Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Where in the world is Ms. Bennett?

What do teachers do during the summer? Well, my summer is starting out with travels halfway around the world to Australia and New Zealand where it is winter! I am here thanks to funding from Breck to explore innovative things these countries are doing in education. If you'd like to follow along with my adventure,  check out my travel blog:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ideas for FUN Summer Learning

Summer is fast approaching (Yikes! Only a couple more days of school!) and it is a widely known fact that children's academic skills can recede if not attended to over the summer. Luckily, there are many fun and educational things families can do over the summer to keep kids thinking and learning. Here are a few suggestions for our Soon-to-Be Second Graders:
  • Visit your local library. Many offer fun summer reading programs. Read a certain number of books and get special certificates and treats to celebrate your accomplishments. 
  • Talk your parents into taking you to the Red Balloon, Wild Rumpus, or Barnes and Noble bookstore. You don’t have to buy anything to enjoy the stores! 
  • Turn a favorite book into a play or ‘Readers Theater’. Write a script and invite friends over to be a part of the play. When all the parents come to pick up the children, have them stay for a performance. 
  • Keep a journal or diary of any special trips (real or imaginary). Notebooks work well or you can get a fancy journal at your local bookstore.
  • Write letters to Ms. Bennett and she will write you back! Her address is: 317 Groveland Ave. Unit 411, Minneapolis, MN 55403 (THIS IS MY FAVORITE!) 
  • Buy fun postcards. Write to classmates and other teachers from Breck. Look for the addresses in the Breck directory. 
  • Go on a reading treasure hunt. Make a list of all the interesting words you found. Or make a treasure hunt for family members to follow. Writing and reading clues are a fun way to practice reading. Hide a special treat at the end of the hunt like a fun new book or a snack to eat. 
  • Publish your own story. All you need is an idea, some paper, pens, and art supplies. 
  • Listen to books on Tumble Books. Breck has a free subscription (Username: Breck Password: Mustangs)
  • Play math and reading games on the computer! IXL continues to be available to you all summer! You could also download some learning apps for an iPad, iPod, or iPhone. 
  • Play cards and dice games to practice math facts (second graders need to automatically know addition and subtraction to 20!!). Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Make your own game. Use tag board for the main playing area. Make cards that tell the players where to move next. Write the directions. Borrow dice from an old game and invite some friends over to play. 
  • Write poetry or make up your own songs. 
  • Try a new recipe. There are some great kids cookbooks. Read the recipe. Make a list of yummy ingredients you’ll need. Shop with an adult. Read the recipe mix and bake... YUMMY. 
  • Make your own recipe. (Be thinking of measurement and fractions!) 
  • Try some science experiments! You can find a simple science book at the library or local bookstore. Many ingredients for science experiments can be found in your kitchen, too. Make sure you have a grown-up help you with your experiments.
  • Have your parents or siblings play board games with you. There are a variety of great games for thinking and strategy: Othello, Yatzee, Memory, checkers, chess...
  • Choose one of these activities or make up your own. Of course, one of the most important ones that can be done each and every day...READ!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dino Day

Our first grade paleontologists had a great time at Dino Day! We hiked to the baseball field to measure the actual size of a T-Rex and Diplodocus and took a "walk in their footsteps," so to speak! We also made fossil necklaces, decorated Triceratops masks, and participated in a mock fossil dig. Our Dino Day was complete with a special dinosaur-themed picnic lunch (herbivore/carnivore sandwiches, dino fruit snacks, brontosaurus shaped cookies...yum!) and playing at Natchez park! Here's a glimpse at our day:

Friday, May 26, 2017

Field Day - Land of 10,000 Lakes

We had a wonderful field day! The weather was a bit cloudy but perfect for active games. The first graders had a great time navigating an inflatable obstacle course, getting soaked in water games, and competing in the tug-o-war!! All athletes displayed excellent teamwork and sportsmanship. They were proud to earn their ribbons at the end of the games. Here are some photos and video (we had a lot of fun with slow-mo) from field day:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May Update

The end of the school year almost here (can you believe it?!?!).  We're ready to finish strong in room 26!

Last month, we began our study of dinosaurs. In the classroom, we have been reading all about these fascinating creatures. On our trip to the science museum, we had the chance to see dinosaur fossils up close. We also attended a special Science Museum class, Dino Dentists. The first graders learned to sort, identify, and compare teeth from humans, mammals, and prehistoric creatures. Be sure to see the slideshow of photos! We also held an exciting Dino Day on the Breck campus (more pictures/video coming soon!)

In math, we've been deepening our understanding of place value by studying and comparing numbers up to 120. We're also expanding our strategies for solving addition and subtraction with and without regrouping. We will be ending the year with a quick mini-unit on money!!

In Writer’s Workshop, we’ve been learning about realistic fiction. Our authors created their own characters and imagined their adventures. Then, they worked to put their ideas on paper with details, dialogue, and WOW words (not short, boring words)! But, that’s not all! The author’s have published an entire SERIES about their character as a boxed set. It’s a big task, but our authors were up for it! We enjoyed celebrating with a special dress-like-your-character day (look for a slideshow of photos very soon!) To round out our year of writing, we will have a study of poetry and songwriting.

The first graders continue to make great strides in their reading. They have grown into such capable readers and are experiencing the joy of reading everyday. We wrapped up our guided reading groups to focus on independent reading and book projects to prepare for 2nd grade. Book bags have ended, but we hope families continue to encourage regular reading through the end of the school year and into summer. It’s essential to keep those reading muscles strong!

All in all, we are looking forward a final week of first grade filled with learning, reflection, and celebration. The first graders have a lot to be proud of!

Thanks for your help in making this an awesome first grade year!
Ms. Bennett and Ms. Madden

**The end of the school year is a busy and exciting time at Breck School. Be sure to check the calendar below as there are still many upcoming events! Also, keep a close eye out for details on the Peek at the Week. 

May 26-Lower School Field Day (Land of 10,000 Lakes Theme)-9:30 for grades 1-2, 12:00 Lunch

May 29-No School for Memorial Day

June 1- 1st Grade Portfolio Viewing (AM + PM times available)
             NON UNIFORM DAY for LS students

June 2- Lower School Closing (Casual Summer Dressy Attire)

June 4-Baccalaureate Service (1st graders sing). Meet at room 38 at 4:45.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Science Museum Field Trip Photos

Last month, we visited the Science Museum to study dinosaurs. We explored the dinosaur and fossil gallery, took a side trip to see T-Rex, and attended a Dinosaur Dentist class. It was a great day of science!

Monday, May 1, 2017

News from the Lower School Library

This summer, the Lower School library is being renovated!

Mrs Jones needs willing volunteers to help tidy and pack up the library in advance of the summer renovation project. Please email if interested.