long i and ideas for this week

Yay! We are back from spring break with a new spring in our step. I’ll admit that I needed a break but by Wednesday I was…yup, bored. There’s nothing like the challenge of 26 kids to keep your adrenaline pumping.

From the very start of our day, it we faced new challenges. We learned to estimate the number of objects that might be in a group (by 10s), reviewed long i words, discussed plants as systems and reviewed compound words … all in the first hour and a half of school! In addition, we are also starting a short study of Frog and Toad books. (Arnold Lobel is the author.) If you haven’t read one lately, they are incredibly age-appropriate for our darlings…and hilarious! I’m looking forward to a week of learning and laughter together.

Long I words (i_e and _y patterns)

  1. fine
  2. time
  3. dry
  4. shy
  5. fly
  6. mice
  7. by
  8. quite

challenge words: tired, crying

 

Lots of love,

Ms. Hamar

this week in spelling

Wow! Can you believe that we’re on our third official week of spelling?! This week’s words revolve around long A sound spellings, especially “ai” and “a-consonant-e.” The words include:
1. snake
2. tape
3. aim
4. pale
5. wait
6. trail
7. rain
8. wave
9. trailer*
10. snakeskin*

* challenge

Please check out Spelling City at www.spellingcity.com/mshamar/ for games, tests, and activities with these words. The list is named “Long A Words.”

Happy Spelling!
Ms. Hamar

Spelling News

Yippee! It’s here…that fabulous time of year when we get to start working on spelling lists! You wouldn’t think I’d be so excited but being able to start spelling lists means we’ve (finally) learned all the basic sounds and practiced reading or writing them enough that we’re ready to start actually processing into our writing work.

Some ideas for practicing spelling at home include:

  • using refrigerator magnets to spell the words
  • writing the words in pudding (let them lick their fingers afterwards!)
  • using legos or gummy worms to form each word
  • writing the words using a MagnaDoodle or similar drawing toy

Of course you’re only limited by your imagination ~ there are millions of possibilities!

You can also go to my “Kids’ Stuff” page and open Spelling City to practice on a computer. There is an app also available to download in the App Store. If you search for Ms. Hamar, you can also download the list I’ve preloaded there and practice.

This weeks words include:

  1. boy
  2. join

A Family Affair

As always, I followed conferences with a lot of family time in celebration of Thanksgiving. Usually I’m dead tired but this year, I found myself with enough energy to not only help with dinner but to want to send thank you notes to each family that met with me. I’m not sure that will actually happen… but I hope I conveyed a little piece of that gratitude to my students and parents. I am SO grateful for their kindness, patience and willingness to work hard. I was amazed by the hard-working parents who are so concerned for their child’s education that they will come home and spend hours on homework, reading together, and making sure their children are involved in things that help develop their brains and bodies. David Ogden Stiers said that “Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” And that’s exactly what we are building together this year – a family of happy, healthy, smart, responsible children – and why I feel so very blessed to be their teacher.

Sweet Sumertime

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”
Diane Ackerman

Can you believe it’s July?! I hope all my darlings are having fun in the sunshine and water this summer since our temperatures finally hit 100 degrees! As I relax and attempt to keep life and work and learning in balance, this quote came to mind. What better opportunity to learn than in the summer when play is the name of the game?! Recently a couple of new books were printed that might have your child salivating and “remembering when” from first grade. Check out…

 

The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems

 

 

 

 

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and Eric Litwin

 

 

 

I Completely Know about Guinea Pigs by Lauren Child

If your child is getting ready to enter first grade, buy these and stash them in the closet for Christmas! [hint, hint!]

 

Regardless of when and how you’re able to play together this summer, I hope that it’s a delight to be learning together!

Love always,

Ms. Hamar

State of the Classroom [part 2]

Last week our sensational staff went on a little field trip. We traveled all of 10 minutes to the building that was remodeled last year to see what the “new” building looks like. As you know, our building is being rebuilt this year using very similar plans. Excitement ran rampant as we got a glimpse of the possibilities for our physical building next year. You are going to love it! At the same time though, I was reminded of the blessings here at our temporary headquarters; this room is larger than any other I’ve taught in. And if this building wasn’t available we’d be living in portables scattered throughout the district. Amazingly, not one parent has complained to me about the half hour (plus) bus ride their student takes each way. And quite frankly, while I love all my students equally, this year’s crew is the most focused, attentive and respectful I’ve seen in 16 years.  It kind of makes me want to stay in this building! Of course, I know it’s you, parents and guardians, grandparents and providers that make the difference. I am grateful for these temporary digs but even more grateful for you!

