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Article posted June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 12360

Article posted June 6, 2014 at 11:01 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 12360



Article posted June 5, 2014 at 12:01 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 214





Article posted June 5, 2014 at 12:01 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 214



Article posted June 4, 2014 at 01:14 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 359

How to Make a Virtual Safari Guide from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted June 4, 2014 at 01:14 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 359



Article posted June 3, 2014 at 01:24 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 202

Article posted June 3, 2014 at 01:24 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 202



Article posted June 1, 2014 at 07:56 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 214

Article posted June 1, 2014 at 07:56 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 214



Article posted May 21, 2014 at 06:04 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 445

Curled up on a pillow, laying on your belly, rocking away in the birthday chair. There are so many comfy positions to read in. There are few things I adore more in the classroom than the hum of happy, invested readers. Some days the girls are more inclined to read in their head and other days their books include dialogue that calls them to practice their expression. Poetry books that call us to song and fact books that enthrall us so much we have to read it aloud to believe it. The class continues to use post-it notes as one of their several strategies to check in for understanding. Reading is not just decoding but comprehending and relating the content to your life as well as other reading material. The habits of a reader are becoming more deeply embedded in each girl's daily life. They are tackling a variety of genres and knee-deep in animal research as our rigorous programming chugs on right to the very last moment together.





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Article posted May 21, 2014 at 06:04 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 445



Article posted May 13, 2014 at 05:18 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 298

There have been reports of a small herd of African forest elephants found in the Wissahickon woods. They are being referred to as the 1M herd. They were spotted getting a drink at the stream and traveling down the trail! Be on the lookout!





Article posted May 13, 2014 at 05:18 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 298



Article posted May 12, 2014 at 08:52 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 219

We combined our love of art and writing to honor our mothers.



Mother's Day 2014 from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted May 12, 2014 at 08:52 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 219



Article posted May 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 349

Though there has certainly still been a chill in the air, spring has definitely sprung. The majority of the year is behind us. In fact, I believe we only have twenty more days together in 1M. I admit, usually someone tells me but this year I counted. But only because someone asked. ☺

Each spring a strange occurrence takes over classrooms. You will hear teachers all over the nation say, “Haven’t we gone over this ‘a million’ times before?” The spring is a strange time. I always feel as if we are suddenly on warp speed. The days seem to pass by faster and faster. Things are coming to an end and although six and seven year olds’ sense of time still has a lot of growth to be had (any family with a vacation in the future knows this: Are we leaving yet? Are we leaving yet?), their keen senses have picked up on these transitions in their future. Some girls have already been anticipating change for weeks. At the end of this letter I have included some snippets of a blog entry by author and educator Chip Wood. Teachers everywhere shout out, ”Yes! That is what is happening,” after reading his words on many topics, especially this subject.

Mr. Woods articulates what is fairly typical and developmentally appropriate at this time of year. I have been working hard to keep the class in the moment and not get ahead of ourselves - thinking too much about second grade or even summer plans. Discussions around placement also activate anxiety about the change ahead. I often hear many questions, “Will my friends be there?” “Who will my teacher be?” “Will the rules be the same?” “Will I have as much fun?” and on and on. September is very, very far away and it is such a long time for your daughter to be worrying about what will happen. Sometimes even the thought of fun summer plans can cause the anxiety to creep up. Although it seems like tons of summer fun, many of the same questions apply. Although some days it seems that the class cannot remember some of our simple daily routines, the truth is that they know. They know what to expect, they know the rules, they know their teachers, they know where they are going each day, and they know their friends. It is hard for them to realize that you are not going to know. I often compare starting a new grade to an adult starting a new job. Well, your daughter knows there is a “career change” ahead and it may make her nervous. Let’s not let your daughters dwell on it too much. This is a time for reassurance and focus on the day ahead.



It is also a time to focus on doing our best and getting back to the basics that make the class productive and joyful. However much I have this spring disequilibrium in my consciousness, it somehow even takes me by surprise each year. It kind of feels like a train derailing for a moment and then you realize, “Aha, time to get this back on track. Time to let these girls know that expectations are the same and for at least these next twenty days they will be experiencing the comfort of their familiar classroom.”

And, that is where we are. Twenty days together that I plan to be productive, enlightening, joyful and busy. There are so many exciting events to look forward to: Grandparents and Special Friends Day, an African Market, End of Year First Grade Party, and being an audience for the 4th grade move up day. You can always direct your daughter to think of these exciting activities if she is focusing too much on the summer or next school year.

If your daughter is asking questions or having anxiety about the changes ahead or you are wondering if she is, please feel free to speak with me. I am happy to help answer any questions and ease her worry.



A bit from Chip:



Spring transitions call for more structure, not less

As highlighted in my last blog entry, it’s that time of year when there’s more to do then there is time to do it. No one feels the anxiety of this more than the children in our classrooms, and the children who feel it most intensely are those facing the greatest challenges. Whether we are a parent of one of these most needy kids or one of their teachers, we’ll begin to see what I call “summer anxiety” bloom earlier in spring in them than in the other children. As when we see a crocus emerging from the snow or the first daffodil, we’re often surprised to see the behavior of our early harbingers of things to come. Perhaps from a rough start at the beginning of the school year, this child has made significant progress academically and socially, thanks to the combined efforts of teachers, staff, and parents working and communicating together around puzzling academic struggles and the ups and downs of friendship patterns. The child has shown courage in reaching out to a new student who has come into the class and finally seems to have a close classmate.




But not long after spring break, many of these gains, on the surface, seem to disappear. Old patterns of work refusal and anger on the playground surface. When the new friend plays with other classmates, the child refuses to come in from recess.

This is a signal, a red flag if you will. With the keen adaptive sensitivity that so many of our neediest children possess, the child who has benefited so remarkably from the clear structures, supports, and predictability of classroom routines and practices has sensed that the structures are disappearing. Things are beginning to feel different. There’s too much going on. Essentially, the message is that in the last weeks of the school year we need more structure, not less. This is the time to tighten up so that we do not lose all that we’ve gained. We need to make sure we can take time during these final weeks to cherish each of the children we’re about to pass on. So, paradoxically, we must go back to beginnings, help children remember all the basic rules of our classroom, of kindness, of academic rigor, of how to be good school citizens in the halls, on the playground, in the cafeteria

Article posted May 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 349



Article posted May 2, 2014 at 09:55 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 357

We've spent a significant amount of time in math workshop talking about fractions. We use manipulatives such as fraction bars, pattern blocks, cuisenaire rods and counters to support our thinking. We also use songs to remind us about basic fraction skills. Here are a few of our favorites!











