Happy Holidays from our family to yours!!
On Wednesday we had a Polar Express day filled with crafts, PJs, read alouds, a movie, and hot chocolate!! What a great way to end 2011.

We started the day with making candy trains.  We were given a plate of candy and we could assemble our train anyway we wanted.  We have some great imaginations in this classroom!
After we made our candy trains we wrote a "how to" on how we could make a candy train at home.  This is something new that we have never learned before so it was a little tricky at first.  We will learn about "how tos" later in first grade! We completed a Polar Express graph, worked on a Polar Express word search, and even had a mystery reader that brought us candy canes! We had so much fun today.

Once our mystery reader left it was time to watch the Polar Express. We were so excited! While we watched the movie we enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies! YUM!
A big thank you to our wonderful room moms who put on our December learning experience.  The children had a blast! They got to decorate a cookie (AND eat it!), play winter Bingo, and create a fun magnet picture frame to take home.  Thank you to everyone who was able to help out with the donations as well. We couldn't have done it without you.
During Reading this week we ended our unit on Characters and Setting.  We practiced identfiying the characters, describing their action and character traits, through read alouds.  To help us understand character traits we created a poster that shows our own character traits. 
We also placed our own picture in the setting of our choice.  We had some people visit Lego Land, others went to the beach, and some even went shopping at the mall! 

This week we listend to Olive the Other Reindeer. This is a story about a dog who thinks she is a real reindeer.  She has some good character traits that help her be the best reindeer that she can be, even though she is just a dog! We filled out a reindeer job application.  We talked about what would make us a good reindeer.  We have some fast runners, good listeners, and great leaders in our classroom!

In math, we learned about a dime.  We are experts at counting by tens so dimes came really easy for us! Ask us to sing you the new dime song we learned.  The children worked in teams to count a large number of objects.  At first they were counting their objects by ones.  They soon realized it would be much easier if they put their objects in groups.  Some groups counted by 5s and some counted by 10s.
We ended the week by taking our math pretest for Unit 5.  We also finished our social studies unit on maps.  The landform dinosaur helped us see the difference between mountains, hills, valleys, and plains!
This week in reading we began talking about characters.  The children worked really hard to describe the characters in their stories.  At first we wanted to describe what they looked like. (what they were wearing, what color hair they had) We learned that there are other ways to describe a character; like action and character traits.  A action is something a character does, and a character trait is how we could describe the character on the inside. 
During calendar we have been working a lot on our number sense.  We have a number every morning that we try to show in different ways.  A number can be shown with an equation, money, picture, or even just the number word.  We cut up an apple to show all the different ways of a two digit number.  This was a great way for us to see how many different ways we can show just one number! Its the same number, no matter how you slice the apple.
In math we learned a really fun game called Yahtzee.  Its not the Yahtzee you are probably thinking of, its called First Grade Yahtzee! Its a great game to practice our addition and subtraction skills.  All you need is a paper numbered 2 - 12 in a column and two die.  Have your first grader teach you how to play! We are such experts at the game that we went over to Mrs. Stewart's class to teach them how to play.  Boy, did we have fun!
In reading this week we learned about setting.  Many of us already had schema about what a setting is.  We tried really hard to  not use the words "outside" or "inside" for telling where a story took place.  A story can take place pretty much anywhere! Did you know that a setting is WHERE and WHEN a story takes place? 

In writing we worked on adding an ending to our stories.   We learned that sharing a feeling is a great way to end a story.  We worked with partners adding endings to stories that were on our "all done" side of our writing folder.
This week we had a hunk and chunk review.  We completed a hunk and chunk sort, found chunks in books, and even wrote sentences to see how many hunk and chunks we could use.  Some of the sentences were very funny and creative!
Our latest math unit has really challenged our thinking about numbers. This week we practiced differentiating between equations with tens and equations with leftovers. Using ten sticks and ones we can solve equations such as 7 + 3, 70 + 30, and 70 + 3! We can also add ten to just about any 2 digit number. Our math schema is definitely growing!

We started a mapping unit in Social Studies to see where our clothes came from. By sticking shirts, pants, and shoe stickers on a world map we could see that most of our clothes came from Asia or Central America.
Have a great week!
Mrs. Donohue
During the week of Thanksgiving we made Stone Soup in our classroom.  The children loved hearing the story and creating our very own soup.  The soup was a hit and many students had seconds!
We created a family recipe book.  The children did a great job organizing the recipes into the four different categories: bread, soup, noodle, and pasta.  We even created a table of contents to help us find recipes in the future.  Has anyone tried any of the recipes?  They looked delicious!
We used a turkey graphic organizer to compare and contrast how our families celebrate holidays at their home. We enjoyed learning about other families' holiday traditions.
Thank you to everyone that was able to come out and see our Thanksgiving play, Thanksgiving at Ned's House.  For those of you who were not able to make it, please watch the play below.  This video is unlisted, only those with the link can view it.  Please feel free to share with family and friends. Thanksgiving at Ned's House