A Wrinkle in Time

One of my favorite intermediate sci-fi books, “A Wrinkle in Time” by M. Engle, makes time the fourth dimension (or is it fifth?). It did sometimes seem like we were entering an alternative universe when we began to study how to tell time here in Room 24. Our kids were SO excited! They began wearing wristwatches to school, which is super-cool, and can now tell when it’s time to clean up and go home. A valuable skill for any worker [wink, wink!]. We did learn how to tell time to the five-minute mark but definitely need more practice. I’ll be sending math homework that provides practice with these concepts. So…keep practicing and thank you! Now we’re on to big adventures with place value!

A Wrinkle in Time

One of my favorite intermediate sci-fi books, “A Wrinkle in Time” by M. Engle, makes time the fourth dimension (or is it fifth?). It did sometimes seem like we were entering an alternative universe when we began to study how to tell time here in Room 24. Our kids were SO excited! They began wearing wristwatches to school, which is super-cool, and can now tell when it’s time to clean up and go home. A valuable skill for any worker [wink, wink!]. We did learn how to tell time to the five-minute mark but definitely need more practice. I’ll be sending math homework that provides practice with these concepts. So…keep practicing and thank you! Now we’re on to big adventures with place value!

State of the Classroom [part 1: aka Academics]

As we enter a new calendar year, this seems a good time to update everyone on what we’re doing and where we’re going. Academically, physically and socially we are changing and growing each day. While this progress is fun to watch, it also keeps us on our toes – requiring constant change. And change is stressful! So, I hope winter break and the Christmas holiday provide a chance for you to relax, recharge and unwind. Our darlings have let me know repeatedly that they can’t wait to have some “play time”. I hope we grownups get some too!

Honestly, I can’t wait for January! We will start studying different types of penguins, especially those that live in Antarctica. Waking up singing “Antarctica, Antarctica, in winter it’s so dark-tica!” probably says something about my level of enthusiasm – and how sneakily those lyrics slip into our heads!

During the past month we’ve made remarkable progress in reading. I’m amazed at how beautifully our kiddos read – and their enthusiasm is a testamony to your encouragement at home. When one of our readers who struggles occasionally read “nametag” by himself last week, I had to repress the urge to stand up and cheer. This level of dedication to learning is awe-inspiring. In reading we’ll continue to study long vowel patterns (e.g. oa = o as in boat) and learn some new sounds (oy) to keep us thinking. We’ll continue to learn how to retell stories and work on our fluency (rate and expression while reading).

Pull out those analog clocks for the new year as we’ll be studying how to tell time to the hour and half-hour, heady stuff for first graders who love to know what’s happening next (and when). After many moons of studying addition and subtraction, I can’t wait to talk about patterns on a clock.

Have a merry, peaceful and cookie-filled Christmas!
Ms. Hamar

What to read…?

Okay, I know…and I promise I’ll try to blog more often. Christmas shopping has been calling my name – and then there are all the knitting projects. On second thought, let’s not go there. My survival technique has been to compartmentalize and it’s so much more fun to think about how our darling first-ies are faring.

This week we’ve studied the i_e pattern (such as in the word like and nice), how the letter ce and ci_ create the /s/ sound in words (celebrity and cinderblock) and how ge and gi make the /j/ sound (gentle, giant). I was amazed at how quickly Room 24 picked up on these patterns! While we read quite a bit, I’m ready for another author study. Which begs the question…Chris Van Allsburg or Holly Hobbie. I love the Toot and Puddle books but with all the holiday excitement would the secrecy and suspense of Allsburg’s work be more appropriate? Ugh – and now you know why I haven’t been blogging! It’s just too hard to make decisions like these. We might have to study both. Any thoughts?

On a happier note, student timelines are so adorable. Tomorrow we’ll be creating Venn diagrams to illustrate the similarities and differences between our families. I can’t wait to hear those sweet darlings brag on how incredible their families are. I’m already sold – you are amazing!

Happy Reading!

Ms Hamar