Article posted May 2, 2014 at 09:55 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 357



Article posted April 29, 2014 at 06:03 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 684

1M has spent a great deal of time reading this year but with spring fever upon us we buckled down to remember how true readers grow and succeed. One of my favorite lessons about reading is about Petunia the goose. Please read a bit more below!



Article posted April 29, 2014 at 06:03 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 684



Article posted April 23, 2014 at 01:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 465

Peer conferencing is a multi-step process that helps enhance each writer's piece. In first grade we practice the routine and language of peer conferencing in an effort to build the habits that will allow us to become fabulous editors and revisers in 2nd grade and beyond. In First we stick to the main ideas of the piece and discuss how to improve the craft of the writing by giving a wish to the author. It could be a wish to add more dialogue, include details about a certain event, use more descriptive words or even add something exciting to the picture to enhance the storytelling. Below you can see the girls practicing peer conferencing as well as explaining the process.







Article posted April 23, 2014 at 01:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 465



Article posted April 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 885

We are still working to add magic to our world by doing good. Our acts of kindness board will stay up until the end of next week and we are still working to get to 100 recorded acts of kindness. I'm sure there were many acts that did not make it on a heart so we will work on remembering to capture these special moments.



Article posted April 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 885



Article posted March 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 259

Article posted March 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 259



Article posted March 11, 2014 at 05:41 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 197

Don't let the evening pass without asking your daughter about today's Spirit of Uganda performance. I can't imagine that they would not share about the lively, vibrant assembly. By all reports it was an impressive, intriguing, engaging performance.

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Article posted March 11, 2014 at 05:41 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 197



Article posted March 10, 2014 at 07:34 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 173

Today we investigated the topic of standing up for your true passions and interests.  We enjoyed the story William's Doll by Charlotte Zolotow.  It is about a little boy who wants a doll but his brother and friend tease him about it and his father keeps bringing him other things instead.  Before the book ended we had a great discussion about whether or not William should get the doll.  The girls very animatedly reported that yes, indeed, he should have a doll! They were steadfast in the fact that it did not matter that he was a boy.  It was what he wanted and he was only trying to be good to something.  









We practiced what we would say if someone teased someone we knew about something they liked or did or wanted.  The class agreed that it was not ok to keep quiet.







William's Doll was adapted into a song for the Free to be You and Me soundtrack and then turned into a musical cartoon for the special in the '70s.  We watched it on the Smartboard together.  It is a pretty fun soundtrack and special with many great jumping off points for family conversation.  I have borrowed the DVD and the CD from the public library many times.  Maybe it would be something fun to check out over Spring Break.  







Here are the songs we listened to:







Enjoy!







 














Article posted March 10, 2014 at 07:34 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 173



Article posted March 9, 2014 at 07:14 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 191

 



In January we studied about Martin Luther King, Jr. and we learned that Dr. King had a dream where everyone would be kind, helpful, and respectful of others. Last week, in the spirit of the dream I shared with the girls that for my 35th birthday a few years ago I chose to not go out and celebrate but instead I challenged myself to go into the community and perform 35 Random Acts of Kindness for others. We've recently read a story where a class reach 100 acts of kindness so the girls thought it fitting that we challenge ourselves. Between now and Spring Break we hope to reach that 100 number ourselves. We watched this video of a woman's simple act of kindness and the impact it had on a local school's students.



    Our rule is that you cannot report your own act of kindness; someone else has to report something nice that you did. At school, the girls are going to be watching one another to look for those acts of kindness. If someone helps you find your lost crayon that’s an act of kindness to report. If you fall and someone helps you up and checks to be sure you’re OK, that’s an act of kindness too.

We want to invite parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors to participate too. For example, if your child helps you fold clothes, carries out the trash without even being asked, or does an especially nice thing for you, please write a heart note and tell us about it. If you as a family recycle, do service projects in our community, or help at the food pantry, write and share that too.

We are looking for those loving things that warm your heart. Share them with us by writing on the hearts provided in the classroom or on a little heart of your own and we will get to 100 in no time!

For the curious: Here are my Birthday Random Acts of Kindness: I left the little notes that said 35 Acts of Kindness for my 35th Enjoy this Act of Kindness with people or with the things.....



Ideas:



Gas Money at Gas Pump [X]

Treats to the Firehouse[ ]

Treats to the Librarians[X]

Treats to the Police Officers[ ]

Flowers to People in a parking lot[ ]

Quarters on a vending machine at Hospital[ ]

Candy Canes on an ATM[X]

Lottery Cards on Gas Pumps[X]

Pay for someone's food behind you in drive thru line[X]

Hide dollar bills in the dollar store toy area[X]

Send Thinking of You Cards to people I know[ ]

Send Happy Cards sick kids via Hugs and Hope[X]

Leave Coupons near products in store[ ]

Mail Coupons to Military Families through Coupon Cabin[X]

Leave Crayons and coloring books for kids in the park[X]

Help a senior citizen find something in a store [X]

Coupons a the mall - Express, Kohls, etc.[ ]

Leave Operation Beautiful Notes on Bathroom Mirrors[X]

Leave happy cards on cars[X]

Feed Meter[ ]

Help put back carts[X]

Buy a supermarket Gift Card and hand it back to the Cashier[X] Food to the Food Cupboard[X]

Send Thank You card to people who have touched me in my life[ ]

Leave diapers in the mall bathroom[ ]

Smile, smile, smile - "Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." Mother Teresa [X]

Lend money to Kiva[X]

Donated books to library[X]

Coloring Books and Crayons at Hope Gardens[X]

Hold the Door for Someone[X]

Let Someone go in line in front of me[X]

Kindness to the earth - save some recyclables from the trashcan[X]

Text someone I haven't talked to in a while[X]

Thank the Mail Carrier[ ]

Leave a surprise at a friend's house[X]

Write a positive message on a blog I follow[X]

Show up at a friend's house with a treat[ ]

Leave coins at a vending machine in the hotel. [X]

Leave coins in a claw game on Turnpike Rest Stop. [X]

Donate towels to SPCA[X]

Donate soap and shampoo to shelter [X]

Leave a surprise at a friend's house for their child from their elf[ ]

Leave candy canes on the neighbor's doorknobs. [X]

Donate clothes[X]

Feed it Forward on Restaurant.com [X]

Put a Happy Note in the Netflix Envelope [X]

Leave Vitamin Waters in Locker Room at Gym [ ]

Suprise Karen with ice cream from Penn State [X]

Donate to Philabundance [X]

Give scratch off lotto tickets to the cashiers after you buy them [X]

Put tips in the tip jars [X]

