Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday September 28th

Synergy News

Friday September 28, 2012

I hope you all enjoyed the unusual week.  It was interesting to have a day off in the middle of the week.  It made the week feel very short.  The students definitely had more energy come Friday.

Part of the balanced approach to literacy here at Allen Brook is Fundations.  We utilize this curriculum to teach spelling, and word work.  So far this year our time during Fundations has been spent reviewing what the students learned last year.  We have been quickly moving through the units reinforcing the strong skills they have from Kindergarten.  In the coming weeks we will begin to move away from individual letter sounds to letter combinations and the role syllables play in spelling patterns.  The day to day procedures are designed to be repetitive and reinforcing which leads some of the students to say “it’s too easy”.  However we are creating strategies that will hopefully lead to good spellers in the years to come.

This week we also had a visitor to our class.  Olivia Wilder is St. Michael’s student who will be joining our class every Thursday afternoon.  She will be working one on one and with small groups of authors during Writer’s Workshop.

Cold season has hit our class hard.  It seems like nearly every one of our students, and teachers, in our classroom, have some sort of cough or cold.  We have been working hard at washing our hands more often and being conscious and careful of our germs. 

  • Art in the Tech Lab
  • Creating animation in the Tech Lab
  • Ways to sort buttons, frogs, sea creatures, and bugs
  • Jam Move it day
  • Creating stories on the I-pads
Kids Quotes
·         “Why did the worm cross the road?... to shave his beard”
·         “I would take the class to outer space…or New Hampshire.” 

A few photos from Reader's Workshop

Friday, September 21, 2012

Synergy News

Friday September 21, 2012

It was great to see many of you last Wednesday at curriculum night.  The Synergy teachers spent over an hour explaining the different curriculum that we use to teach the different core subjects.  Ms. Ashford also used the smart board to teach us where to find different things on the schools  and teams websites.  A great resource is found at the bottom of the Synergy team home page, the Parent & Student information Wiki .  

We had our first Swarm Party last week.  Allen Brook is one of the many schools throughout the nation that use Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). This is a school wide system that helps support positive behaviors throughout the school.  Each time a student is “caught” following the 3 Bee’s, being kind, being responsible, or being safe an adult can give them a warm buzzy.  The warm buzzies are then collected in each classroom in a honey jar.  Once the classroom jars are full they are delivered to the office and placed in the beehive.  Once the beehive is full then we have an all school celebration, the Swarm Party.  The Swarm Party was a huge success with dancing, singing and recognizing the amazing job the students have done so far this year.

We are fortunate enough to have 60 I-pads at Allen Brook.  Last week our class got to use them twice.  The first time we used them during our Foundations time.  We utilized an App that has the students writing words and letters using the proper letter formation techniques.  It is an amazing resource to that only allows students to form the letters in the correct manner.  We also got to use a whole cart of 30 I-pads on Tuesday morning during explore time.  Students were looking at the statue of liberty on Google Earth, seeing what constellations were above us with Star Finder and many things were created with the Paint app.  We are all looking forward to using the I-pads more throughout the year!  Also please see the photos on the blog which were all taken by the students on the I-Pads.

  • What they did on the I-pads
  • The Swarm Party
  • Hat Day  
Kids Quotes
  • "My Dad’s going to be mad at you if I have to write that.”
  • “When is the bearded guy coming to read with me? Not you the other guy”
  • "Hey Dad?...  whoa you are definitely not my dad!!" 
·         No School! Wednesday September 26th


Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday September 14, 2012

Synergy News

Friday September 14, 2012


This week we have focused our attention on expected and unexpected behaviors.  Mrs. Aikey came to our class and demonstrated some unexpected behavior and then we talked about them together.  A small group got to do a skit, roll playing unexpected behaviors in a group setting.  We will re-visit this  lesson throughout the year.    We also began to learn about bullying in school.  We will concentrate next week on what we can do to help prevent bullying and what the students can do if they witness it or involved. 

Last week I explained a bit about our writing instruction and Writer’s Workshop.  That is one component in our balanced literacy approach. Utilizing Writer’s Workshop, Readers Workshop and Fundations we immerse the students in literacy.  In Reader’s Workshop we begin our year focusing in on good habits of readers, and learning more about each other as readers.  A typical day begins with a short lesson to the whole class to a specific targeted area.  The students then go off to read independently for between 15-30 minutes with “just right” books.  While the students are reading independently I pull individuals or small groups of students to work on specific reading skills, such as fluency, decoding, comprehension, and prediction.

Our class blog is up and running.  In the weeks to come I will be adding pictures and student work and eventually student blogs.

You can now order books from Scholastic anytime!    With each online order we receive a free book for the classroom!!

  • What kind of books do they have in their new book boxes
  • The words of the week.  (numerals, weary, content)
  • Our first trip to the Tech lab.
  • Nose Letters
  • Dot Day
Kids Quotes
  • "Once I took a cruise ship all the way to Canada and I was really hungry”
  • “I can’t go home today...My dad has to work until like...forever”
  • “When is that bearded guy coming in”

·         Wednesday September 19th picture day
·         Wednesday September 19th Curriculum night
·         Thursday September 20th Synergy Hat Day