Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dear Families,

The end of the school year is an emotional time in grade one. Primarily, it is a month of letting go. Little by little, we let go of our routines and along the way we sort of let go of each other. First grade is such a jam-packed year! Think of all the firsts your children have experienced!

I would like to ask for help as we enter into the last weeks of this school year. First of all, a good night's rest is as important as ever. You can even tell your children that I said they should get plenty of sleep between now and June 15th! Second, please talk openly about how difficult "endings" are. This is a rite of passage and they need to realize that it feels the same for most of us--they are not alone.

Last week, we began to work on a Reader's Theater unit and it is my hope that we will end the year with a BANG! You'll need to ask for daily details about our four plays. Last but not least, please let me know if you can help with play rehearsals and supervising prop building during the last three weeks of school. We will do as much in the room as possible and an extra pair of hands is always welcome!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Four Plays!

I'm sure you've heard about THE PLAYS! Listed below you will find some specifics that may help you to understand just what it is we are planning to do.

First of all, you need to know that our class will perform four plays with a total of nineteen speaking parts. One student will be our narrator.  Parts will be cast next week.

Please realize that the children:

Do NOT need to memorize their lines.

Do NOT need to make costumes at home.

Our TWO OFFICIAL PERFORMANCES will take place in our classroom on Wednesday, June 13th at 9:15 and at 12:45. Other classes might attend at these times.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

When You Have a Minute...

You might want to pop down the central hall at Rowe to read some of our poetry.  I can promise that you will be amazed at your children's very first efforts!

You may recall that my original plan was to hang (in the hallway) poetic words the children noticed.  Well, I quickly shifted to a Plan B that allowed us to follow the kids' lead because it didn't take long to realize that this particular class of first graders did not want to slowly begin to chart words.  They simply wanted to begin ASAP to write whole poems!  The best visual I can share is that it was like watching a line-up of racehorses at the gate.  All wanted to take off and begin to write.  And so we did.

Most have written and published at least seven poems.  Their very first poem, as well as, a favorite are hanging in the hall below their self portraits.  We'll probably cobble together an anthology for each student soon.  The reason I say probably is because I know that many will want to continue to write poetry and as it's not a unit I want to totally shut down, we may wait and pull the anthology together at a later date.

Are you wondering what's next in Writing Workshop?  Monday, we will begin to learn to write a nonfiction report.  At the same time, we will begin to edit for conventions.  Conventions is the last of the writing traits that we cover in first grade.  It includes editing for spacing, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization.  Our whole class report will be on Maine's state animal--the moose.  Please send in any books or images you have that might enrich our study.