Buy a gift card to 2nd Avenue thrift shop, hand it to person behind you.[X]

Leave Operation Beautiful notes on mirrors in changing rooms. [X]

Article posted March 9, 2014 at 07:14 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 191



Article posted March 3, 2014 at 01:35 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 182

Did you know that 1M is ripe with novices, apprentices, practitioners, and experts? This past week the class reviewed the meanings of these terms as we further discussed the critical nature of having a growth mindset. Each day this year it has been clear to me that this is a vital element to success in the classroom and in life. When girls internalize and actualize the approach they become more flexible, hardworking and their growth is sizeable. The growth can be in any area of their life whether it is tackling a frames and arrows challenge, increasing their automaticity of math facts, improving their curling game in the gym or problem solving social hiccups. Often our young ladies believe they should have already mastered everything and when something is hard it is viewed as impossible. This week I continued to reframe that by having them describe tasks and skills that fit into the novice, apprentice, practitioner and expert levels. The definitions are as follows: Novice – I’m just starting to learn this and I don’t really understand it yet. Apprentice – I’m starting to get it, but I still need someone to coach me through it. Practitioner – I can mostly do it myself, but I sometimes mess up or get stuck. Expert – I understand it well and I could thoroughly teach it to someone else. The key to this self-assessment is recognizing the movement between levels. You needn’t remain a novice. An expert can still make errors if they are working too fast. The morning of this conversation we read Tallulah’s Tutu by Marylin Singer. Tallulah desperately wants to earn her tutu but she is crippled with disappointment when it doesn’t come fast enough. We also took a peek at a news story about a 4 year old and her mom who make dresses out of paper. I was pretty sure Penelope was reading my lesson plans because before the lesson during free choice she and Ava crafted a skirt in the maker spot. As we looked at the dresses, we took note of how they changed and improved with practice and experience. The discussion inspired Gretel to create a tux for her beanie boo and I encouraged the girls to try and create something from paper if they had a snow day today. I did say it was ok to email me pictures so we could share them when we returned to school.





























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As your daughter ventures through the daily successes and challenges of being a First Grader, remind her of her ability to change. To grow from a novice to an expert if she believes she can and subsequently positively participates in the steps needed to improve. That was an important part of Tallulah’s learning. She believed she should have a tutu, but it takes hard work to get there. To help us see the power of accepting critique in an effort to improve we watched the story of Austin’s Butterfly, seen below.





The group found the video powerful and many meaningful comments and questions were shared in our discussion. I appreciated Penelope and Cailyn allowing us to critique their Dreamers and Problem Solvers presentations. It is not easy at any age to think about what could have been better. If you haven’t yet listened to Pam Brown’s podcast of her coffee “Academic Challenge and Social Disappointment” it is still available on the parent dashboard and very relevant to this topic. I look forward to continuing to support the girls in developing their growth mindset. We have used these terms and will continue to do so and I hope you can continue the conversation with your daughter at home. If you would like to follow the paper dress making duo on instagram just search for their handle 2sisters_angie. There are many dresses there that we did not get to evaluate during our lesson.

Article posted March 3, 2014 at 01:35 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 182



Article posted February 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 256

These are familiar words for us this winter. Snow came so many days. Sometimes it was an interupption and we are still trying to get on track with a few projects, however, it certainly put us in the spirit of the winter olympics! We took advantage of snow days by interviewing each other upon our return. We tallied and graphed information and evaluated our data. What a festive few weeks we had studying the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Our days together with our SCH sisters were truly memorable. We adored desigining and building our own sleds and then testing them at our all lower school girls sledding event.



Snow Came Today from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted February 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 256



Article posted February 16, 2014 at 08:34 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 229

There is no doubt that the ladies of 1M are a creative, inventive bunch. There are few things more popular during free choice times than the classroom Maker Spot. AKA – “Beautiful Junk.” What is created in this area is often impressive. One of our first engineers was Josie who crafted a stylish but sturdy carrier for a beloved toy. The girls often work deliberately, searching for the tidbits they need for a particular project. Other times, they rustle through the baskets waiting for a spark of inspiration. As an early childhood teacher, I have always had a “beautiful junk” space in the classroom. It is the magical work of young children to create with what is around them and to see infinite possibilities in paper, tape and string. We were thoughtful in creating a space for this type of work when a team that I was a part of designed the LS Physics and Engineering Lab. The LS has been expanding this vision in our “Maker Space” room. It is a space that is inspired by what we early childhood educators have known for decades coupled with the thriving Maker Movement. Hear more about the global movement below.








When girls build structures and sculptures from beautiful junk they are often met with a series of challenges. Things collapse, don’t stick, won’t fit together as proposed. One of our engineers recently rushed to me proud with a structure but upon lifting it from the table the insides of her structure tipped over the edge and fell to the floor. She was visibly upset. I encouraged her to go inspect her structure and see what she could do so that wouldn’t happen again. After some very intentional adjustments she brought her structure to me again. “Look!” she called while confidently turning her structure upside down. When I asked her how she could turn her structure upside down without worrying she told me, ”Well, I made it stronger. I made it more secure with different tape. I added this (a bottle cap) so the big part wouldn’t wiggle. That’s stable isn’t it?” I definitely agreed and marveled at the language she had absorbed from our conversations in the block area and Physics Lab. Each of your daughters has had a similar but unique experience while building with the found materials or blocks.



For those of you who haven’t discovered our class Maker Spot, it currently lives in the rear of the classroom. We welcome help keeping it stocked with fun, interesting items – paper towel rolls, packaging, tops from laundry soap, stationary, unused Dixie cups, cotton from medicine bottles, stickers, beads from broken necklaces, sparkly gift boxes, pieces of wrapping paper, fabric, ribbon and the like are always in demand. “So,” you may be wondering, “What do I do with the results of all of this fabulous creativity, persistence, and independence?” I will give you seasoned teacher and mother Kristin Trueblood’s well-tested parenting secret regarding junk sculptures. As her two daughters brought item upon item home in lower school she would admire them and leave them on the kitchen table for a few days. Then she would move them to the top of the washing machine. If no one mentioned the out of sight structure again, into the trashcan/recycling bin it slipped. As with the majority of the early learning curriculum, the point is the learning process that comes with creating rather than the object itself.



Speaking of process and creating, it is not uncommon for me to eventually spot a few girls stockpiling items from the MakerSpot in their backpack. The intent is not for them to bring home an untouched waffle box. I’ve spoken to the girls about utilizing the materials in school and bringing home their finished sculpture, project or invention to share with you so feel free to follow up if you find any materials coming home untouched. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!! They are well on their way to being as innovative as the girls in the below commercial. We love watching this in 1M!!!



