“*Dr. Kenneth Zike has said that at least 50% of the children with learning problems referred to the neurological clinic at his hospital had had no traumas, no birth injuries, and no other physical deviations. Their trouble seemed to come from pressure - pressure to do a task that they did not have the maturity to do.”

~Borrowed from Robert Jackson on the world wide web.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Spring Break to you all!
Hope you have enjoyed some time with your families!
I have been so busy in the classroom these past several weeks, along with my family life, and some health issues have kept me from blogging much. However, do not think the fun and learning ever ends in first grade!

I love reading! Imagine the joy I felt when I was able to visit the home of the author of one of my all time favorite stories ever, "The Yearling". Cross Creek is located just north of Ocala where my inlaws live and I went to visit a month back.

The neatest thing about this is that this is one of my most recent reads.

Although, my latest read was "Good Morning Miss Dove". I fell in love with this story. "An aging schoolteacher in a small New England town becomes deathly ill, and the town rallys around her for support. Among them is one of her former pupils, now a successful surgeon, who can perform a procedure to save her life. Then many of her other students arrive to show her how much she's changed their lives through flashbacks of her younger days as a teacher." It was written in the early 50's and a classic in my opinion! Inspiring.

My love for reading is what I want to share with my students! My travels to and fro looking for inexpensive quality literature to bring to the classroom led me smack dab into a treasure of a story!

I found this book called "Aunt Claire's Yellow Beehive Hair" at the friends of the library sale and may have paid a dollar for this book. It was well worth the 4 quarters! I picked it up when we were reading "Busy, Buzzy Bees" in our reading book as the word beehive caught my eye.
Needless to say, it had nothing to do with bees or beehives and everything about tracking the history and memorabilia of your families stories and history. I used this opportunity to model for the children how I was able to connect to this story and shared my families vintage photos mixed in with recent family photos. I use every opportunity to model for the class how they can connect, infer, dig deeper, and use their schema to increase comprehension.

I would be remiss if I left out photos of the very cool and creative robots my class made for a home project. The only requirements: create a model of a robot using whatever you want. You can even just draw it! Then write 5 sentences about what your robot can do to make your life easier.

The creativity and secret buttons surprised and amazed me. I loved this project as much as the children enjoyed it!

Thanks to Vic's parents for donating this lovely reading castle. This is a daily hit and a sure fire way to get even the least likely readers to get lost in a good book!

Part of our reading program includes making recommendations to other students.
This was our first version of this process. I found there was too many backups and wasted reading time while people were busy waiting to be writing.

I changed to a library pocket for the children. They take a paper that asks for title, author, who recommended the book, genre, and a summary.
The children have begun to use this system and seem to really enjoy the "mail" in their pocket.

If you ask your child, "what do good readers do?" You will be amazed at their answers. Hopefully, as much as I was! We have been talking for several months about what do good readers do. Recently, I created this poster together with the class and they came up with all these ideas!

Mr. Carter has been very busy over the past couple of weeks. He was creating these shelves for my class! I did all the painting...he hates to paint! :o) I was so thrilled to have the shelves, I did not complain! I went shopping and purchased all the red tubs that WalMart had and I am thrilled with the outcome! Mr. Carter delivered the shelves to my class on Thursday afternoon before Spring Break. He brought along Jay and the children had the opportunity to see little Jay.

I was thrilled with the outcome of our hard work and even more thrilled to hear the students remarks! One child~while touching them said, "WOW these look like you bought them." Another child said, "Mrs. Carter, when my playroom is all a mess and all my toys are laying around it is terrible. When I clean everything up and put them on shelves I feel like I can do anything. That's how I feel now that our books are on the shelves."
Oh the little things!
Thank you for all of your support!
Be watching for information coming out on our Fairy Tale Unit
Carter's Coffeehouse:
A Fairy Tale Dream
Save the date!
May 27th, 9:00 am
Coffee, Tea, Cookies will be served in the classroom as we listen to the children read their own fairy tales they write.

Flat Stanley is busy still as I write. Hunter's Flat Stanley is in Africa!