Ms. Z's Classroom News

Room 140

Look what we've been working on!

I can't believe that it is already September. Time sure does fly when you are having fun (and spending your days with twenty-two six and seven year olds). Over the past two weeks we have started digging in to the curriculum. First grade is definitely more rigorous than kindergarten but the students are adjusting quickly.

During reader's workshop we have been learning about good reading habits and working on our stamina. Students have discussed when and where reader's read, reader respect, refocusing, and we are currently learning different word solving strategies. When we build our reading stamina up to 20 minutes, I have promised the class a popcorn party. I have also been independently assessing each student's reading level. The individual assessments have taken a bit longer than I expected, but once they are complete students will begin to bring home 'just right' books and a reading log for homework. I will let families know when I have everything set up.

We have been working on small moment stories during our writer's workshop. The class has swapped stories, recorded ideas, created story boards, and is in the process of drafting their first small moment narrative. I've loved hearing about your family vacations, when your child learned to ride their bike, and other meaningful moments in their life.

In math we have been working on addition and different ways to make numbers. For example, 1+5=6, 2+4=6, and 3+3=6. Next week we will be moving on to subtraction. While students are engaged during the math games and inquiry, they've been less attentive during the lesson. As a result, I've decided to change our math block from whole group instruction to small group center rotations. Every day I will run a center and teach the lesson to each small group as they rotate around the room. If you are a Watch DOG or interested in volunteering the math block would be a great time to stop by!

Social Studies has been dedicated to building community, establishing expectations for behavior, and firming up routines. Our class has written a mission statement and talked about what good students and good teachers look like. We know that we can continue to grow and intend to work on that every day. We are currently working on how we transition. I've been using a timer and having students help me model what we should and shouldn't as we move through our day. This week we began using our text book to support classroom and building expectations. Students should have a fuller understanding of good citizenship by the end of this unit.

Currently, our Daily 5 time (ELA centers) has been used to help familiarize students with different manipulatives (word tiles, shoe string words, etc.), types of reading (read to self, read to others), and technology (smart board, RAZ kids) that will support learning in the classroom. This small group/partner work time is another part of the day where I would love to have family volunteers in the classroom. The kids are so excited to share their independent creations that it would be great to have another adult in the room to validate good learning!

Please let me know if you have questions, concerns, or are interested in coming by the classroom to say hi or help out!


Tomorrow, September 3, 2015 is a school spirit day. We will have an assembly at 9:00 and meet in our wolf pack groups immediately afterwards. Students are encouraged to wear TR clothes or royal blue.

School is closed September 7, 2015 for Labor Day and closed September 8, 2015 for a teacher in-service.


9/3/15: PE

9/4/15: Music

9/9/15: Art

9/10/15: PE

9/11/15: Library

Candid Moments

Charlotte's Web

I'm reading Charlotte's Web aloud to the class. It was one of my favorite books as a child, and I hope the children are enjoying it as well.