Article posted February 16, 2014 at 08:34 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 229



Article posted February 11, 2014 at 08:25 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 429

All I can say is WOW! These 1M girls are bleeding the red, white and blue as they closely follow and cheer for Team USA!



The Olympics weaves into our study of "Dreamers and Problem Solvers" so seamlessly. I couldn't ask for more! Each day we are taking some time to take a closer look at one or more Olympians. We listen to their stories, told in their own word and in many cases the words of their mothers. A majority of our mini-documentaries are compliments of the Raising an Olympian series, part of the P&G Thank You, Mom series. Don't you adore those commercials?! As we hear the stories of each athlete we pull out the non-cognitive skills they demonstrated to be worthy of our "Dreamer and Problem Solver" status.



The girls impress me with their insights and comments. They thought Julie Chu showed such courage to try hockey when there were no girls teams to join. "She tried what she wanted to try and kept going because she loved it." I adored how they picked up the theme of honesty and importance of thinking about the community. "She told the truth to her coach. She wanted the team to win. She couldn't lie about being hurt. An injury is serious." They saw themselves in Julie. "My eyes got watery because she reminded her mom of what her mom had taught her about being a good person. I do that. I do that for my mom."



We of course had to learn more about one of the first Team USA gold medalists, Jamie Anderson. We were so excited for her! The girls were impressed that she won the gold in a new Olympic Event. "She worked hard to get there." "She made it in the one round but then they threw it out. Because of the weather." "She cares about others. She took a time out to help kids. That takes commitment to your neighborhood."



I wish I had been able to capture every single part of these conversations.  They are poignant, touching and relevant to the girls' everyday lives.  Thinking about persistence, resilience, work habits, honesty, cooperation, collaboration, focus, control, changing perspective, responsibility and a host of other skills is critical to the girls' path to success.  Continue the conversations with your daughter at home.... And of course....thank you to all the moms and dads who are helping 1M girls learn the value of persevering after they fall!

Article posted February 11, 2014 at 08:25 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 429



Article posted February 11, 2014 at 06:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 194

We have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and yes.....waiting for our Publishing Party. Snow, ice, delays, illness it kept postponing our celebration. Finally we decided that Thursday it was now or never. We had to have it. We were authors trembling with excitement to share our prose, poetry and humor. We held a microphone to highlight the importance of this sharing moment. We placed our spotlight (read Smartboard projection) on each proud writer. For a few of us it was an exercise in courage. To read aloud a piece in front of a large group was not on the bucket list of some 1Mers. Others found it glorious. We learned many lessons: longer does not always mean more powerful, neatness does count when you must reread in front of the group, it can be hard to hold the attention of 14 6 and 7 year olds. What was most important was that this was about celebrating. We each sat attentively and waited for each author to share. The girls shared why they chose their piece. The reasons varied from believing it was their best work, most impressive illustration, longest piece, reminded them of special moments to the simple but mighty reason - "It makes me happy." We gleefully raised our juice glasses to each writer in a lively celebration of our friends. The girls were thrilled to have a special popcorn snack and time to celebrate writing. We cannot wait until our next Publishing Party! Please, snow and ice, let it be sooner rather than later!



Publishing Party Feb from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted February 11, 2014 at 06:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 194



Article posted February 9, 2014 at 03:26 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 206

Your daughters have probably mentioned that we have been focusing on “Dreamers and Problem Solvers” for the past few weeks. We began in January after reflecting upon our fall semester and articulating our hopes for 2014. We toasted our class with well wishes and began to think about how to make those wishes come to life. As with most units, we began by reading an awesome book. This book, however, is so awesome that it is titled “An Awesome Book!” The theme of this whimsical picture book is big ideas. The author urges us to think big and find the grit and courage within us to be unique and innovative. It is a lovely gift for a person of any age! You can listen to a reading of the book with your daughter below.





I also enjoyed sharing the author’s story with the girls. He had a big idea but no one wanted to help him! He thought his idea was worth dreaming and creating so he moved forward on his own and in the end found success while maintaining his values.





He is a generous author who has published all of his books online so anyone who can’t afford a printed book can enjoy his stories. You can look at all of his books on the website www.veryawesomeworld.com. These past few weeks, we continued on, learning about many who have taken action, bringing their dreams and big ideas to life. Martin Luther King Jr., Garret Morgan, Nelson Mandela, Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks included. We also hear stories about SCH students who have brought their ideas to their community through the SCH Venture Incubator and already have a 1M girl working on a proposal to submit to the Incubator. Problem solving is all around us. So are big ideas and amazing people who strive to pursue their dreams. Each 1M girl has chosen a person who has demonstrated the traits of a dreamer and problem solver. They range in gender, age, race and time period but there are common threads that join them – grit, determination, innovation and perseverance. As we continue to evaluate people of historical influence and fictional characters for their problem-solving prowess, we will reflect on our own abilities. Where can we demonstrate more grit and where can we draw upon our leadership skills and be a role model for others? How can we change our behavior to create and wonder rather than feel defeated and frustrated? When have we changed our mindset about ourselves and our abilities in order to succeed? Who has supported her peers in their endeavors and big ideas? What do we do when we feel as if we have failed? Is that the end?



I’m excited for us to continue discussing these themes with the girls for the next few weeks and carry it through in our SEL conversations to the end of the year. As you can see, “Dreamers and Problem Solvers” is more than a biography unit. Though we will enrich our academic selves with research strategies, mathematical timelines, reading for purpose and presentation experience, the undercurrent of non-cognitive skills a powerful presence that I hope bolsters the girls’ sense of self and view of their world. We continue to strengthen their understanding that they have an influence on their communities. These communities include their family, classroom, school, neighborhood and larger world. I shared the below video with them this week to remind them of the power that one child who demonstrates leadership can have on his or her surroundings. I look forward to hearing the girls’ insights in their presentations at the end of the month. I most look forward to them telling their own stories as they march through the halls of SCH.

Article posted February 9, 2014 at 03:26 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 206



Article posted January 29, 2014 at 05:10 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 222

Article posted January 29, 2014 at 05:10 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 222



Article posted January 29, 2014 at 10:12 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 182

As we develop our number sense in a variety of ways, we explore a number of large overarching topics. Recently we began thinking about probability. What is most, least and equally likely to happen? Vocabulary such as unlikely, possibly, probable, chance and impossible immediately began to creep into our vocabulary and have frequently been referenced in coversations outside of math workshop.  Clearly, it is engaging to play probability games, or in Caitlin's words "so cool!"

