Be prepared for lots of photos in this post! 🙂
Our spelling program allows students to discover the patterns that words use, as well as the “oddballs” (the name given for the pattern-breakers) that come up along the way. To prepare the class for weekly spelling work both inside the classroom and at home, students have been introduced to how these word sorts work and how they will familiarize themselves with the patterns through activities. This week the students all used the same word sort as an example. They went through the steps that we will become familiar with throughout the year, starting with cutting out the words and sorting them into categories (this sort had three relevant categories: “st,” “s,” and “t”).
In the pictures above, students took turns sharing how they sorted the list of words into the three categories. Some spelling sorts will have the words written out, while others will use pictures. This sort had all pictures, which got students listening for those beginning word sounds before seeing it.
They did some activities on their own in word study notebooks, such as “Blue Vowels” (writing the vowels in blue and the rest of the word in pencil to highlight the role and patterns of vowels).
Students also did spelling activities with partners! During “Speed Sort,” they race to sort the words into the categories. For “Blind Sort,” their partner reads the word, and the other student points to the correct category. It’s always enjoyable to work with a friend!
We had our very first Solo Spot time last week! Ms. Naomi visited the class to lead us through this experience at Prairie Smoke Pond. Students learned that Solo Spots are a time to be Silent, Still, and Seated. This allows us to be safe, support others in focusing on observation of nature, and possibly see and hear animals that visit this space when it is quiet. The Solo Spots our students choose at the beginning of the year will be their special spot until the last day of 1st grade! They will see how their spot changes and stays the same throughout the seasons. After spending time in this spot, the class shares their observations.
During this first Solo Spot time, students drew a picture of where they were sitting to help remind them of their spot for next time. We took a second visit on Thursday. This time, students drew three different plants they could see from where they were sitting, added color, and wrote what they noticed about the three plants. They were troopers in the warm weather, but we still decided it would be best to share our observations back in the classroom!
As an introduction to our unit on plants, students worked with their table on a large piece of construction paper to draw what they knew about plants right now. Each student also wrote at least one question they had about plants. I love their curiosity! The class will be diving more into this unit next week.
We’ve spent the beginning of the school year reviewing the formation of capital letters and numbers. To practice and develop some muscle memory, they wrote in rainbow letters, tracing the example letters and numbers. They traced over each letter with three different colors and then used a pencil to write their own below. Students also had a chance to choose and practice a few of the numbers that they felt they could improve on. We will continue to work on slowing down on writing when needed and watching out for any reversed letters or numbers.
What’s a superhero classroom without birthday capes? Our class celebrated three student birthdays and enjoyed giving them something special to wear throughout the day. Happy birthday to Gianna, Katie, and Katherine! We are happy to have each of your unique super skills as a part of our team!
Have a splendid three-day weekend! Don’t forget to check out Mr. Smith’s page, as well, for more updates.