#FDOFG2018: Readers Gonna Read

We have been reading ALOT in first grade, and much of it has been reading aloud together. ¬†But not all of it. ūüôā

We have also been working very hard to learn the habits of good readers, to read both independently and with our partners and also to choose the right books for us. ¬†I’ve been so proud with how quickly our Rm. 111 readers have gotten into a groove and begun to build their stamina.

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We’ve learned some BAD HABITS to drop and some GOOD HABITS to pick up. ¬†Readers thought it was really funny when I acted out the bad habits during our lesson. ¬†Ask your reader to show you what those bad habits look and sound like, then to show you what we should do INSTEAD. ūüôā

Each week we have a learning partner, with whom we turn-and-talk on the rug, and also partner read. ¬†We use these partners in other ways, too, through out the week as they are quick to find. ¬†Some of our work time during Readers’ Workshop is read-to-self and some if read-to-someone, so we sit right next to our partners so we can quickly move from one job to the next. ¬†Check out some pictures of us being our best reader selves, back-to-back in read-to-self and side-by-side doing read-to-someone. ūüôā

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Lots and lots of read-to-someone! ¬†We’ve learned that we need to read ONE book at a time, and also that we can do partner reading in 3 ways: popcorn reading, choral reading or I read, you read. ¬†We LOVE this time of day!

#FDOFG–Got GRIT?

If you’ve read our Robinson Mission Statement (or if you’ve listened to a Robinson kiddo or teacher talking lately), then you know it mentions GRIT:

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and our kiddos know that you gotta have GRIT, make mistakes, try again and work hard in order to learn and be successful.  And so this being true, this is a topic that it is important to start talking about (and practice using!) early in the year.

We started the other day by talking about that the word GRIT meant to my new friends.  I was SUPER impressed with what they already knew; even as kindergarteners, these kiddos were learning about and applying this big deal concept.  Check out what they said during our first conversation:

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I was especially impressed by the way Mara explained GRIT as having “enough courage to do something even if it’s hard or you’re scared.” ¬†It’s like being brave!

We used another fabulous classroom tool to practice this idea (and one that my friend and teammate, Mrs. Marks, reminded me about the other day): puzzles! ¬†I had been collecting them all summer with the intention of bringing in new ones for this year’s class, so when I saw¬†the AMAZING job Mrs. Mark’s first graders had done with working hard and being gritty with puzzles, I knew this was the way we’d be gritty, too!

Kiddos were able to choose a partner and a puzzle and they got busy. ¬†We worked for a pretty big chunk of time, and while we worked pretty hard, not many of us finished–which is TOTALLY ok for our first try!

We did have one puzzle that was completed by Kaiden and¬†Jack, though–check it out!

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Now, don’t get me wrong–this doesn’t mean the rest of us weren’t¬†being very diligent puzzle-makers¬†and working with our partners well, but I did hear many kiddos say “This is hard!” and “I can’t do this!” or “There are too many pieces in this puzzle!” ¬†It seems like we need to keep working on our self-talk, our problem solving about what to do when things are hard, and even with what we can say instead of those negative explanations. ¬†Later on this week we’ll going to start talking about YET, and I am sure that this will be helpful to my first grade friends.

We also debriefed on the activity, marking what was helpful and what was hard. ¬†This will also guide our thinking the next time we do puzzles (or encounter anything that’s hard!).

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I can’t wait to share with you what happens the next time!

 

Tiny Notebooks: Sharing

That last post got a little long (and probably all my entries get a little too long!), so I figured I’d share the last part in another story.

On Day 3, after we had gotten back into our notebooks, I found a way to easily share our writing with a random partner.¬† When I made our tiny notebooks (by cutting regular spiral notebooks in half), I was looking at the halves and thinking about how they could be put back together…

So kiddos found their sharing partner by finding the writer who had the other half of their notebook.  So quick and so cool!

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 9.56.59 AMThey shared their entry with their halfsies partner and had some great conversations!

Next time they are supposed to find their other halfsies partner (because there are 2 notebooks of each color), and we could match up in a couple of other ways.¬† SO glad this happy accident happened.¬† So simple but very useful. ūüôā

Getting Started with Math: How Much is Your Name Worth?

In the first days of school, our goals are both that kids get into subjects as well as that they build relationships with each other (just like last year!).  One of our first forays into math this year was with a challenge about names.

The original activity was called “How Much is Your Name Worth?” and was all about how each letter of your name is worth a certain amount (i.e. a=1, b=2, c=3, etc.).¬† While it was definitely a math challenge for some (we might have forgotten how to add over the summer!! LOL), it was also a reminder of how sometimes things are harder than we thought and we need to work through the tough parts.

For me, it was also an invitation to revisit the activity I was asking them to do and change what was tricky.  Not because I wanted to make it easier, but because we realized that the directions on the first try were really confusing.  Some were stuck with what to do, not how to do it.  So I made a new sheet, and also invited a new question to the challenge that they could attempt with a partner (which added another level to the activity).  Their new question was:

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The other thing that happened here was watching kids as they solved the problem of who’s name was most expensive by thinking about both the length of the names, and which letters were included.¬† There were resources everywhere that could help them if they knew they were there: the lunch sheet, our checkoff grids, the word wall, the helper chart, our mailboxes, our cubbies–the list went on and on!

In the end we didn’t really ask the question of who’s name was most expensive, but we all got our math brains moving, solved some problems together and worked with our friends!¬† That’s a great start in my book!