Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 5

 Things are in full swings in our classroom! The students are leading our morning meetings. We know our tasks during math and Daily 5 rotations. We have started a plant unit in science. We also celebrated Johnny Appleseeds' birthday by learning about him and a life cycle of apples. Please ask your child how old he would be today if he was alive! October will be filled with more exciting learning opportunities.

Insect Invention
Did you enjoy a little critter that came home with your child? We had a blast using our imagination creating a new kind of insect.

O.R.E.O. Project
We participated in a global project called O.R.E.O. Project along with 150 (or more!) classes in the United States and Canada. What did we have to do? Well, we stacked the OREO cookies! Our class average was 18!! We shared our suggestions for stacking, guessed other class's average, and found out other classes' results on Twitter. One fourth grade class's average was 28!! 

Sight Words Program
In first grade we are working hard on our reading skills. Along with our reading we need to work on sight words or high frequency words. These are words that cannot be sounded out phonetically; but rather must be recognized at first sight. Research shows that 60-75% of words in children’s literature are these sight words or high frequency words. In order for your child to recognize these words automatically, they must practice them at home as well as at school. 
So...I am beginning a program for sight words. Once a week (Tuesday) I will have your child read the sight words on his/her list. I will move your child to the next level when he/she has mastered that level (within 45 seconds & with 96% or better accuracy = 1 or no mistake). Please find the first list of words in your child's Friday folder.
There are nine levels of words.  I have linked all the words under "sight words" on the right. I also posted some ideas for fun activities that you can do at home.
I realize this will take a few minutes of time every evening, but the effects will be phenomenal! Also, do not forget to read to your child and have them read to you regularly. This program will help them to develop a love for reading as they become more successful. Thank you for your cooperation!

Please visit your child's blog!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Week 4

Happy Homecoming Week! We had a busy week celebrating school spirit. Go Indians!


or click here to view the slideshow 

Fishing Trip
A huge thanks to DNR & Dickinson County Nature Center for a great fishing trip!

or click here to view the slideshow

Insect Research
We have learned so much about insects. We chose one insect that we wanted to study, and each group worked together to gather information from a book and website. We also created a slide show to share the information with the classmates. Here are our findings.

Ants by Nolan & Kierstin
Ladybugs by Indy & Lauren

Dragonflies by Wes & Jaedyn
Fireflies by Evelyn, Mackenzie & Hayden
Praying Mantises by Solomon, Isaiah, Lucan & Alex
Butterflies by Luke, Racheal, Karlie & Carter

Meet our Student Teacher
My name is Lindsey Scherff and I am a college student from The University of Northern Iowa currently student teaching with Mrs. DeGroot through the second week in October. I have already been thoroughly enjoying my time in her first grade class, the students are awesome! In order for you to get to know me, here is a little bit of background information. I am originally from Fort Dodge, and I come from a family of three sisters. I love the Iowa Hawkeyes, I chose the career path of education because it has been something I have always wanted to do all my life. I have a strong passion for kids, and so once I started pursing my degree in education at UNI I knew I was entering the right profession. After I am finished student teaching with Mrs. DeGroot, I will be moving down the hallway in the school to a third/fourth grade Special Education room for eight more weeks to complete my Special Education endorsement. After I am finished student teaching in December I will begin searching for jobs or substituting. I have no preference of where I would like to teach, except I know I will stay in Iowa to be close to my family. As I mentioned before, I am loving this group of first graders already and I cannot wait to see all of them and myself grow over the next few weeks!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Week 3

  • We met "Zero the Hero" on the 10th day of school.
  • We graphed 10 m&m's and interpreted the data we collected.
  • We played a mystery number game with Mr. Ross's first grade class in Webster City, IA on Google Hangout.
  • We learned about symmetry. 
  • We reviewed 2D shapes, triangle & rectangle.

Language Arts

  • We reached 20 minutes of Stamina!! WOW! 
  • We started small group reading during Daily 5 (Read to Self, Listen to Reading & Word Work)
  • We wrote short stories.
  • We created the life cycle of butterfly.
  • We painted a symmetrical butterfly.
  • We observed a butterfly coming out of a chrysalis in our classroom!
Dan Wardel Presentation
We had a blast!! He is always very entertaining:) 
or click here to view the slideshow

International Dot Day
This celebration is being led by Peter H. Reynolds, the author of a children's book called "The Dot" to celebrate children's creativity and imagination. Our class discussed bravery, confidence and also encouraging others.
We enjoyed designing our own dot then using colAR Mix app to watch our dod pop up!

We tried pointillism art.

We also made a Dots candy creation!

I have created an individual blog page for each student. This is a place where your child can share their leaning with you and the world. Please take time to visit your child's blog and leave a comment. Your comments mean the world to them! I also encourage you to share the blog with your family members. Kidblog is a safe site. All posts and comments have to be prescreened and approved by me before going on the web.

(Insect Hunt post has a video clip. You can double click the image to play if it does not show a play icon.)

Upcoming Events
Monday, September 15 --- NO SCHOOL (Professional Development Day)
Tuesday, September 16 --- Fishing trip to Fish Hatchery (9:45-10:45) 
**If you wish to join your child, please meet us at Fish Hatchery! 
Hat Day (Homecoming Celebration)
Wednesday, September 17 --- Jersey Day
Thursday, September 18 --- Pajama Day
Friday, September 19 -- Red & Black Day/ Homecoming Parade @2:30

Friday, September 5, 2014

Week 2

This week was a short week but filled with learning!


  • calendar routine
  • counting sets of objects
  • learning new math games
  • story problems
Language Arts
  • building stamina on "read to self" (independent reading)
  • writing a short story
  • Word Journeys (word family spelling program)
  • listening to stories
  • Monarch butterfly life cycle
  • insect characteristics
  • insect hunt

or click here to view the photos

We have a class Twitter account. We share our learning, experiences, questions and wonders. By Tweeting to the world, we connect with other first grade classes around the world. This week we received some encouragements. Check them out!!

Then, we received this...

All students were so proud to read this message from Colorado! What a great motivation for us to keep reading! If you have a Twitter account, follow @mrsdegrootclass or you can see our Twitter feed on the right.