Article posted January 29, 2014 at 10:12 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 182



Article posted January 16, 2014 at 10:11 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 179

By placing our animal cards in order from most to least we had to pay attention to several details. We needed to recognize our numbers, compare the values, continue to adjust our animal cards as we evaluated if each was more or less than the previous choice and pay attention to whether we were using the correct side of the card! One side specifies inches and one pounds. On this day we were focused on pounds. We then recorded everything in our Math Journal.  A few of us learned that errors can mean a lot of hard work needs to be done to correct our mistakes.  We tried to focus on the fact that it may feel difficult but that doesn't mean it is impossible.  It is important for the girls to realize that mistakes occur and it is important evidence of an attempt.  Our job is to then meet the challenge of problem solving strategies improve our approach.  



math ordering animals from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted January 16, 2014 at 10:11 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 179



Article posted January 14, 2014 at 07:55 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 181

Reading to a partner is a critical element of our First Grade reading program. You may remember the days of “round robin” reading from your childhood where each child read aloud a portion of a text while the rest listened. Think of how little time those children actually spend practicing reading fluently versus how much time they are purely following along, if that! When we are not reading independently you will find 1M girls curled up on pillows or cozying up at a table with a partner by their side. They try to sit close to one another, which we call EEKK. It stands for elbow to elbow, knee to knee. This way, each person can see the pictures and words in the book as one person expressively reads and the other listens. Up until now we have primarily read using an I read – you read method. There are many strategies for us to utilize this year: whisper reading, echo reading, choral reading, expressive reading, and rehearsal reading. We will have some experience with most of these by the last day of First Grade. As girls work with their reading partner of the day they must form a partnership. They learn to manage their time, voice levels and bodies to create a positive, powerful, productive reading interaction.

The girls adore reading to someone. Who wouldn’t want their dear friend’s full attention? Experts in reading agree that this is a powerful engaging methodology to improve reading skills at many age levels. "Reading with someone helps readers, especially developing readers, become more self-sufficient and less reliant on the teacher for assistance. Research shows that taking turns while reading increases reading involvement, attention, and collaboration." (The Daily 5™ p. 60) One of my favorite elements of the read to partner activities is when the girls begin firming up their coaching skills. They begin to utilize strategies they have learned during our individual conferences and mini-lessons to support their friends in tackling a difficult word. As the year continues we will build our partnerships to increase discussions and recommendations around books to add to our already strong reading community. Enjoy these videos of girls partner reading during readers’ workshop and choral reading during free choice time.





Article posted January 14, 2014 at 07:55 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 181



Article posted January 11, 2014 at 01:44 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 196

There are many strategies for reinforcing for math skills that we utilize throughout each week. One of our favorites is a loop game called "I have...Who has..." The brilliance of this activity is that we are practicing both skill knowledge and studentship skills. Listening, participation, following the rules of the game and patience are all important skills when playing "I have...Who Has..." When playing the game, ach girl has a card that contains two bits of info. The info is typically represented in two formats. The version we recently played focuses on time so the cards contain an analog clock and a time written in digital format. We strive to increase our speed by repeating the game several times with the same card. We time ourselves and need to work as a team to make our best time. Calling out someone else's answer or expressing displeasure with delays by other students add a 5 second penalty to our time. We are looking forward to many more versions of "I have...Who has..."









Article posted January 11, 2014 at 01:44 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 196



Article posted January 9, 2014 at 07:40 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 234

In 1M we regularly discuss how our actions impact our classroom, school and neighborhood communities. We focus on the positive impacts we can have and visualize the outcomes that would come from everyone engaging in helpful behavior.





Article posted January 9, 2014 at 07:40 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 234



Article posted January 7, 2014 at 06:43 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 253

Six and seven year olds are often very hard on themselves. This can sometimes be frustrating and perplexing for the adults in their lives. I have found that the girls that often worry about making a "mistake" or those that deflate and unravel when they make a "mistake" have a few things in common. Often, they are great observers. They notice what is in the world around them. They take in the form, function and beauty of their surroundings. Often, they have great ideas. Sometimes they struggle with combining their keen observations, their amazing ideas and their still emerging skills. It can be extremely frustrating when you have a grand imagination and do not yet have the fine motor skills and experience to illustrate your visions. It can be grueling when you have a never-ending story to tell and are doing the hard work of letter-sound correspondence and applying spelling patterns. It can feel defeating when you plan a block building or beautiful junk sculpture and it keeps crumbling to pieces. In 1M we live the SCH mission statement by meeting challenges rather than having the teacher fix them for us. The examples above are academic challenges and we work hard to build independence and persistence in this area. We strive to build up the grit required to keep going, even when something is not working out as we planned. It is then that I witness deep, connected learning and before my eyes see the girls building character. During the challenges and struggles is when we become most creative and I see the beaming proud smiles that radiate from within. Obviously circumstances that require us to meet challenge emerge repeatedly in our day to day life in the classroom. I also plan books and stories that engage us in related conversation during our meeting times. It is then that we can work on the language and strategies that will serve us well when we are in the thick of the emotions that accompany challenge. One of my favorites is "Beautiful Oops." It is a great one to look for in your local library. Check out this fun introduction to it below and let's not forget to encourage our girls to find beauty and opportunity in their mistakes and failures!





Article posted January 7, 2014 at 06:43 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 253



Article posted January 5, 2014 at 03:37 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 188

Article posted January 5, 2014 at 03:37 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 188



Article posted December 15, 2013 at 10:08 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 165

Article posted December 15, 2013 at 10:08 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 165



Article posted December 5, 2013 at 09:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 211

Already a fan of card games, 1M applied what they knew about the game Top It with what they had just learned about domino addition to enjoy the new Game "Domino Top It!"



Has a 1M girl taught you how to play?!?



Article posted December 5, 2013 at 09:33 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 211



Article posted December 4, 2013 at 06:56 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 219

Since the first day of school we have worked on developing a sense of ourselves in the role of author and illustrator. We closley pay attention to the craft of our favorite authors and illustrators as we enjoy picture books and read alouds. The girls are now starting to echo my familiar words as we encounter a craft element. "We could use that idea when we are writing or illustrating."



Here is just a tiny bit of our Writer's Workshop:



Article posted December 4, 2013 at 06:56 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 219



Article posted December 2, 2013 at 09:43 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 230

Don't miss us this Friday December 6th!!!



Article posted December 2, 2013 at 09:43 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 230



Article posted November 13, 2013 at 09:00 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 202

Article posted November 13, 2013 at 09:00 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 202



Article posted November 13, 2013 at 09:26 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 193

Sharing Writing in a variety of manners is lower school goal this year.  We were proud to be one of the first to share our writing experiment with the lower school.



