Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's 12-12-12

Today is a very special day on the calendar.   It's December 12, 2012 or 12-12-12.   To celebrate this occurrence we are focusing on the number 12 today.  Since our class loves to read, we thought we would start our morning by listing 12 of our favorite books that Mrs. Ruckes read aloud this year.  Here is our list:

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1.  We Are in a Book!  By Mo Willems

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2.  David Goes to School By David Shannon

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3.  If You Take A Mouse To School By Laura Numeroff

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4.  No, David! By David Shannon

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5. David Get in Trouble by David Shannon

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6.  Pip & Squeak by Ian Schoenherr

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7.  Ten Timid Ghosts  By Jennifer O'Connell

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8.  Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus  By Mo Willems

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9.  Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!

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10.  The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!  By Mo Willems

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy
11.  The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!  By Mo Willems

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12.  It's Christmas, David!  By David Shannon

We're sure we'll fall in love with a lot more books this school year.  We still have 2013 to add more favorites to our list.  Have you read some of our favorites?  Please leave us a comment and share some of your favorite classroom read alouds.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Music Specials Class

My Little Pony from Valerie Ruckes on Vimeo.

We love going to our special class for music. We sing, we perform, and we learn to play instruments, too. We have music for and hour each week. Do you have special classes for music at your school?

Nursing Students Share Information

On Wednesday, the nursing students from Rochester College made a visit to our first grade classrooms.  They presented information on Allergic Reactions, Nutrition, and Hand Washing.  All of the presentations were engaging and informative.   Our first graders were introduced to the food pyramid and they found out how long to wash their hands.  How long?  As long as it takes to sing their ABC's.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Star of the Week - Brooke

This week our Star of the Week is Brooke.  Brooke shared her "About Me" poster.  She brought in her dinosaur to show the class, and her mom came in to read us a story.  We also used Brooke's name to make words and identify vowels and consonants.

Name Poster

Here are a few things about Brooke:
Brooke's favorite food is pizza.
Brooke's favorite color is pink.
If she could have one wish, it would be to fly.
A few more of Brooke's favorite things are:
Brooke's Family:  Mom, Dad, her sister, Annie, and Stan and Ned her two cats.

Brooke is hole her "About Me" poster.

Brooke's mom read us a Halloween story and we really enjoyed it.  It was very funny.
Brooke's mom is reading to our class.

We hope you enjoyed your Star Week, Brooke.  Next week's Star is Violet.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's Fun Run Time!

We had a wonder Fun Run event on Friday.  The Fun Run is sponsored by our PTA.  Each student receives a Fun Run t-shirt (green, red, or yellow) for the event.  During their scheduled time, each classroom runs or walks around the bus loop for 15 minutes followed by a 5 minute cool down.   We run to music which makes it even more fun.  Each time a student runs a lap around the bus loop they receive a tally mark on the back of their t-shirt.  The tally marks are counted at the end of the event and family and friends make donations based on the number of laps we run.  It's our best fund raiser for the school year.  It really is A Fun Run!

Are You Ready?

Runner are running around the bus loop.

Stopping to get a tally!

Watch Us Cheer! Fun Run! Fun Run!

Fun Run Cheer from Valerie Ruckes on Vimeo.

Reading with Liz and Lucy

On Friday our classroom had a visit from two very special guests, Liz and Lucy.  Liz is a wonderful woman who enjoys sharing a book and her beautiful dog with the children at McGregor.  Lucy is a beautiful and huge dog called a Newfoundland.  Lucy is 9 years old and she is very gentle.  Lucy sits very quietly while Liz reads a book to the class.  Our class was very excited to have Liz and Lucy read with us.  Caleb even drew Lucy's Picture.

Our class prepares to hear the story.

Today we enjoyed, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! by Mo Willems.  After the story each student had a chance to pet Lucy.  It was a wonderful day of reading with Lucy.  
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Caleb drew a picture for Lucy.

Would you like to read a book to Lucy yourself?  You can read to Lucy on Wednesday nights at 6:30 at the Rochester Hills Public Library.  You must preregister by contacting Youth Services at 248-650-7140 or

Demetrius pats Lucy

Caleb S. and Caleb L. pat Lucy

Owen pats Lucy.

Erica pats Lucy

Gracie and Benito pat Lucy
Liz reading The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

Thank you Liz and Lucy!

