Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 5

We have been working on telling time to the hour and half hour with Miss Blaser.  Please help your child reinforce the skills at home also.

Insect Invention
Our room was buzzing with everyone's imagination, creativity and excitement on Friday.  Based on what we learned about insects, we invented a new kind of insect! Please ask your child about his/her insect. You can also view an insect video on your child' s blog.

Homecoming Dress Up Days
Monday- Pajama Day
Tuesday - Jersey Day
Wednesday - Mis-match Day
Thursday - Pillar Day (1st-Yellow)
Friday - Spirit Day

Water Helper 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 4

International Dot Day
On Monday we celebrated International Dot Day!  This celebration was lead by Peter H. Reynolds, the author of a children's book called "The Dot" to celebrate children's creativity and imagination.
We started our day making a class dot on the ground. Our class also decided that we could spell SL for Spirit Lake using dots.  Thanks to our custodian, Doug Johnson for climbing to the roof to take pictures! 

We had fun making a dot art. Some of us tried pointillism using water color, markers or on iPad.  Some of us designed a dot just like Vashti did in the Dot book.

We also enjoyed making sculpture using the Dots candy and tooth picks!  Each child posted their creation on their blog. Please make sure to visit your child's blog!

(Thank you for taking time to leave comments on their blog.  The smile on their face when they read your comments is PRICELESS!!!)

I am so proud to announce... our class reached 20 minutes of stamina on read to self!!! Wow, what an accomplishment! On day 1, our stamina was less than 1 minute!  Now that we learned how to be an independent and responsible reader, I can start meeting with small groups and individuals for reading instructions and conferences. 

Scholastic Book Order
Due Date: Friday, September 27
If you wish to shop online:
Class Activation Code: GTM6M

Upcoming Events
1:45 dismissal on Wednesday, September 25

Water Helper Next Week

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 3

Building Stamina
We have been practicing one of the Daily 5 reading stations, read to self.  When we read to self, we:
  • start right away
  • stay in one place
  • read books the whole time
We are working to build stamina up to 20 minutes as a class!  It is a hard work to read 20 minutes, but we are finding a lot of interesting books and having fun learning to read.  Once we have 20 minutes of stamina, I can start meeting with small groups of children or individual students for differentiated reading instruction.  Our record this week was 15 minutes!  We are almost there.

Insect Hunt
We went on an insect hunt.  We found grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies, and moths.  After bringing them back to the room, we observed them closely and recorded our findings.  Some of us already posted our observation on the blog.  Please visit your child's blog at

Water Helper

Upcoming Events
Innisbrook Fundraiser Sep. 13 - 27 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week 2

Classroom Expectations
As we get to know each other and learn what is expected in first grade, we are establishing classroom expectations.  So far, we have come up with the following;
  • say nice things to each other
  • laugh with friends (not laugh at friends)
  • help each other
  • help myself learn better (pick a spot where I can learn better)
  • play together
I can see that our classroom will be a happy and safe place where everyone can learn!

Charles Butterfly Presentation
Charles from Dickinson County Nature Center came to teach us about Monarch Butterflies and their life cycle.  Here is what we learned:

Twitter & Kid Blog
Throughout the year, we will use Twitter and Kid Blog to share our voice and learning with the world.  In the past year, my students were able to connect with other first grade classes in other states and Canada to share our learning, collaborate and learn together.  I'm looking forward to many more learning opportunities this year.  You can read our Twitter feed on the right side.
Also, I have created an individual blog page for each students.  This is a place where your child can share their thinking and learning with you and the world real time.  Please take time to visit your child's blog and leave comments.  Your comments mean the world to them! Also, I encourage you to share the blog with your family members!  Kid Blog is a safe site for our students to be.  All posts and comments have to be pre approved by me before posted.  

Student Teacher
Hi, my name is Tiffany Blaser and I am Mrs. DeGroot's student teacher.  I go to Iowa State University (go cyclones!) and am working towards a degree Elementary Education. I grew up in Forest City, Iowa and I am getting married in May. I am very excited to be working with this first grade class for eight weeks! While student teaching, one of my goals is to become a more confident teacher.  Iowa State has taught me what it means to be an effective teacher and now I want to apply this in the classroom.  After only two weeks, I can already see my confidence growing as I gain experience and get to know these wonderful students. I am also very fortunate to begin my student teaching in the fall, because I am able to see an experienced teacher like Mrs. DeGroot set up classroom routines and classroom management. I am looking forward to the next weeks ahead and am so thankful for the opportunity to teach these students! 

Upcoming Events
Monday, September 9 --- DIBELS reading test 
(I will have a substitute teacher here since I will be administering the test.)
Wednesday, September 11 --- Early Dismissal @1:45

Water Helper Next Week (9/9)