 

Article posted November 13, 2013 at 09:26 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 193



Article posted November 9, 2013 at 08:49 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 193



If you ever peek into the LS Girls Physics and Engineering Lab it is evident that students thrive in the environment. 



Recently First Grade met during our flex period in the Physics and Engineering Lab.  In planning with Carie Szalay we knew that that the girls would need some investigation periods in the space before their focused design technology project.  To the untrained eye this is often observed as play.  Educator David Hawkins described it as "Messing About," pulling the phrase from the beloved children's story "The Wind in the Willows." 



"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing-absolutely nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing," he went on dreamily, "messing-about-in-boats-messing-" Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows



 Messing about is a piece of a total mindset in early childhood education.  While the teacher is not leading the investigation she is still present, in a subtle manner.  Hawkins viewed early learning in phases including this messing about phase working in combination with a differentiated work period and a discussion of ideas phase.  These phases were not necessarily always observed in that particular order.  Our observations of work in the Physics and Engineering Lab mirror Hawkin’s.  Every 1M girl has experienced the Lab whether in prior years via our rich curriculum or in a recent admissions experience.   Whatever the experience, each girl benefits from revisiting this exploratory time again and again.  This critical time devoted to choice in learning leads to new and deeper discoveries regarding the possibilities that the space offers.  We are looking forward to many more Aha moments in the Lab!





























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Article posted November 9, 2013 at 08:49 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 193



Article posted October 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 226

We have been talking a lot about money in Math Workshop lately. Identifying coins, counting coins, adding and comparing amounts and more. This week I will send home a packet of materials to maintain and extend our money counting skills.



The concept of money, however, is so much larger than adding change together. Here are some resources to support your conversations regarding earning, saving, spending, donating, entrepreneurship and responsible money management for children:



There are a few "piggy banks" you can buy that visually support your child's understanding of dividing money between saving, spending, donating and even investing. The Money Savvy Pig and The Moon Jar are two available commercial products. You could also create your own money system with items in your home as this family did.



The National Geographic Kids Website has a series of music videos regarding these themes. The Cha-Ching Kids sing about saving, entrepreneurs, earning and where money comes from.



This Wall Street Journal article shares some online and app options for families.



You can prompt conversations about money using fiction and non-fiction children's books.





In the classroom we enjoy listening to some of these fun songs as Brain Breaks.











Article posted October 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 226



Article posted October 20, 2013 at 03:23 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 201

Observations from the caterpillars we fostered, scientific videos, non-fiction books were coupled with brilliant imaginations to create an epic butterfly adventure that the 1M girls performed this past week.







We also enjoyed performing several songs with 1Mc



Article posted October 20, 2013 at 03:23 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 201



Article posted October 17, 2013 at 08:57 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 234

Through the organization Monarch Watch we are participating in a program with schools across North America and Mexico. Each girl created a small life-sized monarch using sharpie, cray-pas and glitter watercolor. In addition, they decorated a large butterfly with items that were important to them. Horses, flowers, friends and rainbow hearts were among some inclusions though American flags and TV seemed to top the list! This large butterfly is now virutally migrating all the way to Mexico where we hope the real life Monarchs we fostered are wintering. In the spring we will receive another classroom's life-sized monarchs! The girls are excited to participate in this global partnership as they continue to become butterfly experts.



Virtual Migration from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted October 17, 2013 at 08:57 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 234



Article posted October 16, 2013 at 06:07 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 188

An important part of our math program is the work of being partners. We have spent a good amount of time recently working with our work partners. This means have increased our patience, negotiating skills, cooperation, discovery and fun! Some familiar tasks suddenly change when you are working with a partner. They can become silly, joyful, engaging but also challenging, cryptic and even a little messy. Working together means communicating, agreeing on the goal, negotiating how the goal will be reached and maintaining your attention to your partner and the task at hand. When there is a bump in the road we must focus on how to make the problem smaller rather than larger or our task will never reach completion. No life is without complications so it is wonderful that the girls have the safe space of their classrooms to experiment with strategies that build these skills. Asking about how your daughter's partnership is going is a fabulous way to find out more about her learning and approach to problem solving. If she feels as if it is going well ask her why it is going well. Ask her how she can continue to demonstrate and grow those skills. If she has experienced some bumps it is the perfect opportunity to support her increasing her reslilience. Guide her in how to solve the dilemma if it arises again. She can practice using certain words and phrases with you so they are familiar and ready when the time comes!



Math Partners from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted October 16, 2013 at 06:07 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 188



Article posted October 4, 2013 at 05:30 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 186

We adored showing our guests as many items as we could on the list we compiled yesterday.

First Friday is about ownership of learning so the 1M girls create the agenda for the morning. Thanks to Ms. Sanchez for allowing us to be a little tardy this morning. Hopefully one First Friday everyone can visit her classroom for a few minutes! Thanks to First Grader guest photographer Ava Detweiler for taking over the camera and capturing many moments.



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Article posted October 4, 2013 at 05:30 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 186



Article posted October 4, 2013 at 05:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 174

First Grade has been learning about bees in science. We buzzed on up to Dr. Wang's classroom for a guest speaker. We learned even more about honeybees, how they produce honey and how they differ from bumblebees. We were able to look closely at a hive, try on some official beekeeper's gear and taste honey that was made from local bees!



Bee Keeper from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted October 4, 2013 at 05:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 174



Article posted September 27, 2013 at 08:06 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 174

Article posted September 27, 2013 at 08:06 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 174



Article posted September 27, 2013 at 08:04 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 194

Ask your daughter how we know if our monarchs are male or female.



Article posted September 27, 2013 at 08:04 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 194



Article posted September 24, 2013 at 06:21 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 168

Article posted September 24, 2013 at 06:21 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 168



Article posted September 17, 2013 at 09:02 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 210

One side of the coin…

1M Sweetheart #1: “When are we going to have math, Ms. Moore?” Me: “We already had math today.”

1M Sweetheart #1: “I want First Grade math to start.”

Me: “We’ve had math workshop everyday since the very first day of school!”

1M Sweetheart #1: “No, no, no. I don’t mean that. I mean REAL math?!”

Me: “But we have been doing very important real math.”

1M Sweetheart #1 (a bit exasperated): “But when do we get paper math?! I really want paper math. I love math. Paper math.”



Later that day on the playground the coin flips…

1M Sweetheart #2: “What are we doing for math tomorrow? Is it fun math or math math?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

1M Sweetheart #2: You know…

Me: “Well, I may, but I think your friend may have a different definition of each of those things so tell me more about what you are asking.”

