Hello World!

Yay!  You found my blog.  I am really excited to incorporate a new form of technology into my classroom routine.  The purpose of this blog is to keep both parents and students informed about classroom assignments and projects.  It provides me with a forum to explain classroom happenings.  I also hope to use this blog to connect with other classrooms throughout the country and maybe even the world.  There are so many possibilities!  Let’s get started!

Shamrocks, Gold, and Rainbows!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate a day of leprechauns and shamrocks Mrs. McCormack helped us  perform as skit  titled, The Little Old Lady and the Leprechaun.  

We also created a digital story sharing who in our lives are more important to us than gold.

Watch both videos and enjoy!

 

Picture It! 2012

Our class participated in a new online project that shows just how easy it is to learn collaboratively with other classrooms around the country and even world.  Picture It! is a project hosted by jenuinetech that allowed our class to create a mural with 23 other classrooms from different places.  We mailed our piece, #19, to them and in turn received their pieces.  Every time a new piece arrives we look up where their school is using Google Earth, mark it on our wall map, and put up section on our mural template.  

Each day our excitement grows as we get closer and closer to a finished portrait.  We’ve only got four pieces left until we are done.  Check out our pictures and maps and you’ll know what makes this project so much fun!  We are hoping to Skype with some of the participants when the portrait is complete.  

 

We only need four more pieces!

Our piece was #19! We kept this one for our own mural. Great job Daniel!

The 100th Day of School

 

We celebrated the 100th Day of School by showing off our reading skills.  Each student created a poster featuring 100 words they can read! We read our posters to each other and rejoiced at how much our reading skills have improved.  Woo-Hoo!

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!!!

Our class has chosen.  Our new favorite books are Mo Willems’ hilarious pigeon tales about a pigeon who just refuses to take no for an answer.  He wants what he wants whether it’s a hot dog, puppy, or later bed time.  We started with the first book in the collection and discovered that the pigeon sure is determined to drive the bus.  

Watch as we reenact scenes from Mo Willems’ book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.  They are sure to have you laughing out loud.  I predict future comedy superstars!  

Visit http://www.pigeonpresents.com/ for fun, games, and all things pigeon.

*I know you will LOVE the hot dog game*

Author Skype with Jean Marzollo

 

On February 9, 2012 our class was honored to Skype with Jean Marzollo, author of the popular I-Spy book series.  Although we are big fans of her I-Spy books, we chose to focus on her non-fiction story Pierre the Penguin.  

We first read this book as part of our unit on penguins and instantly fell in love with the adorable Pierre who wears a tiny wet suit so he will stay warm in the water even though he does not have feathers.  Our interest in Pierre brought us to his home site http://www.calacademy.org/webcams/penguins/.  There we were able to watch live footage of Pierre and his friends and read about how he is doing on the Penguin Blog.    

After that we were hooked!  We wanted to know more and were lucky enough to Skype with Mrs. Marzollo.  Not only did she read us the book but she also took the time to answer questions. 

Check out the video below to watch the entire Skype session.  We even taught her something new.  We shared that Pierre’s birthday is approaching and that he will be turning 29 years old on February 16.  He is the oldest penguin living at the California Academy of Sciences.  Mrs. Marzollo was so excited to learn from us that she mentioned us in HER blog.  We’re famous!!!

Thank you to Mrs. Marzollo, Pam from the California Academy of Sciences, and of course Pierre the Penguin.  We are so happy that we could all work together.

Pierre and his mate Homey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up, we are starting a new project using Mrs. Marzollo’s I Spy Sticker book to write our own I-Spy riddles.

All About Penguins

We’ve got penguins on the brain!  After our wonderful Skype session with Rebecca and Laura from the Penguin Project, we began working on a book describing what we learned about our favorite birds. 

First, we each wrote out the question we asked.  Then, we wrote and illustrated the answer.  Watch the video below to see our illustrations and hear us read what we learned.

The actual book is on its way to our friends at the Penguin Project in Seattle, Washington.

 

 

Our favorite penguin fact is that penguins are not cold in the water because they are working so hard.  After Physical Education class, Kayleigh reminded us that we feel so hot because we were working hard- just like the penguins!  

What is your favorite penguin fact?

Happy Penguin Day!

 

On Friday, January 20, 2012 our class celebrated Penguin Awareness Day.  For weeks we have been learning about different types of penguins and what makes them so interesting.  We have learned a lot of penguin facts but we were still left with some questions.

Thanks to Rebecca and Laura at the Penguin Project we were able to get answers.  Click the video below to watch our Skype session with these two penguin experts.  They made it to their offices at the University of Washington in Seattle despite a major snowstorm. We are so grateful for their time and knowledge!

Before our Skype session, we took the time to check out where they study penguins and learned they are working with Magellanic Penguins located in Punta Tombo, Argentina.  Unlike penguins from the South Pole, these penguins experience a change in seasons.  Right now, it is summer in Argentina.  

We especially loved reading about Turbo the Penguin and his amazing story of survival. 

Thank you Penguin Project! You have inspired us!

Turbo the Penguin

 

Did you learn something about penguins? Leave us a comment to share your new information.

Holiday Exchange!!!

We have been writing and receiving cards from 30 different schools around the country (and one from Canada).  Here is the map of the schools we received cards from so far!

Look at all the cards we got!

We have been getting a lot of mail!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the videos below to watch a short clip of our Skype with Sandusky, OH and a longer clip of our Skype with Memphis, TN (an ALL BOYS 2nd grade class).

 

 

 

 

 


 

Author Study- Ezra Jack Keats

In Writing, we have been learning to write small moment stories. These are true stories about one moment in our lives.   To help us we are looking to author –  Ezra Jack Keats.

We have read many of his books and studied his techniques.  We noticed he writes about the same characters over and over again.  We call this “The Peter Streak” since Peter is in 7 of his books.  We have also noticed he often uses a small dash so the reader will pause.  We call this the “1,2,3 Dash” since when you pause you count to yourself- 1,2,3- before moving on.  LOUD LETTERS are one of our favorite techniques.  We noticed that when the word is in all capital letters it should be read louder. “Sound Effects” is another favorite.  It means to write a sound word instead of describing it.  For example, you could write “drip, drop” to describe the sound of the rain.  Lastly, we learned about the  Sl-ooo-ww St-rr-et-c-hh”.  This tells the reader to stretch out the words and ready them S-l-o-o-w-w-l-y.

Soon our own stories will be done featuring many of the ggg-rrr-e-a-t techniques we have learned.

Check out the Glog below to learn more about Ezra Jack Keats.  The Snowy Day Game is a BIG hit!  But remember – before you play it you should READ the book!

Could you find the techniques hidden in this post?  You could?  Leave a comment explaining where they were! Whew! That was easy! Also – look for the bonus question under the GLOG!

Question: What are the 7 Ezra Jack Keats books that feature his character Peter? If you can’t remember visit this website for a couple of hints. Post the answer as a comment.

Native American Pow Wow

To complete our study of the Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving, our class took part in a Pow Wow with two other first grade classes.  To prepare we made beaded necklaces (using dyed pasta), vests out of brown paper bags, and headbands with feathers.  Once we were all dressed up we took part in several games.  We all had a lot of fun!  Check out the smiling faces in our photos for the proof! 

  

   

Thank you Mrs. Asplund!

Thank you Mr. D’Alauro!

Check out the video to see the rain dance we performed.  It didn’t rain but it was still fun!

 

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