Star of the Week

We started our Star of the Week routine this week.  This week's Star is Brenna.  During their star week students share an "About Me" poster, they share news during our morning meeting, and they may invite a guest to read to the classroom.  The Star of the Week is also featured on our classroom blog.  

I spent time with Brenna during her star week and I asked her a few questions.  Our conversation appears below:

Mrs. Ruckes:  So Brenna, since you are the Star of the Week, I want to ask you a few questions.

Mrs Ruckes:  What is your favorite color?
Brenna:  Pink

Mrs. Ruckes:  What is your favorite food?
Brenna:  Pizza!  With mushrooms.

Mrs. Ruckes:  What is you favorite thing to do in school?
Brenna:  I like free choice time.  I like the computer, too.  I like PBS kids.

Mrs. Ruckes:  Do you like to read?
Brenna:  I love that Mouse Count book

Brenna's family includes her mom and dad, her twin brothers, and her dog Riley.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Global Read Aloud - Charlotte's Web (Day 2)

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This is day 2 of the Global Read Aloud.  The book we are reading is Charlotte's Web.  We enjoyed reading chapter one yesterday and we were anticipating what would happen next.  First, we reviewed the characters from chapter one.  Next, we talked about the setting of the story.  The setting is where the story takes place.  Our responses were:

  • The Farm
  • Fern's house
  • The kitchen
  • The barn

Mrs. Ruckes shared a nonfiction book with us called On A Farm.  There is a pig on the cover of this book and we think it looks like Wilbur because it's white.

We made two predictions about what would happen next in the story.  Our predictions were:
I predict Wilbur is getting bigger.
I predict Wilbur will talk.

Mrs. Ruckes read chapters two and three as we worked on our Reading Response sheets.  We wanted to see more pictures but Mrs. Ruckes reminded us that we were reading a chapter book and they usually don't have a lot of pictures.  Sometimes chapter books don't have any pictures and we have to make our own mental pictures.

We thought the part where Fern is pushing Wilbur in a stroller with her doll was really funny.  Here are more of our favorite parts from chapters two and three.

Wilbur might grow!
The girl was right by Wilbur.  Wilbur was happy.

Fern is putting Wilbur in the box.
The girl was right by Wilbur.  Wilbur was happy.

Wilbur is sleeping in the barn.
Here is a hound.  He is trying to get his food.

She put the pig in the box.
I put Wilbur in the box.

Tomorrow we'll read chapter 4.  We really love this book!  What is your favorite part of the book so far?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Global Read Aloud

This year we are participating in the 2012 Global Read Aloud.  During the month of October, classrooms from around the world will be participating in this event.  The book chosen for the Global Read Aloud is Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.  Parents, you may want to pick up a copy of the book and read it along with your child.  The chapters are being read according to the schedule below:

Week 1 Ch. 1-6
Week 2 Ch. 7-11
Week 3 Ch. 12-17
Week 4 Ch. 18-22

We are hoping to connect with other classrooms from around the world who are also taking part in this event.  Our first connection is with Mrs. Nemecek's class in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  They will begin the event by responding to a question on their Kidblog.  We will stop by their blog and leave some comments for them on Monday.  We are planning to use our classroom Twitter account to tweet our responses to the book and we'll share our responses and information here, on our class blog.   We are very excited to participate in this event which starts on Monday, October 1, 2012.

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Flashlight Friday Makes Building Stamina a Breeze

Our classroom is working on building our reading stamina.  We are doing read to self for 12 minutes.  Our goal is to reach 30 minutes.  At each 10 minute interval we have a small classroom celebration, like extra recess, a treat, or playing a game in the gym with our teacher.  However, when we reach our 30 minute goal, we are planning to celebrate with a Read-In (bring blankets, wear P.J.'s, enjoy a treat, and READ).

Today was the kickoff of our Flashlight Fridays routine.  During flashlight Friday, Mrs. Ruckes turns out the lights and we read with our flashlights.  It's a lot of fun and it makes building stamina a breeze.  As S.G. exclaimed, "I just love Flashlight Friday."

Some students are reading by flashlight on the rug.

Some students like to read under tables with their flashlights.

Others like to stretch-out as they read.

Some students read at the small table and the writing center with their flashlights.

These students enjoy reading at their tables with their flashlights.

J.M. reads at the small table.

O.G. uses his flashlight to read near the book return area.

G.S. gets up close and personal with her flashlight and book.

What fun things do you do at reading time in your classroom?  Leave a comment, we would love to know!