1M Sweetheart #2: “Are we doing games and slates or writing down math problems? Paper math.”



For each personality in the class there will be parts of programming that they are drawn to and parts that they find challenging. Knowing that, we make sure to build a very well balanced program that includes problem solving, critical thinking, application, as well as straightforward computation. A mathematician needs all those pieces to be truly successful. At times the math program may feel different from what you remember about math in elementary school.



What do you remember about your First Grade math time? Do you remember playing games? Do you remember collaborating with a team? Do you remember solving problems on a SMARTboard? Do you remember having your own personal tool kit of math materials that you are responsible for? Do you remember singing songs? Do you remember reading beautifully illustrated picture books? Do you remember laughing and feeling proud?



Whatever your memories of math, these are just some of the memories your daughter will take away with her from the First Grade Math program.



We have been spending the past 10 days in math workshop as we have in our writing and reading workshops…building rituals and routines. The girls are adjusting to the routine a little each day. Today we discussed how math lessons may begin quite differently than they did in Kindergarten because a lot of the time we are sitting in our work spots at tables to hear a whole group lesson. These lessons closely follow the Everyday Math Program and then we add in additional literature, games and activities that support and enhance each unit of study.



Unit 1 has been a review of familiar skills and vocabulary that allows us to focus closely on the rituals, responsibilities, expectations and routines of math workshop. The girls are working hard at establishing supportive, encouraging, productive and positive partnerships. While engaging in group lessons, individual work and partnership activities we are consistently utilizing the language that produces a learning environment where each girl’s abilities and knowledge are respected. These important life skills will be critical as we move forward in the program and tackle more challenging content. Additionally they are conversations that cross the curriculum as we discuss ourselves as learners who are each growing at our own pace and each have individual goals.



Get ready to learn some exciting math games! Your daughters have math homework each night and often it will be to teach you a game! Keep those family game nights going as well. The social and mathematical skills fostered by board games will support your daughter in school.





Math Routines from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted September 17, 2013 at 09:02 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 210



Article posted September 16, 2013 at 02:01 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 192

We have begun our study of butterflies, particularly emphasizing the Monarch butterfly. As with many studies, we began with a collaborative reflection. We thought about what we already believe we know about butterflies and then shared our wondering.



We know….



They are fragile

They lay their eggs on leaves

Fairies paint their wings

Butterflies hibernate

They fly to Mexico and babies travel back – that is their huge journey

Their wings are made of dust

They are delicate

Special dust helps them fly

They are made of elements

Moths don’t hibernate

Fly fast to stay in the air

They have no teeth

Caterpillars turn into butterflies

They drink nectar from flowers



What we want to know…



How do they lay their eggs?

How do they make a chrysalis?

Do moths hibernate?

What do the eggs look like?

How do you tell a male from a female?

What do they eat?

Why do moths wings move fast?

How do they hatch from an egg?

How do they hibernate?

Are they related, moths and butterflies?

Herbivore, Carnivore or Omnivore?

How do they make a chrysalis?

How do the eggs get inside them?



We are thrilled to be observing caterpillars and butterflies in their habitat as well as in our classroom laboratory. On Friday we used our scientist eyes to find many monarch caterpillars in our school garden.



Finding Caterpillars from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted September 16, 2013 at 02:01 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 192



Article posted September 11, 2013 at 06:38 PM GMT-5 • comment (2) • Reads 168

ec3303cd-4239-4140-a27b-b309c2c20327wallpaper

 



In the past six days we have been building in time to explore the important realm of reading. Reading is more than just decoding words. For me it is about building a community of respectful, engaged, enthusiastic, supportive and reflective readers. We need to reflect on our own reading identities in order to relate to our classmates' and teachers' reading identities. In 1M we each have a book basket, Ms. Moore included! We have been focusing on the habits that will lay the groundwork for tons of independent, engaged reading. You learn to read by reading so it is important to create an environment and community where the girls can have a great deal of time with their books.



As the year progresses we will grow our sense of ourselves as readers, increase our repertoire of reading strategies, develop the habits of reflective readers and just learn to LOVE reading!! We have begun the year with the girls choosing three "Look Books." Look books are books that you have chosen because the topic of the book interests you. The book may be a little too easy or a little too hard or it could in fact be a "just right" book. We discussed the three ways to read so that should the book not be a just right book there would always be a way to interact and learn from it. Over the next few weeks we will work to establish each girl's independent and instructional reading levels and the books in her basket will mostly be "Just Right" books. I think when a book interests you, it motivates you so we will continue to have different look books now and then as well. You know, being readers yourselves, that some days you have the stamina and drive for a William Faulkner classic and some days you just need a People Magazine. I believe the girls need that flexibility as well.



Yesterday I asked the girls how the classroom should feel during reading time. Gretel said, "It should feel relaxing and calm so it warms your heart." I agree. My hope for the girls is that reading does warm each of their hearts.

Article posted September 11, 2013 at 06:38 PM GMT-5 • comment (2) • Reads 168



Article posted September 9, 2013 at 08:17 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 198

If you need to learn a bit about how to design a book basket label for someone, just ask a 1M girl!!!



We used elements from Stanford's Design Thinking model to create a name tag for our work partner.



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Article posted September 9, 2013 at 08:17 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 198



Article posted September 5, 2013 at 09:27 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 189

We began the year as writers, writing together. We call it writing collaboratively. On the first day of school I asked the girls what kind of teacher they wanted. They brainstormed their ideas and collaboratively it became a list poem. The next day the entire First Grade worked together to create a list poem describing First Graders. They have a lovely early vision of what the year will encompass.



The Teacher We Want….

by 1M 2013-14



She is really awesome

She gives hugs

She is really nice

She is really great

She likes games

She picks fun topics to talk about

She is really fun

She is sweet

She is really silly – the silliest

She gives lots of books

She let’s us read

She let’s us make stuff

She is crafty – with crafts

She can be tricky crafty too

She loves butterflies

She is helpful

When we are learning – she is serious

She is really smart

She gives me a lot of math

She helps

She lets us have popsicles on hot days

She sometimes lets us watch movies

She is honest

She let’s us have recess

She teaches science

She is made of candy! (she can tape it on at least)

She is not mean

She is smiley



First Graders can…

by First Grade 2013-2014



We sit quietly and listen

We run through the grass to catch butterflies

We read books

We run through the wind

We draw pictures together

We read together

We write together

We eat lots of good food

We listen to our teachers

We write in our writing books

We play outside on the playground

We work together

We are one unique family

We respect and are kind to our teachers and friends and others We play hide and seek together

We eat in the cafeteria together

Our teachers are very kind

We help each other

We love our teachers

We have fun together

We take care of each other

We do so much in First Grade!

