week we have been learning to read to ourselves.  On Tuesday we chose books for our just right book boxes.  We talked about what reading to ourselves (by ourselves) looked like and how there were three ways that we could read a book.  We talked about reading the words, reading the pictures, and retelling the story.  We also talked about what it looked like to read to ourselves.  A couple of kids in our class showed us the right way, and the wrong way to read by ourselves.  Then we got to practice.

On Tuesday we had a bit of trouble because we could only do it for one minute at first and then two minutes before someone started talking.  On Wednesday we did a bit better.  We lasted for four minutes in a row.  But today we did even better and managed to do it for eight minutes straight.  This wasn't easy for us because some of us really like to talk and share our good books with our friends.  We are very proud of our achievements.  Here are some pictures of us reading to ourselves.