Friday, December 26, 2014

We Fish You a Hairy Chrismoose

We love to read poems for fluency practice.  Sometimes we sing songs too.  These poems and songs are added to our poetry notebooks each week.  Here is our most recent song.  It's called We Fish You a Hairy Chrismoose.  Sound familiar?  We hope you enjoy it.

We Fish You a Hairy Chrismoose from Valerie Ruckes on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Mine! By Leo Lionni - Read Aloud

Our Read-Aloud time is one of our favorite times of the day. One of the books we shared this week was, It's Mine! by Leo Lionni.
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We created a Padlet to capture our thoughts about the book. We started with questions that we had about the book based on the title and the cover pictures.  Mrs. Ruckes read a portion of the book and then she asked this question: What are the characters (frogs) like? We used the Padlet again to capture our responses. After finishing the book, we discussed the lesson that was learned. Take a look at our Padlet below.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Pumpkin!

We love to read poems to practice our fluency.  Each week we add a new poem to our Poetry Notebooks.  We also enjoy adding hand motions.  We hope you enjoy the poem below.  It's called Pumpkin Pumpkin!  It is sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pumpkin from Valerie Ruckes on Vimeo.

Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

Our class went on a field trip to the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm.  We learned about life in a village.  We learned that the pioneers use the land for all of their wants and needs.  They choose this area because of the fast running streams and the trees.

We had fun doing chores at the museum.  We cooked in the kitchen, stuffed mattresses, collected eggs from the hen house, carried buckets of water, hung clothes, carded wool, and even played with old toys.

It was a lot of fun!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Welcome To Our Classroom

We are a 1st Grade classroom and we are located in Rochester, Michigan.  Rochester is about 30 miles north of Detroit.  The name of our school is McGregor Elementary School.  McGregor is a K-5 building.  We have four first grade classrooms at McGregor.  Our school mascot is a cougar.  One of the ways that teachers get our attention is to shout, "Cougars" and everyone replies, "Keep calm and Cougar on!"

Here are some of the things that we enjoy doing in our classroom and at school:
  • Daily 5
  • Math Rotations
  • Brain Breaks using Go Noodle
  • Classroom Celebrations-Face Painting, Bring Your Own Device, Stuffed Animal Day
  • Writing Workshop
  • Specials Classes-Gym, Music, Art and Library
  • Playing math games on the computer
  • Using the wireless laptops
  • Sitting on our new Stability Balls
  • The Fun Run
  •  Recess
  • Brain Pop Jr.
We would love to tell you even more about our classroom.  Please leave us a comment and ask us a question.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device Day

We earn celebrations in our classroom.  Getting compliments for walking quietly in the hallway, coming to the meeting area Q & Q (quickly and quietly), helping friends, and cleaning up materials earns us points.  Whenever we get 10 points we earn a celebration.  Our class made a list of celebration choices and we vote for the celebration we want the most.  Recently, we celebrated with a BYOD.  It was so much fun!

Four Read Apples - Fluency Poem

Each week we focus on a new fluency poem.  This week's poem is called Four Red Apples.  We read or sing the poem during our Morning Meeting time each day.  On Friday's we illustrate the poem and place a copy into our Poetry Notebooks.  Our Poetry Notebooks go home on Fridays so we can continue to read the poems to our families and practice our fluency at the same time.  Take a look at our video and illustrations below.  How do you practice fluency in your classroom?

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Are you a wild reader?  Wild readers value their reading time.  They use every free moment to squeeze in extra reading time throughout the day.  We call this "reading on the edge".  Here are some examples of places where wild readers do their "edge time" reading.  The Padlet below was created by Mrs. Frazier and it was inspired by the book, Reading In theWild by Donalyn Miller.

Wild Readers - Padlet

Monday, February 24, 2014

The 100th Day of School

Our class decided to share ideas about what we could do to celebrate the 100th Day of School.  Below is our Padlet board with all of our ideas.

On Wednesday, we will find out which ideas were chosen. We can't wait until it's the 100th day of school!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Science Alive!

Last week, one of our favorite programs came to our school.  It's called Science Alive.  Science Alive brings REAL animals into our classrooms to experience them up close and personal.  Yes, that's right!  We get to see, feel, and sometimes hold real animals as the biologist shares all kinds of information about them.  Each year our PTA brings this program to our school.  Each year they come with a new group of animals.  This year we had a two snakes, one of which was a python, a chinchilla, a toad and a skunk (without the gland that creates the bad smell of course).  Take a look at some of the pictures.  It was a lot of fun and one of our favorite in-school programs.

We LOVE Science Alive!  What fun programs do you have at your school?  Have you ever touched one of these animals before?  Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think.