Article posted September 5, 2013 at 09:27 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 189



Article posted September 3, 2013 at 08:18 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 275

 



Our First day of First Grade is finished!  The girls were stellar problem-solvers and we worked hard to support one-another, as First Grade is new to all of us.  We began crafting our Class Promise today.  As we finish it we will share it and its story with you.  We had an engaging class discussion about how each day we are growing more capable and independent and what new responsibilities occur in First Grade to reflect this. Look for more details about our discussion on the class website in the next few days.   




Before we know it we will all feel as if we have been together for weeks, not days because we will be rooted deep in the routines, rituals and relationships of our community. Each child is different and some will take to our new rituals quickly, while others will need a few weeks to adjust.  Please keep me updated on how your daughter is feeling. 




Last year my dear friend’s son began first grade.  We spoke about having a little “FaceTime” via iphone to talk about his first day.  He had crashed into bed before I could speak to him but I received the sad report that he found the first day, “long and boring.”  This was not encouraging news for Mom, an experienced First Grade teacher!  A few days later though his mom and I were able to translate his 6 year old comment.  We uncovered that in fact he was indeed finding it a bit long and was quite tired as he adjusted from ½ day Kindergarten and summer fun.  We also heard more about how astounded he was at learning so many new things.  “There are so many things to remember.  How to do things and where things go and when to do things and the order of things.”  In this case “boring” really meant, “There is a lot to learn and I am getting to know my new teacher and I am worried I won’t do the right thing.” 




I like to think of getting to know a new classroom as similar to starting a new job.  You could be a seasoned professional in your field and even be familiar with many of your new colleagues, but there is often that bit of discomfort and unease as you learn the new culture of the group and position.  It is hard not to know!  Before we know it these 16 girls will be expert First Graders and leaders in the school. 





I look forward to our journey together this year!



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Article posted September 3, 2013 at 08:18 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 275



Article posted June 10, 2013 at 06:42 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 211

We adored closely researching an animal that lives in Kenya. Each girl shared what they knew in many ways. One writing experiment we engaged in was creating an acrostic using our animal's name. We recorded ourselves reading them using ShowMe. You can hear us by going to Ms. Moore's ShowMe page here:



[LINK]



We also had fun adding silly quotes to our 'Sunset at the Waterhole' mural. The girls found it great fun to record the thoughts using the voice memo feature on my phone. Enjoy!



Article posted June 10, 2013 at 06:42 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 211



Article posted June 3, 2013 at 10:30 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 141

One thing is for sure! 1M girls LOVE to read!!! We love to read with our neighbors





and we love to read to ourselves! Your daughter has probably shared that since Homework folders have stopped their homework is to read 30 minutes each night. They can read books, magazines, sports scores or recipe books. As long as they are reading! Maddie and Madison highly recommend a timer. It is hard to keep track of the time when you are fully engrossed in a book. Of course we highly encourage reading all summer long. There are summer reading assignments for each grade.



They and a wealth of other information is posted on the library Haiku page.



www.schacademy.haikulearning.com/rdeberardinis/lsgirls-summerreading



You can also check out books from the SCH libraries. Here is a message from the librarians about how to go about it:



Summer is fast approaching, and, hopefully, is a time for your schedules to be a little more relaxed - with more time to read, enjoy and discuss books! To support your "book-filled" summer, the SCH Academy Libraries on both campuses encourages you to borrow one, two or a whole stack of books for the summer. Come and browse, then scan/check the books out with a librarian. Borrow books for you, your partner or kid(s)!



To return the books, you can: drop them off at the receptionist station on either campus



OR keep them ALL summer and return them when you get back to school



OR email Rene at: rdeberardinis@sch.org -- to arrange for a time to meet at a SCH Library over the summer to swap books AND borrow more! If you would like your daughter to choose h er own books to borrow for the summer, please send in a note or email authorizing your child(ren) to borrow SCH Library books for the summer: Rene at: rdeberardinis@sch.org OR feel free to stop in with your child(ren)! Thanks - and happy reading!

Article posted June 3, 2013 at 10:30 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 141



Article posted May 28, 2013 at 08:57 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 176

photo (15) Here are some of the talking points we remember Gigi sharing: • Rhinos horns are being hunted also for beauty products and medicine • Palm Oil is in lots of things like skittles and Oreos. They plant it and cut down rainforests where the orangutans live • Taking animals and using them in commercials and TV shows isn’t nice • Elephants stay alive a long time, like 60 years • 40,00 muscles in an elephant trunk • An elephant that was captured from its mom and put in the circus and made to ride a bicycle and they rescued it. His name was Nicholas and he was rescued. He was an orphan elephant. • At the orphanage they treat the baby elephants like the mommy would. • The trainer that pretends to be the elephant’s mom sleeps with them. On the ground! • The trainer does basically everything with them and sometimes gets days off • They have the elephants meet every trainer so they won’t be too attached to one person. They would be too sad if the person wasn’t there one day. • When the Orangutans sleep in the trees they may be ready to go back in the wild and they pick two to put in the wild together • The dad elephants leave the group for a bit • The adult animals are killed for their tusks and the babies are orphans and the rescued orphans go to the orphanage.

Article posted May 28, 2013 at 08:57 AM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 176



Article posted May 23, 2013 at 07:10 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 177

Chicks 2013 from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted May 23, 2013 at 07:10 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 177



Article posted May 22, 2013 at 08:36 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 196

A belated Thank You to everyone who conspired to surprise me. It is quite hard to do so I was rather impressed!



























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Article posted May 22, 2013 at 08:36 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 196



Article posted May 21, 2013 at 09:21 AM GMT-5 • comment (1) • Reads 209

The entire First Grade engaged in a design thinking project over the past few weeks. We saw how many children in Kenya make toys from found materials. We worked to design a toy for another First Grader!





Design Toy from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted May 21, 2013 at 09:21 AM GMT-5 • comment (1) • Reads 209



Article posted May 20, 2013 at 08:33 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 137

There have been reports of a small herd of African forest elephants found in the Wissahickon woods. They are being referred to as the 1M herd. They were spotted getting a drink at the stream and traveling down the trail! Be on the lookout!



Article posted May 20, 2013 at 08:33 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 137



Article posted May 17, 2013 at 07:54 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 160

Grandparents and Special Friends from Stephanie Moore on Vimeo.

Article posted May 17, 2013 at 07:54 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 160



Article posted May 16, 2013 at 05:28 PM GMT-5 • comment • Reads 155