Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

It 's a spooky fun Halloween so we enjoyed the day by cutting into two pumpkins to see what was lurking inside! We left the seeds to dry out and will be counting them on Monday - "5, 10, 15..." Hmmm, "Witch" pumpkin had the most seeds?

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Pumpkins are Here!

As always the pumpkins this year are as cute as ever, but I think our Koala Lou (based on the Mem Fox book, Kolala Lou) and our little gourd on-lookers are just the cutest thing we've ever seen. Thanks to that creative powerful group of moms (Donna Powell, Jennifer Dodani, Mona Lamba, Gina Allmond) for being about the best moms in the whole wide world!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

TD Chet has arrived!

Hooray! TD Chets has arrived in Australia. He is spending time with Fiona Banjer's class at Park Lake School. He sent the class the following note and photos!

I finally arrived in Australia. It took me a couple of weeks to get there through the mail! I was glad to finally get out of that little brown box but it gave me lots of time to rest up for my adventure. I want you to see some of the sights and people I am meeting.
In the background you can see the school where I am visiting. If you click on the link you can go to the Park Lake School web page and read about the school. It's a really cool place! You can also click on this Gold Coast link to see the area in Australia where I am visiting.

These are some of the people I am meeting that work at the school. Don't they look nice? They are!
I got to play on the playground with the children from Mrs. Banjer's class. I had a great time. Maybe you can send them a picture of the playground at our school at Chets Creek where you have fun every day.
I know you have been reading Mem Fox books. by now, you've probably read lots of them and even tried some Australian foods while I have been gone. I just wanted you to know that I am reading Mem Fox books in Australia too! Which of Mem's books were your favorite?
The children I am visiting in Australia only have ten weeks before they get out for a six week Christmas holiday! Can you believe it? They get SIX weeks off! We only get two weeks. Maybe I'll stay here for a while! I can't wait to share with you some of my other adventures. would love to hear from each of you. You can leave me a comment and I'll check back often.
Your friend, TD Chet

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Push and Pull

Today’s Science lesson was about moving things by pushing and pulling. We learned that heavy things need a bigger push or pull to get them moving. We also learned that the Earth’s gravity pulls us down when we jump up. As hard as we tried gravity brought us down every time!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Reading Strategies

Students begin learning reading strategies early in kindergarten to help them attack unknown words and to help them understand that everything they read needs to make sense. They review these same 6-7 beginning strategies again in first grade. The strategies include:

  • Look at the pictures. Often looking at the pictures gives a child an idea of what the words are about and will give him the context to make a good guess at an unknown word.

  • Get your mouth ready. If a child is reading and he comes to an unknown word, he should begin by saying the sound of the first letter and sometimes, the word will just pop right out!

  • Does it make sense? Students always want to make sure that what they read makes sense. If it doesn't, they need to try another strategy.

  • Does it sound right? As the child reads, the words should sound right in the sentence. If not the child should try another strategy. For instance, "I is good" doesn't sound right so it must be "I am good," because that sounds right.

  • Do the letters look right? If a child makes a guess at an unknown word, he needs to go back and make sure that the letters in the word match the guess.

  • Reread. Any time the words don't make sense, the child needs to reread to clarify so that he understands what the words say.

These are strategies that parents can also reinforce at home when a child comes to a word that he doesn't know as he reads each night from his book-in-the-bag.

Today the children learned a new song to reinforce the strategies in class. The words are on the chart below with the strategies underlined. It's sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot."

Sunday, 5 October 2008

A Day to Remember!

What a Fun Friday as we brought our study of Mem Fox to a close. The students had been working all week to be ready to share their small group project. In between performances we listened to the real Mem Fox read her stories and played Mem Fox Bingo and even tasted lamington! What a wonderful day!